Fruit & Vine 03 - March/April 2023

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ED2390 FRUIT & VINE COVER v1.qxp_Layout 1 12/12/2022 12:33 Page 1 ISSUE 3 | MARCH/APRIL 2023

Disease control. Reset your thinking.

Leading experts agree that the future of disease control is programmes based routinely on non-SDHI fungicides, with SDHIs reserved until totally necessary. One expert said: “The old days of putting on 14-day-PHI chemistry with long persistence and thinking ‘that’s it’ are gone”.

Certis Belchim has the expertise and the portfolio to keep you on top of diseases, particularly powdery mildew and Botrytis, rebalance your IPM efforts and support resistance management. We’ll give all the help you need to reset.

Read all five opinions at

FRUPICA® KARMA® AMYLO-X® COSINE® Use plant protection products safely. Always read the label and product information before use. For further information with regard to the warning phrases and symbols refer to the product label. Frupica® contains mepanipyrim and is a registered trademark of Kumiai Chemical Industry Co. Ltd. Karma® contains potassium hydrogen carbonate and is a registered trademark of Certis Belchim BV. Amylo-X® contains Bacillus amyloliquefaciens subsp. plantarum strain D747 and is a registered trademark of Certis U.S.A. L.L.C. Cosine® contains cyflufenamid and is a registered trademark of Certis Belchim BV. Contact Certis Belchim on 0845 373 0305, e-mail or visit © Certis Belchim 2023



At Vogelsang, we never lose sight of what matters to you: economy and ease of use.

As innovators in the field of pumping techniques, we have developed a pump especially for the winemaking industry to help move liquids and solids without losing any vital flavour and quality of the wine.

The compact, intelligently designed rotary lobe wine pump is created specifically to reduce wine oxygenation through its quiet and gentle operation, and is ideal for recirculation or pumping to and from the cellar, and use in transportation, storage and bottling.

Grapes, seeds, must and wine, everything remains unchanged during the transport process, for the highest quality of the final product.


Contact person: Richard Love

Mobile: +44 7765 902140 |

Out & About

Movers & shakers: The latest professional moves for those working in the industry


The latest products, advice and research you need to know about

Grower pro le: We interview Robert Blyth of Pretty elds Vineyard in Essex

Machinery: Cambridgeshire fruit grower retirement sale attracts wide interest

Machinery: Popular Essex dealer event celebrates launch of fruit & viticulture division


Busy open day for orchard & vineyard machinery specialists

Grower pro le: Kent family farm continues to adapt to fresh challenges after 400 years

Agronomy – vine: Good advisers o er more than just crop protection recommendations

Variety spotlight – grapes: Are piwis the way forward for British viticulture?

Agronomy – fruit: Industry-driving research ndings revealed at technical webinar

Variety spotlight – raspberries: How the history of East Malling has shaped the site's raspberry breeding

Fruit news: New varieties causing a stir within the fruit industry

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Technical news: Electric secateurs help reduce the risk of grapevine trunk disease

Special report: An industry on the rise: Nut production in the UK

Technical advice: The many options, considerations and pitfalls when setting up a winery

Professional services: Fruit & Vine speaks to Vineyard Solutions Ltd owner, Ian Phillips

In the know: Growing excellent produce and doing more for the environment

March/April 2023 4
WELCOME Printed by William Gibbons & Sons Ltd Fruit & Vine magazine is published by Early Bird Fruit Publications Ltd from its o ce at Parkside, London Road, Ipswich, Suffolk IP2 0SS. Tel: 01473 794440. Full contact details for staff can be found at Original articles and advertisements created by Fruit & Vine are copyright and are not to be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the Editor. No responsibility can be accepted by Fruit & Vine for the opinions expressed by its contributors. ISSN: 2753-474X fruitandvine fruit_and_vine 01473 794440 The Fruit & Vine team spent a busy three days at the 63rd Doe Show in Ulting in February. As well as a review of the event on page 25, you can see video coverage of the event on our social media platforms.
David Williams also attended an open day by Kent-based machinery dealer, Kirkland – you'll nd his full report on page 28. Fruit & Vine's machinery editor, David Williams, visited M Yardy Engineering's new premises this month to discuss the company's large vineyard and orchard product portfolio. See page 8 for more info. Editor Rachel Hicks chatted with Robert Blyth of Pretty elds Vineyard, Ardleigh, in mid-February – read more in this issue's grower pro le on page 15.
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Managing director Julie Goulding

Director Greg Goulding


Editor Rachel Hicks

Deputy editor Sarah Kidby

Machinery editor David Williams

Staff writer Henrietta Szathmary


Sales director Zohra Mitchell

Senior sales executive Joanna Blower

Senior sales executive Jana Moyes

Sales executive Chloe Fox

Sales executive Sophie Smith

Sales executive Rosanna Sweet

Sales executive William Taylor

Classi ed sales manager Nicki Procter

Classi ed sales executive Samantha Wilson


Marketing manager Charlotte Harknett

Brand manager Liam Bull

Design & Production

Assistant studio manager Martyn Smith

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New CEO appointed for the Experienced soft fruit agronomist National Fruit Show joins advisory team

The Marden Fruit Show Society (MFSS) has appointed Sally Flanagan, a long-standing committee member and former executive director of The East Malling Trust, as its new chief executive o cer

Sally Flanagan takes over the reins from Sarah Calcutt, who has stepped down as the executive chair and now becomes the honorary chair.

Having been involved as a committee member for a number of years, Sally assumes all the day-today responsibilities of running the MFSS, which includes the annual National Fruit Show, education programme for the industry and schools and competitions for growers and producers throughout the year.

Sally comments: “It’s an absolute honour to be appointed CEO. The work of the MFSS is essential in promoting access to knowledge and best practice relating to agriculture and horticulture here in the UK as well as information and best practice for the storage, packaging and marketing of fruit.

“We also have a team who provide a successful and growing outreach programme of science, nutrition and careers education to schools and with additional sponsorship funding, we can expand this across the UK.”

Sarah Calcutt, honorary chair of the National Fruit Show, adds: “After two years as the executive chair and due to my broader work commitments, I’m delighted to hand the baton over to Sally and I’m looking forward to working with her and the team to continue to support the work of MFSS. We have worked hard over the last 14 years

to build the society to the point where we could recruit its rst CEO. I could not be happier that we could secure someone of Sally’s calibre and experience; the show and the broader work of the society could not be in better hands.”

Andrew Tinsley, chair of the trustees at the MFSS, comments: “I would like to thank Sarah for her terri c contribution over the last 16 years, and we are grateful to have her ongoing support as she reverts to the role her predecessors took. We are very pleased Sally has accepted the challenge to take on the role of CEO. As we look ahead to the future and developing our support for fruit growers and the wider industry in our 90th year, the MFSS seeks to work with and bring together more growers, the wider industry, schools and colleges to help identify and nd solutions to some of the challenges they face. Whether that is from the latest scienti c research and thinking on all aspects of growing fruit in our ever-changing climate, using the latest technology to better manage production, storage and sales of fruit, to helping to provide the workforce of the future.”

The 90th National Fruit Show will take place on Wednesday 1st and Thursday 2nd November 2023 at the Kent County Showground, Detling. Further information can be found at

Agrovista has appointed Karen Morgan to


strengthening the company’s agronomy service in the South East as well as the Midlands

Karen Morgan brings a wealth of experience to the team, having worked as a soft fruit agronomist in Kent for more than 24 years.

Karen, who started at Agrovista at the beginning of November, is a graduate of Reading University, where she gained an Honours Degree in horticulture in 1996.

The four-year course included 12 months’ practical experience, half of which was spent at Edward Vinson, one of Kent’s best-known strawberry and soft fruit growers, sparking an interest which was to become Karen’s specialism.

“I’ve always been an outdoors person – I was never going to settle into a 9–5 o ce job,” says Karen. “After leaving university, I joined the Fruit Advisory Services Team (FAST) in Faversham.”

Here she honed her soft fruit advisory skills, staying with FAST for 24 years before leaving at the beginning of 2022.

“A few months later I received a call from Mark Davies, head of fruit at Agrovista, asking whether I’d be interested in joining the fruit team there.

Despite her considerable experience, Karen believes the new position o ers plenty of opportunity. “I will be taking on some existing Agrovista customers and will also be developing new business.

“I’m looking forward to getting my teeth into things again. I think there will be plenty of opportunities coming that I shall embrace.”

Karen was involved in advising on biological control programmes in her previous job, so this was a big part of the attraction with Agrovista, which has a leading presence in the sector, pushing ahead

with integrated crop management and forging key partnerships with manufacturers.

“I recently took a trip to Rotterdam to visit Koppert, which was extremely interesting,” says Karen. “Biological controls are now a crucial component of pest control regimes on the majority of farms, partly driven by end users and partly by necessity as the arsenal and e cacy of chemicals available for use continues to reduce.”

Apart from loss of chemistry, growers face other major challenges including rising costs, challenging sales and labour shortages. As such, good advice has probably never been more important.

“My aim is to help growers to manage their businesses as e ciently and as pro tably as they can,” Karen explains. “Soft fruit is a very professional sector and growers are open to new thinking and new ideas, but they will challenge you as well.

“I’m looking forward to extending my knowledge further in the hope I can deliver as much bene t as possible to existing and new customers alike.”

March/April 2023 6 MOVERS & SHAKERS



A v o n W o r k s , C r a n b r o o k , T N 1 7 2 P T • 0 1 5 8 0 7 1 2 2 0 0 • s a l e s @ n p s e y m o u r . c o . u k • w w w . n p s e y m o u r . c o . u k

Fruit & vineyard

machinery added to Suffolk dealer portfolio

including mist-blower models for orchards and vineyards.

The unique Ca ni Grasskiller is new, using high-pressure water jets to destroy the roots of weeds and other unwanted vegetation, and avoiding the need for chemicals. Hydraulic jet adjustment from the tractor cab allows precise targeting of water at 1,000 bar pressure including close to the roots of fruit trees and vines.

An extensive line-up of fertiliser applicators includes mounted and trailed versions, including inter-row models for orchard work. There is also a combined double-tine subsoiler and fertiliser applicator, capable of loosening soil while applying nutrients below the surface.

Irrigation systems from Irriland will be stocked – including systems for orchards and fruit growing. Gavin said that following last year’s drought, which a ected growers across the UK, he expects considerable interest in the range from potential users.

Business expansion by M Yardy Engineering Ltd has included a move to new premises, with additional storage and a showroom from which to market a range of imported specialist machinery

Sales manager Gavin Haverson joined the company last autumn, bringing extensive experience of the fruit and vineyard machinery industry, as well as arable farming implements.

Agreements with several European brands have already been achieved, and the rst machines for stock and demonstrations arrived last month.

A large product portfolio includes cultivation machinery for vineyard and orchard applications. Trailed atomiser sprayers with precise, computercontrolled application ensure maximum e cacy of applied chemicals. Inter-row and inter-plant cultivators with automatic control achieve high work rates and ensure excellent results. Ca ni manufactures a wide range of sprayers,

Frost protection

for owering fruit crops

“M Yardy Engineering built its reputation on providing excellent customer support, and we know that those investing in specialist vineyard and fruit-growing machinery expect quick and e ective service,” stressed Gavin. “There is strong demand for quality machinery for these specialist applications, and negotiations are progressing well to ll the remaining gaps in our initial portfolio.”

“This is an exciting opportunity for growth in all areas of our business, and we expect a busy year,” con rmed Marcus Yardy.

The soft fruit team at AJ & CI Snell have been using the range of AminoA products for at least the last eight seasons.

Farm manager Tom Deards explains: “We initially used ICEAAX at times of frost risk and sustained cold periods, but have since also introduced AminoA Flo from the range, helping with periods of heat stress under polytunnels.

“We use AminoA Flo in tank mixes with fungicides and foliar feeds, allowing for optimal time of application directly when needed.”

“Our entire range of biostimulants provide signi cant frost tolerance in soft and top fruit crops, but ICEAAX uses a high concentration of L-isomer amino-acids to provide reliable results down to -3°C, depending on RH and duration,” comments Richard Phillips, AminoA managing director.


natural plant biostimulant is helping to minimise or eliminate crop damage caused by late frosts, by stimulating the production of natural plant Anti-Freeze Protein (AFP) in owering fruit crops

ICEAAX from UK bio-technology company AminoA, is an easy-to-use liquid L-isomer amino acid complex that stimulates the production of AFP.

By applying at owering, immediately before a frost event, the OF&G registered biostimulant lowers the freezing point of the cell cytoplasm, enabling the crop to resist the late frost.

Richard Robinson, a Bramley apple grower based in Northern Ireland, has been using ICEAAX for the last two seasons, during which time his crop has faced some relentless frosts.

“We have applied ICEAAX both the day before the frosts came in, and also a few days later if the

frost temperature started to get quite low again. I believe by doing so, ICEAAX has saved a higher percentage of our crop,” he says.

Managing sites with various levels of frost risk across the UK, national vineyard and winery consultancy Vinescapes has been using ICEAAX on some of its higher risk sites over the last two years.

“We have found ICEAAX has worked well as part of an integrated frost protection strategy,” says Joel Jorgensen, Vinescapes’ managing director for viticulture.

“Without quanti ed results, we are con dent that using ICEAAX has provided an extra layer of protection,” he adds.

“Our products are deliberately designed to have broad spectrum activity, as they contain every essential amino-acid that plants synthesise throughout their growth cycle.

“Properly formulated biostimulants can reduce grower costs and improve pro ts, as well as reducing the environmental impact of agrochemicals,” he concludes.

March/April 2023 8 NEWS
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Sprayer testing:

Be aware of the safety bene ts

NSTS manager Ian Forman spoke to Fruit & Vine about the requirements for testing pesticide application equipment

Many growers in the fruit and viticulture sector will be aware of the requirements for sprayer testing, either through Red Tractor Fresh Produce scheme membership or other grower group assurance schemes. However, industry gures for sprayers tested in this sector are low and this could be due to a number of factors.

apples & pears Huge potential for pre-cleaning

With more than 650 units sold since it was introduced in 2005, the Evolution Separator is in use around the world by vegetable handlers – but is signi cantly growing in popularity with fruit enterprises, too

Scotts Precision Manufacturing Ltd managing director Derek Scott outlines what he reckons makes the Evolution so e ective: “We have experimented for some years precleaning with various crop types, but have found removing orchard-based debris from apples to be one of the most e ective.

“We now have around 10 machines working exclusively on apples both here in the UK and North America, with strong enquiries across northern Europe. What makes the system so attractive is that we can remove almost all types of debris, including broken or rotting apples, without losses or damage to the crop. These machines can cope with both dry crops or umed ‘wet’ crop at very high throughputs of up to 100t per hour. On our widest model we o er an electric driven in-store version and a much more compact hydraulic driven version which can be integrated into the harvester.”

The Evolution Separator generally works by extracting the debris between two contra rotating rollers. The larger roller (spiral roller) has air chambers and is deformable with a spiralling rib. The smaller roller (clod roller) is smooth with a choice of

nishes. The clever design of the ‘spiral rib’ entrains the debris down into the valley between the rollers where, if the debris is soft enough, it is then crushed and ejected down below the separator. Stones will also pass between the rollers as the ‘spiral roller’ readily deforms around the stone so does not allow losses of crop at this time. If larger stones enter the valley and there is not enough deformation in the spiral roller there is a safety mechanism that allows the clod roller to spring away momentarily to allow the stone to pass through.

Thatchers has con rmed a positive experience of the product. The company has been running the Evolution for the last two seasons, and says it has made a signi cant improvement to its pre-cleaning.

Derek Scott concludes: “The Evolution has broad appeal. It is used by farmers as part of an on-farm harvesting process and incorporated extensively into processing lines by some of the world’s leading vegetable handling machinery manufacturers. Both groups are united by their desire to use a thoughtfully designed, exceptionally manufactured and e ective separator – that’s why they choose the Evolution.”

I believe there are still growers who are not fully aware of the requirements for testing pesticide application equipment, be it boom or air blast sprayers, micro-granular and slug pellet applicators. Or the wide range of specialist equipment which, if it is applying a professional pesticide, must be tested.

For those of you having your machines tested, it can be confusing to know when the various types of equipment are due. With Red Tractor it is straightforward, as all air-blast sprayers must be tested annually. However, it may be the case that other grower groups follow the legal requirements of testing, which is every three years. For all growers using herbicide sprayers, it is likely that these only need to be tested every six years, but check your scheme protocols for con rmation. There is currently no requirement for knapsack or other handheld equipment to be tested, but they must be checked regularly.

The basis for testing any type of application equipment is to ensure safe and accurate application of pesticides. The most common faults found on sprayers are leaks and drips, many of which can quickly and easily be repaired

by the operator prior to the test. NSTS has an operator check sheet available from the website which can be used throughout the season and also has space for you to record a calibration.

Fertiliser spreader testing is also o ered by NSTS and, although nitrogen rates for many crops in the fruit and vineyard sectors are relatively low, with the increase in prices since August 2021, consideration should be given to check that machines are spreading accurately. This has two bene ts; rstly, knowing what the coe cient of variation (CV) is for a spreader gives you peace of mind that, having a spreader with a CV below 10%, the crop can utilise everything applied fully. Secondly, accurate application helps meet environmental requirements including NVZ rules and Farming Rules for Water.

NSTS will, for the rst time, be having a stand at Fruit Focus on 12th July so please stop by and have a chat about any sprayer testing questions you may have.

Whichever type of equipment you use, there are many bene ts from testing; not only to meet legal requirements, but also having a machine that will apply pesticides (and fertiliser) safely and accurately to gain best value for money from all products applied.

March/April 2023 10 NEWS
11 March/April 2023 Go to the NSTS website to find one near you and book your test tel: 01733 207606 . email: Legislation requires boom sprayers over 3 metres and air blast sprayers to be tested every 3 years. Other equipment must also be tested to set timescales. Sprayers operating in Crop Assurance schemes are required to be tested annually NSTS have more than 280 Test Centres across the whole of the UK. . Is your sprayer more than 5 years old?

Sustainable soil:

Organic fertiliser is “six times stronger than FYM”

Cloud Agro Ltd specialises in soil health and crop nutrition, delivering sustainable solutions for farmers who want to make a positive environmental impact with optimum nancial returns.

The company works collaboratively with scienti c and agricultural institutions to jointly develop laboratory protocols and farm products which are rigorously tested and proven in on-farm eld trials.

Company founder Ross Barclay-beuthin explains that Cloud Agro’s services and products make it possible for producers, for the rst time, to accurately measure and e ectively treat the “burn rate of nutrients” exported during harvest, together with the “burn rate of humus (organic matter)” expended during mineralisation.

The company supplies Smart Feed, which



soft fruit farmers...

Fox Robotics is working on an autonomous outdoor robot that will perform various on-farm logistics tasks. The company says its robot will free up manual labour, who can then can be redeployed onto more productive tasks, thereby boosting overall productivity, yields and pro ts.

Fox Robotics is in advanced trial stages with soft fruit farmers and is preparing to release its technology to work alongside pickers to transport fruit. The company is also applying for a Defra agricultural automation grant, which aims to bring food producers and technology rms together to nd innovative ways to boost productivity, farming resilience and sustainability on British farms.

In this grant the company is, among other things, looking to gather additional data that will

be crucial to ensure its AI, robot and web systems are suitable for a wider range of logistics tasks and farm characteristics (e.g. crop/livestock varieties, management systems, 4G/GPS coverage, etc.).

Farmers who opt to join Fox Robotics in the bid and participate in these studies and trials will bene t from being closely involved in the development priorities of this pioneering technology, the company reckons, and will therefore have an easier time eventually integrating the system on their farms, giving them a sizeable competitive edge in the automation process. They will also directly be promoting the type of automation British farmers need to address chronic labour challenges.

If you are interested in participating in these trials, please contact

Silicon linked to lower copper levels in wine grapes

Trials on UK grapevines have shown that applying silicon as a foliar spray can help reduce excessive accumulation of copper, which can a ect the sensory qualities of wine. Trials carried out by Orion FT showed that applying a silicon-based biostimulant strengthens the plant’s natural defences to mildew infection and can help it resist aphid and caterpillar feeding damage.

“Our trials showed an increase in silicon uptake of 30% following the application of Fossil, a silicon biostimulant, as a foliar spray. The product also helped the vines to take in signi cantly more zinc and iron, both essential for the formation of sugars. Optimising nutrient levels is a key property of biostimulant products,”

is a 100% natural organic fertiliser and soil conditioner, under the brand name FutureGro. FutureGro is an upgrade to the traditional practice of manure and green waste application, being a high-quality, fully decomposed organic fertiliser that adds nutrients, improves soil structure, and stimulates microbial action. According to Cloud Agro, it is six times stronger than FYM and a whopping 50 times more e ective than green waste. With FutureGro, as the plant grows stronger with enhanced nutrition and more balanced soils, crops can ward o disease vectors and pest attacks. However, Cloud Agro stresses that animal manure does the opposite: its application leads to the spread of weed seeds, disease vectors, and pathogens.

Repeated application of FutureGro helps nutrients become more available to crops, making soil more fertile meaning that, over time, less chemical fertiliser is needed. Applying FutureGro, on average, 1t/ha twice a year to your soil could lead to healthier crops and 25% higher yields this season, the company reckons.

explains technical specialist Kate Williams.

