Summer meeting: Northampton

Past Event - booking closed

2 July 2019

3:00 PM - 6:30 PM

MTH Davies, Newton Lodge , Clifton Reynes, Olney, Milton Keynes

MK46 5DS


  • Registration/refreshments
  • Welcome and introduction(Include AHDB update and outline winter meeting programme): Judith Stafford, AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds Knowledge Exchange Manager
  • Monitor Farm update: Rick Davies, Monitor Farmer
    • How are the crops looking
    • What could have been done differently
    • Management going forward
    • Autumn cropping plans
    • Any updates on marketing
  • The future for cereals and oilseeds production in the UK: Martin Grantley-Smith, AHDB Sector Director, Cereals and Oilseeds
    • Overview of current economic situation
    • Where the UK fits into world production
    • Brexit
    • What the future holds
    • Risk management and building a resilient business
  • What type of future? Opportunities and challenges for UK agriculture: Sean Rickard, agricultural economist
  • Farm walk: discussion to be led by Rick Davies
    • Review rotation 
    • Potential yields, expected and actual yields
    • Effect of black-grass and changing the rotation on (1) black-grass-free land (2) black-grass land
    • Cost of black-grass
    • Alternative strategies for dealing with severe weed burdens
    • Spring cropping – effectiveness of spring beans and spring barley
    • Input strategies – what is working and what isn’t for control of pests, diseases and weeds
    • Oilseed rape – current situatio
    • Cabbage stem flea beetle and crop losses
    • The future for oilseed rape at the monitor farm
    • Machinery and cultivations – effect of different cultivation types and why drill type makes a difference
    • Use of direct drilling and ploughing
    • View problems areas, including any compaction
    • Discuss thoughts on changes to drilling strategy
    • Include field trials:
      • Sheep on stubble turnips at different stocking densities
      • Cover crops (two different mixes)
      • Effect of MOP application rate on wheat and spring barley
      • Seed dressings
      • Comparison of two different direct drills
    • Role of cover crops – five different seed mixtures 
    • How the cover crops grew, method of destruction
    • Any differences in following crops
    • Making compost – trials with home-mixed (turf + cattle manure + woodchip)
    • Use of compost to improve soil health – application rates, timings
    • Dig soil pits to assess soil health
    • Discuss which soils look most “healthy” and how we assess it
    • Direct drilling into cover crops
    •  Comments on drill type, seed placement and establishment
    • Use of precision farming and use of data
  • Discuss options for alternative crops in the rotation
    • Recap on reasons for changing/extending the rotation
    • Possible options available, including maize, grass
    • Contracts
    • What might work well in this area?
    • How could grass fit in – previous cultivations, sowing method, length of grass ley, what will happen to it afterwards
    • What could the grass be used for?
    • Arrangement with other farmer(s) for use of grass
    • Any other possible alternative crops for this region
  • Return to farm buildings
  • Summary and key points
  • Meeting close and barbecue

Meeting reports are available at: 
For more information: email or call 07891 556623



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


T 07891 556623