Wednesday, 19 February 2020
Support from Tyfu Cymru enabled R.E. Evans Farms Limited to ensure soil health for a healthy crop...
R. E. Evans Farms Limited (REEF) based near St Brides on the coast in mid Pembrokeshire now employs 5 full-time staff and 7 part-time staff on the arable side of their business. Expansion of the potato crop has occurred from 32 acres in 2014 to 280 acres in 2019 - now growing a range of varieties from loose skinned Pembrokeshire earlies lifted in May through to late stored main crop varieties.
Arguably the most important asset for any farmer is the soil that they manage within their own production system; this is particularly important for arable producers. Unless their soils are managed in a sustainable way then the whole system is likely to be at risk. Soil management is an area that the team at R.E.E.F have been careful to consider as they have planned their rotation whilst growing crops they have less experience of.
Thanks to Tyfu Cymru Welsh horticultural producers have been able to benefit from a practical soil workshop held in July 2019. The main topic was “Soil Health and Cultivation management”, it was led by Dr Mark Stalham from NIAB CUF in Cambridge.
The event was held within a potato field at R.E.E.F and involved practical discussions around a soil pit that had been dug to show clearly the rooting conditions of the crop. Dr. Stalham discussed many important aspects connected with the crop highlighting soil compaction, organic matter levels, timing of cultivations, soil structure and water holding capacity.
James Kimpton (arable manager at R.E. Evans) commented,
“This event has been particularly revealing to us all and it has helped highlight how many important issues are interacting in the soil profile directly affecting crop health and growth. Thankfully in this field the soil was in very good condition before planting in April and we have been able to successfully manage our cultivations & irrigation giving us the prospect of a good quality, healthy crop to harvest. We are very grafteful to Tyfu Cymru for funding the growers training here at this event with the expertise of Mark Stalham.”
– James Kimpton
For more information on how Tyfu Cymru could support your horticulture enterprise, get in touch today!