Elveden Estate and Farms

Elveden is a 22,500 acre country estate, of which over 10,000 acres is farmland. They are passionate about environmentally-responsible farming and work hard to ensure that biodiversity at Elveden thrives alongside their farming practices.

Elveden’s farm specialises in the production of vegetables, especially potatoes, onions, carrots and parsnips, which dominate their farming – around 6% of the UK’s onions are grown at Elveden! They also grow cereals such as rye, barley and wheat to balance the rotation, ensuring their soils remain fertile and productive for generations to come. Consistency of quality and volume is achieved through the application of the highest levels of science and technology. Irrigation, mechanisation and a highly skilled production team are key to Elveden’s success.

Find out more at www.elveden.com, follow them on Twitter at @ElvedenEstate, and find them on Facebook.

AHDB

AHDB

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) is a statutory levy board, funded by farmers, growers and others in the supply chain and managed as an independent organisation (independent of both commercial industry and of Government). The AHDB work with six sectors including cereals and oilseeds, dairy, beef and lamb, pork, potatoes and horticulture to provide industry leading information.

Their purpose is to equip levy payers with independent, evidence-based information and tools to grow and become more competitive and sustainable.

What AHDB does:

  • delivers extensive research and development programmes which are delivering scientifically-robust and commercially useful outcomes for their levy payers;
  • undertakes efficient farm-level knowledge transfer programmes based on evidence both from third party science and AHDB’s own R&D aimed at improving efficiency, productivity and sustainability;
  • provides unbiased, high quality market information that helps business decision making and improves supply chain transparency;
  • exports market development work and also domestic marketing activity to inspire and inform consumers in order to assist the economic viability of sectors which require this;
  • raises awareness of food and where it comes from among school children; and helps ensure the agriculture and horticulture industries are able to develop and attract workers with the skills needed to operate effectively.
  • ensures that proper account is taken of Government priorities for agriculture and the agri-food industry, where appropriate.

For more information on AHDB, please visit: www.ahdb.org.uk or @TheAHDB.

Fram Farmers

Fram Farmers

Fram Farmers is the purchasing, grain marketing and administrative function of 1250 farming businesses across the UK. Fram Farmers acts as an extension to individual farm offices, with industry professionals purchasing and marketing core agricultural inputs and outputs.

  • Fram Farmers is an extension of their members’ farm offices, saving valuable time and office resources.
  • They provide trusted and transparent advice, aimed at achieving the best value and gross margin for their members’ businesses.
  • They can help reduce risk by offering the forward buying of fuel at a fixed price; members saved on average 4ppl during harvest 2013.
  • They have top performing grain prices and Pool results.

Their office, based in Framlingham, Suffolk, takes the administrative burden away from your farm/estate office, processing and streamlining invoices and bank payments.

Run as a true farmer owned co-operative, not for profit, Fram Farmers is passionate about the true principles upon which the co-operative was founded over 50 years ago: Planning farm business requirements, aggregating volumes and negotiating very competitive prices backed up with professional service and impartial, unbiased market information.

Find them on Twitter: @FramFarmers

N E Salmon

NE Salmon

N E Salmon Limited is an arable farm business operating in mid-Norfolk near Dereham. The main crops grown are wheat, barley, oil seed rape, beans, grass seed, beans and sugar beet on the lightest land. The business aims to have a robust rotation to look after the soil structure, control grass weeds and, by using organic manures, increase soil fertility.

Robert Salmon has had a life-long interest in soils and over the last three years he has been chairing a soils special interest group based at Anglia Farmers. The annual meetings hear from scientists, agronomists and farmers to investigate ways of improving soil management. One area of interest is to discover how we can both enhance and measure improvements in the biological activity of soils. It has also become clear that the weight of modern harvesting machinery is potentially doing irreparable damage to soil structure.

