Supporting growing decisions, Case study – Hush Heath Manor
Hush Heath Manor, led by Richard Balfour-Lynn and assisted by Estate Manager Stefan Turner, is a farm comprising of 240ha, some of which is used for the production of apples and wine grapes. During a recent expansion of the enterprise, the management team approached Agrii Agronomist Neil Obbard to examine ways to fine-tune the timing of pesticides and fertiliser in order to maximise the return on the farm’s input spend. Neil recommended the installation of a weather station to provide access to live meteorological feeds and pest and disease prediction data through the use of a range of various computer models. With their new weather station installed, the farm now receives three emails a week that detail disease pressure (past and predictive) on a local scale and also highlight potential spraying windows in the coming days. This is backed by text message disease alerts and 24/7 mobile access to check current conditions; it all adds up to a very valuable weapon in the decision making process.
Not only has the weather station saved the farm money by modelling pest and disease pressures with the crops being grown, but it has also provided a platform for more accurate timing of inputs to maximise return on investment. In order to further support the decision-making process, Neil also recommended the Agrii SoilQuest system to give an accurate picture of the farms soils and nutrient requirements. The entire vineyard was sampled taking a multiple of soil cores using a quad bike fitted with specialist sampling equipment. The samples were independently analysed for their nutrient content and the data used to create soil maps which, in turn, allowed granular nutrients to be targeted where they were needed most, and more importantly, not applied where the soil had sufficient levels. Not only did this result in the saving of time and inputs, but also demonstrated a duty of care to the land and environment, not to mention improved soil nutrient status giving rise to improved cropping.
By utilising the new generation of improved Agrii decision-making tools at your disposal, growers can rest assured that the most effective management approaches are being pursued and that input investments are optimised. If you would like to learn more about our weather stations or SoilQuest Precision Agronomy service and how they could help your business, please speak to your Agrii Agronomist or see the contacts section in this newsletter.
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