LF Papworth contract farms for 20 landowners in and around north-east Norfolk, growing potatoes, vining peas, beans, wheat, barley, oilseed rape and sugar beet.
“We always look at a paired cropping approach with the overall GM in mind, there’s no point in drilling wheat into a field where we have struggled to lift potatoes early enough, as it just doesn’t perform, and anything that yields under the 8t/ha mark will just drag down the overall GM.”
“Where we can get 100t/ha off a sugar beet crop at £20t/ha, followed by a spring barley that yields 10t/ha with a £20-£25 malting premium, the GM’s work out well. We would not get the same figures from a second wheat, and as we don’t have blackgrass due to our wide rotation, we aren’t restricted.”
“A typical year would see 300-350ha of spring barley grown both for feed and malting contracts. We tend to grow a balance of malting and seed barley; having and securing a market is crucial before making the decision to grow a spring barley crop. ”
“This makes malting barley variety choice straightforward as it’s important to grow a variety that the market wants; as growers we must be led by end users. The variety needs a good set of agronomics behind it, and it also needs to be able to yield – we would be looking to push our yields up to 10t/ha. We grow Concerto for all of these reasons, and over several years, Concerto has not yet let us down.”
Mr Papworth also grows seed crops for Limagrain as he believes this is a useful way of seeing new and upcoming varieties in situ. “However the malsters must want the variety irrespective of how it performs on farm.”