Monitor Farm meeting: Vale of Belvoir

Past Event - booking closed

Thu, 12 December 2019

8:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Long Clawson Primary School Garton Hall Annexe, School Lane, Long Clawson

LE14 4PB

Cover crops; Spring cropping


  • Ian Gould, Oakbank
  • John Martin, Dorset arable farmer
  • Sarah Kendall, ADAS


Please note: parking is not available at the primary school, however it will be possible to park at the village hall in Long Clawson (Back Lane, Long Clawson LE14 4NA) which is a short walk from the venue.

  • Registration/refreshments
  • Welcome and introduction: Judith Stafford – AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds Knowledge Exchange Manager
  • Vale of Belvoir Monitor Farm update: James & Michael Parker – AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds Monitor Farmers
    • Autumn drilling
    • Any changes to plans
    • How the crops are looking
  • Setting the scene – Cover crops at Vale of Belvoir Monitor Farm: James & Michael Parker
    • How cover crops have been used in the past
    • How and why new cover crop mixes have been introduced
  • Cover crops: Ian Gould, Oakbank
    • What are cover crops
    • Why grow cover crops
    • Which cover crops do what for the soil and following crop(s)
    • Are some cover crops better rooting?
    • Which cover crops are particularly beneficial
    • Which mixes are best and/or are these better than single species?
    • Cover crop mixes for later sowing
    • Allelopathic effects of cover crops
  • Spring cropping:
    • A farmer’s experience: John Martin, arable farmer, Dorset. John has been focusing on Spring cropping for some years and will share his experience:
      • Reasons for more spring drilling
      • Rotation/crops
      • Markets/contracts
      • Practical considerations
      • Soil health and cultivations
      • Pitfalls and what to avoid
      • Yields, costs, margins
    • Spring cropping considerations – getting it right: Sarah Kendall, ADAS
      • How best to establish spring-sown cereals
      • Seed rates
      • Time of sowing
      • Seed storage best practice
      • Spring peas and beans
      • Using fallow in the rotation
  • Questions and Discussion
  • Summary of main points and take home messages
  • Opportunity for any further questions
  • Meeting close

About Vale of Belvoir Monitor Farm

Father and son team James and Michael Parker farm at Sherwood Farms in the Vale of Belvoir, Leicestershire. Their soil ranges from heavy clay to clay and sandy loam. James and Michael’s 560 ha increasingly flexible arable rotation includes winter wheat, winter oilseed rape, winter barley, spring barley, winter beans, winter triticale and spring linseed. Sherwood Farms is also home to 72,000 laying chickens, a mixture of free range and colony. The eggs are packed and sold onsite. Both James and Michael want to increase the efficiency of their business and to produce crops as economically as possible. They are looking forward to comparing their business with other farmers facing similar challenges, identifying where improvements can be made.

Find out more by visiting the Vale of Belvoir Monitor Farm page

About Monitor Farms

AHDB Monitor Farms bring together groups of like-minded farmers who wish to improve their businesses by sharing performance information and best practice around a nationwide network of host farms.

AHDB organises and facilitates Monitor Farm meetings for farmers, who own and operate the scheme – by farmers, for farmers.

Monitor Farms are part of the AHDB Farm Excellence Programme. Each Monitor Farm project runs for three years.