Three new AHDB arable Monitor Farms revealed

AHDB Cereals and Oilseeds has announced the launch dates for its three new Monitor Farm hosts, where local growers and agronomists are invited to attend.

The three new farms, which lie in East Yorkshire, Norwich and Nottinghamshire, join the 13 existing Cereals and Oilseeds Monitor Farms. They will be hosting their first open days throughout the summer, as detailed below:

Meet the farmers

Young farmer stood on the farm yard


Beverley Monitor Farm, East Yorkshire

Hosted by farm manager Harry Huddart, Hall Farm in East Yorkshire is part of the Albanwise Farming Group.

The 2,000ha arable rotation comprises winter wheat and barley, oilseed rape, spring barley and beans, peas, forage maize and potatoes.

As a young farmer in his first year working at Hall Farm, Harry is keen to share his ambitions to build a profitable and future-proof business during a time of rising costs and market volatility.

He says: “Hosting an AHDB Monitor Farm will not only allow us to share what we’re doing on-farm with other like-minded people, but we’re hoping to take away new ideas that may help us improve.

“I believe the farm is set up in a way that we have enough flexibility to trial and explore new practices for the benefit of our farm as well as the wider farming community.”

Male farmer posing with dog


Norwich Monitor Farm, Norfolk

Crown Point Estate farm manager Michael Balls aims to maintain financial margins by improving current techniques and incorporating new practices on farm during his time as Monitor Farm host.

He manages a diverse 1,200ha arable operation, comprising winter wheat and barley, oilseed rape, spring oats, triticale, peas, potatoes, maize, and mint, along with livestock.

New ventures also include pick-your-own sunflowers, pumpkins, and sweetcorn.

Michael says: “This is an exciting but challenging time for agriculture. I’m always keen to learn how other farmers approach things and trial elements in our own farming system.

“Equally, I’m an open book and would like to share my experience of what’s worked and not worked so well, with others.”

Male farmer stood in a field of flowering oilseed rape


Bingham Monitor Farm, Nottinghamshire

During his time in the Monitor Farm programme, farm director Joe Fisher aims to build a more resilient and diverse farm enterprise at Manor Farm, while striving to reduce environmental impact.

The 560ha operation comprises an arable rotation of winter wheat, oilseed rape, beans, quinoa, and maize.

Joe says: “Having been regularly involved with my local Monitor Farm meetings, I’ve seen the group evolve and I value all the learnings we take from it.

I’m looking forward to hosting over the next few years and taking others on our journey in trying to reduce inputs and maintain margins, while aiming to meet environmental targets and working towards achieving net zero.”

Thoughts from the AHDB

Ana Reynolds, AHDB head of engagement for Cereals and Oilseeds, explains that at the heart of the Monitor Farm programme is the demonstration of trials of new cropping or techniques in “real farm” situations.

She says: “The launch of new farms is a great time to get involved in the programme, influence the discussions and watch progress first hand.

“With each farm hosting regular open meetings across the length and breadth of the UK, there’s a diverse array of expertise, farm types and systems represented.

“There really is something for everyone, and as a free programme centred on peer-to-peer knowledge exchange, the discussion and independent results can help shape the future of your farm, as part of the wider industry.”

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