Duxford Monitor Farm

Tom and David

Tom Mead and David Hurst are hosting the Duxford Monitor Farm together. They farm within nine miles of each other at the Hertfordshire/ Cambridgeshire border and their land is joined by the old Icknield Way. With different businesses but common goals and problems, the jointly-hosted Monitor Farm will provide an opportunity to look at collaboration, farm management and business resilience from two different perspectives.

Tom Mead is a partner at Bleak House Farm in Cambridgeshire. The family farm has 377ha of arable cropping, growing wheat, barley, oats and oilseed rape, as well as sugar beet. They use a mixture of ploughing and minimal tillage cultivation, aiming to cultivate as shallow as possible when the conditions allow. The farm has storage capacity for around 2,000 tonnes. Winter barley and OSR are generally sold at harvest and wheat and oats are stored longer and marketed between harvest and the following spring. Tom is a graduate of the Tesco Future Farmers programme and is particularly interested in running an efficient farm business on a small scale. He also wants to find ways to push the business forward, looking in detail at soils, how to stay profitable, focus on the customer and maintain a good work-life balance.

David Hurst is the arable manager at Law Farming in Hertfordshire. He manages 1,355ha of arable cropping including rye, wheat, barley, oats, spring barley, forage rape, spring mustard and sugar beet. The farm also has a 1,750 head sheep flock, rents land out for pigs and there are plans to introduce cattle back on to the farm. There are three full-time staff and a harvest student. The farm is ploughed for grass leys and winter and spring barley, but a one pass operation is used elsewhere. David’s ambition for the business in the short term is to continue to reduce fixed and variable costs, without affecting productivity or the quality or value of output. During the Monitor Farm programme, David is looking forward to learning from other farmers and wider industries across the supply chain.

Upcoming meetings

  • Friday 15 November 2019
  • Monday 9 December 2019
  • Friday 17 January 2020
  • Friday 14 February 2020

Meetings will be 9am – 12:15pm starting with a bacon roll at Fowlmere Village Hall, Chrishall Road, Fowlmere, Cambridgeshire SG8 7RY 

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

For more information or to attend a meeting, contact Teresa Meadows, AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds Knowledge Exchange Manager for East Anglia on teresa.meadows@ahdb.org.uk or 07387 015465

Previous meetings

  • Summer meeting: 7 June 2019
  • Friday 18 January 2019 
  • Farm business accounts and benchmarking: Monday 17 December 2018 
  • Drilling, crop establishment and seed rates: 16 November 2018
  • Launch event: 19 June 2018 (report, pdf)

Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\mainSite-contentRelatedLinks.xslt