BASF Agricultural Solutions UK
Agriculture

The Rawcliffe Bridge Award for Sustainability

For 20 years, BASF has partnered with Rawcliffe Bridge farm. This partnership has allowed us to understand how to balance productive farming and wildlife management. It has taught us how an arable farm can improve the natural environment, without sacrificing yield.

To celebrate our 20th birthday, we launched The Rawcliffe Bridge Award for Sustainability. This competition looks to celebrate the great work that farmers do, in feeding our country whilst ensuring the responsible use of natural resources.

The Rawcliffe Bridge Award for Sustainability 2022

From over twenty initial applications, 2 finalists were chosen and in June 2022 our judging pannel visited their farms to find out more about their sustainability journey to date and what sustainability means to them. The winner was then announced at the 20 years at Rawcliffe Bridge Celebration.

Rawcliffe Bridge Award Winner 2022 Colin Chappell

Gander Farm in North Lincolnshire

Colin and his family farm on the banks of the river Ancholme where they own 400ha of predominantly arable clay land, with some permanent pasture. They contract farm a further 160ha of sandy soil, 120ha on a tenancy agreement, 80ha for a neighbour and has recently taken on a further 60ha of arable land.

The mid-tier environmental scheme includes wildflower strips such as the one found alongside his seed barley crop. He believes this approach gives a home for all the “mini-beasts”, insects, birds and wildlife, as well as allowing him to commercially farm, delivering a profit to the bottom line.

Colin’s focus for the last two years has been nitrogen and reducing inputs, using pulses and OSR in the rotation to help maintain natural levels within the soil. He is continuously monitoring his soil and carbon, and reviews each field on an individual basis. He is also a keen advocate for the Bentazone Stewardship campaign and works with the local water company to monitor levels and ensure he is not applying the herbicide in a high-risk zone.

When asked what sustainability means to him, Colin said “Sustainability means farming within my own means so that I can make a living for my family, whilst also looking after the environment and the water that surrounds me.”

Rawcliffe Bridge Award Runner-Up 2022 Guy Prudom

Northfields Farm in North Yorkshire

Guy Prudom farms in partnership with his parents, renting just over 400ha, predominantly from the Mulgrave Estate. The main enterprise is a lowland arable unit where they also finish suckler cattle.

Within their arable rotation, they grow 90ha of OSR and winter wheat as cash crops, with the remaining 70ha consisting of spring oats, winter and spring barley, and spring beans which are fed to the finishing cattle.

All crops are established by strip-till, and autumn sown cover crops are established in front of spring sown crops with a strong focus on mustards.

They believe in trials, and experiment regularly with different crops and varieties to ensure they are growing the best option for the soil and their profit margin. This year they are growing a field of spring beans and peas in a mix together, as well as a mixture of spring barley and oats.

Other trials include five years of precision soil testing, and two years of organic matter and calcium. Their additional two units, High Burrows and Davison Farm, are both upland permanent pasture where they run a paddock grazing system, to help maximise grass use and minimise fertiliser requirements.

Commenting on why he entered the award, Guy said “It adds justification and gives us confidence that what we are doing here, is right. We have got through to the final and that has shown the whole team, from my parents to the contractors, agronomist, vets and consultants, that we are on the right track to a sustainable system. It’s not just for my personal gain, it is for everyone involved.”

Prizes:

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