Over the next two years at Hyde Hall, N E Salmon hopes to move to a 12 metre controlled traffic system of farming. This will enhance soil structure, make the farm more sustainable and hopefully increase yields. They will take the opportunity of examining the soils at Hyde Hall both before and after the introduction of controlled traffic farming. It is also hoped that N E Salmon will be able to adopt a strip tilled technique to cultivate for sugar beet. This will help mitigate the damage caused by large beet harvesters as the undisturbed soil between the plant rows will help support the weight of both the harvesters and trailers carting off the beet.

Greens of Soham

Greens of Soham

As the UK subsidiary of Spearhead International, Greens farms across 6,000 hectares of predominantly light land irrigated cropping in East Anglia, Sussex and Northumberland.

Vegetable production includes beetroot, onions, carrots and parsnips. Seed potato production includes every stage from tissue culture to final stage multiplication, supported by close co-operation with breeders. Salad potatoes are produced across four counties for a wide range of packers. Processing potatoes for both crisping and chipping are supplied from own crop and from a large group of partner growers. Contract farming arrangements involving cereal and sugar beet cropping are an integral part of the business, built on long term relationships with farmers.

Key areas of focus for Greens are:

  • risk mitigation for growers and customers (based on using established crop growth models and objective crop monitoring to both predict and constructively review crop yield and margin performance)
  • irrigation scheduling
  • disease prediction
  • plant health improvements
  • crop nutrition
  • store management and active monitoring of stored crops
  • environmental enhancements
  • the development of aids to supply chain management

Key challenges are likely to include evolving the farming of high value crops on light land in low rainfall areas increasingly prone to extreme weather scenarios, in ways that effectively support the needs of both partner growers and packer / processor customers. Related challenges include the enhancement of soil organic matter, reducing fertiliser requirements and working with increasingly limited range of agrochemicals.

G’s Growers

Gs Growers

G’s Growers Ltd is an independent Producer Organisation established in 1984, comprising more than 20 grower members in the UK and Spain.

By working together G’s Growers members are able to share expertise, experience and knowledge to allow them to take advantage of economies of scale to ensure the efficient supply and year-round availability of quality produce for their customers and consumers across the UK, Europe and North America.

G’s Growers’ crop range includes wholehead and babyleaf salad, celery, radish, onions, salad onions, beetroot, mushrooms, Chinese leaf and leeks. Their production sites are based in Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Kent, West Sussex, Dorset, West Midlands and the Murcia region of southern Spain. Collectively G’s Growers farm over 7,500 hectares of specialist crop which they harvest, process or pack for sale onto their end customers.

They strive to be recognized as outstanding market-led growers and suppliers of sustainable, healthy, fresh produce, and to be at the forefront of the industry in everything they do.

Agri-Tech East Membership provides G’s Growers with a platform to develop their networks with new technology providers, industry partners and collaborators with the aim to identify opportunities that ultimately improve their businesses performance.

Members of G’s Growers:

J S Young Farms, G S Shropshire & Sons Ltd, J B Shropshire & Sons Ltd, Darby Methwold, Cole Ambrose Ltd, Hirst Farms Ltd, James Foskett Farms Ltd, Woodhall Growers Ltd, East Coast Growers Ltd, WO & PO Jolly, Greens Farming Ltd, G F Suffolk Ltd, Hugh Crane Ltd, Ashfield Growers, The Lettuce Company Ltd, GCH Growers Ltd, KJ & RJ Shropshire, Littleport Mushroom Farms, Fiddleford Mushroom Ltd, Darby Boyton, G’s Espania SL, Marba Growers SL, Naturally Organics SL.

B&C Farming

B&C Farming

Farming a high value, technically demanding range of cereal, root and horticultural crops on a land base which radiates up to twenty miles from their main base at Wood Farm at Marsham in Norfolk, B&C Farming Ltd has a lot to offer agriculture in Norfolk and is enthusiastic about their membership of Agri-Tech East.

In particular, B&C Farming is:

  • The largest dedicated seed potato producer supplying the Greenvale supply chain, providing seed for growers supplying many of the UK’s major retail and manufacturing contracts.
  • A specialist in handling and managing organic manures. Each year they move in excess of 20,000 tonnes of compost from the Marsham composting facility.
  • A provider of a contract farming service which goes beyond stubble to stubble; they look to enhance, protect and sustain land’s asset and production value.