Elevated levels of copper in the soil can cause reductions in the levels of bene cial bacteria and fungi in the rhizosphere. Therefore, reducing the reliance on these products and lling the gap with a silicon biostimulant can both improve soil health and strengthen the plant naturally.

“We are not advocating that growers stop using fungicides. However, our trials show that by including a silicon biostimulant as part of an IPM approach, vines will carry less copper and more micronutrients, which will improve plant health, yield and also improve the aromatics of the wine,” she adds.

The prevalence of excess copper in grape juices can have an adverse e ect on the thiols of some wines, negatively a ecting the aroma. A silicon biostimulant can be mixed with a fungicide to o set this whilst also strengthening the plant.

March/April 2023 12 NEWS

FOX ROBOTICS focuses on improving and automating logistics tasks other robotics companies have overlooked in the horticulture industry. FOX ROBOTICS is currently concentrating on improving the efficiency of the UK's soft fruit farms and vineyards.

Hugo RTTM is a durable, efficient, battery-powered robot designed to reduce the reliability of seasonal labour. The outdoor logistics robot helps to automate several all-year-round tasks, from supporting the transportation of picked produce to carrying delicate seedlings and soil in narrow polytunnels. Automating these tasks will help to reduce overall costs and increases productivity.

13 March/April 2023
www .clouda .com (07543) 265454 TH E N U T R I E N T S I G N A T U R E S F O R U . K T O P F R U I T A N D V I N E S. FUTUREGRO SOIL HEALTH SMART FEEDTM PREPARE B E F O R E P L A N T I N G BOOST A F T E R B U D B U R S T REPLENISH P O S T H A R V E S T use organic fertiliser + s oil conditi oner:
“Quality and yield will deteriorate if no soil amendment is done post-harvest and at budburst, as every tonne of fruit produced removes vital nutrients responsible for the movement of water and energy in the plant.
Unit 4, Abbey Business Park, Monks Walk, Farnham GU9 8HT WWW.FOX-ROBOTICS.COM

Specialist Vineyard Agronomy

From vineyard establishment through to post-harvest management, our dedicated agronomists are able to ensure that you maximise your yields of top quality fruit, whilst satisfying the ever more complex demands of legislation, protocols and consumer expectation. Contact us for more information.

t: 0115 939 0202


@AgrovistaUK @AgrovistaFruit

“Working closely with our growers, we use integrated pest management to optimise fruit quality and yield.”

14 March/April 2023
ICEAAX Fruit & Vine Magazine Advert – Proof 3_Artwork.indd 1 01/02/2023 11:36

Great wine

“starts with the vine”

Rooted rmly in the Essex countryside, owner Robert Blyth says Pretty elds Vineyard harnesses the local microclimate to “grow the nest grapes and put the very best into our bottles”.

Editor Rachel Hicks chatted with him this month

Robert Blyth is a partner and farm manager of Blyth Farms in Ardleigh, with his sister Rosie and his father James having owned the land since the 1960s.

The Blyth family farm used to focus on dairy and free-range pigs, before giving those up in the late 90s to become fully arable. Robert did also have wild boar until recently, which he says were an interesting animal to look after – particularly as you have to have a zoo licence to keep them, as they’re classed as a dangerous wild animal.

The Blyth family also farms at Brightlingsea, near to the Thorrington Mill Vineyard. Previously, Robert’s father had used the services of contracting company Sentry Farms for 25 years or so, but has more recently brought the land back into the control of the family.

Part of the farm’s vista changed drastically in the 70s with the construction of nearby Ardleigh Reservoir, and this is one of the factors which led to the farming enterprise taking the decision to plant the vineyard as an investment in 2016.

Three varieties were planted at that time –Pinot Noir (four acres), Chardonnay (three acres) and a small amount of Bacchus, with three acres of Pinot Meunier being added later in 2019.

While most of the fruit is used for Pretty elds’ own wine, some of the Chardonnay grapes are grown on contract for Hattingley Valley to be used in their Blanc de Blancs, with Hattingley commenting that the Pretty elds Chardonnay o ers an unusually tropical aroma compared to the more citrussy Chardonnay juice which they

get from the Sussex vineyards who supply them. Pretty elds also buys in grapes for other vineyards in order to be able to expand their range. There are loose plans to extend the vineyard with the planting of some more varieties in the future.

Keeping it in the family

Robert and his sister Rosie worked with their second cousin, Tom Bunting, at another local vineyard in Dedham years ago, and Tom set up his own vineyard management company, TBVM, as a result. This has proved invaluable to Robert,

March/April 2023 15

as he now employs the services of TBVM to manage much of the specialist work required on the vineyard, allowing him the time throughout the year to focus on the farming enterprise, so both operations can run successfully in tandem despite the pressures and di erence in pace. TBVM provides the majority of the machinery needed on a contract basis, as well as managing the spray programme and giving general agronomy advice.

A very local harvest

First harvest in 2019 was fairly limited due to the age of the vines, but yield has increased consistently year-on-year.

While Pretty elds produced a respectable 10,000 or so bottles last year, the searing heat and drought of 2022 did have a signi cant e ect – the vineyard had been given high yield predictions pre-drought, but at the time there was uncertainty around whether you could water the vines. The vineyard follows the French guidelines which state that if you’re taking fruit o the vine to make wine

of a quality wine status then you are not allowed to irrigate after 1st May – although Defra has since announced that growers can irrigate the vines.

As such, in preparation for this coming season, Robert has adapted an irrigator previously used on the arable farm for potatoes, cutting the trolley down so it can t up the rows pulled by an old Massey Ferguson 135 vineyard tractor that he has borrowed from his uncle, who is a vintage tractor collector.

Underground irrigation pipes have also been added to the parts of the vineyard that previously lacked them.

This year, the hope is for a harvest of around 20t in total, as long as conditions are right. While he is happy with the varieties which are currently grown, Robert feels the vineyard perhaps should have opted for a rootstock that was better suited to drought, being on a light, sandy soil; but at the time, they went with the one that was recommended by the nursery in Germany, and with the new irrigation system in place, Robert has high hopes for this season.

Managing frost risk

Another key challenge for Pretty elds is late frost. The vines closest to the reservoir are protected somewhat by the microclimate provided by the water, but the Chardonnay in particular, which is situated furthest from the reservoir, is at a much higher risk of late frost damage.

Robert hopes that the government will o er some grants for frost protection equipment in the near future, but the frost fans that were put forward in the last round of grants weren’t the right ones for vineyards, making the investment too cost-prohibitive.

Robert has looked at candles as an option, but they are so labour intensive, and with the vineyard taking regular stalls at local farmer’s markets, sleepless nights spent lighting candles are out of the question.

One method currently being trialled on the Chardonnay is a di erent style of pruning –leaving two canes, with one cane up as a sacri cial one which should draw any frost up away from the cropping cane. This is then pruned o once the frost risk has passed.

Across the vineyard, the trellising used is the

single Guyot system, with a mixture of wooden and metal end posts.

Pest and disease management

Pretty elds follows a fortnightly spray programme which is continuously monitored by TBVM. They use a ying black bird-shaped kite to deter birds, as well as rope bangers.

Robert explains that that part of Essex tends to record a much lower rainfall compared to the rest of the country, therefore disease pressure is low.

The Pinot Noir can su er from botrytis, but they manage to keep on top of this fairly easily with good canopy management.

Vine prunings have been burnt in the farm’s biomass boiler previously, but handling of the prunings can be di cult. Over the last couple of years, the vineyard has been mulching the healthy prunings back into the soil, which they do for the soil bene ts and will continue to do so all the while the vines remain disease-free.

Robert has considered chipping some of the prunings for use in a smoker, but for now prefers to put the organic matter back into the soil.

Soil is tested annually, and it appears to be consistently good on its P and K. Robert has discussed bringing in livestock for both the manure as well as the natural help provided for weed control, canopy management and so on. He believes it’s much better to rely on natural processes where possible, and feels it’s an important part of the sustainability of the vineyard.

In a similar sustainability vein, the vineyard uses local labour, as well as stocking local produce in the farm shop as much as possible.

At harvest time, up to 80 people arrive from the nearby village to pick the grapes on a volunteer basis – although they also get to enjoy a co ee, cake, lunch and a voucher to use in the shop as a thank you. Last year, they were treated to a delicious paella which was received particularly well.

Milder winters have an effect

Bud burst occurs around mid-April; this used to happen later, but with the milder winters it’s been pushed forward.

The vineyard undertakes the usual summer

March/April 2023 16

pruning, which is very important for air ow and helps put energy into the grapes throughout late May/June. Sometimes they have double buds, which they take down to a single fruit on the fruiting cane. Flowering occurs early July, then they leaf strip.

Veraison is early to mid-August, and the Chardonnay is harvested rst, at the end of September/early October, followed by the Bacchus before moving on to the red grapes.

Expert wine makers

Recently, Pretty elds has been using Bolney to produce its still Bacchus, Pinot Noir and rosé, with De ned Wines doing some of the riddling for the vineyard’s traditional method sparkling.

Using an o -site winery, Robert says, has allowed them to use expert wine makers to produce excellent drinking wines.

However, keen to bring the full production onsite in the long-term, he has been discussing options with a local commercial co-operative winery who were booked in to visit the site in the week following Fruit & Vine’s interview, so watch this space.

Robert feels though that while wine production is starting to really push towards sustainable management, packaging options such as cans are not yet commercially viable, as consumers are only recently coming around to

the quality of English wines and it’s only just nding its place in the market, so this isn’t something Pretty elds would consider for now.

Local marketing key

The bulk of Pretty elds’ wines are sold locally, via the onsite farm shop and vineyard tours and special events which are run by Skylark Social, as well as through local shops and restaurants.

Marketing is done very much by social media as well as word of mouth from the many happy customers.

Future plans for the vineyard

Robert’s future plans are to continue to focus on the wine tourism sector of the business. As well as the vineyard’s farm shop, Pretty elds Tours, tastings and lunch, there’s a brewery based onsite – Jack Rabbit – which brews ales, stouts and lagers as well as o ering niche cocktails.

Since opening, Pretty elds has hosted a few fun and diverse events which proved incredibly popular, including the slightly sinister-sounding ‘axes in the vines’, and they intend to expand upon the diversi cation side.

With a beautiful church located just down the road, the site has also hosted a couple of very successful wedding receptions, with more booked in over the next year.

Pretty elds Vineyard

Location: Ardleigh, Essex

Total vineyard size: 7ha, with 4ha under vine

Soil type: Light sandy loam in good, free-draining land

Aspect: The vines are planted east to west; the land gradually drops away to the west and the vineyard is roughly 100ft above sea-level. Typical wind is from the south west. There is a micro climate caused by Ardleigh Reservoir which reduces frost in the late spring. As the crow ies, the vineyard is located around ve miles from the sea

Varieties: Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Chardonnay, Bacchus

March/April 2023 17 GROWER PROFILE
18 March/April 2023 HORSEPOWERUK LTD Unit 2, Owens Court Farm, Selling, Faversham, Kent ME13 9QN Tel: 01233 226 284 . Email: . “It’s a game changer, it’s completely transformed our farming process. We use it on everything. I can’t knock it, we’re absolutely delighted with it.” Inter Plant Weeder customer JFHUDSON Inspiring Great Farmers 07803 765440 Standard and Specialist Transplanters, Film Layers and Weeders JFH 148_210.indd 3 10/10/2022 12:12

attracts wide interest retirement sale

The retirement of a long-established fruit grower and a change of farming policy for his land resulted in an early winter dispersal sale. David Williams was there

The family fruit farming business was started in 1920. Trading as M A Manning & Son, third generation fruit grower, Ray Manning, specialised in Cox apple production; although in recent years, most of the land was used for arable crops. Only two rows of Cox apple trees remain, along with some additional apple varieties as well as plums and pears. Root vegetables, asparagus, salad and soft fruit are grown – with most sold through the very busy Bushel Box onsite farm shop run by Ray’s daughter, Wendy. As well as selling food grown on the farm, she also sources additional produce locally.

Ray is due to retire this March; the arable land is being contract-farmed, and Wendy will continue to grow produce for her shop and other local businesses on 8ha of the Grade 1 soil.

Attractive mix

Three tractors and fruit machinery including specialist sprayers have been retained for use, but the sale included a wide variety of lots accumulated during many years of farming at the location. There were also lots from Ray’s son, James who is an engineer and tractor enthusiast, and some ‘included’ lots from local dealers and farms. The preview and sale days were both dry and sunny, and most interest from those who

attended was in the tractors o ered for sale.

Good attendance

The Brown & Co auctioneers were George Watchorn and Jon Clampin. “The variety of lots meant that there really was something for everyone,” explained George. “The weather was dry although temperatures were barely above freezing, and we registered 200 bidders on site and a further 170 applied to bid through our

online platform.

“Buyers had travelled from all four corners of the UK and there were several from Ireland too. Those trying to secure lots included trade buyers, end users from fruit farms, and vintage enthusiasts as well.”

George commented that some lots achieved particularly high prices compared to their pre-sale estimates; including the Massey Ferguson 168 which has stayed local, and a Massey Ferguson 1080 which found a new home in Yorkshire.

Superb auctioneers

Ray Manning said that although he hadn’t used the services of Brown & Co previously, he found the team a real pleasure to deal with. “They were superb,” he con rmed. “The organisation was excellent, and they even provided two sta to supervise the parking.

“It was a genuine sale, and all the machinery was genuine. The amount of interest in our JCB Loadall astounded everyone, but it was a mechanical machine without complex electronics which had worked only 4,000 hours, and it was on almost new tyres. Opportunities to buy something like that are very limited. We were very happy with the whole sale and everything sold well. The only item which I felt could have achieved a little more was our Massey Ferguson 135 Multi-Power. It sold for £7,500 which is actually a good price, but for its genuine condition I had expected £8,000 or more.”

March/April 2023 19 MACHINERY
We were lucky with the weather, the timing proved excellent, and the Brown & Co team did an amazing job for us. I’m very happy, and look forward to my full retirement this spring
Ray Manning Retired fruit farmer

This 1998 JCB Loadall 526S Farm Special attracted considerable interest and lots of enquiries prior to the sale due to its mechanical speci cation and low working hours. It had a mixed set of 15.5/80-24 tyres including three BKT AS504s with 90% tread, and one Good Year SureGrip of the same size with 80% tread. It was registered on an S-pre x plate and had worked only 4,783 hours. The machine was in tidy condition inside and out although the seat was worn and had a few holes. It had a Q- t headstock, pallet tines and a rear pick-up hitch. Competitive bidding pushed the selling price to £26,600. George Watchorn takes bids for the Loadall.

The farm’s Massey Ferguson 174C steel-tracked crawler was in very good condition. Ray explained that it was bought second-hand from a Suffolk fruit farm where its main task was soil loosening in the orchards. The Mannings used it for a range of tasks including tree planting, and its 14in tracks allowed it to travel on grass and tilled ground without causing ruts. It achieved a winning bid of £9,900 from a Rutland-based buyer.

On an R-su x registration, this ‘included’ Massey Ferguson 135 Multi-Power orchard model had a swept back Duncan cab and was on Michelin 11.2R24 rear tyres which had 90% tread but were perished, and Supreme 5.00-15 front tyres with 70% tread. It had worked 4,575 hours and was in tidy, original condition. It sold for £5,000.

Kramer telehandlers have an excellent reputation, and this 2021 KT276 was in almost new condition with no dents or scrapes. The cab was superb and the seat still had its protective wrapping. It was registered on a 71-plate. The Kramer was on Mitas 340/80-18 tyres which showed few signs of wear. It carried its original Farol dealer stickers and had worked only 76 hours. The winning bid was £50,000.

There is strong demand for tractor front weights, and these three lots contained 7, 10 and 14 wafer weights respectively. They sold for £200, £230 and £310.

This Fendt 260V 2wd vineyard tractor was new in 1990. The Mannings bought it second-hand with another similar tractor in 2002. It was on Pirelli 340/85R24 rear tyres and Fulda 7.50-16SL fronts – all with approximately 80% remaining tread. The cab was very tidy and equipped with a pneumatic seat. The tractor had mid and rear hydraulic spools and an adjustable width, rear three-point linkage. The tractor carried Richard Burton, Norfolk, dealer stickers and sold for £6,400.

The sale was due to the retirement of fruit farmer, Ray Manning. His daughter, Wendy, owns and runs the Bushel Box – an onsite farm shop. She will be the fourth generation of the Manning family to run the business at Willingham when she takes over from Ray this March, and she will continue to grow produce for her shop.

One of the older tractors on offer, and very unusual, this Massey Harris Pony 2wd was a 1958 model and its 2-cyl diesel engine was supercharged. It had Michelin 8-24 rear, and 4-15 front tyres – one Continental and one Trelleborg. It had a badge saying supplied by Ballard & Son, Berkshire, and was a non-runner – having been bought for restoration but never completed. The winning bid was £880. The Massey Harris Pony is pictured with the supercharger inset.

Another narrow tractor, this David Brown 885 2wd was on a mix of Stomil and Good Year 11.2-28 rear tyres and Supreme 6.00-16s at the front which were new. The hour meter displayed 5,249 working hours, and it sold for £2,500. A Stihl MS200T 35.2cc top handle chainsaw made £25. Pallets of 100 wooden tree stakes sold for £120 and 160.
March/April 2023 20

Tractor-mounted drain jetters are an increasingly common sight on farms, especially in the fens, and when they are available at farm sales they usually sell well. This Homburg Delta M135 model had a hydraulic arm and dynamic drive. New in 2019, it remained in very good conditions, and achieved a well-deserved winning bid of £11,000.

This Ford Ranger 4wd pick-up was a Limited speci cation, and it carried a 2018 registration plate. Powered by a 2.2-litre diesel engine, it had a sixspeed automatic transmission, leather upholstery, air conditioning, a towbar and a rear load cover. The recorded mileage was 76,771, and a current MOT was valid until July 2023. The winning bid was £10,700.

Offered with its canvas cab covers stored safely on a pallet, this Massey Ferguson 168 Multi-Power 2wd was on front Mitas 6.00-16 tyres with 90% tread and rear Good Year 12.4/11-36 tyres which were perished with 50% tread. In good original condition, the tractor carried its FA Standen – Ely dealer stickers, and was registered with a 1975 P-su x. The hour meter displayed only 1,420 hours. A winning bid of £11,700 was achieved.

In almost as-new condition, this John Deere 4066R had been used, but very little. It carried Farol and Ben Burgess dealer markings and was on Titan 44-18-20 rear, and 27-10.5-15 front tyres – all with 90% tread. A very desirable tractor, it sold for £27,900.

This Massey Ferguson 1080 with 80hp at the PTO was regarded as a very capable tractor when it was new in 1970. It was shod on Richstar 7.5-18 front tyres with 80% tread, and Kleber 16.9R38 rear tyres which were perished and had only 20% tread. The hour meter displayed 4,305 hours and it sold for £8,000.

An ideal

With its original Ben Burgess supplying dealer stickers, this John Deere Gator XUV865M was in superb order. Powered by a diesel engine, it was on Maxxis 27x9.00R14 front, and 27x11.00R14 rear tyres, and had Datatag anti-theft markings. The Gator was registered on a 21-plate and had worked only 12.6 hours and recorded 75.3km. A manufacturer warranty provided cover until May 2023, or until it had worked 1,000 hours. The winning bid was £22,600, and the Gator has a new home in Northern Ireland.

March/April 2023
A Votex 12ft, three-point linkage mounted, PTO-driven rotary topper with an end towing kit made £850. Several nine-hole lower link drawbars were on offer. Prices started from £20 and peaked at £70 for a rare, narrow vineyard version. This handy Fleming TR1 1.8t drop-side single axle hydraulic tipping trailer was on Protector 23/10.5-12 wheels and tyres. It carried Farol dealer stickers and achieved a winning bid of £920.
A concrete- lled Grays 8ft at roll in good order sold for £700. match for the Massey Ferguson 135 tractors offered at the sale, this Ransomes TSR102 2f hydraulic reversible plough, complete with skimmers and with plenty of remaining working life in the bodies achieved a winning bid of £720. Nearest the camera, this 1997 CompAir Demag SC40DS-2 portable compressor powered by a 3-cyl diesel engine made £1,350, and the 2009 Omac 4t trailed cable winch on 215/75R17.5 wheels and tyres and powered by a diesel engine sold for £3,100.
This petrol/para n grey Ferguson still carried its original Frank L Nunn, Elmswell, Suffolk dealer stickers. In very good condition, it was on BKT 4.00-19 front tyres which were new, and 12.4-11-28 rear Kelly and Good Year tyres with 80% tread. It made £3,200.

Orchard and vineyard grass and wild ower seeders are in high demand, and this Pro Seed linkage mounted Overseeder had a 1.5m working width and was hydraulically operated. The winning bid was £1,100.

A second Ford commercial vehicle was available for bids. This Transit Courier was a 2016 model, registered on a 66-plate, and it had recorded 83,359 miles. It had a 1.6-litre diesel engine and was sold with an MOT which expired in November – a month before the sale. It was generally tidy but had a few dents in the rear doors and the winning bidder paid £3,500.

135 Multi-Power had a Duncan cab and was in lovely original condition inside and out. The Mitas front 6.00-16 front tyres had 30% tread, and the Semperit 12.4/11-28 rears had 60% tread. The tractor carried an N-su x registration and had only 835 hours displayed. It was an attractive lot and sold for £7,500.


