Andy Mahon, from Dublin, is a farm manager on the Bromborough Estate Farm in North Bedfordshire, which is roughly halfway between London and Birmingham and firmly in the heart of arable country and he joins Michael Hennessy on this week's Tillage Edge podcast.
Andy has worked hard on the costs of production on the farm and is the only full time employee managing close to 750 hectares of land. Andy has full-time help for about 8 months of the year and also some help with seasonal labour at drilling and harvest.
The long term farm rainfall for the farm is around 550mm per year (Carlow is 850mm per year) and the average yields (dry) on the farm are as follows; winter wheat 9.5t/ha, spring wheat 6.5t/ha, spring beans 4-4.5 t/ha.
In the past 8 years the Bromborough Estate transitioned from plough based establishment system to min-till, then to strip till and are now full converted to a zero or no-till establishment system.
The switch has helped enormously in labour efficiency, however Andy said it has taken a huge amount of effort and learning to get to what he regards as a sustainable system now. The integration of cover crops, spring cropping and improved control of grass weeds have been a particular focus of the transition.
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Image credit: FWI.co.uk