Arable Contracting

Brixworth Farming with its dedicated team of highly qualified and skilled operators, coupled with our large-scale modern equipment are able to carry out various operations, including the following:

  • Shallow cultivation (50mm depth) for stale seedbeds for blackgrass control, using a Vaderstad carrier
  • Non-inversion tillage for cereals using a 6m Sumo Trio or a 6m Simba Solo ST
  • Cereal drilling using an 8m Vaderstad Rapid Drill and 12m Horsch Sprinter, both with variable-rate seed capability
  • Oilseeds establishment with 6m Sumo Trio, with the ability to apply liquid fertiliser and slug pellets during the same operation
  • Bean drilling using an 8m Horsch CO8
  • Mole ploughing

We also provide variable seed rate applications, in which we map soil types, as it can be extremely variable between fields. This variability impacts crop establishment, meaning that a single rate for drilling is not the most efficient. With the record of changes in soil type, variable-rate plans can be created to take the differences in establishment into account at drilling, allowing better targeting of seed rates across each field and more even crop canopies in the spring.

PPPs and fertilisers are applied by NRoSO (National Register of Sprayer Operators) qualified sprayer operators using modern, well-maintained equipment that is tested by independent qualified inspectors annually. Sprayers are fitted with automatic GPS linked nozzle cut off technology to minimise spray overlaps.

  • Variable rate fertiliser and lime application to target areas of low nutrient status or pH within fields
  • Variable nitrogen applications according to crop requirement using the Yara N-Sensor, which increases yields by 3.5% on average and reduces lodging
  • GPS guided crop spraying using self-propelled sprayers equipped with boom auto section cut off to avoid over-spraying, with the ability for slug pellets and Avadex to be applied at 36m
  • Crop harvesting using two CLAAS Lexion 780 combines with 12m headers – these high-capacity machines enable us to bring in the harvest quickly and efficiently.
  • Using telematics provides the ability to track harvest progression throughout the entire season while comparing data with previous years through graphs to help judgement of finish times and aid decision making on tough harvest years.
  • Crop collection using chaser bins to allow continuous operation and to transport grain straight from the field to a central store

Brixworth Farming delivers agronomy services through BFC Agronomy, a stand-alone company run by Ian Matts. Close attention to detail and appropriate employment of precision farming techniques ensure that we make best use of the latest technology and procedures in a bid to optimise yields, minimise waste and reduce our environmental footprint.

Blackgrass control
Due to the predominantly heavy nature of the soils farmed in Northamptonshire, control of blackgrass has proved quite challenging and costly in recent years. To maintain a high focus on blackgrass control, Ian has written the Brixworth Farming Blackgrass Strategy Paper and each member of the arable team has received a copy and kept informed of any updates.

Crop rotations
Part of the strategy has been to widen the rotation, which has increased in recent years to include winter barley, several spring crops (including Canary seed)

Our rotation is designed to spread the workload, provide optimum opportunities for cultural control of weeds, pests and diseases and spread the risks of low financial performance caused by weather or market supply and demand.

Nutrient management
All fields are tested regularly for P, K, Mg and pH using a GPS aided grid system, allowing soil index contour maps to be created. From these fertiliser and lime is applied variably as needed.

Nitrogen is applied in the spring using the Yara N-Sensor to variably apply according to the crop requirement. Using the latest calibrations, such as the Absolute module for oilseed rape, nitrogen can be targeted to the areas of the field with the greatest demand, ensuring more efficient use of costly inputs, reducing the input costs per tonne and minimising over application which could have a negative impact on the environment.

Organic matter and our policy
Soils are also regularly tested for organic matter content with the aim to improve or at least maintain levels. On the most recent testing, the values ranged from just under 3% on the lightest soil types to almost 7% on the heavier soils, or those with a history of manure applications.

Lighter soils, with low organic matter are prioritised for manure applications to help build levels over time.

Here at Brixworth Farming, we have a policy of maintaining and where possible, improving soil organic matter levels through applications of organic manures, composts or cover cropping. Recent tests on organic matter levels across the range of soil types showed the benefits this policy is delivering, with a range from 3.5% to 6.7%. These will be retested on a regular basis to monitor the impact of any changes made.

Brixworth Farming adopts Integrated Pest Management (IPM) principles on the land that it manages for its shareholders and customers, taking a holistic approach to crop health and protection. Crops are grown in a rotation to minimise the risk of build up of pests, disease and weeds. This also allows different cultivation systems with different crops to reduce the risk of soil compaction.

Varieties are selected not only for their ability to meet the intended market specifications but also on their agronomic characteristics, including resistance to pests and disease and ability to suppress weeds.

Cultivations are planned to provide, where possible, stale seedbeds for weed control, and seedbeds that maintain soil structure.

Plant Protection Products (PPPs) are used after consideration is given to alternative control measures. Timing and dose rate are planned taking label instructions and the needs of the environment into account; this includes reducing risk of harm to operators, the public and beneficial species and pollution of soil and water.

Resistance Management Strategy. To minimise the risk of reduced efficacy of PPPs, a strategy is in place which involves:

  • Rotation of crops
  • Risk based decision to use PPPs
  • Use of appropriate dose rates
  • Tank mixture of active ingredients
  • Rotation of PPPs
  • Rotation of cultivations
  • Variety selection

Seasonal agronomic decisions are made by BASIS qualified persons who work to a well-rehearsed forward plan. Short-term decision-making draws on local weather forecasts, pest and disease forecasting models and regular crop inspection by BASIS agronomists.

We are committed to responsible farming methods to increase sustainability and maximise profit, while protecting the natural environment and we are dedicated to the long-term stewardship of the land we farm. We strive to comply with all government legislation and maintain high health and safety standards for all employees.

Brixworth Farming is a LEAF Marque certified business. The LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) Marque is a highly respected global sustainable farming standard delivering benefits to consumers, farmers and the environment. Read more about our LEAF Marque certification.

  • GPS guided crop spraying using self-propelled sprayers equipped with boom auto section cut off to avoid over-spraying
  • Variable rate fertiliser and lime application to target areas of low nutrient status or pH within fields
  • Variable nitrogen applications according to crop requirement using the Yara N-Sensor, which increases yields by 3.5% on average and reduces lodging

Due to the predominantly heavy nature of the soils farmed in Northamptonshire, control of blackgrass has proved quite challenging and costly in recent years. To maintain a high focus on blackgrass control, Ian has written the Brixworth Farming Blackgrass Strategy Paper and each member of the arable team has received a copy and kept informed of any updates.

Part of the strategy has been to widen the rotation, which has increased in recent years to include winter barley, several spring crops (including Canary seed)

Our rotation is designed to spread the workload, provide optimum opportunities for cultural control of weeds, pests and diseases and spread the risks of low financial performance caused by weather or market supply and demand.

All fields are tested regularly for P,K, Mg and pH using a GPS aided grid system, allowing soil index contour maps to be created. From these fertiliser and lime is applied variably as needed.

Nitrogen is applied in the spring using the Yara N-Sensor to variably apply according to the crop requirement. Using the latest calibrations, such as the Absolute module for oilseed rape, nitrogen can be targeted to the areas of the field with the greatest demand, ensuring more efficient use of costly inputs, reducing the input costs per tonne and minimising over application which could have a negative impact on the environment.

Soils types across the BFC acreage are now being mapped, as it can be extremely variable within fields. This variability impacts on crop establishment, meaning that a single rate for drilling is not the most efficient. With the record of changes in soil type, variable rate plans can be created to take the differences in establishment into account at drilling, allowing better targeting of seed rates across each field and more even crop canopies in the spring.