Doncaster Pilot Monitor Farm

Atkinson _strip _image

Robert and Jill Atkinson run the mixed-enterprise Adwick Grange in partnership with Robert’s parents. The Atkinsons farm 450 acres of limestone, medium and heavy (low lying) loam soils, around Doncaster, holding most of the land on an Agricultural Holdings Act tenancy. Robert and Jill also have a small area of contract farmed land and some in a joint venture with a neighbour. In addition to Robert, the farm has one full-time employee and casual staff as required.

Their cropping includes milling and feed wheat, oilseed rape and sugar beet. In addition to arable crops, the Atkinsons finish approximately 4,100 pigs per year.

This pilot Monitor Farm project has now finished. Thank you to Robert Atkinson, host farmer, and everyone else involved who made the project a success. Find a current Monitor Farm project near you.

Knowing is not enough, you must apply

15 May 2014

Up to the time of writing, May has given us around 35mm of rain and things are growing fast. Flag leaf is now well out and our T2 spray will be applied early next week, weather permitting. Product choice will be between Adexar and Aviator Xpro but will probably be decided by what is actually available to buy! The addition of chlorothalonil will depend upon how stretched my three-week timing window since T1 gets.

Wheat T1s applied

1 May 2014

Our 3 week gap between T0 and T1 seemed soon up, but the longer days and brief warmer spells means that crops at Adwick Grange have developed quickly. T1 treatments are now all applied at what (according the manual!) was an ideal timing. The threat of rusts and septoria alongside keen pricing meant our programme was based around isopyrazam, epoxiconazole and chlorothalonil. The AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds Fungicide Dose Response work proved a useful tool in assessing bang for buck, so I hope the £30/ha spent keeps the crop safe from harm.

Wheat at GS 30-31 at Adwick Grange

25 March 2014

March Blog - Wheat GS30-31The wind is proving tiresome, often preventing us getting on with fieldwork, but we are snatching all opportunities that come along to apply fertiliser and sprays.  Our oilseed rape has pretty much received its final ‘bagged’ nitrogen doses, with final applications ranging from 160kg/ha to 200kg/ha depending upon GAIs and yield potential.  The oilseed rape had a definite growth spurt last week and has rocketed to green/yellow bud stage very quickly.

High pressure returns to Adwick Grange

12 March 2014

OSR At Stem Extension ThumbTalk of a return of high pressure and more ‘settled’ weather this week is most welcome.  Although the use of the Claydon has stretched our opportunities to get on the land, the winds and rain of late have limited our field activity.  That said, all my oilseed rape has now received its first fertiliser dressing of 70kg N/ha and 25kg SO3/ha.  Regular use of organic manures means that my sulphur applications fall into the ‘top up’ category, and with the crop well into stem extension the jury is out as to what my final nitrogen dressing will be.

The numbers don't lie

OSR Thumbnail

14 February 2014

In my last blog I started to talk about looking at the fixed costs in the business.  Thanks to Google I have learnt that it was Albert Einstein who said ‘Numbers don’t lie but they may ignore the most important truths’. I’m unsure if he thought of this while he was putting together his tax return also.

A positive outlook for 2014

29 November 2013

"It feels as though most of the farm is in some kind of trial this season. Alongside the AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds variety work I am hosting some Agro Vista research, looking at Oilseed rape establishment and companion planting, which is already proving interesting.

My own establishment system is based around the Claydon direct strip till seeding drill. Not always used in the ‘traditional no-till’ way, it was a business decision based around saving time and fuel, and from recent CropBench results it has achieved both. Agronomist Philip Wright’s recent visit as part of this project also reassured me that this decision is also benefiting the soil. By using manure from my pig enterprise and other organic manures, including cover crops as part of my establishment regime, there has been a definite positive change in the way the soil behaves and the crops develop..." Read more