Andrew Pendry has made intensive arable production a fine art on the substantial farm he manages for Burden Brothers on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent.
Quality crops are the main focus, as the farm’s Grade 1 loam and heavy London blue clay soils regularly return milling wheat yields of more than 11t/ha.
These yields can cause protein dilution, so Mr Pendry gives the crop a decent nitrogen dose and doesn’t skimp on inputs. “Because we are growing for quality, we never cut corners.”
He also uses biosolids, compost and gypsum to improve soil fertility and structure. “The soil is now so much more friable and easier to work. We have managed to reduce fuel bills and wear and tear on metal parts.”
This year’s crop is due to receive 180kg nitrogen in a three-way split, he says. “Some crops are looking very forward, so I’m not in a hurry to get the first dose on.”