8-tonne drop deck trailer with a 2.5x5.0m load bed was new in 2021, and came with galvanised ramps, and was shod on 385/65R22.5 wheels and tyres. It carried Agri-Link stickers and was in excellent condition. It sold for £6,400.

Members of the Brown & Co sale team with the vendors; (l-r) James Bailey, Edward Green, Jon Clampin, George Watchorn, Ray Manning and son James Manning, Kate Barlow, Megan Talbot, Lucy Bates and Frankie Arlow. A very unusual lot – this Eicher GS202 2wd diesel vineyard tractor had been bought to restore and use but was sold as a non-runner. It was on Dunlop Fieldmaster 9.5-9-24 rear tyres and Good Year 4.50-16 fronts. The hour meter displayed 7,752 hours and it sold for £950. Auctioneer George Watchorn takes bids on the Massey Harris and Eicher tractors. This Kubota U17-3a rubber tracked 360-degree mini excavator was a 2019 model and had worked only 958 hours. It was very tidy, and the tracks were in good condition apart from a few cracks – with 40% remaining tread. It made £10,500. A McConnel Swingtrim three-point linkage mounted 1.5m cut hedge cutter with hydraulic controls made £2,100. An elderly Fyson rubber belt elevator still carried its G&J Peck Agricultural Engineers stickers and it sold for £1,000. This ‘included’ Massey Ferguson at trailer was in very tidy condition, and it achieved a winning bid of £480. This Girorami Borello linkage-mounted single rotor, PTO-driven rake with adjustable offset made £150. No fruit farm sale would be complete without a variety of ladders. These were sold in pairs and winning bids ranged from £10–£30. A Bailey Trailers Lowloader2, This Massey Ferguson roll bar with xings made £75.
March/April 2023 22
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Popular Essex dealer event celebrates

of launchspecialistdivision

fruit and viticulture

also very pleased with the number of people who came to the show for the rst time, especially to see the machinery we o er. They included existing vineyard and fruit farm owners, and many who are considering diversi cation into the industry, and they regard the scale of our operation with backup through 19 depots a signi cant advantage.”

David Williams was there Popular event

The show is held at the Ulting, Essex headquarters of Ernest Doe & Sons Ltd, and the 2023 event in early February was the 63rd Doe Show – but also marked the start of celebrations for the dealer’s 125th year of trading.

The dealer’s 19 depots serve customers across East Anglia and the South East. The main franchises are Case IH – sold through Ernest Doe Power depots – and New Holland, which is available from Ernest Doe branded outlets. A large range of carefully selected complementary brands is available from all the locations.

Launch of specialist division

Last year, in response to increasing customer demand, a specialist division dedicated to serving fruit growers and vineyards was created, based at the dealer’s Ulting depot. The Doe Show was the rst opportunity to view a range of machinery from the newly assembled list of quality franchises catering for this growing market, and to meet the

dealer’s team of industry specialists. The stand also featured machinery which has already proved popular with orchard and vineyard owners from long-established brands, Teagle and KRM.

Lots of interest

“We had a superb show,” con rmed Ernest Doe & Sons fruit and viticulture specialist, Tom Wheatley. “The grape harvester was a star attraction and although a lot of the attention was from people who hadn’t seen one before, there were also several genuine enquiries from vineyards considering a purchase.

“The two new tractors generated the most sales enquiries, and the spectacular FrostFan impressed potential users, including vineyards and fruit growers, because of its ability to protect large areas at minimal cost. Many of those who visited the stand are existing customers who already use Case IH and New Holland specialist tractors, but they were visiting the show to view the new line-up of attachments and implements. I was

Fruit and vineyard sprayers

Ideal sprayers come in mounted or trailed versions, with tank capacities from 200–3,000 litres. “We have models for orchards and vineyards, as well as cannon sprayers. Cannon sprayers can accurately apply treatments to fruit and other crops grown at ground level in wide beds, avoiding the need for wheelings through the crop from conventional boomtype sprayers. Ideal also offers recirculation sprayers which recover excess spray, resulting in reduced chemical use and bene tting the environment,” said Ernest Doe & Sons fruit and viticulture specialist Tom Wheatley.

March/April 2023 25
The Doe Show is the UK’s largest annual dealer eventattracting thousands of farmers and contractors who enjoy the opportunity to view the latest machinery from premium brands represented by the dealer, and to place orders at special prices available only for the duration of the show.

Great range of products

Case IH and New Holland both recently announced new narrow fruit and vineyard tractors, with class-leading cabs and an extremely capable speci cation. Pre-production versions of the tractors had been displayed at trade events previously, but the Doe Show featured full production machines which recently arrived into the dealer’s stock, for the rst time.

As well as new tractors and the New Holland Braud grape harvester, the display included specialist products from recently added franchises - Dondi, Ideal, Provitis and FrostFans. “The addition of these quality brands means we can offer a full package of machinery to our customers,” explained Tom Wheatley (right), pictured with Ernest Doe Power general sales manager, Ed Perry. “The products are top quality offering the best performance and we are very pleased to be able to sell and support them.”

Dondi weeders and cultivators

Low-cost frost protection

New Zealand-built FrostFans offer low-cost mobile frost protection across large areas. There are two models – the 250H protects areas up to 4ha, and the larger 650H version provides protection for up to 6ha. The fan and direct-coupled diesel engine are carried on an extending arm, and the assembly is trailer mounted.

The fan can start and stop automatically according to air temperature, or with control by a timer. Control and monitoring through a smartphone app is an option. Operating modes include static, revolving and oscillating. “There are no drive belts or chains to fail in cold weather,” explained Tom. “The arm is hydraulic driven and an on-board battery, charged by a solar panel, powers the pump. Keeping the engine and fan unit separate from the hydraulics avoids complex drives. It’s very simple but extremely effective, and with diesel consumption at only ve litres per hour, it’s a more cost-effective solution for frost control than ground-level alternatives.”

Family-owned manufacturer, Dondi offers a range of inter-vine mechanical weeders, tine and disc cultivators, and low-disturbance subsoilers. The company’s export manager, Paolo Pettirossi (pictured on the right with Tom) is the son of the owner, and he assisted the dealer team as the products were displayed for the rst time. “Our products are chosen for their high performance and premium build quality,” he explained. “Dondi started manufacturing in 1850, although machinery for orchards and vineyards is a more recent addition.”

Products on the stand included a low-disturbance subsoiler, and several vineyard weeders – including the new Olea 2 model (pictured), which is designed for wide-gauge vineyard and orchard use with hydraulic working width adjustment up to 4.5m, and automatic retraction of the two hoe bodies, controlled by mechanical feelers.

“Modern, specialist tractors represent a big investment for their owners, and our products are designed to utilise their capabilities,” continued Paolo. “We use oil supplied by the tractor hydraulics rather than tting separate implement-mounted systems. There is no point duplicating everything on the attachment when the tractor already has everything needed. It saves money and ensures maximum productivity.”

Specialist application

Provitis is the most recent addition to the brands on offer, and an agreement to sell the range of trimmers, defoliators and pre-pruners was completed just a few weeks before the event. A Provitis trimming unit has already been sold, for permanent use with a New Holland Braud grape harvester tractor unit.

The combination has been ordered by Suffolk-based Elveden Estates to maintain trees for instant hedging. Elveden Instant Hedging produces hedging plants for customers all over the UK, and customers include retail, landscape designers and large-scale landscaping projects including new roads and railways. Fourteen varieties of hedge plants are grown currently, and there are 57,000m of hedge to trim. “We trim regularly to maintain shape and keep the plants dense,” explained Instant Hedging and Christmas Tree foreman, Ben Samson. “It would take one person up to nine months to trim the rows once, but the New Holland will do the job in less than week, and we will probably trim all the trees once per week through the growing season, just taking off small amounts of new growth each time.”

Ben is pictured (on the right) with nursery worker, Laurence Payne.

March/April 2023 26

Busy open day for machinery specialist vineyard orchard and

The 2022 Kirkland open day was attended by approximately 100 customers, who enjoyed the opportunity to socialise and discuss issues facing the industry while viewing the latest fruit and vineyard machinery

A mid-December open day by Kent-based machinery dealer, Kirkland UK attracted visitors from across the UK. David Williams was there

Based near Maidstone, Kirkland supplies a wide range of specialist products for vineyards and fruit growers, and is the main importer for respected brands including Antonio Carraro tractors and Giant loaders. There were many new products displayed at the open day, but the star attraction for many visitors was the Gregoire self-propelled grape harvester which was displayed for the rst time; as well as the latest Antonio Carraro Mach 4 Tony quad-tracked tractors.

Enjoyable and useful event

Most of those attending the annual open days are owners and sta of vineyards and fruit growing enterprises based in the South East, but there are also many visitors who travel each year from further a eld. As well as the latest machinery on show, attractions include live music, plenty of refreshments and a well-stocked bar. “Many

of our customers come each year, and it’s a very enjoyable event,” explained Kirkland administrator Hollie Kamel. “It’s at an ideal time of the year during the short quieter period just before Christmas and everyone enjoys the opportunity to get together and socialise.”

Opportunities for business

The 2022 event coincided with bitterly cold weather and signi cant amounts of snow, but even so approximately 100 customers attended. Among orders placed at the event were several for Antonio Carraro tractors, and several potential customers had travelled specially to view the range. The annual open days provide an excellent opportunity to purchase machinery at special o er prices, including for ex-display and exdemonstration equipment as well as service items and parts.

It’s about the service

Pictured with sales manager, Ben Devine (left) is Darryl Kemp - vineyard manager for Simpsons Wine Estate, based near Canterbury.

“We produce a range of wines including red, white, rosé and sparkling,” explained Darryl. “Our vineyard opened in 2012, and 2016 was our rst commercial harvest. We have been dealing with the Kirkland team since that year.” Products supplied by Kirkland include Orvin harvesting trailers, and Orizzonti trimming and mowing machinery for maintaining the crop canopy and controlling vegetation on the ground. “It’s all about the service, and the Kirkland team really does look after us,” con rmed Darryl. “When we leave messages, someone will always get back to us quickly, and the company is quite local. It’s a family business, everyone cares, and they are all friendly. They offer a good range of products and the prices are competitive. Being so local - we are often asked if our site can be used for new product trials and demonstrations, and we are always happy to be involved.”

March/April 2023 28

First view of self-propelled harvester

Kirkland service engineer and demonstrator Dorian White will be touring customers’ vineyards with the Gregoire grape harvester later this year. Gregoire started manufacturing trailed harvesters approximately 50 years ago, and the brand was taken on by Kirkland last November. “The range of self-propelled and trailed harvesters is an attractive proposition for our customers,” Dorian explained. “More growers are keen to have full control of their harvesting operations, and we can offer Gregoire models to suit enterprises of various sizes and with different budgets.”

The self-propelled range includes GL and GX series models. The GL series is smaller, and Kirkland has invested in the GL 7.4 with a 4-cyl, 160hp Deutz engine as its demonstrator. “The biggest advantage we can offer growers for both trailed and self-propelled models is the sample quality. The hoppers ll with 99.8% clean fruit – thanks to the Easyclean unit,” continued Dorian.

The demonstration machine has two, 2,000 litre fruit hoppers, although trailed models are available with capacities from 1,200–2,000 litres per hopper, and buyers of self-propelled models can choose hoppers from 1,500–2,000 litres.

The harvesting unit is pendulum mounted and remains vertical on uneven ground to match the growth of the vines. The gap between the two sides of the harvesting unit automatically adjusts to suit the plant row thickness, ensuring consistent harvesting performance.

Drive to the wheels and harvesting unit is hydraulic and 4wd is standard. A 90-degree steering angle minimises time spent turning on headlands.

The cab is central, providing a clear view along both sides of the row being harvested, and models are available with an automatic steering system and GPS. Typical working speed is 3.5kph, depending on yield and variety.

The harvesting unit is easily removed, and alternative attachments include sprayer units of up to 6 rows. It is also Isobus compatible, making it easy to swap attachments and adjust settings from the cab. A front-mounted linkage option allows tting of implements including pre-pruners & de-leafers. Many of Kirkland's customers are reporting increased di culties in sourcing labour during the busy harvesting season, and the company says that these new machines will help reduce reliance on manual pickers and save long-term costs.

Familiar people

Members of the Kent-based Chapel Down vineyard team were at the open day. Chapel Down has vineyards across South East England and purchases harvesting trailers as well as ground cultivation and mowing machinery from Kirkland. “I have been dealing with the Kirkland team for more than 15 years. What really makes things easy is that I am still dealing with the same people. They know us, they understand our needs, and we know who to ask for and what they can help us with. It works well,” stressed the company's Barry Kilby.

Pictured with one of the Antonio Carraro tractors displayed at the open day are Chapel Down team members (l-r) Barry Kilby, Andrew Woodrow, Clarke Moore and Charles Ryder in the tractor seat.

House Coren produced its rst wine in 2020. Boco is a sparkling wine - made using the Charmat method through which the wine undergoes secondary fermentation in sealed tanks rather than in bottles. A new rosé wine will also be available this spring, and an onsite winery is currently under construction. Located near Horsham, Sussex, the House Coren Vineyard was planted four years ago, and Will Coren (left) and Benjamin Coren (pictured with Kirkland marketing manager Tilly Shephard), attended the Kirkland open day to inspect the range of Antonio Carraro tractors. “We had seen Kirkland at various trade shows, and the open day was the ideal opportunity to visit the company’s Kent base, meet the team again, and nd out more,” Will explained.

Gentle harvesting

The BSK Kokan Berry Harvester harvests fragile berries gently but e ciently using air pulses. The air jet action can be accurately tuned to suit the crop and ripeness, and UK users are reporting harvest rates up to 1,000kg per hour, with daily rates equivalent to 200 pickers working a shift. With the Berry Harvester are partner Scott Worsley and sales manager Ben Devine.

The opportunity to pick up parts and equipment at the event, as well as many special offers, meant that the parts counter team was kept busy. Pictured are parts manager, Ben Short (left) with parts assistant Michael Lack.


Top fruit grower

With the Antonio Carraro Mach 4 quad-tracked tractor are Ingrida Muzikeviciene and Ivan Madalin from Kent-based, JL Baxter & Son. The company grows top fruit including apples, pears, cherries and apricots as well as grapes, and an Antonio Carraro tractor is already in use – supplied by Kirkland. “We like and get on well with the tractor. The service from Kirkland is always good, and we come every year to the dealer’s open days,” explained Ingrida.

Clock House team

More new products expected

The Antonio Carraro Mach 4 four-tracked tractor has recently gained a CVT transmission option – allowing the user an in nitely-variable range of working speeds. Designated Mach 4 Tony, two of the CVT models are already working on UK estates, and additional stock arrived during the open day event. “We started importing the brand eight years ago. The tractors are designed speci cally for the fruit and vineyard working environments, and they have almost equal front/rear weight distribution which minimises rutting and ground damage between the plant rows,” explained Kirkland partner Scott Worsley. “They are also designed to work safely on steep slopes which are common in our industry. As well as supplying direct, we also sell machines through sub-dealers elsewhere in the UK, ensuring that local after sales back-up is available.”

The Mach 4 Tony joined the existing range of Tony CVT tractors, and the new conventional style Tony V with CVT was due to arrive this February, he added.

Additional new products expected in the coming months include Terrecon Frost Protection systems of which ve have already been ordered by customers, and a battery powered Corvus utility vehicle.

Pictured with the Tony Mach 4 CVT-equipped tractor are Scott (left) with service manager, Dave Allen.

Bespoke solutions

Despite bitterly cold weather, many visitors spent time outside inspecting the rst Gregoire self-propelled grape harvester to arrive in the UK. Pictured with the machine are members of the Clock House Farm team. Clock House Farm produces top quality berries, soft and top fruit for leading retailers on more than 300ha of land at sites across Kent. (l-r) Alex Akhramieiev, Denys Batsko, Ivan Semikin, Oliver Colyer and Ben Marchant.

Kent fruit producer

Adrian Smith (left) and Harry Prior are pictured with Orizzonti vineyard and orchard machinery displayed at the event. Harry is assistant farm manager for Loddington Farm, based at Linton, near Maidstone, while Adrian looks after logistics and stores.

Loddington Farm grows cherries, apricots, apples, pears and asparagus, and a speciality is its Owlet fruit juice - available in 26 avours, which is made on site and sold through farm shops and selected supermarkets and other outlets in the UK and overseas. Approximately 12 Kirkland Orvin picking platforms are used on the farm which each hold up to three bins of fruit at a time, and an Orizzonti double headed, tractor-mounted strimmer is used to maintain ground vegetation. “The Kirkland team is always easy to deal with, and Ben in the parts department is excellent,” commented Adrian.


manager for Kent-based fruit grower, Hugh Lowe Farms Ltd. Berries including strawberries, raspberries and blackberries are a speciality, and the mixed farming enterprise also includes arable crops and a vineyard. Approximately 200ha of fruit is grown in poly tunnels ensuring availability through most of the year.

Kirkland recently supplied refrigerated pods, into which pallets of fruit are loaded during harvesting. These are used mainly when harvesting under glass, when warm conditions might otherwise cause picked fruit to deteriorate quickly. Fruit is transported in the cool pods back to the yard for processing and packing, ensuring that it remains in the best possible condition. Standard pods are also used when ambient temperatures are cooler.

Other products supplied by Kirkland include Antonio Carraro tractors and Orvin harvesting trailers, as well as Orizzonti horizontal strimmers.

“We are moving towards mechanical weed control at ground level, and Kirkland offers various solutions,” explained Pawel. “The company is local to us; the service is really good and when we have ideas then the team is happy to discuss them and work with us to adapt or build specialist machinery.”

March/April 2023 30 MACHINERY
Kirkland team members are pictured at the end of the busy open day (l-r): Parts manager Ben Short; marketing manager Tilly Shephard; administrator Hollie Kamel; service manager Dave Allen; service engineer Dorian White; parts department Michael Lack; service engineer Chris Richer-Smith (on the tractor bonnet); operations Pete Mattinson; sales manager Ben Devine; service engineer Lauris Circulis and partner Scott Worsley. Devine (left) and Scott Worsley are pictured with customer, Pawel Kielbasa who is crop protection
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Converting surplus waste from an environmental liability into a

valuable resource

As one of the UK’s leading food waste management experts, Verigreen recognises that fruit and vegetable producers are increasingly under pressure to provide quality, competitively priced and attractive products to the market.

Of course, all this has to be done whilst balancing production costs, adhering to the latest UK agriculture legislation, and maintaining sustainable ways of reducing and recycling waste streams.

At Verigreen, we understand the advantages of e cient bulk food waste recycling and the huge bene ts for businesses that this service can deliver for local environment and long-term sustainability.

With an estimated 3.6 million tonnes lost on farms in waste and surplus production every year, Verigreen’s waste management solutions could help save your business money and provide better environmental outcomes for your unavoidable food waste. Verigreen can o er your business the whole package when it comes to surplus food waste management. Whether you need a one-o collection, or full contracted collection services we have the capacity, knowledge and experience to look after all of your production waste.

A national collection network with global impacts

We o er surplus waste collections across the UK; this includes food factories, local authorities, food manufacturers, food processing plants, retailers, wholesalers, farming, and distribution centres. Collections can be organsied either regularly or on an ad hoc basis.

Surplus waste can be accepted either raw or packaged and palletised, as we have sophisticated de-packaging equipment at our facilities. Stateof-the-art route-planning software and a network of AD processing plants throughout the UK allows us to minimise the carbon miles your food waste incurs on its journey to recovery.

How we make the most of your surplus production waste

The surplus waste we collect is processed through our national network of anaerobic digestion (AD) plants. These plants safely capture the methane emitted from surplus waste which creates renewable biogas used to heat and power plants or upgraded into biomethane to fuel vehicles or be fed into the national gas grid.

The plants also produce nutrient-rich organic fertiliser, reducing the need for the chemical fertilisers which have seriously negative impacts on the environment. The biofertiliser provides a

source of organic, renewable fertiliser for farmers and growers.

With food miles taking a more important role in consumers’ purchasing focus, the use of biofertiliser as a sustainable fertiliser is an important part of today’s agricultural practice. This reduces the environmental footprint of food production within the UK and we are keen to work with the whole supply chain to promote the complete cycling of resources to enhance the environmental aspects of the operation for future generations.

Working with sister company FGS Organics we are able to supply farmers with this sustainable PAS 110-accredited biofertiliser, helping them to minimise the reliance of manufactured fertiliser, reduce carbon footprint and maximise yields. FGS Organics complete all aspects of the supply and application of biofertiliser, from compliance through to delivery, storage and application using a range of modern, hi-tech application methods. They have self-propelled or trailed trailing shoe applicators, umbilical trailing hose or trailed shallow disc injectors – all operated by trained, competent operators.


Surplus commercial waste doesn’t have to cost the earth. For a cost-e cient waste management solution which will bene t you and the planet, please get in touch.



Telephone: 0331 630 0727

As a specialist in surplus farm production, organic waste collection and recycling, Verigreen explains the bene ts of e cient bulk food waste recycling

Kent family farm continues to adapt to fresh challengesafter nearly 400 years

The Chambers family has grown mixed fruit in Langley, Maidstone since 1648 and now grows around 30 varieties of strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and cherries – a strategy that has allowed the farm to meet niche consumer needs as well as providing a risk-averse strategy in cropping patterns. Deputy editor Sarah Kidby reports

With a long history of farming in and around south east Maidstone, the Chambers’ farming enterprise has expanded and shrunk and expanded again over the years, but when current managing director Tim Chambers took over from his father in 1989 it was just 40 acres or so.

