There are 1300 ha of combinable crops including wheat, barley, oats, oil seed rape and beans woven into several rotations to suit specific soil types and including some forage crops of grass and whole crop cereals. Choice of variety is market driven and most crops are sold through the Openfield Marketing Group. Four grain stores are operated on separate farms with a mix of on floor drying and a 40t/hr continuous flow dryer. The arable team consists of a manager and two men plus up to four ‘students’ at harvest. Training and safety management is very much part of the ethos of both the arable and dairy teams. Farm Management Agreements were pioneered from 1977 and still form an important part of the farm development.
Mechanization is comprehensive but still achieves less than 1Hp/ha. One tracked 12.5m cut New Holland CR1090 combine harvests all the crops. The prime mover is a Fendt 943 MT mainly used for minimum tillage matched to a 7m Horsch FM cultivator. Planting is carried out with a 6m Horsch Sprinter and Amazon Power Harrow Combination. The 943 is backed up by a Fendt 939. A Fendt 720 is used for solid fertilizer spreading, drilling and haulage. Spraying of both agrichemicals and liquid fertilizers is achieved with one self-propelled 36m Horsch PT280 sprayer. Solid fertilizer is applied using a mounted Amazon ZATS spreader with section control and variable rate software. Particular use is made of three JCB material handlers moving everything from grain to straw and fertilizer.