Basingstoke Monitor Farm

Hugh Crosbie Dawson

Hugh Crosbie Dawson, with his father, has worked on the 1,161 ha mixed Freefolk Farms near Basingstoke since 2011. The 800 ha arable cropping is split across owned, rented and contract farmed land. The farm’s rotation includes milling wheat, spring barley, oilseed rape and peas, all grown on predominantly chalky soil. In addition to the arable enterprise the farm has 150 dairy cows and 500 breeding ewes. There are three full-time arable staff as well as a herdsman, Hugh and his father. A min-till approach is adopted where possible, although the farm has used the plough this year for the first time in 15 years, in order to combat grass weed pressure. Other enterprises on the farm include commercial lettings, self-storage and a solar farm. Hugh’s ambition for the business is to reduce fixed and variable costs, increase efficiency and make further use of precision farming methods. During the Monitor Farm programme Hugh is also interested in benchmarking with other farmers and exploring break crops.


  • TBC

Visit the AHDB events portal for all Monitor Farm meeting dates and details

For more information contact Paul Hill, AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds Knowledge Exchange Manager for the South East on or 07964 243699.

Previous meetings:

  • Summer meeting: 4 June 2019
  • Drilling into your fixed costs to sow a profit: 27 February 2019
  • Collaboration ventures: 16 January 2019 (report, pdf)
  • Sustainable farming – what is it and can it benefit my business? 27 November 2018 (report, pdf)
  • Reducing costs without compromising yields: 31 October 2018 (report pdf)
  • Summer meeting: 6 June 2018
  • Grain marketing strategies and farming after Brexit: 6 March 2018 (report, pdf)
  • Soils and machinery investment (with Philip Wright): 6 February 2018 (report, pdf)
  • Cover cropping and companion cropping: 28 November 2017 (report, pdf)
  • Weed control and pest management: 31 October 2017 (report, pdf)
  • Launch meeting: 27 June 2017 (report, pdf)


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