Tim had planned to work in agricultural futures trading after gaining a degree in biological science and a master’s in farm management, but fate brought him back to the family farm when his father had a heart attack. This was followed by the Stock Exchange crash in 1987 and the IRA bombing of the Baltic Exchange in 1992, which put paid to his city ambitions.

Due to the farm’s small size at the time, they had to specialise in a more pro table sector

and settled on soft fruits – which fortunately coincided with an increase in consumer demand.

Today, the farm spans around 1,300 acres and grows a wide range of soft fruit varieties, all packed on the farm and sold direct to supermarkets.

Some of Chambers’ main varieties include:

• Strawberries: Murano, Favori, Aurora Kareema, Prize

• Raspberries: Malling Bella, Nobility and Majestic, plus Ra ki and Sera na from Holland

• Blackberries: Loch Ness, Karaka, Sweet Royale

• Blueberries: Duke, Bluecrop, Last Call, Top Shelf, Liberty

• Cherries: Kordia, Regina, Penny, Sweet Heart.

March/April 2023 33 GROWER PROFILE
WB Chambers is set to grow 500 tonnes of blueberries per year by 2024. Pictured here is Duke

However, Chambers grows around 30 varieties in total to suit certain niches or customers. Varieties are largely chosen according to customer demand – with shelf life/avoiding waste and good avour being the most sought-after requirements, Tim explained.

As a farm diversi cation, WB Chambers also runs importing and service packing provisions businesses, which allows it to supply fruit to UK customers 52 weeks of the year, working with partner farms in Egypt, Morocco, Peru, Chile, Guatemala, Mexico, Spain, Portugal, and Poland.

A shrinking armoury

A key challenge for the farm has been the loss of many ag-chems from the armoury, resulting in a resurgence of pest problems. Tim explained: “I think some of the fungicides we were using even a few years ago were also acting as insecticides in some ways, so they were masking certain issues. When we lost the fungicide Elvaron we suddenly started getting leaf and bud mite, which hadn’t really been a problem for 20 years.”

For strawberries, the farm’s main fungal challenge is mildew followed by botrytis, while in terms of insects it’s thrips and aphids. For raspberries, the key threats are phytophthora, mildew, aphids, two-spotted spider mite and leaf and bud mite. “The disease issues are just as bad as they were, but [...] we’re losing a lot of active ingredients for controlling these pests and diseases,” he noted.

There has been a big push for using predatory insects to control pest insects, and Chambers’ spend on this method of control has increased dramatically over the past ve years. Whilst they

Polytunnels are used to manage frost risk and provide 3–4oC protection

may be highly e ective in the laboratory, this does not always translate fully to the eld and they are far from a perfect solution – but for some pests they are the only option, Tim said. WB Chambers is trying to encourage predatory insects to stay on the farm and breed its own – but the numbers needed to control two-spotted spider mite or thrips is in the millions. “But if the customers want it, we have to do it,” he added.

Effects of extreme weather

Another challenge is the increasingly unpredictable and extreme weather conditions. Commenting on the impact of last summer’s extremely hot weather on harvest, Tim said: “The year started very well with a nice, benign spring, steady temperatures and no frost – so the crop potential was very good going into early summer. There were plenty of owers, the fruit looked a good size and yields were looking good. For all the early crops that remained true, because we managed to pick them o before the heat really hit us in July/August.

“For the crops that were going through either harvesting or initiating owers later in the autumn, however, it was a di erent story. Plants went into stress mode in the excessive heat, meaning farms will have had to wait for cooler weather for them to kick back into the cycle.

“It really hit late yields of product, which would have been initiating owers through that hot time. It didn’t happen. The plants just didn’t grow, and they didn't perform as normal. So late yields were impacted, and the quality of that late fruit was impacted because for those owers that pushed through in that heat, the pollination wasn’t very good,” Tim continued. “Additionally, although plants drink more in hot weather, it’s ine cient

because you can’t get water on at the same rate as the uptake. It also causes problems with the uptake of minerals, nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium – hampering growth further.”

On a more positive note, there is currently no other country with a cheaper cost base than the UK for strawberry, raspberry, and blackberry production when they’re in season, so there’s no competition from cheap imports – though this will change in the future, Tim said. Blueberries, on the other hand, can be shipped cheaply and easily from all over the world as they grow in much wider climates.

At the other end of the spectrum, polytunnels are used to manage frost risk and provide 3–4ºC protection. Earlier in the year or if the weather is particularly challenging, eece is used inside the tunnels to give another 2–3ºC protection.

Soil health and pollination

For many of its crops, Chambers is moving towards using substrate to give a more reliable crop yield and uniform plant growth/health. Over time soiland water-borne fungi build up in the soil to levels that economically reduce the crop. The main fungal disease phytophthora, for example, can last for 20+ years once it is in the soil. Only around 5% of the raspberry crop is now grown in the soil, and none of the blueberry crop. Cherries, however, are all grown directly in the soil. With soil health being critical in the growing area, organic matter is mulched in with the cherries and blackberries, soil sampling is done annually, and water moisture content is continual throughout the summer.

For pollination, the farm uses their own beehives as well as local beekeepers, and they

also buy bumblebees shipped in from Holland. Bumblebees y at a lower temperature than hive bees, and therefore work better in the ambient temperatures within the polytunnels which are used early in the year to try to push crops early.

Labour is a signi cant challenge

Labour is the farm’s biggest cost and pro tability challenge, accounting for around 60–70% of its total turnover cost – and this gure is only continuing to rise due to increases in the minimum and living wage. Around a third of the farm’s workforce has ‘right to remain’ status, which applies to those workers who could prove they were working in the UK at the time of Brexit and were given leave to remain. The rest of the farm’s pickers are new entrants via the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Scheme (SAWS), which sources workers from 57 countries. Managing several hundred new entrants from around the globe and trying to get them up to picking speed presents a signi cant and frustrating challenge for the farm, Tim said – coupled with the fact that under the scheme, workers can only remain for six months, and cannot return to the UK for another six months from the date of their departure.

All fruit on the farm is hand-picked, requiring around 1,800 pickers. Although there has been much investment in robotics, Tim reckons this is currently years in the future and current purchase costs are very high. Plus each robot would require a member of sta to take away full trays and grade them, meaning robotics do not currently o er a practical solution to the farm’s labour issues, Tim added.

To keep costs down, as much of the farm’s work as possible is done in-house, with

contractors only used in cases where specialist equipment is required. Any machinery that will get a few thousand hours of work a year will be bought new to reduce maintenance bills, with tractors, sprayers, mowers, trailers, pulverisers, forklifts and pallet trolleys being the most heavily used equipment on the farm. More specialised machinery is bought second-hand or the job is contracted out. Like many farms, Chambers has also felt the e ects of long wait times for new machinery, due to ongoing global supply issues since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Looking to the future

Going forward, the farm’s main aims will be to simplify processes to minimise costs and labour, and to invest further in production overseas. For example, growing 15 di erent raspberry varieties, all of which require speci c growing techniques, provides a risk-averse strategy in cropping patterns. Whilst reducing this number would sacri ce some exibility and risk reduction, it will also reduce complexity and cost, Tim explained.

Tim is also chair of the East Malling Rubus Breeding Consortium, which breeds, develops and commercialises raspberries and blackberries for global production. Concluding by commenting on the potential varieties of the future, he highlighted two raspberry varieties that were released by the consortium in 2020, Malling Bella and Malling Charm – which o er consistent avour, good fruit quality and long shelf life. Plus, some numbered selections in the pipeline “look even more promising in yield and quality” and are currently undergoing rigorous trials to test their attributes against pest and disease. Watch this space...

Location: Kent

Farm size: 1,300 acres (approx.)

Soil type: Mid-Kent: clay loam; north Kent: sandy loam

Fruit grown: Strawberries (3,500t), raspberries (3,300t), blackberries (400t), blueberries (150t – set to reach 500t by 2024) and cherries (300t).

March/April 2023 35 GROWER PROFILE
WB Chambers (Tim Chambers pictured) The fruit is all packaged on the farm A third of the farm’s labour has right to remain status, while the remainder is sourced from the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme
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Good advisers offer more than just

crop protection


When considering pest and disease control, it’s important to consider the merits of an active approach to crop protection, rather than blindly following a prescriptive programme. Fruit & Vine spoke with Agrii fruit team manager, Kevin Workman, to nd out more

Britain’s viticulture sector is enjoying something akin to a golden era of growth. Driven by the increasing success of its wines on the world stage, the area of vines under management in England and Wales increased by 70% in the ve years

March/April 2023 37

to 2021, according to the industry trade body, Wines of Great Britain (WineGB). Today, the area is estimated at more than 4,000 hectares making wine grapes the single largest soft fruit by area in Great Britain.

Production may be dominated by the alkaline soils of south and south-east England, but vineyards are being planted as far apart as Gloucestershire and Devon in the west to Essex and Su olk in the east. Growers in Wales too are looking to the future as are some further north in the expectation that a warming climate will bring new opportunities.

Clear variety preference

Across the sector there is a clear preference for varieties suited to sparkling wine with roughly two-thirds of production sold as the zzy stu . For all its lustre, however, the industry is undoubtedly small in its scale. Industry gures suggest that the average vineyard is roughly 4.5ha, with WineGB identifying a lack of training opportunities as one reason holding back expansion.

While the industry will undoubtedly continue to grow over time, the small scale and fragmented nature of the sector serves to hamper its development and the consistency of its output, says Kevin Workman, head of fruit for crop advisers and research specialist Agrii.

Blanket programme without regard

The most evident example of this is the approach to crop protection favoured by some growers, typically the smaller vineyards, who opt for a blanket programme intent on covering all threats without regard for the season. Such behaviour not only compromises performance and has the potential to add costs; it also undermines attempts to improve the sustainability credentials of the industry, he notes.

“A crop protection programme is only a reference. It should be adapted as needed depending on the prevailing conditions of the time of application,” Kevin explains.

Weather determines everything

The weather is the single greatest in uence on performance – it determines everything from yield to grape quality, to bunch weight and berry size.

It is the task of the adviser to understand


As Agrii fruit team manager, Kevin Workman provides management support to the fruit team of 14 individuals, as well as being a jobbing agronomist with a portfolio of customers in Herefordshire, East Anglia and Kent

With over 23 years’ experience as a horticulturalist, Kevin says he has always had an interest in the propagation of plants. This led to a job at a local tree nursery from school, and from there he went on to do an OND at Hadlow College in Kent.

He enjoys the day-to-day variation of his role, and the people – colleagues, customers and partners.

the seasonal in uences and manage the crop accordingly. In some respects, this is made easier by the dominance of three varieties of grape: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Together, these varieties account for 82% of recent plantings.

“One advantage of this is that, as advisers, we get to develop an intimate knowledge of these varieties across a wide geographical range. If we observe the beginnings of a disease or pest threat in one area, we know to be ready for it in another,” comments Kevin.

“Of course, this is not always the case. Most of the seasonal pressures, be they pests or disease, are of local origin, but they can also travel great distances on the wind or be carried by birds and insects.”

Modern production pressures

To the grower, pests and disease are often the most visual threats to performance; but to society they can be dismissed as a minor irritation. For the modern consumer, a clean, healthy crop of vines counts for little if the wine it produces fails to meet their de nition of sustainability.

Following a warts-and-all programme of crop protection activities may serve to remove much of the growing risk, but it is di cult to defend as sustainable practice when others follow an active approach based on real-time assessments.

Sustainable Wines of Great Britain (SWGB), an initiative introduced in 2020 by WineGB, lists reducing the carbon footprint of wines as one its goals. It aims for the wine produced under the scheme to be carbon neutral by 2030. According to WineGB, about 55% of the area down to vines is entered into the scheme with 35 accredited wines approved to carry the SWGB label.

“Being able to demonstrate that the crop protection and nutrition products used are applied based on an assessed need will serve to support claims to be environmentally sustainable,” Kevin says.

Going beyond crop management

The adviser’s role often goes beyond managing the crop during the season. Ensuring that production activities comply with the latest regulations, industry standards or end-market requirements are also central to their role, he explains.

“What you miss most by not engaging an adviser is the ability to adapt with con dence. New products come to the market while others su er stock shortages or can have their market authorisation withdrawn at a moment’s notice.

“The adviser is there to manage these issues while making you aware of better or cheaper alternatives. They will also help you in managing inventory levels. No one wants to be left with stocks of product that is at risk of losing its authorisation or is set to be superseded by something better.”

Rarely a simple task

At the strategic level, vineyard management is rarely a simple task. Objectives may be set at the start of the season, but this is not a manufacturing process. Outcomes are not guaranteed, and plans need to be adaptable.

“Customer relations are often dependant on the individuals involved on a day-to-day basis, but behind the scenes is a depth of knowledge and expertise that is easy to overlook.

“Agrii is the only national adviser to have a dedicated trials and research facility speci cally for viticulture. The learnings identi ed here and at the sister site in Sussex enable us to con dently tackle the problems we see in commercial vineyards. Should the grower want to run their own trial, our team has the experience needed to help them deliver it,” Kevin says.

“As with much in business, performance is often down to the individual while success is dependent on the team. Surrounding yourself with good people is the making of a strong team and there is a place for a good consultant in every team.”

March/April 2023 38 AGRONOMY
According to Kevin Workman, the weather has the single greatest in uence on performance - so advises growers to manage the crop according to the relevant risks, rather than use a blanket approach
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piwis the way forward for British

Are viticulture?

Plantings of piwi varieties that offer fungal resistance are on the rise – with environmental sustainability being a key driver. But are they worth investing in, what kind of wines do they make, and will consumers buy them? British growers shared their views on the pros and cons at the recent Vineyard & Winery Show. Deputy editor Sarah Kidby reports

Viticulture in Europe accounts for 15% of pesticide use, largely fungicides, despite making up only 3.5% of agricultural land. With long growing seasons and high fungal disease pressure in most years, a typical spray programme in England last year might have involved around 14 applications. Breeders of piwis, also known as new or hybrid varieties, recommend just 1-5 sprays depending on the variety, said grower Sam Middleton,

who recently visited growers, breeders and vine nurseries in Switzerland, Germany, Belgium and The Netherlands as part of a Vineworks research project. Some commercial vineyards in Switzerland and The Netherlands had been growing new varieties for over ve years with no fungicide applications at all.

Piwis are the result of cross breeding, with a current focus on developing varieties that

are resistant to fungal disease, particularly botrytis, downy mildew and powdery mildew. Investigations are also underway into early/late ripening, acidity retention and mitigation against spring frosts. Vineworks planted over 46,000 vines of new varieties in England in 2022, bringing the cumulative total planted by Vineworks alone to 127,700 – compared to just 2,000 in 2016 – and it plans to plant a further 80,000 plus vines in 2023. The most popular varieties planted since 2000 in England (by Vineworks) and Wales are: Seyval, Solaris, Caberet Noir and Sauvignac.

Pros and cons

While some say new varieties could o er at least a partial solution to the environmental and nancial cost of fungicide applications, a number of delegates in the audience questioned how the research ndings translate to the UK.

March/April 2023 41
Souvignier gris © Thorbjoern Joerger

Doubts were raised as to whether UK growers will ever be able to do only 1-2 sprays. One researcher in the audience suggested at least four applications would be required due to the UK climate. Additionally, whilst reductions in fungicide costs may be achieved, it’s worth bearing in mind that the cost of initial establishment will be higher, as new varieties tend to cost 30-40% more per vine than traditional varieties, mainly due to the cost of licensing, according to Mr Middleton’s report for Vineworks. Although the varieties do not o er a miracle x, they could o er a way to grow vines in a more sustainable way, one grower said.

On starting his research, Mr Middleton said his main questions were what kind of wines these varieties make, do consumers buy them, and for what price. Having visited a wide range of producers, he saw some wines that convinced him of the value of piwis. In England, the 2022 harvest saw Caberet Noir fetching a similar range of prices per tonne as Vitis vinifera. When it came to selling the wines however, all successful producers had one thing in common – a compelling story about their business which they communicated e ectively with consumers. Mr Middleton summed up: “These are new varieties that do not have the body of winemaking knowledge behind them, which is a challenge. But I think there is huge potential for experimentation and innovation, especially in this country.”

Martin Fowke, head winemaker at Three Choirs Vineyards, questioned how long the fungal resistance qualities o ered by piwis will last before the pathogens evolve – pointing out

that the risks in vineyards don’t stay still, so piwis may not o er a complete answer. “I’m not saying don’t plant them, but don’t go in with your eyes closed,” he said. Whilst piwis could provide a head start on fungal resistance, for those who are not able or willing to plant new varieties, focusing on soil health and balance and keeping existing vines healthy will naturally create more disease resistance, he added.

Gusbourne vineyard manager Jon Pollard, who was also on the panel at the event, currently grows Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Menerie in Kent and Sussex. Although ying the ag for noble varieties, Mr Pollard said he expects the vineyard will at some point in the future “dip a toe in the water” when it comes to planting piwi varieties – describing them as “a really interesting alternative coming into the industry, adding to the palate of English wine”. However, he believes winemaking with new varieties may require di erent ways of thinking to get the best out of them – and more work is needed to nd out their individual attributes.

Speakers were agreed that knowing what you want to achieve and what your target market is before you plant is key for choosing the right variety – rather than planting rst and planning later. Although piwi varieties are achieving success in Europe and the US, Mr Middleton concluded that “it will really require people to dip their toe in by experimenting to see how they perform in this country and what kind of wines you can make. With the challenge of climate change, I think there’s a place for [piwis] alongside the [noble] varieties.”

this variety, but ripening is late, as achieving phenolic ripeness can require longer hang-time. It was given scores of 2 for powdery mildew, downy mildew and botrytis resistance.


Colour: White (sparkling)

Origin: Villaris x MTP 3159-2-12

Voltis was developed to act as a blending partner in Champagne. The aromatic pro le of its base wines tends to be described in relatively neutral terms; emulating Chardonnay, with hints of citrus and green apple, according to avour pro les published in Sam Middleton’s report for Vineworks. It has recently been approved for commercial planting in the Champagne region up to 5% of cultivated land or 10% of the blend over a period of ve years.

Trials have shown strong resistance to powdery mildew with no fungicide application, but some vulnerability to downy mildew. Grape breeders have noted a sensitivity to black rot and therefore recommend two applications against black rot together with fungicides as a precaution. Voltis was only approved for commercial planting in 2022, and therefore currently lacks a track record in commercial vineyards.

Bud burst was approximately ve days after Chardonnay growth at the same site, while the ripening window is similar to Chardonnay but can be later – particularly if bud burst is

considerably later. Cane pruning is recommended as base buds tend to display low fruitfulness. It was given resistance scores of 2 for powdery mildew, downy mildew and botrytis, indicating some vulnerability has been noted and two fungicide applications are strongly recommended or required (once post-bloom, again at pea-size and in years of high disease pressure, potentially pre-bloom).


Colour: Red

Origin: Gamaret x Bronner

Examples of wines range from dark blackcurrant bordering on cassis, with dark cherries, through to lighter raspberry and cranberry, according to Sam’s report for Vineworks. This Swiss-developed variety is thought to be a potential game-changer for English red wine production as it fares well in the UK climate.

It is most vulnerable to powdery mildew, which can occur if the canopy ventilation is poor. Mr Middleton found no examples of how it performs with no fungicide application over more than three years.

Medium to strong growth was reported. Bud burst and owering tend to be early with


Colour: White

Origin: Seyval Blanc x Zähringer

This is a versatile grape which makes light, crisp, citrus-driven wines, with hints of grapefruit and gooseberry, through to more tropical and perfumed o erings, featuring lychee, pineapple and mango, according to Mr Middleton. It can also be used to make sparkling wines and orange (skin-contact) wines.

This variety demonstrated strong resistance in one vineyard over four years, with no fungicide applications – but on another site required two applications to protect against downy mildew.

It has upright vigorous growth with medium to late ripening and resistance allows longer hang times. It scored 2 on downy mildew resistance and 3 for powdery mildew and botrytis, meaning that it displayed strong resistance for at least three years with no fungicide treatment in more than one commercial vineyard. Vine breeders recommend varieties with a score of 3 should be sprayed twice a year as a precaution (at E-L stages 27 and 31).

March/April 2023 42 VARIETY SPOTLIGHT
Vineworks Vine Grower of the Year, Sam Middleton, highlights the following three piwi varieties of interest
Inspecting leaves for disease at Agroscope vineyard in Pully, Switzerland Grapevine pollination All images on this page supplied by Sam Middleton
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Industry-driving research findings revealed at technical webinar

Microclimate management, yield prediction, and pest and disease research were the main focus points of the 2022 NIAB Soft Fruit Day technical webinar. It revealed the latest ndings from a wide range of NIAB projects led by scientists at the forefront of soft fruit research. Staff writer Henrietta Szathmary reports

Running as a virtual event in late 2022, online attendees of NIAB’s annual Soft Fruit Day could join from the comfort of their own home and learn about the latest developments in the soft fruit industry.

