BASF Agricultural Solutions UK
Agriculture

Richard Budd

Richard Budd
Name: Richard Budd
Location: Hawkhurst, Kent
Crops: Fruits, Oilseed Rape, Field Beans, Spring Wheat, Winter Wheat
Farming philosophy:

We aim to increase the business size through investment in the latest technology.

Biggest agronomic challenge:

We aim to increase the business size through investment in the latest technology.

Occupation

Farmer

Address

Stevens Farm, Hawkhurst, Kent

Crops

Fruits, Oilseed Rape, Field Beans, Spring Wheat, Winter Wheat

About the farmer

Richard has been back on the family farm for 10 years, having gained a degree in Botany at Nottingham University and working in London as a wine broker, specialising in private client investment portfolios.

About the farm

The rotation at Hawkhurst is based on winter wheat, followed by winter or spring barley (depending on black-grass levels) then OSR, followed by winter wheat, second wheat and oats (again winter or spring depending on the black grass).

All crops are established using the Sumo DTS direct drill for a controlled traffic system. Richard is also continually looking to improve soils and by chopping and incorporating all crop residues and by applying sewerage cake on a two-year rotation, he hopes to raise indices, friability levels and organic matter content.

Farming philosophy

Richard hopes to increase the size of his business through investment in the latest technology. He reviews and adopts the best management practice and technique, to ensure as efficient operation as possible. This ethos has seen him adopt a direct drilling strategy over the last four years, which looks to improve soil structure, reduce weed pressure and most importantly, establishment costs, without impacting on yield. Coupled with this is a full Topcon RTK system that facilitates full controlled traffic farming. This allows him to fully maximise the efficient use of inputs and accurately record yields which are used in conjunction with soil maps to improve poorer and underperforming areas. The long-term strategy is to continually question what they are doing and achieving and assess how best to improve, by adopting new technology as it becomes available in terms of chemistry and plant breeding.

Biggest agronomic challenge

‘How to get the best out of what A.I’s we have left’; recent revocations mean that future challenges will result in changes to agronomic approaches. Yellow rust in Zyatt has been a challenge this year, as has rust in beans.

Cultivation and drilling approach

Direct drilling is the establishment approach across the farm and all crops. The Sumo DTS is the drill of choice on the heavy ground however, there is an opportunity on the horizon for a block of lighter land, if it were to come to fruition a disc based direct drill would be considered. Low disturbance sub-soiling operations are undertaken to relieve compaction when and where required.

Rotation

No real change from above ‘The rotation at Hawkhurst is based on winter wheat, followed by winter or spring barley (depending on black grass levels) then OSR followed by winter wheat, second wheat and oats (again winter or spring depending on the black grass)’. Although beans are now a valuable break crop in extended the rotation where blackgrass levels allow.

What do they most value about Real Results?

The peer to peer interactions have the greatest value, allowing the sharing of ideas and creating an ‘early warning system’ to challenges other growers in the group may have encountered. It keeps the business competitive by giving the opportunity for early adoption of new technology and, through YEN involvement, allowing the analysis of yield structure over a number of years.

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