The farm cropping incorporates a good rotational mix, including Wheat, Barley, OSR, Peas, Sugar Beet and Potatoes.
The family have a long history of farming in the fens and Leverton Brothers farm sympathetically to their surroundings and with regard to local wildlife.
Management of Blackgrass has gained importance in recent years and is at the forefront of Leverton Brothers agronomic decisions. Spring cropping is a very effective means of control of this invasive grass weed. We also catch crop, where the opportunity arises. Cultivation techniques incorporate stale seedbeds and delayed Autumn sowing. Any small areas where in crop control is inadequate are destroyed prior to seeding: this has proved a very successful method to prevent small areas expanding in subsequent years. The full range of herbicides are utilised within different crops. However, these are all used only when thresholds are met and there is a need. Plant protection products are only used when necessary as they are an extremely expensive option.
Soil structure is given the upmost importance. Flotation tyres are fitted on all trailers and the combine and potato harvester are both tracked machines. Traffic on the field is kept to a minimum. Trailers for both grain harvest and potato harvest are loaded on headlands rather than following the harvesters in the field. Bale Chasers are used to minimise compaction. Test digs are regularly undertaken in order to check soil structure and make informed decisions on depths of cultivation required. Organic manures are utilised on the farm whenever possible. Fields are rarely ploughed in order to minimise wind blow and also soil depletion.
Integrated Pest Management is followed wherever possible, for example, pests such as pea moth and orange blossom midge are monitored using Pheromone traps to guide treatment where necessary.
Drainage is a high priority on the farm as we are at sea level. Nearly all fields on the farm border an Internal Drainage Board controlled drain. Farm owned ditches which run into the IDB controlled drains are maintained using the farms own excavator. Underdrains are jetted regularly. The vegetation in and around the ditches may look messy but they contain a huge amount of bio-diversity amongst the reeds.
The farm has a program in place for regular soil sampling. Overseen by John Youles, samples are taken by Paul Brooks. All fields coming sugar beet and potato are tested annually for Phosphate, Potash and Magnesium. Trace elements are also tested for on an occasional basis. Potato land is also checked for Potato Cyst Nematode. Anglia Soil Analysis at Sutterton are currently used. Additionally, fields are tested for Ph in-house and lime applied as necessary, using Sugar factory Limex, which is regarded as a sustainable practice. The management intention is for all fields to be tested at least every four years.
Take a look at our gallery to see our how we have grown and looked after our produce in the fields for many years.
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