RevYstories: Hannah Darby
In 2021 we will be hearing more in-depth from our UK growers about their farming experiences, as they share their stories of using Revystar® XE.
Find out more about Hannah Darby and follow her RevYstory throughout the upcoming season below.
Hannah is a fourth-generation farmer on the family farm, Roughs Farm near Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire. Farming was not Hannah’s first career however, as prior to undertaking a Masters in arable crop management at Writtle College, she had been a physiotherapist, returning to the farm full-time just over two years ago.
There are 3 farms in the 360 ha business, which is in one of the driest parts of the country receiving about 450 mm of rain annually. The cropping consists of winter and spring wheat, spring oats, spring barley, spring peas, spring beans and sugar beet with 25 ha of Stewardship and land let for potatoes.
The majority of the farm is on the Fen with black organic soil which is very prone to wind erosion. Cover crops are grown to stop the soil blowing away.
Black soils are very rich in nitrogen, ensuring plants get as much nitrogen as they need, the consequence of this is poor rooting. Hannah said, “When we don’t get rain it is a bit of a double whammy as there isn’t the root system there to find any water that is available. Our number one goal is to get the roots down as deep as we can in the winter.”
When it comes to wheat establishment, Hannah makes assessments on a field by field basis, although in the main establishment is done by direct drilling.
Blackgrass is a traditional problem weed but wild oats are becoming more of an issue. Hannah sends samples of both these weeds for laboratory testing to see how much herbicide resistance is present. Hannah is very keen on the technological aspect of farming and introduced guidance and yield mapping early on when she came back to the farm.
Two of three farms are in the second year of a Stewardship Scheme, with the third in the application process.
Hannah said, “It is really important to me that we look after the soil not only because that’s what makes us profitable but also, it is what we will be passing on to future generations and likewise, the things that we are doing with environmental stewardship will benefit future generations.”
Hannah also appeared in the 2020 series of Crop Production Magazine’s Real Results Pioneers. Last year she highlited that her soils don't resemble any you’d find in small-plot trials, nor even on other farms, but outlined how this shaped her approach to on-farm trials.
Revystar® XE contains Revysol® (mefentrifluconazole) and Xemium® (fluxapyroxad). Revystar® XE, Revysol® and Xemium® are all trademarks of BASF. Siltra Xpro contains bixafen + prothioconazole.