Wisbech Monitor Farm

Andrew and Sam Melton
Farm sectors:
Cereals & Oilseeds
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About Wisbech Monitor Farm

  • H Melton & Son, Peartree Farm started as a Monitor Farm in June 2020.
  • Arable rotation includes wheat, barley, oilseed rape, beans and sugar beet.
  • The farm also runs a soil sampling business for potato growers.
  • Soil on the farm is silty clay loam.

Andrew Melton and his son Sam farm 1,400 hectares of wheat, barley, oilseed rape, beans and sugar beet on silty clay loam. Andrew and Sam operate minimum tillage and full inversion cultivation systems. The business also includes a large contracting operation extending approximately 15 miles around the family farm.

Having invested in a zero-tillage drill, they’d like to explore reducing tillage to zero and using cover crops to improve soil health. Their business ambitions are to reduce cost of production and emissions without affecting profitability or yield. Andrew wants to prepare for the transition to the government's new Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme. He also wants to use benchmarking to reduce his fixed costs reduce his use of inputs.

The farm’s background, along with a breakdown of business opportunities and threats, can be found in the launch meeting report: Wisbech Monitor Farm Launch Meeting Report | AHDB

Wisbech Monitor Farm meetings & reports

East Anglia Monitor Farm update – February 2021

Andrew and Sam have access to the machinery to apply a range of approaches to cultivation, all in one field. This makes for the perfect experimental set-up.

Despite conditions being extremely wet over the winter, the pair committed to carrying out their trial which involved a combination of ploughing and direct both in the presence and absence of catch crops.

Modifications to machinery on the farm such as low ground-pressure tyres, RTK-assisted drilling and a crimper/roller to ill catch-crops aim to minimise soil disturbance and compaction.

Hear their full update, as well as other Monitor Farmer in the region, in the East Anglian Monitor Farms regional update.

If you would like to be included in the email invite list for future meetings, contact Ana Reynolds (East Anglia Cereals & Oilseeds Knowledge Exchange Manager) via ana.reynolds@ahdb.org.uk or on 07387015456.

Farm Video