Strategic Cereal Farm East hands over title to Norfolk farm

Friday, 30 June 2023

Norfolk-based David Jones has been announced as the successor to Brian and Patrick Barker as their six-year tenure as hosts of Strategic Cereal Farm East comes to an end.

Mr Jones will continue the Barkers’ ambitious programme of work, which includes a focus on integrated pest management (IPM) and reducing inputs.

Ana Reynolds, AHDB’s Head of Engagement for Cereals & Oilseeds, said:

“Over the nine years Brian and Patrick have been part of the AHDB Knowledge Exchange programme, their work has covered many areas, including trialling systems to reduce inputs, test cover crop mixes and flowering strips, as well as maximising income from marginal land.”

She added that as AHDB’s first strategic farmers, running farm-scale trials to enhance their operations, they have successfully demonstrated in-depth field trials that focused on delivering environmental protection and productivity seamlessly – showing how the two can go hand-in-hand.

“David Jones will build on this work and deliver great insight for farmers,” added Ms Reynolds.

Introducing David Jones

Farm manager at the Morley Agricultural Foundation, David is no stranger to research and innovation. He runs the main part of the farm as a commercial enterprise, making it the perfect vehicle to put science into practice.

Mr Jones said:

“I applied to host Strategic Cereal Farm East to expand my trials experience and bridge the gap between research and commercial farming, while helping AHDB drive the industry forwards.”

He aims to build on the environmental focus of the Barkers by delving into IPM, with a desire to cover cultural weed control.

“As an industry, we’ve grown to rely too heavily on pesticides, so I hope to demonstrate how a combination of methods can help cut down on spray requirements, with both costs and the environment in mind,” he added.

“It’s essential we showcase relatable farming practices that everyone can take something away from. I still want to farm conventionally, but in an environmentally sympathetic way that continues to deliver on yields.”

The first Strategic Cereal Farm East open day at Morley Farms will take place in November.

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Image of staff member Ana Reynolds

Ana Reynolds

Head of Engagement (Cereals & Oilseeds)

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