At the heart of B&C Farming is the attention to detail, dedication and technical knowledge of their staff, who work in collaboration with their landowners and supporting businesses, to achieve consistent results through teaming science and innovation with the best of practical farming.

B&C Farming hope, as part of Agri-Tech East, to develop innovation from the ground up and to make a positive contribution to the development of agriculture in the UK.

Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association (RNAA)

RNAA

Established in 1847, The Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association (RNAA) is a charity whose main purpose is to promote improvement in agriculture by linking science with practice and encourage understanding in food, farming and the countryside. Best known as organiser of the Royal Norfolk Show, the UK’s largest two-day agricultural show, the Association runs programmes and events in support of its objectives.

Over recent years, the RNAA has evolved significantly, with its focus, level of ambition and operating model changing to reflect a renewed emphasis on the core objectives. The RNAA’s vision is to be a leading organisation that, through the Royal Norfolk Show and a range of other events and activities, delivers real benefit for farming and the rural economy in the region. It does this by working with many other groups and organisations and with the support of its 3,000 plus members.

This activity is sustained by a range of enabling businesses that utilise the assets and resources of the Association, including long term leases, an events business (the site hosts about 100 events each year, including exhibitions, conferences, music festivals and other shows and entertainment), development and investments.

Honingham Thorpe Farms

Honingham Thorpe Farms

Honingham Thorpe Farms is a large farming and contracting business covering approximately 8,000 acres. They grow a range of combinable crops along with onions, potatoes, parsnips and sugar beet.

HTF is a dynamic farming based business that prides itself on being innovative and proactive in addressing the challenges of modern agriculture.

Their farming operations extend in a 20 mile radius from Honingham and over more than 60 years HTF has developed from a mixed enterprise with a dairy herd, pig and sheep units combined with the traditional Norfolk cropping including Wheat, Barley, Potatoes, Peas, Beans, Maize, Linseed and Oilseed Rape. They have now streamlined their activities and operate a relatively simple system with less crops and more specialisation.

The success of this strategy is totally dependent upon their dedicated team who now use some of the most advanced equipment available in the sector.

Russell Smith Farms

Russell Smith Farms

Russell Smith Farms is a purely arable operation. They grow about 1,500 acres of cereals and sugarbeet, along with around 1,000 acres of vegetables for the supermarkets, and both organic and conventional crops. The vegetable operation requires a huge amount of water, which is provided through borehole extraction and reservoirs – they are currently in the process of building a new 110 million gallon reservoir to allow for continued irrigation during dry years.

Environmental values are important to their farming business. Russell Smith Farms is signed up to ELS and HLS schemes, and they are a LEAF demonstration farm, hosting a number of visits each year. Russell Smith Farms also hosts many local schools to teach them about farming and the environment, in addition to being a Waitrose demonstration farm. Each year they collaborate with neighbouring farmers to host an Open Farm Sunday event, which attracts over 2,000 visitors.

Russell Smith Farms has many strong ties with some of the large seed and plant breeding companies. RAGT and KWS are both based on the farm, and they also work closely with some of the leading agricultural companies in the R&D field to help bring new products to the market.

Growing both organic and conventional crops, Russell Smith Farms is constantly learning new ways of how the two methods can benefit each other. Much of their land is located in the heart of Cambridge’s biotech/agritech cluster, ensuring they are very aware of the importance of synergy between farming and science and technology.

AF

AF is the UK’s largest agricultural purchasing co-operative and works with thousands of farmers across the UK.

Evolving technology and an increasing dependence on IT and data transfer have changed the working life of many farmers. AF works closely with their members to ensure that they have access to the latest IT support systems, as well as first class telecoms and internet services, so that they can run their businesses as efficiently as possible. The expert buyers at AF can advise on renewable installations, helping their members to benefit from the latest technologies.

AF realises that it is important to stay on top of the latest innovations in the industry so that they can tailor necessary services for their members and work as part of the rapidly-developing supply chain.