Divided into four sessions, the event covered the latest ndings from NIAB’s Water E cient Technologies (WET) Centre projects, updates on the performance of new strawberry and raspberry varieties, advances in crop protection research, and some interesting ndings from three CTP studentship projects.

The event was coordinated by NIAB’s knowledge exchange manager Scott Ra e. There was also an opportunity for the audience to ask questions and engage with speakers via webchat.

Soft fruit research highlights at the WET Centre

The rst session took delegates on a behindthe-scenes tour of the work that goes on at the WET Centre Consortium at NIAB East Malling, starting with tunnel microclimate and rainwater harvesting (RWH) research presented by NIAB operations manager Trevor Wignall.

According to Mr Wignall, work at the WET Centre revolves around the e cient use of resources such as water, nutrients, fertiliser, and labour, with the primary focus being on plant physiology, pest and pathogen ecology, and plant breeding.

The Centre features strawberry and raspberry departments with highly controlled microclimates that are monitored and regulated using a range of sensors. Some units also employ precision irrigation and nutrigation systems that aim to match the plant’s exact needs with supply and ultimately increase yield.

Mr Wignall said precision irrigation provides various bene ts to growers, retailers and consumers, such as consistent yields and quality, improved time management, reduced wastage, and more nutritious, avourful fruit.

Not to mention, it can lead to signi cant cost savings, as indicated by a survey showing the system can produce the same quality fruit with half the amount of water used by traditional systems.

Speaking of RWH research, Mr Wignall revealed the Centre achieved self-su ciency of up to 88% using its RWH system and determined

that a full 400m3 storage tank would be needed to satisfy all water needs year-round.

Another exciting WET Centre project has been the development of BerryPredictor, led by Dr Mark Else, head of crop science and production systems at NIAB East Malling. BerryPredictor is a science-based forecasting tool that aims to tackle the challenges of accurately predicting yield in strawberry crops.

Dr Else explained the tool works by monitoring and optimising zonal phytoclimates in strawberry polytunnels. He then gave a list of some of the factors that must be accounted for when determining cropping potential, such as:

• Air temperature

• Relative humidity

• Inter- and intra-seasonal weather variations

• Polytunnel design

• Coir water and nutrient availability

• Pollination

• Film properties and age

• Plant quality

• Truss kinking

• Pest and disease outbreaks

• Zonal phytoclimates in the polytunnel.

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So far, the tool has provided variety-speci c forecasts and predicted times to harvest within one day for many varieties. Following further testing and development, Dr Else and his team are aiming to launch the product on the market by 2024.

The rst session of the webinar closed with an update on recycled coir media in soft fruit.

Dr Matevz Papp-Rupar, plant pathologist and project leader at NIAB, investigated the risks and challenges of recycling coir in soft fruit production.

From comparing di erent coir types, he concluded that using recycled coir causes minimal reduction in yield and could o er substantial cost savings to growers, although the process of coir recycling needs improvement.

Progress towards improved crop protection

Session two of the event unveiled new advances in pest and disease research within the soft fruit industry and delved into how Growing Kent & Medway (GKM) can help food and drink businesses become more sustainable.

Firstly, delegates had the pleasure of listening to PhD student Eithne Browne’s talk presenting her research on Phytophthora root rot in raspberry. Sparing no detail, Ms Browne explored the various pathogen species that are present in plants exhibiting signs of the disease.

In her concluding remarks, Ms Brown established there is more to raspberry root rot than , which is commonly believed to be the primary causative agent of the disease.

Meanwhile, the research project of Dr Andrew Gladman, plant scientist and entomologist at ADAS, challenged the common grower practice of monitoring thrips with below tabletop sticky traps in soft fruit.

Dr Gladman explained that western ower thrips (WFT) have been the primary thrip species a ecting strawberry crops, but some UK native species (e.g. rubus thrips, rose thrips, onion thrips) are also problematic.

Since trapping is a key element of a good integrated pest management (IPM) system, his research explored whether the di erent placement of traps and the use of lures can improve the e ciency and sensitivity of traps and thus pest control in polytunnels.

Comparing the performance of above and below tabletop sticky traps produced very stark results, Dr Gladman said, with above tabletop traps capturing over eight times more total thrips and a higher number of pest species.

Moreover, adding lures signi cantly increased thrips catch on above tabletop traps and could be a worthwhile investment for growers depending on the site’s pest history, Dr Gladman concluded.

Alongside thrips, aphids are another major pest problem in the soft fruit industry. Celine Silva, entomological assistant at NIAB, is currently looking at ways to improve the e ciency of biocontrol parasitoids for better aphid control.

In a trial involving sites in Kent and Scotland, Ms Silva and her team monitored the impact of commercially reared parasitoids on aphid populations. While preliminary results show no signi cant decline in aphid numbers, a closer look at the correlations between aphid and parasitoid species will provide further insights.

Paving the way in spotted wing drosophila control

Considerable research has been dedicated at NIAB to the control of spotted wing drosophila (SWD), one of the most economically damaging pests in soft fruit.

According to webinar speaker Clare Sampson, technical director at Russel IMP, SWD management can cost growers in excess of £300 per ha and still relies on pesticide applications that may impact predator establishment. Improved control methods are therefore required that are more cost-e ective and kinder to bene cial insects.

With that in mind, Ms Sampson introduced ProBandz, a new food bait adjuvant that has recently been validated to be as e ective in reducing SWD numbers as full foliar sprays. This has been achieved using an insecticide rate of only 4% in the spray tank, which equates to as much as 60% reduction in cost to growers.

Delegates gained further insight into the bene ts of bait sprays from Dr Bethan Shaw, research leader in entomology at NIAB, whose presentation looked at the impact of SWD bait sprays on non-target insects. Of the two research projects conducted on the subject, neither has found an increase in mortality rates in bene cial species following application.

Another e ective and nature-friendly method for controlling SWD populations is the sterile insect technique (SIT), which involves producing sterile males of the target pest to be released into the eld and mate with females, resulting in no o spring.

Glen Slade, founder and CEO of BigSis, has been working on making the technique commercially available to achieve season-long control of target pest species on a farm scale.

Mr Slade went on to highlight the substantial cost-saving opportunity in using SIT, which beats chemicals in e ciency and duration and is fully sustainable. Other than being non-toxic and nonGMO, SIT provides a species-speci c solution with

no impact on bene cial insects.

So far, BigSis has been able to demonstrate suppression of SWD at each site where sterile insects were released. The company is currently in the process of scaling up its automated rearing units to be able to o er season-long SWD control as a service in 2023.

Next up, Dr Trisna Tungadi, lecturer in plant health at Keele university, shared her research on oviposition deterrents which could form another piece of the puzzle in the ght against SWD.

Ms Tungadi and her team observed that SWD laid fewer eggs on agar media that was pre-exposed to the common fruit y (Drosophila melanogaster), but the compounds responsible for this e ect are yet to be identi ed.

Last but not least, Adam Whitehouse, project leader in strawberry breeding at NIAB, spoke of the progress achieved in research towards developing SWD-resistant strawberry and raspberry varieties. He said the results so far are really encouraging and will hopefully add to the armoury of SWD control methods available to growers.

Crop manipulation and Malling varieties update

The nal session of the webinar featured PhD student Winnie Swann’s research on optimising light recipes for strawberry crops. Amongst others, she identi ed that additional light has a dramatic e ect on yield and canopy size and causes earlier owering, but no e ect has been observed on ripening times.

Delivering the update on new Malling Fruits varieties, Alin Borleanu, technical o cer at NIAB, discussed aspects such as resistance, picking speed, yield, and performance on light and heavy mini trays for several June and everbearing varieties.

All presentations from the NIAB Soft Fruit Day technical webinar can be viewed at: www.niab. com/niab-soft-fruit-technical-webinar-30-nov-22

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A impressive century of breeding

NIAB’s Scott Raffle and Feli Fernández outline how the history of East Malling has shaped the raspberry breeding that continues at the site today

The growth of fruit production in Kent and the South East led to the founding of East Malling Research Station in 1913; an establishment which developed into the world-renowned centre of excellence that we know today under the NIAB name.

Much of NIAB’s success at East Malling has been built on the employment of enthusiastic scientists from a wide range of disciplines who have become experts in their eld. Together, they have engaged directly with fruit growers to develop solutions to their problems and help to increase yields and fruit quality, allowing local growers to remain pro table and compete on the world stage. NIAB’s famous series of apple rootstocks at East Malling, its pioneering work on apple storage technology and development of modern high-yielding strawberry varieties, has been achieved by multidisciplinary teams collaborating closely with the industry.

Although nowadays it has a slightly lower pro le than its modern strawberry counterpart, raspberry breeding began at East Malling over 100 years ago and has released 32 varieties to UK and overseas growers, as well as the

amateur market. The e orts of the rst 20 years of the programme led to the release of multiple virus tolerant varieties including Malling Jewel, Malling Promise and Malling Exploit in the 1940s.

Desirable traits

During the 1950s and 1960s, the principal objective was to introduce desirable traits from closely related Rubus species. Expertly championed by the late Dr Elizabeth Keep, this approach bene ted the East Malling programme along with other private and international public programmes, through Dr Keep’s generous exchange of germplasm and expertise. Released in the 1970s, Malling Admiral, Malling Delight and Malling Leo, all pest and disease resistant varieties with improved cane and fruit characters, were the key results of that strategy. Indeed, Leo set a new standard for (sweet) avour and signi cantly extended the summer fruiting season.

The release of Autumn Bliss in 1984 was a major breakthrough for the programme and the UK industry. As the rst primocane raspberry to be bred for UK conditions, it allowed growers to extend their production season from the summer fruiting cultivars through August, September and into October. An added bonus was its exceptionally early-ripening character, which is notoriously di cult to breed for in raspberry.

In the post-war years, the programme was funded primarily by government and from the late 1980s until 2009, was part-funded by the Horticultural Development Council and a small industry consortium, and led by Vicky Knight. A notable release during that period was the widely grown variety Octavia; a very late season summer-fruiting raspberry that extended oricane

cropping into late July and August, bridging a gap in the English production season between the summer-fruiting and autumn primocane varieties that had previously been di cult to ll.

Private funding

Since 2009, the programme has been funded by private companies, many of whom have rst refusal on selections and named varieties that are released to the industry. Since 2012, Lubera Edibles has been our partner for the amateur market and with them we have bred varieties such as the purple-fruited Malling Passion. In 2015, the East Malling Rubus Breeding Consortium was set up to capitalise globally on NIAB’s long-term raspberry breeding on the site as well as work funded by East Malling Research and Lubera. The consortium is led by NIAB fruit breeder Feli Fernández and currently funded by Onubafruit (based in Huelva, Spain); Chambers, Berry Gardens Growers, Blaise Plants and NIAB (all UK-based), Lubera and Tobi (CH), Perfection Fresh (Australia) and The Greenery (NL).

The programme’s e orts are split between raspberry (65–70%) and blackberry (30–35%), although blackberry breeding, initiated only in 2018, is still in its infancy at East Malling. Key breeding objectives for raspberry include high fruit quality and shelf-life, high yield and fruit size, simple cane architecture with ease of picking, pest and disease resistance and environmental adaptation. A quarter of the programme is dedicated to oricane and primocane fruiting cultivars each and the remaining half to double cropping cultivars, including purple hybrids.

The most recent and successful primocane cultivars to be released include Malling Charm and Malling Bella.


An early primocane-fruiting variety, but suited to cool climates and is not suitable for double cropping.

The berries are attractive, bright and pale red in colour, with excellent sweet, juicy avour. Berries are large with average weight of 6.7g. Growth habit is upright with well displayed fruit, allowing fast picking. No disease resistance has been tested to date, but no problems have been reported from trial sites so far.


A mid-season primocane variety, which is well adapted to UK and southern European conditions. It is suited for double cropping and long-cane production. Berries are attractive, mid-red in colour with excellent avour and shelf-life. Mean berry weight is 7g and the fruit maintains good size throughout the season. Growth habit is upright, with well displayed fruits, allowing for rapid picking. Like Malling Charm, no problems with disease have been identi ed so far.

Malling Bella is proving very popular with Spanish growers and is also being grown in the UK by WB Chambers, a member of the funding consortium. It is increasingly being employed for long-cane production.

March/April 2023 49 VARIETY SPOTLIGHT
NIAB’s Feli Fernández and Scott Ra e

New apple variety

threatens to dethrone Granny Smith

Valérie Fouillet, manager of breeding and selection at IFO, said: “The variety was found among a few hybrids after four years of observation, and as the selection process progressed, Canopy proved to be a better alternative to Granny, especially for its good agronomic behaviour and eating qualities.

“Its potential was then con rmed through the numerous trials planted in Europe,” she added.

Canopy trees are also easier to manage in the orchard than Granny Smith, especially in two-dimensional fruit wall establishments. Moreover, the variety has shown good yield potential, with a faster fruit set than Granny and similar blossom and picking dates.

Other than its resistance to scab, Canopy’s susceptibility to pink blush is equivalent or even lower than Granny Smith under the conditions of the French Loire Valley where the variety was bred.

Canopy is also the ideal solution for pollinating apple orchards and can replace Malus as well as Granny Smith, with the exception of some varieties such as Cripps Pink and its mutants, the company said.

Canopy is a juicy and crisp apple variety with a complex avour pro le that not only rivals Granny Smith, but its resistance to scab makes it a better alternative for growers, the variety’s breeder Dalival has claimed

Canopy was developed in France as part of the IFO breeding programme, with the purpose of nding green varieties that carry the scab-tolerant Rvi6 (Vf) gene. It has similar

acidity levels to the iconic Granny Smith, but with higher sugar content and overall better avours that may even make Granny appear too bland.

UK breeders sceptical over controversial

white strawberries

The recent launch of White Pearl strawberries that ‘taste like pineapple and vanilla’ in M&S Foodhalls was met with scepticism by UK breeders and controversy among the public

The peculiar strawberry variety arrived in Marks & Spencer stores on 17th January, with the retailer claiming to be the rst on the UK high street to launch the fruit.

The strawberries are white on the inside and outside with red seeds and have been described as “sweet like a red strawberry, with an aroma of pineapple and notes of vanilla” by the retailer.

While the retailer is expecting a high demand for the novelty fruit, the launch has sparked some controversy among the public. Some shoppers nd the colour of the berries o -putting, while others have called the origins and credibility of the variety into question on social media.

Aiming to put consumers’ minds at ease, M&S explained the White Pearl was naturally developed in Japan by crossing Japanese white strawberries with traditional red varieties to create the right size and quality.

Meanwhile, UK strawberry breeders are sceptical over the viability of white strawberries in the wider soft fruit market. Grower Nick Darby from Beeren Plantproducts believes the White Pearl will be of little interest to British growers as

it’s an imported variety that would be di cult to produce commercially in the UK climate.

“I have no doubt there’s a niche market for them and there are M&S shoppers who will be prepared to pay a premium to have something di erent,” he told Fruit & Vine

Currently retailing at £4 a punnet, the new Collection White Pearl strawberries command a higher price than their conventional reverse counterparts.

Jean-Sébastien Berger, sales manager at Dalival, commented: “To date, there are few green, disease-resistant varieties on the market. Canopy will therefore be able to meet a real demand from growers and consumers. For this reason, we have decided to make this variety available to as many fruit growers as possible in a very wide area.”

“As a premium-priced product, they are not going to replace traditional strawberry sales and I doubt that there’s a place for them on the shelves of the main grocery supermarkets,” Mr Darby remarked.

“White strawberries are nothing new but have never been of much commercial interest. If anyone wants to grow some at home, then there’s a variety called Snow White (bred in Germany) that will happily produce fruit in the UK and is available from a number of sources.

“However, it can be a little soft so is unlikely be suitable for the UK supermarket trade – more PYO and farm shop.”

Adam Whitehouse, project leader in strawberry breeding at NIAB, con rmed white strawberries have little history in British soft fruit breeding to date.

“We did develop some white strawberries several years ago, one of which found a market in the amateur gardening sector. We are of course interested to see how this product develops and how customers react.”

March/April 2023 50 FRUIT NEWS


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Electric secateurs help reduce the risk of

grapevine trunk disease

Having always used a pair of manual Felco pruning secateurs in the past, Annie’s son Sam Lindo recently decided to treat her to a set of batterypowered FelcoTronic 801s, which were supplied by viticultural machinery specialist, NP Seymour, in time for Christmas 2022.

“Mum has only just changed to the electric secateurs because now she is in her 70s she is just starting to lose the grip in her hands,” explains Sam Lindo, second-generation winemaker at Camel Valley.

“The rest of the pruning team moved across from manual shears a long time ago because otherwise your hands struggle to recover from one day’s pruning to the next.”

Keep pruning all day

Pruning with electric secateurs might not be hugely quicker when comparing the cutting time per vine, but it does mean that the team of three pruners, who cover approximately 7ha of vines at Camel Valley, can keep going all day.

“Previously, before we had concerns about grapevine trunk disease, we paid little attention to the weather, and it would not be uncommon for our team to do lots of half-day sessions even if it was raining,” says Sam.

“Now, however, it is important to make use of the better weather to reduce the chance of disease. This means longer sessions if we know the weather is going to change. And it is much

more realistic to expect people to spend a full day pruning with the electric secateurs over the manual ones.”

The team at Camel Valley is currently operating Felco’s latest 812 PowerBlade XPRO.

This new generation of professional electric pruning shears is made up of three di erent models including the 802, capable of cutting up to 30mm, the 812 for pruning up to 35mm and the heavy-duty 822, designed for making large, powerful cuts of up to 45mm.

Made from special high-speed steel, the XPRO blades have been put through an additional hardening process to provide cleaner cuts and a longer blade life compared to conventional steel.

Lighter, more compact Power Pack

All models come with a fully adjustable Power Pack which is two times lighter and more compact than Felco’s older version.

“The main di erence for me is the backpack,” comments Sam. “I know some people don’t mind, but I certainly prefer the smaller, more compact version on the 812.”

The Felco Power Blades have also been tted with Bluetooth connectivity, enabling the shears to talk to the operator’s smartphone or tablet.

While Sam doesn’t personally use the new app, explaining that he is able to keep a mental note of how much pruning has been done and that he didn’t want another reason to be on his phone,

it does o er the ability to keep a precise count of how many cuts the shears have done, when the next service is due, battery life, and cut size statistics.

When it comes to moving from manual to electric secateurs, Sam’s advice to others would be to still carry a manual set with you in your pocket for making cuts close to the wires.

Faith in dealer relationship

“We’d been working with NP Seymour as a supplier for many years, so when it came to choosing an electric secateur brand it made sense to go with Felco because they’re a stockist,” Sam comments further.

“Also, it is much easier to be able to phone the same people, and I don’t have to worry about warranty, parts or service, as NP Seymour looks after all of that. Being on the other side of the country really doesn’t make a di erence, and popping something in the post is probably more economical than if we were 10 or 15 miles away and could feasibly drive to the dealership.”

For more information on the Felco PowerBlade range of electric secateurs, as well as the other Felco tools NP Seymour o ers, contact the dealer directly.

March/April 2023 52 TECHNICAL NEWS
There are very few vineyards in the world that have only ever been pruned by just one person, but Annie Lindo has been proudly pruning her own 5,000 vines in Annie's Vineyard on the Camel Valley estate in Cornwall since 1989
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An industry on the rise:

Nut production in the UK

practical advice to

interested in

into nut growing on their farm. Henrietta Szathmary reports

The up-and-coming nut sector represents a major opportunity for UK farmers to create an additional income stream, but also poses some challenges, according to writer and journalist Kate Hues, who opened the session at the Oxford Real Farming Conference in early January.

Raising nut trees in a silvopasture system

A newcomer to the industry, Guy Singh-Watson, founder of Riverford Organic Farmers shared his experiences diversifying into nut growing on his organic vegetable farm in south Devon.

The initial plantation consisted of 1,500 hazel and 400 walnut trees, which were established on a 30% slope. However, Guy wouldn’t recommend planting trees on a slope steeper than 25% due to the di culties in mechanising the process.

Once the trees were in the ground, he mulched the top with compost from his vegetable enterprise, which resulted in very good weed suppression in the rst year, Guy said. He

suggested using woodchip as mulch if possible, saying it’s the best material to use with nut trees.

The walnut and chestnut trees on Riverford Farm have been raised as part of a silvopasture system, integrating cattle that graze the grass crop underneath the trees. The system allows the trees to be spaced much wider than in more intensive systems, which bene ts long-term tree health and productivity, Guy explained.

To protect the young trees and support establishment, spiral guards and electric fencing

are used, so the animals can graze right into the base of the trees. Of the 400 walnuts originally planted, 398 are still alive today, which shows the system is working really well, he said.

Nut growing at Kent’s historic Roughway Farm

Tom Cannon provided delegates with an insight into managing a National Collection of nut trees spanning 50 di erent varieties on his family farm in Kent.

Tom explained there is a long history of cobnut production in Kent, which is a cultivated variety of hazelnut. Over time, the ‘Kentish cobnut’ even became a variety in its own right. Some of the ‘plats’ (short for cobnut plantation) in the area are over a hundred years old and are considered part of the region’s rural mosaic.

The Kentish Cobnut Association, of which Tom is treasurer, is the leading organisational body for the UK hazelnut industry. Membership is priced at £15/year and grants growers access to meetings, events, workshops, as well as a wealth of resources.

