Madeleine struthers (2)

Claydon helps counter effect of climate in challenging year

Having invested in its own Claydon drill to avoid the need to hire in contractors, for one family farming business on the Herts/Beds border the result of long-term commitment to the Claydon system was far better yields than anticipated during harvest 2012.

The constraints of running a business with no employed labour motivated Madeleine Palmer four years ago to purchase a Claydon drill, following the retirement some time previously of her farm’s only employee. The decision not to replace him led to Madeleine, who runs a large livery yard alongside her family’s 140ha arable enterprise at Astwick Bury Farm, Stotfold, hiring contractors for most tasks, while she and her father Jim Struthers focused on harvesting operations.

But with her contractor switching to a wider drill, which would mean a wider tramline system, and the same contractor’s success sowing oilseed rape on the farm using a Claydon drill, the Claydon system came under consideration as a tool for establishing the farm’s own winter wheat as well as its rape, as an alternative to the existing wheat policy of ploughing and combination drilling.

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