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National Arable & Grassland Awards - The Winners!

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Grower of the year - David Fuller (McGregor farms)

David has been farm manager for McGregor farms, on the Scottish borders, since 2008. The farm consists of 300 hectares and a further 3,000 hectares of cropped land - contract farmed. Oilseed rape accounts for approximately 700 hectares in any one year. It is grown once every four years in an eight-year rotation. The aim is to sow it all by the end of August. The key is to establish an even plant stand at the correct count that covers the whole field.

Mr Fuller was was also crowned the Oilseed Grower of the Year.
Grower of the year - David Fuller (McGregor farms)
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Young Agronomist of the Year - Sally Cox

In her short career as an agronomist, Sally worked in Australia, then as an assistant agronomist for Bayer before joining her current employer, Farmacy, as an arable agronomist. Having worked through the Foundation Programme, Sally won the prestigious Barrie Orme shield in 2016. She currently works as a specialist in Omnia Precision Farming and has a customer base of 30 farmers covering 6,400 hectares in the East Midlands.
Sally Cox

Agronomist of the Year - James Rimmer

In 2007, James started life in farm management, doing his own agronomy, though he found himself working more and more for local farmers which led him to a new career path. In 2016, James began working with CCC Ltd and, more recently, has taken on a new role with VCS (UK), concentrating on vegetable, potato and arable agronomy, with a particular focus on regenerative options.
Agronomist of the Year James Rimmer

Young Farmer of the Year - Gemma Smale-Rowland

Gemma runs South Hellescott farm in Cornwall, alongside her father. The 145-hectare farm supports 120 pedigree Holstein cows. In 2019 she opened a ‘milk vending machine’ to shorten the supply chain and provide milk directly to the customer. After 6 months, Gemma was selling 95 litres a day from the on-farm vending machine. She also holds a position on the Dairy Crest Direct board, is a leader of Launceston Young Farmers, and is the only female on the NFU Dairy Board
Gemma Smale-Roland

Sustainable Farming Award - David Miller - Wheatsheaf Farming

Established in 2002, to offer greater economies of scale to local farmers, Wheatsheaf farming is a non-profit contracting business. Variable costs are paid out based on the percentage of land farmed and grain sales are paid out using the same percentage. Regenerative and sustainable practices are at the forefront of crop establishment. In 2021, the company successfully bid to be the AHDB Strategic Farm for the South, to back up its current practices with science.
Wheatsheaf Farming

Farm Manager of the Year - David Bell

David runs the 1300-hectare Fairfield farm in Fife, farming beef sucklers, sheep, cereals, potatoes and peas. With a mixture of land occupied through ownership, secured tenancies, contract farming, short duration limited tenancies and seasonal lets, infrastructure is key to the efficient running of the farm. David also sits on the AHDB Cereals and Oilseeds knowledge exchange committee, is vice-chair of the local NFU and a member of the regional and national Combinable Crops board.
Farm Manager of the Year - David Bell

Contractor of the Year - Peter Russon & Son

The Russon family runs four self-propelled forage harvesters across Lincolnshire, working in maize, wholecrop, grass and miscanthus. Mr Russon takes pride in not only offering high quality work, but in building a workforce culture that takes health and safety seriously. The firm has been part of the Assured Land-based Contractor scheme since its inception and has health and safety and risk assessment plans in place, to ensure that all staff are working safely. Most importantly, Tim Russon uses his experience across multiple farms to help customers plan ahead and get the most out of their crops.
Contractor of the Year Peter Russon & Son

Grassland manager of the year - John Yeomans

John and Sarah Yeomans run a, predominately grassland, 118-hectare farm in Powys. It is home to a flock of Beulah sheep and a herd of pedigree Limousin cattle. Farm soils undergo regular testing to identify specific areas of land which may require supplementary treatments. To prevent the overuse of chemicals, John utilises herbicide spot spraying. Conservation is key, with farm woodlands developed to promote carbon sequestration, and local beekeepers encouraged to house bees on the farm, to promote biodiversity.
John Yeomans

Potato Grower of the Year A G Wright & Son (Farms)

With 200 hectares of potatoes grown across differing soil types, A G Wright & Son has overcome the loss of chemicals for potato storage by investing heavily in refrigeration technology. Detail is vital to the crop growing stages, with close attention paid to soil quality through sampling, as well as stale seedbeds and cover crops utilised where possible. Key areas of the business can be monitored remotely for real-time adjustments and yield monitoring software helps to inform desiccation times. To improve best practise in the Cambridgeshire area, the firm has also established a farm management discussion group.
Potato

Protein Grower of the year - James Parker

James grows both winter and spring beans, and lupins, alongside an 80,000-laying hen unit, near Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire. The beans average around 4t/hand the lupins 3t/ha. All the produce is stored on-site, from where it is marketed locally. James takes a regenerative approach to his crop production and rotation policy; the low-pressure approach to rotation means there is less disease and pest pressure. Fungicides and pesticides are only used as a last resort
Protein Grower of the year - James Parker

Fruit Grower of the Year - Robert and Henry Hancocks

Robert and his son Henry farm 66 hectares of cider apples and hops in north-east Herefordshire. The 50 hectares of apple orchards are planted on east facing slopes, so the early morning sun reduces frost damage. The established orchards consistently achieve yields in excess of 20t/ha. They have recently gone down a path of vertical integration and have put in their own cider mill and are beginning to contract cider production for smaller cider makers in the area.
Fruit Grower of the Year - Robert and Henry Hancocks

Cereal Grower of the Year - Will Oliver

Data makes up the backbone of Will’s cereal production, with spending amounts of up to £13.20 per hectare on precision technology, as well as monitoring of the farms carbon footprint. Half the farm is down to first wheats, with the aim of yielding 10 tonnes/hectare. The rest of the rotation consists of oilseed rape, potatoes, winter beans and grain maize helps with the fight against grassweeds, as well as ensuring late drilling to minimise disease pressure, and improving soil structure with organic matter. Rye vetch is also used as a cover crop.
Will Oliver

Lifetime Achievement - Russell Price

Russell Price began Russell Price Farm Services (RPFS) in 1991, and in 2020, when Russell sadly passed away, his business had expanded to include contracting, farming and machinery sales; with 250 contracting customers, several machinery franchises, and 650 hectares of farmed land. Russell was a well-respected and active member of the local and national community, holding many varied positions, including Hereford NFU vice-chairman in 2020.

Russell’s children, Tom and Lucy, collected the award in memory of their father
Lifetime Achievement - Russell Price
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