Monitor Farm walk: Sittingbourne

Past Event - booking closed

20 June 2019

10:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Hempstead Farm, Tonge, Sittingbourne, Kent


Programme: The past three years: - and now into the future!

Registration: 10.00 - 10:30

Start: 10.30

Event outline: With the ever increasing pressures and regulations being placed upon the armoury within our chemical tool boxes together with, the continued threat of migration of cabbage stem flea Beetle across the South East region;- at this final Sittingbourne MF event you will get the chance to discuss “what is the future for break crops like oilseed rape” (is there a viable alternative?) as well as, hearing about the research that is currently happening and, from this, the possible/alternative pest control strategies that could be beneficially utilise in order to increase the future protection of your crops.

Main Speaker: Dr Sacha White (senior research entomologist ADAS and specialises in developing integrated pest management strategies)

Dr Sacha White specialises in developing integrated pest management programmes (IPM) for arable pests. A focus of his work at ADAS in recent years has been on cabbage stem flea beetle (CSFB), having led projects investigating control methods, larval population surveys for AHDB and monitoring the impact of the 2015 neonicotinoid derogation in winter oilseed rape. He is currently working an AHDB-funded three-year IPM project looking at improving control of CSFB, which includes investigations into crop tolerance, varietal resistance, agronomic risk factors, pest predictions methods and non-chemical control options for the pest. He has presented at numerous grower and agronomist events and scientific conferences, and contributed to several publications, including AHDB’s ‘Encyclopaedia of pests and natural enemies in field crops’.

Welcome and introduction to the day (reminder of the 2016 SWOT analysis): Paul Hill – AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds Knowledge Exchange Manager South East

Blackbird Farming Farm tour and discussions: 10.50

  • 11.05 - 11.30: Apples & Cherries – Integrating “top fruit” with a cereal operation – Can we learn anything from their IPM methodologies that would benefit our arable crops?
    Speakers: MBG & Dr Sacha White
  • 11.45 - 12.30: Oilseed rape IPM Strategies – Understanding the pests & options to help deal with them.
    Lead speaker: Dr Sacha White
  • 12.40 - 13.15: Soya / Camelina (on trial) – Finding viable alternative break crops?
    Speakers: MBG, TG/RB & Dr Sacha White

Final Summary – Thoughts for the future (Farmers share ideas and thoughts for continued prosperity at Blackbird Farming): 13.15 - 13.35

Lunch & Finish: 13.45

About the Monitor Farm

Mark Bowsher-Gibbs is farm manager for Blackbird Farming, a long established family business farming near Sittingbourne in Kent. A mixed farm of 1,760ha, including 1,200ha arable cropping. The majority of land is under a five year arable rotation, predominantly wheat, oilseed rape, beans and peas. A flock of 1,500 ewes is kept on 468ha of pasture, much of which is in HLS and there are 192ha of orchards producing pears, cherries and apples. Specific areas of interest within the 1,100ha arable enterprise centre on strip tillage and crop residue management, soil microbiology, cover cropping and CTF. Soils vary considerably from clayey coastal flats to freely draining loams with some of the higher ground having a greater stone content overlying chalk.



If you have any questions about this event, please contact us using the details below.


T 07964 243699