Biog: Philip Partridge farms 330ha of arable and 40ha of permanent pasture in partnership with his mother Sylvia and sister, Joy, near Ipswich, Suffolk. His late father, Mark, moved to the farm in 1953. The current rotation is wheat, barley, beans and oilseed rape. He has a small flock of sheep and 200 head of fattening cattle which are bought in as stores and fed on a mixed ration of home-grown cereals and pulses. The soil types are Hanslope, Beccles, Burlingham, Newport and Melford – Philip is very keen to learn more about his soils and to improve soil fertility. He is married to Anita and has two children, Karl and Fabian.
Title: Crop diversity and no-till cultivations to tackle disease and pest mangement
Changes to my cropping is something that I continually review. I’m currently progressing towards a no-till system which will give me more flexibility to explore a more diverse approach to the crops I grow, including more use of cover and companion crops.
Cultivations this autumn are focused on non-inversion cultivation (Sumo Trio), followed by a cultivator drill (Vaderstad), with some crops (mostly winter beans) established with the Claydon SR strip tillage drill. My policy going forward is to make the progressive move to no-till following the principles of conservation agriculture.
Wheat varieties for this coming season will be Evolution, Reflection, Lili and we’re also trying a blend of varieties, the combination of which we’re still to decide. Evolution and Reflection will give me a chance to review my fungicides spend if the season’s conditions allows. I’m also aiming to try and beat my best yield with these two varieties in the Syngenta #bub challenge! KWS Lili looks like a great option for the future for both yield and the added bonus of Group 2 premium.
The blend of wheat varieties is something we’re exploring with some other farmers. The diversity could help in significantly reducing disease pressure. I’ve been taking the lead from some fascinating work done in this area by the James Hutton Institute.
Winter barley this coming year will be Hyvido Bazooka – we’re trying Hyvido for the first time because I think it will fit well into my cropping cycle as a second cereal. We are also growing KWS Glacier and Cassia – I can’t fault these barleys – they deliver consistent yield for feeing out cattle and the local feed mill.
My winter bean choice will be Wizard – it’s a reliable performer, so why change to something else?
I’ve taken the decision not to drill oilseed rape this autumn for a number of reasons – including cabbage stem flea beetle, current prices and our drive to try and reduce insecticide use. Spring barley will be KWS Irina because of its standing ability and it doesn’t brackle. We are also looking at spring beans and lupins, depending on the land and the conditions.
If you’re considering adopting more efficient cultivation techniques or looking at ways to improve the health of your soils to reduce your crop establishment costs, attending our new Crop Establishment Seminar, sponsored by Horsch, will pay dividends.
In addition to the free advice on offer at this topical, technical and practical seminar, there will be numerous exhibitors you can talk to regarding your cultivation and soil care strategy. This new and important area of CropTec is designed to help you boost yields further and reduce those all important unit costs of production
To encourage knowledge exchange among the British farming community further, this year’s event is FREE for farmers to attend. You MUST pre-register online to ensure you receive your free place.
General pre-registered admission: £12, all visitors will charged £15 on the gate on the day of the event.