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How We Work

Holistic Crop and Soil Management

Farming has changed over the years and independent agronomy has followed suit. The world of independent agronomy has gone through its own evolution to find itself where it is today. Compared to the old, narrow definition of crop protection advice, we advise our clients on all aspects of successful crop production and farm management. We only advise chemical crop protection as a last resort. This holistic approach to crop and soil management is at the heart of our approach to agronomy.

Our strategy

Integrating all facets of soil and crop management

Our strategies focus on long-term sustainability. By adopting all aspects of integrated crop and pest management we use less crop protection products than in a traditional agronomic programme. Where chemistry is used, it is carefully planned to work appropriately with varietal resistance and selected for cost-effectiveness and minimal environmental impact. The approaches we use such as cover crops, organic inputs, balanced rotations, variety selection and cultivation strategies, enhance the condition of the soil, promote yield and maximise profit.

The Independent Model

Independent agronomic advice separates the supply of agricultural products from recommendations about their use. Independent agronomists are paid only for their advice. We do not receive any payment for selling products to our clients. This ensures all advice is trustworthy, reliable and targeted only for the benefit of our client’s businesses. We are proud members of the Association of Independent Crop Consultants (AICC) and its code of conduct which guarantees adherence to the independent model.





Evolution timeline

The Evolution of Independent Agronomy

• The traditional role of the agronomist was to spot problems and make agrochemical recommendations to resolve them
• Control of weeds, pests and diseases was achieved mainly through chemical applications
• Biological resistance, legislation and environmental awareness shifted attention away from chemical options and towards the use of cultural control methods

• Synthetic fertiliser applications have a significant impact on crop performance but also affects crop health and management
• Variable pricing, soil types and rotations means careful fertiliser planning is essential for optimum economic performance

• Increased resistance and fewer plant protection products makes timing of applications crucial for maximum efficacy and minimum environmental impact.
• With larger farming businesses and more weather volatility, application scheduling is essential to effective operations

• Increasing awareness of the crucial role soils play in efficient crop production
• Better laboratory analyses and sampling techniques allows the integration of chemical, physical and biological characteristics to maximise productivity and improve efficiency

• Increasing consumer interest in the environmental footprint of food
• Integrated farm management practices seek to use all cultural and non-chemical approaches to maximise food production and sustainability
• Integrated approaches are at the heart of independent agronomy where no financial gain can be made from the supply of products
• Our advice centres on the avoidance of yield limiting problems, not their curing

• Economic and environmental sustainability begins with a well-planned rotation
• Variety choice helps to minimise risk and lower environmental impact
• Cover crops can improve crop production and enhance soils but need careful management from knowledgeable advisors

• Understanding the role of agricultural soils in water management is essential for effective crop production as well as for the wider context of water quality and flood mitigation
• Good drainage is important for weed, pest and disease management and vital before considering reductions in tillage or direct drilling

• Understanding that crop nutrition affects pest, weed and disease pressure as well as yield and margin
• Organic inputs can help supply a crop’s nutritional needs, improve soil health and reduce the carbon footprint of a farm business
• Understanding environmental regulations relating to crop nutrition is important for compliance and environmental impact

• Appropriate cultivation and drilling is fundamental to improving soil health, weed control and gross margin
• A holistic approach to crop management begins with an assessment of soils, rotation and machinery resources

• Assessing different technologies and advising on the most beneficial and cost-effective to our clients
• Making best use of the data provided by remote and near-sensing equipment to minimise inputs and maximising outputs

• All advice aiming towards environmental and economic sustainability
• Understanding of farming practices that increase the diversity, sustainability and resilience of the farmed environment
• Integrating environmental schemes to ensure maximum productivity as well as profitability

• Increasing soil organic carbon is agronomically important as it improves a soil’s water holding capacity, nutrient efficiency, workability and yield potential
• Soils can also store atmospheric carbon and therefore has a significant role to play in climate dynamics
• Correct management of soil carbon could access additional farm income