At Roughway Farm (, the Cannons grow three main cobnut varieties: Gunslebert, Ennis and Kent. Other varieties grown at the farm include Butler, Cannon Ball, Cosford, White Filbert, Red Filbert, and also various French

March/April 2023 54
At ORFC 2023, three accomplished nut growers shared their experiences and views on the future of UK nut production, offering
There is a long history of cobnut production in Kent
Tom Cannon Roughway Farm

and German varieties.

Tom explained the trees are quite tightly spaced at around 2.5–3m, but are kept small with regular pruning. By keeping the trees under 6ft tall, harvesters can pick fruit without using ladders.

The majority of cobnuts planted in the last 50 years are all single stem at Roughway Farm, with multi-stem plots boasting a ripe age of 100–150 years. There are also cobnuts found in between plum trees lately, so they can bene t from the existing irrigation system in the summer.

Guards are placed on young trees for the rst few years and removed once they are well established in year ve. According to Tom, insects are a real issue with hazel establishment, and some species like the stink bug can also impact yield.

While there are no major disease challenges a ecting hazelnut growing at present, he noted powdery mildew is moving across Europe and may soon a ect British growers. For those wanting to learn more about pests and diseases in hazelnuts, he recommended the Oregon State University’s link ( has a wealth of information.

Harvest is all manual and therefore quite labour-intensive at Roughway Farm. However, the business bene ts from being a mixed crop farm with sta already available picking berries, cherries, apples and plums throughout the season.

Starting in late August, the nuts are picked and put straight into cold storage to preserve their high moisture content. Most of the produce is intended for fresh eating and are packaged green to go on the shelves of Waitrose and Morrisons.

Planning ahead is key for a successful nut enterprise

Lastly, walnut and sheep farmer Tom Tame from south Warwickshire shared his expertise and highlighted practical considerations for aspiring walnut growers.

Tom Tame’s main orchard consists of 440 nut trees, including over 20 pecans and hickories, spaced at 10–12m. The walnuts are grown in a silvopasture system with sheep grazing the understorey, hence the farm gains ‘two crops for the price of one’.

The majority of harvested nuts are sold as dry walnuts, Tom explained, and some are pressed for oil. Generally, a walnut is 32–38mm diameter and contains up to 80% oil. After pressing, around 55% of oil is recovered, meaning one kilogram of kernel will produce about half a litre of oil, he said.

Approximately 60 di erent varieties of walnut are grown in the orchard, most of which were acquired commercially, and some are being trialled. Young trees are tted with a mesh to provide protection from livestock until they reach a height of at least 2.5m.

The trees are also staked as walnut grows very fast – up to 1.5m/year, Tom continued, which can endanger the young tree in strong winds. The guards come o the trees at eight years old, after which the bark is protected with a plastic mesh.

Tom warned that planting seedlings will never produce a viable crop, and grafted cultivars are needed for commercial production. He advised growers to think carefully about cultivar choice and consider:

• Spacing

• Local microclimate

• Bud break times

• Flowering times – pollination

• End product – whole nut or shelled/oil.

Regarding irrigation, he uses a low-pressure pipe from a cattle trough to supply trees with additional water for good establishment, longterm health and productivity.

“For us, it’s the only way. If we didn’t do it, we would end up with half an orchard that wasn’t productive,” Tom said, adding that trees that are not well established in the rst ve years are never going to produce good crop.

While the majority of nuts will fall when they are ready for harvest in the UK climate, the trees still need shaking to complete the process, Tom explained. Harvesting is done mechanically at the farm using an Italian chestnut/walnut harvester, which can pick up 2–3 tonnes of nuts a day.

Due to their high oil content, walnuts can spoil quickly if left on the wet ground and should be harvested within 24–36 hours of falling.

Unwashed nuts can’t be cracked for their kernels as there is a risk of contamination, he added. Once clean, the nuts go on to be dried before being placed into storage as whole nuts or proceeding to the cracking and shelling line.

“We generally crack and shell to press from nuts; we do sell some kernel but it’s too labour intensive and adds cost in. Walnut oil is the only real reason we crack,” Tom explained.

He said walnut trees can crop 20–40kg each at 15 years of age in the right climate, provided they’re irrigated and given a good start. The farm sells around two tonnes of fresh walnut at £10/ kg each year in passing trade, and could sell a lot more with just a bit of advertising due to the large market, Tom added.

He believes the warmer climate is going to boost nut production in the UK, although trees will require more irrigation going forward.

Overall, with Britain slowly moving into the commercial walnut growing zone, he says UK growers will soon be able to capitalise on heavier cropping.

However, to take a walnut enterprise to success, Tom Tame said growers must plan ahead and think about their end product, whether they want to harvest mechanically or manually, and if they want to press for oil.

Once the cobnuts are ready, the pickers (locally known as nutters) move through the rows and pick the nuts which are then loaded into trays

Roughway Farm's team collect the cobnut trays on an original British-made Massey Ferguson –ideal for tting between the narrow rowset

young walnut tree tted with mesh to protect it from grazing livestock. For more information visit


winery? of a Dreaming

Earning the enviable position as the fastest growing sector of agriculture, UK wine continues to see phenomenal growth, with millions of vines being planted each year, and a sparkling optimism within the industry. Once their vineyards are established, many growers begin dreaming of a winery –keen to see the fruits of their labours made into outstanding wines. However, visitors to wine regions around the world will have seen that, as well as being high tech food standard production facilities, wineries also need to re ect the wine brand – whether that is quirky or swanky, or upmarket and chic, as well as the business ethos.

Winery scoping and design

Wineries are facilities that are designed to produce top quality wines e ciently and cost-e ectively. The winery design process starts with an in-depth scoping exercise with a team of professionals –including architects and winemakers, as well as experts in nance, regulations and planning.

The scoping exercise calculates the building, operational and storage space needed, based on the wine style and volumes to be produced – which then dictates the equipment, machinery, fermentation and storage tank speci cations and capacity.

As well as production facilities, wineries are also potentially visitor ‘destinations’, which give the business opportunities for additional income and pro t margins, with cellar door shops and tasting rooms, cafés and restaurants, or even holiday accommodation and these facilities need to meet requirements and the brand aspirations. The scoping will also consider expansion plans

and future developments.

The team then work with planning expertise, to develop the concept into the pre-planning design phase, taking into consideration the following requirements:

• Town planning and planning policy

• Environmental sensitivities such as site ecology and archaeology

• Connections to utilities and proximity of supplies

• Floor speci cation and drainage

• Wastewater treatment

• Energy e ciencies and renewables

• Regulations, bond and licensing requirements

• Key bodies such as The Environment Agency or Natural England

• Site topography, orientation and landscape impact.

Winery equipment

When planning permission has been obtained and the build is underway, it’s time to go shopping! However, the array of winery equipment is mindboggling and the guidance of an experienced winemaker is essential. The starting point is deciding

on the style of wine to be produced, as di erent equipment is required for still red or white wines, traditional method sparkling, charmat or frizzante so there are many options, either for specialist or exible kit. It’s important to remember that most winery equipment is not ‘o the shelf’, and the lead times for delivery can be long.

Grape receival

When grapes arrive at the winery, they have the option to meet the triage table, grape elevator, destemmer, crusher, and press. The destemmer is used for still wines and separates the grape berries from the stems. The triage table is a vibrating sorting table to allow unwanted berries, leaves and other matter to be removed. The crusher is also used for still wines and is formed of two rollers that can be adjusted to lightly split the skins and open the berries before loading into the press or fermentation vessels. Grapes destined for traditional method sparkling wine are not destemmed or crushed, but are loaded into the press as whole bunches. However, grapes for charmat method sparkling wine can be destemmed and crushed.

Wine presses

The press is a piece of equipment with a signi cant price tag. It extracts juice from the

Image courtesy of Vinescapes Ltd

March/April 2023 57
Wineries are more than just barns in which to make wine. Emma Rice, consultant winemaker with Vinescapes, looks at the many options, considerations and pitfalls to be aware of when setting up a winery
Woodchester Valley winery Image courtesy of BevTech Ltd

grapes, but there are many types with di erent modus operandi – depending on the style of wine. Simply put, still wines are made from crushed fruit and sparkling from whole bunches (although some high quality still white wines are pressed directly from whole bunches), so a winery that is making both will need to have a press that has the capacity for the whole bunch proportion of the harvest. The pressing cycle for whole bunch fruit is about twice as long as that for crushed fruit, so operational capacity will need to be considered. Some wines may need inert presses, or closed tank presses. Also, specialist sparkling wine brands of press, such as a Coquards, are not suitable for still wine. A professional winemaker will be able to advise on the most suitable style and size of press for the winery and styles of wines.


The tank capacity of a winery has to allow for fermentation, storage, movement and blending. Tanks for white wines have di erent speci cations to red wine tanks. Charmat method sparkling wine requires specialist pressure tanks. White wine tanks, for still or sparkling base wines, need to have cooling and temperature control capabilities, for which there are several options. All tanks require the correct ttings and valves, site glasses, temperature and other control units to make work ow, use of hoses and pumps in the winery as e cient as possible.

White wine

If the grapes are destined for white or rosé wine, they can be destemmed and crushed before being loaded into the press; although whole bunches can be used for some styles. The press extracts the juice from the skins and seeds which is pumped into a tank for settling. The clearer juice is then racked from its solids into another tank for any winemaking adjustments or additions, before inoculation with yeast and temperature controlled alcoholic fermentation.

Sparkling wine

Grapes for traditional method sparkling wine are loaded as whole bunches into a specialist press which is able to separate the juice into di erent fractions – as this impacts the nal quality of the sparkling wine. The juice is settled and pumped into a tank for its primary alcoholic fermentation – to produce the base wine. Rosé sparkling can be made by either blending with red wine before the secondary fermentation or by allowing red grapes to have some skin contact to produce a pink tinted juice. The secondary fermentation takes place in bottle and requires a process known as tirage, to add yeast and sugar to the base wine, before bottling into the ‘champagne’ style bottles.

Charmat does not require whole bunch pressing so can essentially be made like a white wine to produce a base wine. The secondary fermentation takes place in specialist pressure tanks.

One of the major challenges in winery design is allocating enough space for temperaturecontrolled storage for sparkling wine – particularly traditional method, which can spend between one and 10 years, or more, on its yeast lees in bottle after secondary fermentation – and then further storage under cork before sale. This area can be considerable!

Red wine

Red grapes are fermented in their skins to extract colour, tannins and avour compounds, so they are usually destemmed and crushed, and then the ‘must’ is pumped into a tank for alcoholic fermentation. The pressing of reds takes place after this fermentation, to separate the wine from the skins and seeds.


Red, white and sparkling base wines, depending on their desired styles, may have some time in oak. Oak barrels, depending on age and origin, impart di erent characters and avours to the wine. If wines are to be oak aged, then barrel storage, handling and racking systems need to be planned for the winery. Storage also needs to be allocated to dry goods – such as bottles, closures and other packaging items, as well as wine ready for dispatch.

Winemaking equipment

After the grapes are processed and the wine in tank, there are several further stages in the winemaking process that requires specialist equipment. The wine needs to be cold stabilised, maybe ltered, ned and clari ed, bottled, labelled and packed. Traditional method sparkling needs to be riddled (to settle the yeast) using riddling cages, and disgorged (to remove the yeast).

Labs and analysis

To ensure quality at each stage the grapes and wine need to be monitored and analysed, including sugars and acids, alcoholic and malolactic fermentations, SO2, nal alcohol levels and more. The winery can include a fully equipped laboratory to provide speedy results, or samples can be sent away to an external laboratory.

Contract winemaking

A winery requires signi cant investment and for some producers a contract winery can be an attractive alternative, and the UK now has wellestablished contract winemaking services.

Aside from straight nancial comparison between own production and contract winemaking one consideration is the skill level of sta . A smaller winery may not be able to a ord a winemaker and cellar team with the same experience as a large contract winery.

Charmat method sparkling wine production requires investment in high tech pressure tanks and counter-pressure bottling equipment, so a specialist contract winery is an option for this style of second fermentation.

Mobile services

It’s very exciting to set up a winery and get involved with every operation – but it can get very dull standing on a slow-operating bottling line all day! Sometimes it’s better to contract out some of the tasks – and have more time for selling the wine. These specialist mobile services will likely have better quality, faster-operating machinery, and equipment that a winery would nd hard to justify – and the bene t of skilled operators.

Mobile services are a common feature in most wine regions around the world, and now the UK, as they make good business sense – it’s usually better to use a contract service rather than invest in high-cost capital equipment that is only used a few times a year. Contract services include mobile bottling, labelling, ltration, cold stabilisation and disgorging.

Professional winery design

Good design does not have to be expensive. A company such as Vinescapes can provide a full service for setting up a winery. It works with partner architects, and a team of engineers, planning consultants, contractors and project managers dedicated to delivering end-to-end winery scoping, design, planning and construction services – producing functional designs which retain the visual drama and excitement clients and their customers require. Visit for more information.


Emma Rice graduated with a BSc in Viticulture & Oenology, from Plumpton College, East Sussex in 2006. She is now one the UK’s most respected winemakers, with over 21 vintages in the UK, California, Tasmania, and New Zealand. Emma has an impressive list of prestigious national and international awards for her still and sparkling wines and is considered instrumental in raising the standard and reputation of English sparkling wine over the past 15 years. As Vinescapes’ consultant winemaker, Emma works with clients at various stages of their winemaking journey, including winery design, wine style, equipment sourcing and wine quality assessment.

March/April 2023 58 TECHNICAL ADVICE
Portrait credit: Felicity Crawshaw Wine press Image courtesy of BevTech Ltd


• SITE SELECTION & SITE ASSESSMENT: Correct choice of site is vital in the UK’s northerly winegrowing climate.

• VINEYARD DESIGN: Design of your trellis system and density of plantation is offered as a standard part of our service.

• PRE-PLANTATION ADVICE: All advice and organisation of soil & site preparation works.

• GRAPEVINE SUPPLY: All vines sourced through one partner nursery, proven vine establishment over many years.

• VARIETIES, CLONES, ROOTSTOCKS: All combinations created to suit your vineyard site and target wine styles.

• PLANTING: Planted by GPS guided machine, accurate to within 8mm.

• TRELLIS MATERIALS: We supply everything, sourced direct from the factory to ensure lowest possible prices!



59 March/April 2023 CONTACT OR EMAIL • SITE SELECTION & SITE ASSESSMENT: in the UK’s northerly winegrowing climate. VINEYARD DESIGN: plantation is offered as a standard part of our service. • PRE-PLANTATION ADVICE: preparation works. GRAPEVINE SUPPLY: Proven vine establishment over many years. • VARIETIES, CLONES, ROOTSTOCKS: your vineyard site and target wine styles. PLANTING: Planted by GPS guided machine, accurate to within 8mm. TRELLIS MATERIALS: factory to ensure lowest possible prices!
ON 07972 668370 OR
VINES DIRECT LTD IN EAST ANGLIA & SOUTH EAST ENGLAND EST. 2006 *Premiums subject to insurance premium tax and an administration fee AIM Risk Services Ltd. is an Appointed Representative of James Hallam Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. FRN 134435. • Estates, farms, small holdings, businesses • Off road as well as on road use • Any authorized driver • £100 accidental damage & theft excess • No fee for mid-term policy changes • No security warranties • Dedicated claims handling service • Fully Comprehensive or Third Party cover, designed for your exact, individual needs. • Premiums from as little as £150.00* Contact a member of our team on +44 (0)333 577 8232 or find out more at Specialist ATV & Agri Insurance

Vineyard Solutions Ltd

Fruit & Vine editor Rachel Hicks chatted with Vineyard Solutions Ltd owner Ian Phillips to nd out more about his vineyard establishment company

Q: Tell us about you, your background and experience within the industry

A: VSL has been involved in UK viticulture since 2010. I have seen rst-hand a vast array of vineyards across England and Wales from site selection stage to vine/rootstock selection, trellis choice, machinery purchases, right through to winemaking and the challenges of selling wine pro tably. This experience gained by installing vineyards in all areas of England and Wales and at all elevations is priceless, providing a knowledge bank from which I can advise customers on establishing their future vineyard.

Q: Introduce us to the rest of the team

A: The team are all actively involved on a daily basis. Paul and Kelvin are a great pairing, and work with myself planting and trellising in the drier months; in January and February they are usually pruning our 20 acres of vines at Galleywood.

Neal runs the trellis post and anchor wire manufacturing unit. It keeps him busy for most of the year, or he can be found in the workshop servicing machinery.

Nicola runs the o ce for both VSL and Galleywood Vineyards. When she’s not doing that she will be in

the kitchens designing fabulous French patisserie. She is actually a fully trained Cordon Bleu chef.

Q: What makes your company different to other vineyard establishment companies?

A: The di erence is we practice what we preach –we’re growers and winemakers ourselves (see www. We are licensed vine importers, and have our own cold storage that’s utilised until the time of customer planting. We own a Wagner vine planter with GPS control. Our trellising products are either manufactured or in stock at our depot, so adjustments to orders won’t cause headaches and delays with overseas reordering.

There’s a lot of bluster in this industry, and it’s easy to get poor advice – the impact of which can often last for the life of the vineyard.

The cohesion between winery design, vineyard design and expected yields is important for success. We don’t sub-contract work out, so a personal contact with myself is always maintained.

Q: Tell us about your unique Oxford trellising system

A: We wanted a durable trellis post that could

withstand mechanised vineyard maintenance and to be robust enough to attach frost protection or monitoring equipment to. Our posts are made of 2mm gauge steel. There’s a constant supply of cheaper products appearing on the market that come and go that just don’t work very well, and I didn’t want this at Galleywood or for VSL customers. Our standard trellis system is based on VSP, though we’ve designed di erent hook con gurations and cross arms for Scott Henry and for strawberry farms also, allowing for overhead bird netting.

The guards we use are the only fully removable and reusable/resaleable model available that doesn’t rely on the weakness of memory to seal against herbicides. Structurally sound and durable is our policy for each component. We also have a sheer hook on our end posts that will help save the end post if it’s struck by machinery.

Q: What do you think are the primary challenges for new growers?

A: The critical issue moving forward is to be e cient, as once the honeymoon of planting a vineyard ceases, the ine ciencies in machinery operations become more profound. It is not a matter of increasing sta numbers – it is the productivity per man that’s important. Training and empowerment I think is the way forward.

Q: What are the most common mistakes you see growers making?

A: Soil prep failures, planting across slopes, planting in frost pockets, falling for the trap of employing managers from other wine regions with exotic names who have little or no idea of essential practices for successful viticulture in localised UK conditions...

Q: Where do you see the UK viticulture industry going in the next 20 years?

A: I think there is not enough solidarity in the UK to create a signi cant sales group, so it will be a battle of the brands. Many consumers have no idea what the subtleties of wine production method di erences are, and so satisfaction in a brand will triumph. Twenty years ago, the industry was talking about retailers needing to o er an immersive experience for their customers and this is the way forward, thereby adding value to the bottle of wine being sold.

Q: What do you consider to be the three most importance pieces of advice you could offer to a new grower who is just starting out?

• If you think something you’ve been advised doesn’t seem quite right it probably isn’t

• You don’t have to plant everything in one year; you’re better o getting your act together generally in the rst year and then expanding

• Work backwards from projected realistic sales to winery tank sizes to vineyard size and individual variety volumes.

Q: Who do you most admire/respect in the industry and why?

A: I think the guys who pioneered the current wave of planting vine varieties that create sparkling wines comparable to high-end Champagne get my respect.

61 March/April 2023 01245 476994 THE COMPLETE UK BASED VINEYARD ESTABLISHMENT ONE CONTACT - ONE SOLUTION - VINEYARD SOLUTIONS Established 2010 From proven site selection, vine supply, GPS planting to full installation We have now helped 100’s of clients achieve their objective t: 01206 230662 m: 07850 888002 e: 30 Harwich Road • Ardleigh • Essex • CO7 7LS Grange Farm • Laxfield Road • Dennington • IP13 8BT Robocut Hire Specialist Plant Hire Spreader Hire Haulage Harvesting Contracting
What is Fruit & Vine Magazine? Produced six times a year, Fruit & Vine is a specialist magazine sent free and direct to vineyards, orchards, soft fruit growers, wineries and industry professionals. Featuring grower pro les, latest machinery tests, technical and arable advice, news and even its own classi ed section PLUS Advertise your unwanted machinery and equipment for FREE! Go to and submit to the magazine; you can even advertise in both Farmers Guide Fruit & Vine and Visit Scan the QR Code with your smart phone Email Write to us F&V Sign up, Freepost, FARMERS GUIDE, Parkside, London Road, Ipswich, IP2 0SS 4 easy ways to sign up FREE MAGAZINE SIGN UP TODAY FREE MAGAZINE FREE MAGAZINE SIGN UP TODAY FREE MAGAZINE
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March/April 2023 64 Growers - place your FREE advert in the magazine by visiting THE PLACE TO BUY AND SELL Telephone: 01359 250796 Email: FOLLY FARM, BECK STREET, HEPWORTH, DISS, NORFOLK, IP22 2PN All prices + VAT Tractor mounted forklift with tilt and side shift Cable controls, lifts 1300kg to 3.2m high, other forklifts available Hardi 300L mounted sprayer Sold in working order, various attachments available – please enquire Galvanised Narrow Topper 80cm cut Mounted vineyard sprayer Vicon fertiliser spreader Choice of 2. Can be supplied with band spout if required (additional cost £) Swingtrim hedge cutter Choice of 2, can be modified for vine trimming Votex PT2000 9ft Offset Blades New Manual Bin Rotator Land Rover Discovery Land Mark 2016, one owner from new Fendt 260V vineyard tractor


JOHN Deere Gator 855D, 2013, 1650hrs, road legal & regd, p/ steering, full cab & glazed doors, diff lock, manual tip, detachable f/& r/tow bar, alloy wheels, new tyres, beacon, LED w/lights, exc cond, light use, inspection invited.

