Nestled in the idyllic Worcestershire countryside, the 178-hectare Springfield Farm is home to an innovative and forward-thinking approach to farming.
Owned by Martin Lole, the farm switched to the Mzuri strip tillage system in 2010 after recognising the short fallings of conventional cultivation. Prior to moving away from the plough and press system, the fields were suffering from compaction, soil erosion and blackgrass infestation, exacerbated by the farm’s heavy Evesham Lias clay. Seedbed preparation was time consuming, labour intensive and costly, yet we were seeing unsatisfactory results with seeds germinating less evenly, and in lower numbers due to the loss of moisture when ploughing.
Realising the importance of looking after the soil or the ‘factory floor’ as we like to call it, we set off to improve its structure, whilst aiming to raise productivity and increase profits at the same time.
To achieve this, we have adopted an integrated farm management plan which included crop rotation, straw retention, maximising light interception and wider environmental strategies. Strip tillage has always been at the heart of this approach.
We aim to be at the forefront of the latest agricultural developments and regularly run experiments and crop trials in conjunction with our partners.
For example, some of our work has involved trials with varying row spacings and levels of soil disturbance to identify optimum establishment techniques. We are also proud to collaborate with Mzuri Ltd where we have served as one of the company’s demonstration farms and a testing ground for some of its latest developments. Additionally, Springfield Farms regularly host educational days which are open to the public, including student visits from the University of Worcester who have the opportunity to apply their newly acquired skills in a ‘field lab’.