Barton Farms Direct Drilling System

Reducing the environmental impact of farming through use of direct drill systems and controlled traffic farming practice, whilst also improving the efficiency and profitability of farming.

Barton Direct Drilling System

Our story

The Barton Direct Drills project, is a by product of the wider Nottinghamshire Leader programme. Whereby the focus of LEADER is to support rural growth and investment and create jobs. LEADER is a 5% mandatory top slice of the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) and approximately £138m has been made available for 80 local groups providing grant access to 85% of
eligible rural areas across England.

The LEADER projected provided Barton Farms with access to grant funding to invest in their business for long term growth and prosperity, due their rural location. When organisations/business apply for funding they must demonstrate their commitment to delivering the business case through matching the grant with self allocated funding.

Barton Farms set the following project aim for their grant investment:

"This project will aim to reduce cultivations and further enhance an ongoing change into controlled traffic farming practises. Primary aims are to improve farm efficiency whist reducing co2 emissions and enhancing the soil biota. Reduced cultivations will stabilise soils reducing water erosion through run off and leaching."

The project improved the efficiency and profitiability of farming due to a reduced number of runs needed to be made and improved plant rooting as a direct result of the direct/strip tillage drilling along with controlled traffic farming. The plants are able to root much more successfully than before due to reduced cultivations and less compacted soil, thus improving nutrient uptake and reduced leaching.

The farm has successfully adopted a 12 meter controlled traffic system to confine all traffic to 17% f the farmed area to reduce compaction. This reduced cost per hectare and moves away from heavy tillage to controlled traffic and then to controlled traffic wiht strip tip drilling.

The improvement in soil biota as a result of the limited compaction and less deep cultivation has improved water filtration on the farm, meaning less water logging and reduced water pollution through leaching and soil-surface run off. Given the reduced number of runs being completed and having a controlled traffic system, pollution is also significantly limited from fuel usage. Fuel usage has reduced by 43% compared with max-till practices.

Our advice

Make sure you liaise with local businesses and groups to understand new initiatives and opportunities to help develop and achieve your core aims.
Engage with your local council who will be able to advise on funding opportunities to help you invest in your business to support long term growth and prosperity whilst also enabling improved farm efficiency, reducing co2 emissions and enhancing the soil biota.

Our metrics

Given the project is about changing the best practice of cultivation, into a more efficient, less intrusive process the following measures are used.
1. Reduced fuel consumption
2. Increased soil biota (Earthworms etc)
3. Reduced soil compaction
4. Improved efficiency & profitability
5. better harvests & plant nutrition
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