£10,150 no VAT. R Lintott Tel 01566 471493/07799 473374 (Cornwall)

JOHN Deere 582 Premium Rotoflow round baler, 2007, very good condition, approx 30k bales, owned from almost new, cover edge system, c/w control box, adjustable bale size, density, net wrap & rotor reverse, more photos available. C Shaw Tel 07900 048303 (Gloucestershire)

LOG cabin, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, new fitted kitchen hardly used, rewired & tested, 40x20 splits, welcome to view, used as temporary accommodation whilst house renovation was completed. £50,000. J Dixon Tel 01359 259034/07823 555210 (Suffolk)

JCB 3CX Sitemaster, Contractor spec, backhoe loader, 1997, auto shift transmission, good general condition, just had new king post & bushes replaced, approx 8500hrs, location Sandbach, call for more info. £18,750+ VAT. G Jones Tel 07775 803197 (Cheshire)

MASCHIO DM3000 3m power harrow & Vicon/Accord air drill combi, always stored indoors, tramliners & markers, excellent condition. £3,800+VAT. T Sewell Tel 07977 908378 (Kent)

HONDA 450 Foreman S, 2002, very tidy & looked after, selectable 2/4wd, 15264km from new.

£2,450. J Wood Tel 07719 471321 (Northants)

SLEWTIC bale spike to fit Euro 8 carriage, nearly new & hardly used due to change in farm policy, photos on request if needed, excellent condition. £350+VAT ono. B Anderson Tel 07887 802628 (Lincolnshire)


PAVING slabs, new, 400 x 400 x 63 Pedra Grey smooth concrete slabs, 64 slabs per pallet, covers 10.24m, 1.53t weight of pallet, large quantity available. £2.50/ slab is pallet price loaded on your transport. R Gray Tel 07939 443353 (South Yorks)

JCB 85Z-1 8.5t digger, 2014, new engine, FSH, new bluetooth/ FM radio, 5760hrs (eng 1hr), new rubber tracks, offset boom c/w Tefra hyd quick hitch, piped, keypad immobiliser, w/ lights & beacons, c/w ditching & 2 trenching buckets. £26,000 ono no VAT. B Daines Tel 07952 235161 (Essex)

STOCKS Rotometer, good condition. £750+VAT. M Abblitt Tel 07720 839253 (Cambridgeshire)


HONDA quad 350cc, 4wd, 350hrs only, stored inside, just been serviced, very genuine machine, vgc, viewing recommended.

£3,250. A Crawley Tel 07974 748588 (Hertfordshire)


MONOSEM drill cell wheels (5), with five 5mm holes, also 5 more with 5.3mm holes, one with 8 x 5mm holes, all unused in original packing. £100. P Beales Tel 07584 189359 (Suffolk)

SPANISH polytunnels, 70 acres, mostly 8.25m wide, also 7.3m & 6.4m, 5 acres Cosy tunnels, 8.2m, 65,000m of metal strawberry tabletops. J Harrold Tel 07771 902808 (Cambridgeshire)


KUBOTA U27 mini digger, top quality, 1300hrs, owner driver, 2019, 3 nearly new buckets, auto hitch, delivery possible by arrangement. £22,500 ono. A Potts Tel 07305 886769 (Norfolk)


SLIDING barn doors (pair), 6'x12', steel framed & corrugated steel profile clad, removed from building. £125+VAT. M Fisher Tel 07970 894244 (Cambridgeshire)


GRIPPLE Torq tensioning tool, new & unused. £50. A Upson Tel 07980 807604/01245 380061 (Essex)

CASE-IH LB 434, 2014, 120x90 bale size, moisture, bale weight, very well maintained. £45,000.

L Rich Tel 07774 112211 (Gloucestershire)



CLARKE CFP9HND portable air compressor, new & unused, ideal for mobile use, includes most air tools. £540+VAT. A Upson Tel 07980 807604/01245 380061 (Essex)

DEWALT 18v nail gun, bare unit, 50-90mm nails. £180. A Upson Tel 07980 807604/01245 380061 (Essex)

ALBUTT F110 bale spike, as new & hardly used, currently fitted with the two spikes but has the centre hole for another spike if needed.

C Shaw Tel 07900 048303 (Gloucestershire)

COMMERCIAL HOK glasshouse, 20m x 20m, good condition, would need to be deconstructed by purchaser & moved, good.

H Dale Tel 02073 184484 (Buckinghamshire)

USED timber/wood, various lengths, large quantities, widths of either 5, 4.5 or 3”, taken down from farm buildings, solid wood. £1.15/m. T Roberts Tel 01279 850293 (Essex)

SOFT fruit equipment for sale: 30ha Spanish tunnels, 65,000m strawberry tabletops, 2 filmsealing lines, sprayers, contact sunclosefarm@ J Harrold Tel 07771 902808 (Cambridgeshire)


BOSTICH air nail gun, good condition, fires 50-90mm nails. £180. A Upson Tel 07980 807604/01245 380061 (Essex)

HYDRAULIC motor with Accord fan, good condition. £500+VAT. M Abblitt Tel 07720 839253 (Cambridgeshire)

KOMATSU PC138 US -11, 2018, 3225hrs but could alter slightly, quick hitch, 1 bucket, hammer lines, check valves, boxing ring, good tidy machine. G Jones Tel 07775 803197 (Cheshire)

DALE 8m Eco L direct drill, 2010, 5t, split hopper, 710/55x30 tyres, 12.5 or 25cm row spacing, good wearing metal, upgraded 2013 with latest chassis & coulters, excellent condition. £40,000+VAT. A Abblitt Tel 07971 255264 (Cambridgeshire)

STOCKADE ST400 contractor’s air stapler, very powerful, capable of using 50mm barbed staples, very good condition, c/w 2,000 staples. £350. A Upson Tel 07980 807604/01245 380061 (Essex)

March/April 2023 65


ARROWHEAD R75 breaker & fence post driver, 2019, c/w 75mm spike, 120mm cup & 100mm dual lower & top hitches, suitable for excavators (6–14T) & 3CX, excellent condition. £4,500+VAT ono. A Towns Tel 07751 917839 (Lincolnshire)

QUANTITY of Lely Acrobat tines. Stallard Farms Ltd Tel 01531 890350 (Gloucestershire)


UNIVERAL boot flail shackles (25). £55. P Beales Tel 07584 189359/01284 828360 (Suffolk)

ARROWHEAD R75 breaker & post driver in excellent condition, suitable for excavators 6–4T & 3CX, c/w dual head stocks, 75mm spike & 2 driver cups, 120x80 and 100-80 rounds. £4,750+VAT. A Towns Tel 07751 917839/01427 754145 (Lincolnshire)

10KVA PTO single/3 phase generator. £650+VAT. R Holder Tel 07887 560979/01473 658475 (Suffolk)



PYGMY goat, handsome, vaccinated, castrated male kid, born on 27/11/22, will be ready for selling end of February, full of life & cute. £300. P Rutter Tel 07926 095493 (Lincolnshire)


441111 (Norfolk)

WOLSELEY electric fencer (3 strand wire system), needs 6V battery. £60. R Sinkler Tel 01377 270251 (East Yorkshire)


MEADOW hay in conventional bales, 5 mins from M25 Junction 28/29. W Chapman Tel 07931 313520 (Essex)


MURITORI MR180 6' finishing mower, owned from new, good condition. £875. S Bygraves Tel 07973 117993 (Cambridgeshire)

SS Engineering Professional

Drain Jetter, 2018 model, 2018, in excellent condition, 600m hose with selection of nozzles, hand held remote control (operate from tractor seat), auto stop & retry flush function, pipe out measure. £12,500+VAT ono. A Towns Tel 07751 917839 (Lincolnshire)

TURKEY/POULTRY feeders (16), 9' x 3'6", 150kg capacity, suitable for mash or pellet feeding, some may need small repairs. £30. T Roberts Tel 01279 850293 (Essex)

CLAAS Uniarm CM168 drum mower, 1 owner from new, manual & blade tool, runs brilliantly very quiet & no vibrations at all, video can be sent, top cover is dented hence price but doesn’t affect how it works, can load, very very clean. £750 ono no VAT. M Jeffrey Tel 07802 722408 (North Yorks)

07790 262216 (Essex)

BAUER E41 110-550 irrigator, 2011, 110mm–550m hose, only used on loamy soil, so minimal stone damage to the hose, always well looked after, winterised & dry stored over winter, excellent condition. £24,000+VAT ono. R Clarke Tel 01255 823031/07811 956789 (Essex)

CATTLE feed barriers, 14'6" long, 8 available, good condition. £150+VAT. C Blood Tel 07752 610172 (Leicestershire)

RECO/JEANTIL rear mounted straw spreader, tidy & clean condition. £2,000+VAT. J Coxon Tel 07876 774404/07748 901482 (South Yorks)

DORMAN diesel generator, 90kva, 3 phase, 32 & 16amp plugs & 240v twin sockets, 1150hrs, new coolant hoses, integrated diesel tank, used to power a grain dryer, in good working order, never let me down! Dry storage container avail. £3,000+VAT. M Burrough Tel 07860 246156 (Somerset)

BOMFORD back to back flail blades, will

189359/01284 828360 (Suffolk)

PRAMAC Protech P6000 6KVA diesel generator, 4446hrs. £1,100+VAT. R Holder Tel 07887 560979/01473 658475 (Suffolk)


Stallard Farms Ltd Tel 01531 890350 (Gloucestershire)

SHELBOURNE Reynolds HT760T hedgecutter, 2019, clean & tidy, well maintained, digital joystick, hyd roller, parallel arm, rotor rev, powerslew, telescopic arm, independent hyds, debris blower, 3pt linkage mtd, finance can be arranged. £18,000+VAT ono. L Smith Tel 07717 796470 (Essex)


JOHN Deere X740 Ultimate ride on commercial mower, Yanmar diesel, 2018, viewing & testing welcome (NI), video available, new £4,000 commercial deck fitted, top spec, excellent condition. £6,995+VAT can deliver anywhere UK or Ireland (call for cost) S Martin Tel 07587 699437 (N Ireland) (County Down)

FERRI TS45 flail hedge cutter, cable controls, always looked after, most hoses replaced, whatever needed it’s had done, power slew to get into corners, purchase of newer machine forces sale, but absolutely lovely to use & operate. £2,950+VAT ono. J Pesterfield Tel 01347 889299 (North Yorks)

DALTON poultry feed hoppers (2), 4x3, hold about a ton, off auto feed system, do not bottom shutoff, just open. £400 ono the pair no VAT. M Jeffrey Tel 07802 722408 (North Yorks)

TOTE/FEED bin with hydraulic slider, has been used for feeding pigs, but could be used for filling a seed drill or fert spreader, holds about 1.25t of pelleted food in it, built in 2020 by local engineering company. £1,250+VAT ono. J Reeve Tel 07909 811561 (Lincolnshire)

March/April 2023 66 Trade advertising — Tel: 01473 794440 Email:
fit other makes (43). £125. P Beales Tel 07584 centre board. BOMFORD B577 hedge cutter, good condition & always barn stored. J Fowell Tel 01263 587356/07767 MCCONNEL F91 flails, set of 24, new & unused, Part no 7191320, can post at extra cost. £150. D McTurk Tel

2018, 2635 hrs, 24F/12R 0,5-40 Hi-Lo trans, air con, super deluxe cab seat, 3 SCVs, 540/540E PTO, rear 380/70R28, front 280/70R20, front 3pt hitch

2183 hrs, 24F/12R 0,5-40 KM/H, air con cab w/super deluxe seat, 3SCVs, 540/540E PTO, rear 380/70R28, front 280/70R20, front hitch


2785 hrs, 24F/12R 0,5-40 KM/H, air con cab w/super deluxe seat, 3SCVs, 540/540E PTO, rear 380/70R28, front 280/70R20, front hitch

2016, 3114 hrs, 24F/12R 0,5-40 KM/H, air con cab, super deluxe seat, 2 SCVs, 540/540E PTO, rear 380/70R28, front 280/70R20, front hitch

2018, 2234 hrs, 24F/12R 0,5-40 KM/H, air con cab, super deluxe seat, 2 SCVs, 540/540E PTO, rear 380/70R28, front 280/70R20

4337 hrs, 24F/24R HI-LO transmission, Front linkage and PTO, air con, super deluxe seat, 380/70R28, 280/70R20, 3 X SCV

3270 hrs, 24F/24R 0,5-40 KM/H, air con cab, super deluxe seat, 2 SCVs, 540/540E PTO,

March/April 2023 67 Growersplace your FREE advert in the magazine by visiting
rear 420/70R28, front 300/70R20, front hitch JOHN DEERE 5080GF 2014, 7519 hrs, 0,5-40KM/H trans, 540/540E PTO, air con cab, turnable front fender JOHN DEERE 505E 2018, 797 hrs, transmission 9 forward/3 reverse synchro, mech susp seat, 340/85E28, 28/85R20, 540/540E PTO, 1 double acting SCV, swinging draw bar JOHN DEERE 505E 2018, 1086 hrs, transmission 9 forward/3 reverse synchro, mech susp seat, 340/85E28, 28/85R20, 540/540E PTO, 1 double acting SCV, swinging draw bar Prices do not include VAT #A1065601 £POA #B1068056 £POA #B1068057 £POA #A1009679 £25.000 #A1064422 £POA #A1065860 £POA #A1066729 £POA #A1010338 £POA #A1065604 £POA #A1065605 £POA
and Vineyard Specialist @tuckwellgroup Andy Page 07714 181821 Harry Durrant 07860 507763 Mark Debenham 07710 148420 Branches across Su olk, Essex, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, London, Kent and East Sussex. Your contacts for Specialty Used Machinery are:
JOHN DEERE 5085GF 2016,
Your Fruit


JCB 531-70, 2011, 5000hrs, good tyres, all good. £24,950+VAT. R Hopkinson Tel 07976 424263 (Lincolnshire)



SUTON PTO driven yard/road brush, 1996, various positions, depth wheels, good condition.

£800+VAT ono. B Anderson Tel 07887 802628 (Lincolnshire)


JOHN Deere telehandler PUH, for spares or repair. £175+VAT. M Abblitt Tel 07720 839253 (Cambridgeshire)


BOX of 6" black flower pots. Offers. S Mackman Tel 07599 526060/01406

330769 (Lincolnshire)

SINGLE phase glass polisher. Offers. S Mackman Tel 07599 526060/01406

330769 (Lincolnshire)

VEGCRAFT induction hopper, stainless steel, fast fill, mixing & rinsing aids, single phase high output pump, good condition. £3,000+VAT ono. A Wilson Tel 07732 671320 (Greater Manchester)

Berthoud WinAir

1,000l 3-row sprayer

BARN stored wheat & barley straw. J Pitcher Tel 07775 688875 (Norfolk)

FIRST class hay for sale. Offers. R Bailey Tel 01449 766350 after 6pm (Suffolk)


VADERSTAD NZ cultivator, 4.5m hydraulic folding, Agrilla tines, hydraulic levelling boards, following harrow, hydraulic depth control, very good condition. C Shaw Tel 07900 048303 (Gloucestershire)

COUSINS V-Form 5 leg, 3m, DD razor ring press, LED lights, Tillso LD legs with good metal, c/w Terracast V2 seeder unit. £5,000. N How Tel 07714 240064 (Northants)


JUNGHEINRICH/MIC manual pallet truck, 2t capacity with wide arms, 980mm wide by 1000mm long, ideal potato/fruit boxes. R Statham Tel 07966422469 (Staffordshire)

TWO single phase electric motors. Offers. S Mackman Tel 07599 526060/01406 330769 (Lincolnshire)

SELECTION of demijohns & equipment for wine making. S Mackman Tel 07599 526060/01406

330769 (Lincolnshire)

STAINLESS steel double sink, 8' x 2'+, very strong. Stallard Farms Ltd Tel 01531 890350 (Gloucestershire)

HOBART AE200 mixer, three 20qt bowls, mincer & slicer attachments, bread hook, whisk & beater, all in good condition. £450 ono. G Charity Tel 07889 316853 (Lincolnshire)

01580 712200

STEEL plate tank 6'6" diameter, 10' long, 2000 gallons, low fill pipe, filter & delivery hose. £850+VAT. P Beales Tel 07584 189359/01284 828360 (Suffolk)


01580 712200

MANITOU MLT 737-130 PS, 2017, only 3500hrs, top spec top machine, owner driver from new. £52,500. L Rich Tel 07774 112211 (Gloucestershire)

TIPPING skips, heavy duty 2t, 4 way entry, not bent or twisted, some need patch in floor to make water tight £180, good watertight skips £285. P Mott Tel 07813 683410 (Nottinghamshire)


ASSORTMENT of power shafts. S Mackman Tel 07599 526060/01406

330769 (Lincolnshire)

TWO John Deere 6910 s/h hydraulic arms. Stallard Farms Ltd Tel 01531 890350 (Gloucestershire)

JCB Loadall 536-60 Agri

Super, 2011, 4400hrs, 130hp turbocharged 6 speed powershift transmission with TorqueLock & kick-down, 460/70R24 XMCL Michelin tyres, excellent condition. £34,000+VAT. P Hirst Tel 07712 676012 (Lincolnshire)

BILLERICAY AutoStreamer, very good condition, used for one year, now gone back to solid fertiliser, enough for 36m. £1,100+VAT. M Abblitt Tel 07720 839253 (Cambridgeshire)


OCLL QWector3

1,600l tower sprayer

TITAN 5000L water tank, plastic, previously used as a static filling tank for sprayer, no leaks, f/w ballcock for automatic filling & large ball valve on the outlet, good condition, selling due to retirement. £150+VAT. D Cowton Tel 07712 005508 (County Durham)



2016, only 1010hrs, c/w forks & bucket, flotation tyres 80%, vgc, must be seen. POA. D Dye Tel 01508 498169 (Norfolk)

01580 712200 npseymour co uk

AMAZONE ZA-F 12 m fertiliser spreader, from small farm, selling due to retirement, new shutter arms put on last year, hydraulic shut off & extended sides to hold 600kg comfortable, kept oiled, good condition. £200 ono. A Howell Tel 07528 729118 (Cambridgeshire)

2000-GALLON steel plate tank, low fill pipe, filter & delivery hose, can load on your transport, average condition. £850+VAT. P Beales Tel 07584 189359 (Suffolk)

BALMORAL 2500L tank, slight blemish near top, perfectly good for water, eg sprayer back up. £55. P Beales Tel 07584 189359/01284

828360 (Suffolk)

TWO 3 metre tyre packer rollers, been used on a 6m Maschio power harrow, good condition. £1,500+VAT. M Naylor Tel 07970 576362 (Lincolnshire)

SUBSOILER heavy duty, 7 leg, new points, disc harrow behind. £1,800+VAT ono. M Naylor Tel 07970 576362 (Lincolnshire)

FLEXITINE with crumbler roller, 10'. POA. S Mackman Tel 07599 526060/01406 330769 (Lincolnshire)

KONGSKILDE Triple K cultivator, 9' wide, Cat1/Cat2 linkage, all tines in place, good condition. £180 ono. J Short Tel 07796 957503 (Cambridgeshire)

RECO/MASCHIO power harrow tines. Stallard Farms Ltd Tel 01531 890350 (Gloucestershire)

March/April 2023 68 Trade advertising — Tel: 01473 794440 Email:
Power Harrow with APV Seeder Unit

LEMKEN furrow press arm, with hydraulic ram. £190. R Sinkler Tel 01377 270251 (East Yorkshire)


EINBOCK 12m weeder harrow, very good condition, hydraulic folding, 4 depth wheels, complete set of brand new tines. C Shaw Tel 07900 048303 (Gloucestershire)

1300KG ProForge weight block for 3-point linkage. £1,000+VAT. M Naylor Tel 07970 576362 (Lincolnshire)

JOHN Deere JD6210R, April 2014, Direct Drive, 3 spools, rear tyres 650/85/38 & front tyres 600/70/30 (both sets good), front linkage, clean & tidy tractor. P Till Tel 07814 018820 (Staffordshire)

FORD Industrial 335, 5000hrs, pick up hitch, power steering, column gears, good working order. £5,000. G Ollett Tel 07495 268088 (Suffolk)

WEIGHT block, 3pt linkage, ideal for a loader tractor. £90. R Sinkler Tel 01377 270251 (East Yorkshire)

KVERNELAND spring tine cultivator, 3m, just like Vaderstad NZ, f/w 30 Vaddy Agrila tines & Vaddy following harrow, front levelling boards, twin depth wheels, will go into stubble, ploughing or cultivated ground, makes an excellent seedbed. C Shaw Tel 07900 048303 (Gloucestershire)

Landini Rex 4-100V

2019, 3200hrs



Call: 07973 505294

26hp, 3-point linkage & PTO, ideal for vineyards, orchards, forestry & smallholdings, as new condition with just 49hrs on the clock & 2 months warranty remaining. £9,750+VAT. J Cowlishaw Tel 07881432816 (East Sussex)

FORD 4610 62hp, 2250hrs, pick up hitch, assisted rams, power steering, 2 spools, drive in power loader, registered, gwo. £11,500. G Ollett Tel 07495 268088 (Suffolk)

CLAAS Arion 430, 2021, c/w FL80 loader, only 200hrs from new, 40k, air brakes, Claas warranty until October, as new condition. £57,000+VAT. I Birnie Tel 07826 924386 (Aberdeenshire)

TWELVE Case 895 front wheel weights. Stallard Farms Ltd Tel 01531 890350 (Gloucestershire)

KUBOTA M110GX, 2016, only 1100hrs, Q46 loader, vgc, good simple tractor & loader. £37,500. L Rich Tel 07774 112211 (Gloucestershire)

KUBOTA STV32, good condition, 623hrs which are genuine, on grass tyres (ag wheels available at extra cost), hydrostatic transmission, f/w two double acting valves & one single. £10,200. M Dew Tel 07720 560164 (Lincolnshire)

AEBI TT75, 75hp, 2007, 3325hrs, c/w f/flail, double acting r/spool, 2 double acting f/spools, radio, heater, very clean inside & out in great overall condition, only selling as updating to a newer model. £27,995+VAT ono. L Shaw Tel 07949078781 (Bedfordshire)

JOHN Deere 6150R, 150hp + boost, 63 reg, 6500hrs, Autopowr 40kph, cab susp TLS, Starfire 3000 with activation, rowcrop wheels, front box & weights, one owner from new, full service history, good condition. £46,850+VAT. A Lyle Tel 07889 303809 (Lincolnshire)

CASE Puma 240 CVX, 2018, 2845hrs, vg example, from small family farm north of Colchester, bought new with 5yr/3000hr wty/service plan (over 150hrs wty remaining), GPS ready, Michelin tyres 70% tread left, front 600/65R28 rear 650/75R38. £86,000+VAT. T Fairley Tel 07775 447744 (Essex)

DOWDESWELL Powervator 130 rotovator, identical to a Standen, 70" twin depth wheels, had very little use from new, in excellent condition, barn stored all its life, instruction book, speed set adjustable gearbox, more photos available. C Shaw Tel 07900 048303 (Gloucestershire)

CASE 105A, 2013, 102hp turbo engine, 2600hrs, tyres 80%, tidy barn stored tractor. £23,750+VAT. S Bygraves Tel 07973 117993 (Cambridgeshire)

fronts, only used for light work.

