Scroll Down

Ben Jones is a member of our ABC Grower Group, farming 600 acres around Holt, Norfolk.

He has integrated regenerative practices into his farming system since 2015 with the primary goal of preventing bare stubble over winter.

Fodder radish is Ben’s cover crop of choice, as the light land benefits from the plant’s characteristics. The radish has a deep root, which helps to improve soil structure and quality, as well as improving moisture and drainage control. The PCN resistance of the fodder radish also prevents the impact of disease on the crop. After the harvest of malting barley, fodder radish is drilled in the first week of September at 8kg/ha and left to grow over the winter. In February, sheep graze the crop over 3 weeks.

Incorporating livestock is another important regenerative practice, allowing manure to integrate through the field as a natural fertiliser, adding to the nutrient content and reducing reliance on high-carbon nitrogen fertiliser. Ben also plants legume mix as a cover crop which he drills at 15kg/ha, under a 2-year stewardship scheme. This encourages further habitat diversity within the farming system. Flagon malting barley will supersede this, and will benefit from the soil’s improved structure and drainage.

Ben samples the soils to test soil organic matter every year and he has noticed a significant improvement since integrating cover crops. 20 years ago, soil organic matter was as low as 1.5% in some areas, and measurements today are up to 3.5%. He has a keen interest in trialing more varieties of cover crop to understand the different benefits that other species can bring to the soil’s health and characteristics, as well as helping to increase biodiversity on his farm. He would also like to better understand the impact of seed drilling density on the quality of the cover crop.

Read More
View All

Back to top