December 14, 2017
Green Compost Underpins Virtuous Circle
Green compost is at the centre of a highly virtuous circle for all sides of Mark Humphrey’s mixed farming business at College Farm, Maids Moreton on the edge of Buckingham.
As well as providing a valuable diversification for his modest 100 ha holding, composting council-collected garden waste for over a decade has enabled him to transform its hungry and previously drone-prone gravel soils.
To such an extent that land once deemed suitable only for barley and sheep grazing now supports bread wheat yields of over 10t/ha and a 38t/ha maize for AD enterprise in addition to a 700-ewe Mule flock.
Stubble turnips grown for lamb fattening between the wheat and maize crops means three crops every two years, with around a third of the land down to a combination of grass leys and permanent pasture for ewe grazing.
While dramatically increasing the farm’s productive capacity, compost addition has also enabled Mark and his Agrii agronomist, Greg Taylor to make valuable economies in the fertiliser bill, using no additional phosphate or potash and cutting milling wheat nitrogen applications by a third. More workable land has significantly reduced fuel costs too.
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