UK - What are the factors constraining yield? This is the question to be addressed at the next HGCA Monitor Farm meeting near Winchester.
This topic was identified by farmers as a priority during the launch meeting on 6 November 2014, where discussion focused on the reasons for ‘disappointing’ yields.
Other areas of interest related to managing the fixed cost structure on the farm, and how best to use existing technology and the data available.
Hosted by Ian Cammack and Andy Bason of Newhouse Farm in Northington Down, Alresford, on 11 February, the next meeting will look at how farmers can separate and quantify the impact of different factors affecting yield.
Philip Dolbear, HGCA Regional Manager, said: “Over the last few years, yields at Ian’s farm haven’t necessarily improved and he wants to know why.
"By breaking down and analysing the various factors which determine yield, perhaps he can go some way to answering that question. It’s a common question asked by many farmers: how are some growers getting yields in the ‘teens’ in this country and other parts of the world?
"In addition, through the process of looking at Ian’s farm, local farmers will be able to take what they’ve learned back to their own farm, and assess their own growing strategies.”
HGCA Head of Research and Knowledge Transfer Susannah Bolton will lead the discussions on yield, looking at each key yield component and how agronomy and management practice can affect crop performance.
As well as a farm update from Ian and Andy, the meeting will also cover costs of production and the importance of benchmarking for farm businesses.
The meeting at Newhouse Farm, Northington Down, Alresford, SO24 9UB, runs from 10:30am starting with coffee, and farmers who are interested in attending should contact HGCA Regional Manager Philip Dolbear, on 07964 255614 or email@example.com. A light lunch is included.
Ian Cammack together with his foreman Andy Bason runs a 722 ha arable farm on chalk downland near Winchester.
The farm has 550 ha of combinable crops – wheat, barley, oilseed rape and beans, as well as keeping 70 breeding ewes producing Hampshire Downs cross lambs to sell to a local butcher. The farm receives rental income from ex dairy and piggery buildings converted to offices, a gym, storage and workshops. Off-farm work includes agricultural and non-agricultural maintenance.
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