£49,000+VAT. A Boyd Tel 07801 707801 (Kent)

BONNET for McCormick XTX, easily repairable damage to front, will fit XTX145/65/85 also MXT TRX. £125. P Beales Tel 07584 189359/01284 828360 (Suffolk)

JOHN Deere 623R front loader, as new, taken off a 2019 6130R after only 180hrs, c/w all frames, brackets & pipework, excellent. £7,950+VAT ono. A Boyd Tel 07801 707801 (Kent)

March/April 2023 69
CARRARO 3200 Tigre Compact, NEW Holland 8240, 110hp, 1995, 2600hrs on the clock, good condition. £15,750+VAT. J Pitcher Tel 07775 688875 (Norfolk) AGCO 900kg front weight, suitable for 3-point linkage, built in towing clevis. £850+VAT. M Naylor Tel 07970 576362 (Lincolnshire) JOHN Deere 6125R, 2015 plate, 3590hrs, 4 spools, 125hp, Autoquad transmission, 70% rear tyres, new
FOR ALL YOUR CLASSIFIED TRADE ADVERTISING CONTACT... SAM WILSON 01473 794440 NICKI PROCTER 01473 794440 OR Growersplace your FREE advert in the magazine by visiting
March/April 2023 70 Trade advertising — Tel: 01473 794440 Email: BR Strathern Ltd . Sales Agricultural . Service & Repair . . Hydraulic Hose . Used Fruit & Vineyard Tractor & Machinery Specialist . Tel: 01621 828318 . Mobile 07715 565606 Chelmsford, Essex


Landini 2-45

Compact tractor

2019, 1700hrs



Call: 07973 505294

JOHN Deere 2520 27hp compact, c/w Lewis 4in1 loader, 1200hrs, 2010, 4ws, s/valves, 1200hrs, 1 owner, newer model, pristine, htd cab, w/wipers, scoop, road reg, 3pt link, lift arms, r/PTO, ball & pin hitch, trailer light socket, top spec. £13,500+VAT. S Martin Tel 07587 699437 calls only, no texts or private numbers (N Ireland) (County Down)

LANDINI 130 Legend 130hp Deltashift, 2003, creep gear, 50k, 4400hrs, tyres 60%, tidy tractor. £19,750+VAT. S Bygraves Tel 07973 117993 (Cambridgeshire)


INDESPENSION plant trailer, 2017, 12x6, ramp, LED lights, hitch lock. £2,750. S Bygraves Tel 07973 117993 (Bedfordshire)

NARROW wheels for Fendt 516, front 320/85R34 tyres 80%, rear 320/90R50 tyres 40%, welded rims, painted in Fendt red, good overall condition. £2,950+VAT ono. M Naylor Tel 07970 576362 (Lincolnshire)

FASTRAC front linkage & PTO unit, very good condition, removed from a 2135 Fastrac, but will fit other models, no wiring from cab & doesn’t include clutch inside transmission, but all is available from JCB. C Shaw Tel 07900 048303 (Gloucestershire)

HIGH tip trailer, rated to 9t, 1981, hydraulic tailgate or can be bolted shut & doors will open to the sides, both tailgate chutes work, fair condition, collection near Manningtree, Essex. £3,250 ono. T Fairley Tel 07775 447744 (Essex)

SET of John Deere wheels, 520/70 R38 wheels & tyres, tread condition good, these were fitted to a John Deere trailed sprayer. £2,500+VAT ono.

MANITOU hydraulic locking headstock Cherry Products conversion, fits Massey Ferguson & Quicke loaders, de-mounting plate included. £1,875+VAT. R Allen Tel 07973 919378 (Nottinghamshire)

MASSEY Ferguson 7726 Next ed, 2020, 1890hrs, 50kph, Dyna VT, f/linkage, f/axle/cab susp, f/& 4 r/spools, hyd toplink, LED w/ lights, Isobus, Power Beyond, air/ hyd brakes, Trimble ready, Tborg 650/75R38 & 600/65R28 70%, FSH with TNS, gc. £95,000+VAT. S Baker Tel 07585 442177 (Suffolk)

LEGRAS walking floor trailer, tested, all good. £11,995+VAT. R Hopkinson Tel 07976 424263 (Lincolnshire)

Landini 2-45

Compact Tractor 2022, 530hrs

KUBOTA B2530 25hp compact

tractor c/w Kubota loader, 2012, pristine – won’t get a cleaner one, only 700hrs, one owner, runs on sniff of diesel, new Kubota Agri tyres, 4wd, hydrostatic spool valves, v quick, hi/low medium box. £14,500+VAT ono. S Martin Tel 07587 699437 (County Down)



Call: 07973 505294

WARWICK SD14, 2008, 14t, sprung drawbar, locking hyd rear door. £8,500. L Rich Tel 07774 112211 (Gloucestershire)

MCKEE 28' bale/low loader trailer, new, stored undercover, RHC metallic black twin pack paint, heavy duty, will carry 18t, c/w ramp brackets, sprung drawbar, 10 stud commercial axles air/hyd brakes, mudflaps, 1 year warranty. D Clayton Tel 07836 204646 (Derbyshire)

AS Marston 10t dropside trailer, 1990, used with or w/o sides or combination, refurbished & sprayed MF red, road lighting, hyd brakes, manual tail door c/w grain chute, all sides straight, barn stored, viewing advised. £4,800+VAT ono. B Anderson Tel 07887 802628 (Lincolnshire)




STOCKS dual wheels & clamps, 18.4x38, good condition, no longer needed due to change of machine. £550+VAT. P Phoenix Tel 07871 599016 (Norfolk)

MASSEY Ferguson 2210, 55hp 4wd c/w Mailleux f/loader, self lev, starts first turn, heater, lights, road reg, 3pt linkage, spool valves, trailer hitch, hi/lo box, Perkins eng, shuttle, PTO, well serviced/ maintained, radio, indicators. £16,000+VAT. S Martin Tel 07587 699437 calls only no texts or private numbers (N Ireland) (County Down)

MASSEY Ferguson 7718S, 180hp, 2019, 2326hrs, 50kph, Dyna 6, f/linkage, f/axle & cab susp, 1 f/& 4 r/spools, LED w/lights, Isobus, Power Beyond, air & hyd brakes, Trimble guidance ready, Michelin Multibib 650/65R38 80% 540/65R28 80%, gc. £75,000+VAT. S Baker Tel 07585 442177 (Suffolk)

TRI-AXLE low loader trailer, 2015, good condition. D Dye Tel 07778 547601 (Norfolk)

SMALL 2-wheel tipping hay trailer, 3t. Stallard Farms Ltd Tel 01531 890350 (Gloucestershire)

STOCKS dual wheels & clamps, 20.8xR42, good condition, no longer needed due to change of machine. £550+VAT. P Phoenix Tel 07871 599016 (Norfolk)

March/April 2023 71
EIGHT corner posts (2 sets) for a 5/6t Weeks trailer. £50 total. R Sinkler Tel 01377 270251 (East Yorkshire) M Naylor Tel 07970 576362 (Lincolnshire) 2019 Ford Ranger Wildtrak alloy wheels & tyres (4), alloys excellent condition, 265/60/ R182 tyres 50%, even wear, 2 tyres bald on one side. £450. D Wadsley Tel 07740 255697 (Cambridgeshire) 14.9X28 5 star dual wheels. £25 or donation to Ukraine charity. P Beales Tel 07584 189359/01284 828360 (Suffolk) 3000 rear wheel centre. Stallard Farms Ltd Tel 01531 890350 (Gloucestershire) Ford front wheel & tyre, as new. Stallard Farms Ltd Tel 01531 890350 (Gloucestershire)
Growersplace your FREE advert in the magazine by visiting
STOCKS dual wheels, Michelin 710/70-42 & Firestone 600/70-30 tyres 80% tread, c/w clamps, vgc. £4,250+VAT. A Abblitt Tel 07971 255264 (Cambridgeshire)


14.9X70X28 tyres suitable for dual wheels, £25 or donation to my favourite charity for Ukraine. P Beales Tel 07584 189359/01284 828360 (Suffolk)



C20 1.6 TDi, DSG automatic, 63 plate, LWB, alloy wheels, air con, service history. £6,995. R Hopkinson Tel 07976 424263 (Lincolnshire)


MOUNTED 15m sprayer required with rear folding hydraulic booms, such as Hardi, Rau or similar. S Eddon Tel 07979 984796 (North Yorks)

JOHN Deere lightweight forklift carriage & tines for John Deere 420 fore end loader. P Waspe Tel 07462 472289 (Suffolk)

HYDRAULIC lift link arms with Cat 2 linkage, small tractor, eg MF 135 or similar size. P Waspe Tel 07462 472289 (Suffolk)

VARIOUS parts – PTO caps

IH £10, pickup tines for Class Dominator baler, chamber crimp for same, turbo kit parts by Fram Tractors £35, Suffolk coulters (29), valve block double acting or stand alone, points for breaker gun. £10 ono. P Beales Tel 07584189359 (Suffolk)

SELECTION of Ransomes TS103 reversible plough parts. S Mackman Tel 07599 526060/01406 330769 (Lincolnshire)

VERY old pillar drill. Offers. S Mackman Tel 07599 526060/01406 330769 (Lincolnshire)

FASTRAC engine side panel required to fit a 2135, but a panel from a 1000 or 2000 Series would also fit, anything considered. C Shaw Tel 07900 048303 (Gloucestershire)

LAZY Bed hand weeder, 9 rows, for organic vegetable & root crops. £2,500 ono. S Green Tel 07798 611712/01621 779500 (Essex)

SCANIA R520 V8, 2015, 660,000kms single line hyds, MOT Nov 23, Griffin spec, new turbo last year, DPFs changed, new batteries, perimeter kit, Durabrights, sliding jost 5th wheel, double bunk, manual 3 over 3 gearbox, good condition. £47,500 ono. S Clark Tel 07873 914822 (Bedfordshire)

FORDSON Major belt pulley. S Mackman Tel 07599 526060/01406 330769 (Lincolnshire)

METAL storage bins, heavy duty construction, sliding lids, sloping floor with a removable front panel, channels for pallet tines, 3 available, 700 x 700 x 1100 high. £100 each. D Ivens Tel 07969 877834 (Northants)

ELECTRIC bench grinder. £20. S Mackman Tel 07599 526060/01406

FERRARI F4 block planter, 5 planter units. £800 ono. S Green Tel 07798 611712/01621 779500 (Essex)

ISUZU Dmax 1.9 TD Yukon double cab pickup, 4dr, diesel manual 4wd. 63,500 miles, 2018 (18 reg), FSH at local dealer, one owner driver from new, good condition. £13,500+VAT. D Morley Tel 07907 997124 (Leicestershire)

WATER pump for IH 4 cylinder engines, from 585 to 885, c/w gasket. £25. P Beales Tel 07584 189359/01284 828360 (Suffolk)

VINTAGE hand-operated cast iron mangold grinder. Stallard Farms Ltd Tel 01531 890350 (Gloucestershire)

ANYTHING made by E&H

Roberts Deanshanger Iron Works required, cast iron nameplates, cast iron seats, catalogues, bill headers, etc, in good condition. M Burgess Tel 07958 381278 (Buckinghamshire)

GARFORD Robocrop in row camera guided weeder, front mounted, side shift, inter-row software, 60" wheel track, 3 rows, new 2017. Offers. S Green Tel 07798 611712/01621 779500 (Essex)


TOYOTA Hilux Active, 2018 model, 57000 miles, very tidy, recent service & MOT, excellent tyres, one owner, load liner, tow pack, etc. £15,750+VAT

INTERNATIONAL B-414, 1966, fully restored 2021, inc engine rebuild - new pistons, rings, liners, main & big end bearings, etc, nose cone & much more, resprayed with 2 pack, full V5, genuine sale to fund new project, viewing welcome. £6,500 ono. S Brown Tel 07961 320186 (Lincolnshire)


AGRICULTURAL cast iron nameplates, plaques, etc from vintage farm machinery required, in good condition. M Burgess Tel 07958 381278 (Buckinghamshire)

HYDROCUT Farmer linkage mounted hedge cutter. J Doe Tel 07860 314240 (Suffolk)

HOWARD power harrow. J Doe Tel 07860 314240 (Suffolk)

PUSH out hitch for Massey Ferguson 5455, 2006, Call with details. G Ulley Tel 07798 872221 (South Yorks)

WALTER Watson or similar end tow

flat roller, condition more imperative than age. J Pesterfield Tel 01347 889299 (North Yorks)


LAND Rover Defender 90 300 TDi in County spec, 1998, 131k miles from new, lots of receipts, upgraded intercooler & turbo, new winch plus original bumper included, brand new spare wheel & tyre, MOT till June 2023, good condition. £14,000 ono. G Goulding Tel 07591 206522 (Suffolk)

WHEELS required, 900/60-32, may consider 800 wheels. D Hall Tel 07385 876286 (Angus)

PLASTIC storage bins, length 280mm, width 205, height 140mm, large quantity available.

£1/bin. D Ivens Tel 07969 877834 (Northants)

March/April 2023 72 Trade advertising — Tel: 01473 794440 Email:
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Woods Asset Finance provides funding for a wide range of new and used commercial assets for business users, regardless of your sector or suppliers.

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Business & Finance Manager

T: 01394 337981




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Editor Rachel Hicks spoke with Pete Thompson of Thompson’s Fresh Produce Ltd, which specialises in growing for the specialist Oriental food sector as well as niche tree fruit, to nd out more about how a vegetable farm in Harwich has become known for its citrus fruits and olives

Q. Tell us about the history of Thompson's Fresh Produce Ltd at Brook Farm

A: The business was founded in 1948 after my grandfather moved from Su olk at the end of the war when opportunity to buy land came up. Before then, the family had farmed in Su olk as tenants and farm managers for generations.

Initially a market garden operation, the business then specialised in the 90s as the growth of the supermarkets pushed many small growers over the edge. We focused on crops for the Chinese restaurant trade in particular, and grew the business signi cantly within the sector. Due to this less conventional cropping, we found ourselves often being approached about ‘something new’ etc., and this led to the more recent work in innovation.

We enjoy a maritime climate (which is perfect for growing) with the Stour Estuary to the north, the marshes and backwaters of Hamford Water to the south, and the North Sea to the east. The combination of light and the mild climate give us the ideal conditions for fruit growing.

Brook Farm covers a total of 500 acres, with 200 owned and 300 acres tenanted. Until recently, the cropping centred around growing vegetables, particularly Thompson’s Leaf and jumbo salad onions for the specialist food service sector, but now the farm includes 300 Meyer lemon trees (which are mainly in polytunnels, with some outdoors) and two olive groves – one with 400 trees, and one with 1,200, both featuring mixed olive varieties.

Q. As someone who likes to try new things, what are your biggest failures? And successes?

A: Failure: A large deep water hydroponics venture due to be part of an even larger aquaponics project.

Success: Probably hanging on this long despite being a (relatively) small farm in a very competitive sector – which is also down to our success in working on a few key products for the Chinese restaurants.

Q. What fruits are you currently growing?

A: Meyer lemons (a lemon/mandarin hybrid) and olives are currently our only fruit, and both at trial stage still. We have worked with the Fresca Produce Group and work with the Belazu Food Group, the top end wholesalers SHRUB Provisions and a handful of very talented and inspiring chefs. If I mention any, I will forget someone and then get grief, so I won’t name any names!

Q. Why are you so passionate about innovation?

A: I don’t think it is necessarily the innovation which is a passion; that is essential as a small grower for survival. What we are passionate about is growing excellent produce and doing more for the environment.

Q. How important do you feel sustainability and biodiversity are to the fruit industry?

A: They are absolutely essential, yet many growers are tied into a system which doesn’t allow them to consider a less intensive way of growing. The returns from retailers and the food service sector alike are unsustainable and do not provide su cient returns for investment and innovation in most cases.

As farmers, we at Thompsons Fresh Produce are aware of our duty to care for the land, for the bene t of future generations, as previous generations have cared for it before us. It is incredibly important that we look after our local and wider environment and we take this responsibility seriously. We manage the farm sensitively to try to encourage wildlife and to ensure we reduce our impact on the wider, global environment.

As part of our e orts to create a more sustainable way of producing food, we use the 5 Capitals Framework to guide us. This means we have to consider not only the natural capital (earth, air, water, biodiversity etc) but also human, social, manufactured and nancial capital.

We actively manage the farm to maintain and create wildlife habitat. The ve on-farm reservoirs and their surrounds are our own nature reserves, and the farm is home to a variety of wildlife. Recent years have seen further tree and hedge planting, including the threatened black poplar as part of a wetland habitat creation.

Q. Other than climate, what you think are the biggest hurdles for UK growers when it comes to trying to diversify into different fruits?

A: It is simply costs, and most of that comes down to labour. Unless it is very large-scale crops which have the scale to justify robotics and automation, we are in a very tricky situation as UK producers.

Q. What’s the future for your company?

A: We have taken a major leap over the past six months and are now walking away from growing vegetables in the UK; letting go from our rented land and concentrating on our two niche crops, olives and citrus, as far as growing food is concerned. We have launched an environmental services business, undertaking woodland and biodiversity net gain establishment and management. This ts well with our other business which is retail and wholesale supply of fruit and nut trees – We have been planting new woodlands already this winter for clients under the EWCO scheme and are also planting a new walnut grove for a client.

March/April 2023 74 IN THE KNOW
Founder George Thompson with his eet of vehicles in the early 1950s Meyer lemons – a hybrid citrus fruit which enjoys the Harwich microclimate George Thompson (on the right) in 1954
and doing more for the environment
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pages 74-75

Vineyard Solutions Ltd

pages 60-73


page 59

winery? of a Dreaming

pages 57-58

An industry on the rise: Nut production in the UK

pages 54-56

grapevine trunk disease

pages 52-53


page 51

white strawberries

page 50

New apple variety threatens to dethrone Granny Smith

page 50

Raspberries: A impressive century of breeding

page 49

Industry-driving research findings revealed at technical webinar

pages 44-48

piwis the way forward for British Are viticulture?

pages 41-43

crop protection

pages 37-40

Kent family farm continues to adapt to fresh challengesafter nearly 400 years

pages 33-37

valuable resource

page 32

Busy open day for machinery specialist vineyard orchard and

pages 28-31

Popular Essex dealer event celebrates of launchspecialistdivision

pages 25-27

attracts wide interest retirement sale

pages 19-24

Great wine “starts with the vine”

pages 15-18

soft fruit farmers...

pages 12-13

Sustainable soil:

page 12

apples & pears Huge potential for pre-cleaning

pages 10-11

Frost protection

pages 8-9

Fruit & vineyard

page 8

New CEO appointed for the Experienced soft fruit agronomist National Fruit Show joins advisory team

pages 6-7


page 3
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