A Sedgeford farm has been chosen from hundreds of applicants to become one of AHDB’s new Monitor Farms. Three other beef and lamb farms from across England will be joining David Cross, of Glovers Farm in the prestigious Farm Excellence programme, all of which operate on a variety of different systems and are striving for success whilst facing various challenges.
Located within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in north west Norfolk, Cross farms in partnership with his father John as tenants of Sedgeford Hall Estate. A closed flock of 900 ewes tupped by EasyRams run alongside multiple arable enterprises including barley, wheat, potatoes and sugar beet. Of the 360ha of tenanted land, 80ha of temporary grassland feature heavily within the arable rotation whilst around 30ha are sublet to a free-range pig operation.
The other three Monitor Farms are:
- Ian Farrant, Herefordshire
- Rob and Liz Priest, Devon
- Harry Sordy, Northumberland
Samantha Charlton, senior knowledge exchange manager at AHDB, said: “We’re pleased to welcome our new farms on board. We had a large number of applicants this year and it was really difficult to choose only four to participate in the four-year project.
“We began the project in 2017 and over the past five years we’ve worked with 16 Strategic Farms which have all had success in implementing best practice, resulting in improved financial performance. As part of the programme, we also engaged directly with thousands of levy payers through the on-farm events and online webinars.”
Cross said: “I am keen to develop a resilient farming operation that isn’t dependent on subsidies and allows me to viably integrate my sheep with the farm’s arable enterprises while ethically promoting the environment. Becoming an AHDB Monitor Farmer gives me and other farmers the chance to learn and discuss how we could achieve these goals and ensure our farming businesses remain compliant and robust for the years ahead.”
Leah Shanks, knowledge exchange manager, added: “We are looking forward to welcoming attendees to David’s launch event on 15 September at Glovers Farm. All of our Monitor Farms will focus on key areas of a functioning farm business including environmental matters, breeding, health, grassland management and financial performance. With David, we are especially excited to explore the opportunities that livestock in arable rotations presents.”
To book your free place at one of the events, visit: www.ahdb.org.uk/events.
To find out more about the Farming Excellence program and to follow our new Monitor Farmers’ progress, visit: www.ahdb.org.uk/farm-excellence/beef-lamb