Limavady Monitor Farm

Alistair Craig
Farm sectors:
Cereals & Oilseeds
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About Limavady Monitor Farm

  • 120 ha sandy loam soils reclaimed from Lough Foyle
  • 80 ha of clay loam soil
  • 50/50 split of dairy cows and cereals

Alistair's main crop is winter barley, he occasionally grows winter wheat or spring barley with a rotation of grass or lucerne every six years roughly. The grass is usually undersown into spring oats and put in the silage pit. 25 ha goes for c1 seed every year; the rest is kept for feeding cows. Cow manure and slurry are then used to grow crops with less fertiliser. 2022 will be the first year Alistair moves away from a completely plough-based system to min-till.

When asked why he wanted to become a monitor farmer, Alistair had the following to say: 

"I was interested in becoming a monitor farmer as I still have a lot to learn! You can only learn so much from previous generations, so it’s fantastic to have a Monitor Farm Programme that so many like-minded farmers can come together and learn from each other’s mistakes!" 

Limavady Monitor Farm will run from 2022 to 2025.

Past meetings and events

For information about past meetings and events, click '+ See more'.

Past meetings and updates

Digging up the dirt on soil health – 23 February 2023

Joseph Martlew (NIAB) spoke about how to better understand soils and outlined how to best manage them for health and resilience using the AHDB Soil Health Scorecard.

Labour and machinery review – 2 February 2023

During the winter season, a Labour and Machinery review was conducted at Limavady.

Figures were then discussed with Harry Henderson (AHDB Technical Knowledge Exchange Manager) and Alistair talked about his learnings from the review.

Nutrient management – 17 November 2022

The first winter meeting at Limavady focused on nutrient management and making the most out of organic input options with guest speaker Martin Bourke (Teagasc). The group also got an insight into the work going on at AFBI from Lisa Black.

You can find links to download all seven sections of AHDB's Nutrient Management Guide (RB209) here.

Launch meeting – 07 July 2022

Alistair welcomed visitors on farm for the first time as a monitor farmer back in July 2022. He introduced his farm business and shared farmbench analysis regarding his PGR use. A SWOT analysis was also conducted, highlighting focuses for the three years to follow.

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