Arable Farmer awarded top trophy at Farmers Weekly Awards

Hampshire farmer Craig Livingstone from Lockerley Estate at East Tytherley has been crowned Farmer of the Year at the Farmers Weekly Awards, the Oscars of UK farming.

Mr Livingstone, who also won the title Arable Farmer of the Year, was one of 15 farming award winners presented with the iconic yellow plaques last night (4th October) at a glittering ceremony in London’s Grosvenor House Hotel – the biggest night in the farming calendar.

Writer, broadcaster, actor, and former Conservative MP, Gyles Brandreth, presented the awards in front of more than 1,000 guests in the Great Room at the Grosvenor House Hotel on London’s Park Lane.

A former agronomist, Craig, has managed to both raise yields and cut costs on 800 hectares of arable crops, by focusing on the health of his soils and making some bold changes to his pattern of crop rotations.

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Craig has halved the area devoted to oilseed rape and added spring beans, winter barley and winter oats to widen the rotation to six years.

He is nursing his depleted soils back to health, adding lime and liberal amounts of organic matter, and is a firm believer in cover crops.

Craig has also adopted precision farming technology, with variable-rate seeding and application of P and K fertiliser.

Crop yields have increased, with wheat up 1.8t/ha, oilseed rape approaching 4t/ha and winter oats now at 7.8t/ha.

See also: More Farmers Weekly Awards 2018 coverage

Karl Schneider, Farmers Weekly Editor said: “Craig is a first-class farmer, and it’s remarkable how much he has managed to achieve in just three years at Lockerley Estate. He’s also a great ambassador for British farming.”

The Farmer of the Year Award, the overall “winner of winners”, is sponsored by McDonalds.

Full list of award winners:

Agricultural Student of the Year (sponsored by Kubota UK)
Alexandra Dunn, Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester

Arable Farmer of the Year (sponsored by KWS UK)
Craig Livingstone, Lockerley Estate, Hampshire

Beef Farmer of the Year (sponsored by ABP)
Andrew Laughton, Southfield Farm, Lincolnshire

Farm Contractor of the Year (sponsored by Fendt)
Magnus Sinclair, Sinclair Contractors, Aberdeenshire

Dairy Farmer of the Year (sponsored by Armatrac)
James Tomlinson, DJ&S Tomlinson, Lancashire

Diversification Farmer of the Year (sponsored by Innovation For Agriculture)
Charlie and Will Moreton, Welsh Road Farm, Warwickshire

Farm Adviser of the Year (sponsored by Arysta LifeScience)
Oliver Hodgkinson, Trefaldwyn Vets, Pows

Farm Manager of the Year (sponsored by Corteva Agriscience)
Mike Shapland, James Foskett Farms, Suffolk

Farmworker of the Year (sponsored by Safety Revolution)
Richard Fox, Park Farm, Hertfordshire

Mixed Farmer of the Year (sponsored by Bridgestone)
Matthew Brownlee, Loughgall, Armagh

Pig Farmer of the Year (supported by Pig Progress)
Rob and Helen Mutimer, Woodlands Farm, Norfolk

Poultry Farmer of the Year (supported by Poultry World)
Philip Crawley, Sunrise Eggs, Leicestershire

Sheep Farmer of the Year (supported by NSF International)
John and Sarah Yeomans, Llwyn y Brain Farm, Powys

Young Farmer of the Year (sponsored by RSPCA Assured)
Jacob Anthony, Cwm Risca Farm, Bridgend

Farm Supplier of the Year (sponsored by Jelf)
Compass Tractors, Bridgwater, Somerset

Farming Champion Award (Sponsored by the NFU)
Sylvia Crocker for her “Milk and sarnies” campaign aimed at supermarkets

Lifetime Achievement Award (sponsored by Woodland Trust)
The Reverend Dr Gordon Gatward

Farmer of the Year (sponsored by McDonalds)
Craig Livingstone, Lockerley Estate, Hampshire

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