Colchester: Farmer Tom Bradshaw on HGCA scheme
06:00 30 March 2014
Colchester farmer Tom Bradshaw has joined the Monitor Farm scheme run by HGCA, the oilseeds and cereals division of the UK Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board.
HGCA Monitor Farms are hubs for groups of like-minded growers, allowing farmers to share experiences and business information, and encouraging the adoption of new technology and innovative practices. Tom, of Fordham, grows 1,485ha of combinable crops.
While there is a small area of owned land, the majority is farmed under contract and includes a wide range of soil types. Tom has been involved in HGCA Recommended Lists trials, and was recently elected to the NFU combinable crops board. Last year he starred in BBC TV’s Harvest series.
“I’m familiar with the Monitor Farm concept, and am keen to share knowledge for the mutual benefit of all who participate. One issue we’ll be looking at will be how to incorporate organic matter in the soil to help retain moisture,” he said.
HGCA regional manager Tim Isaac said: “Tom is a very switched-on and progressive grower who has an excellent grasp of both the technical and political issues surrounding farming. I’m very much looking forward to working with him as we develop the Monitor Farm programme, as he is happy to stand up and be counted and will therefore be a great beacon to attract other growers to this project.”