Fruit & Vine 06 - September/October 2023

Page 1 New Holland Grape and Blackcurrant Harvester Braud 9070L An exclusive blend of technology, productivity and style TOP PRODUCTIVITYTOP COMFORT TOP TECHNOLOGYTOP DESIGN NEW HOLLAND TOP SERVICE 00800 64 111 111 24/7 SUPPORT AND INFORMATION The call is free from a land line. Check in advance with your Mobile Operator if you will be charged. ISSUE 6 | SEPT/OCT 2023
19 BRANCHES ACROSS THE SOUTH EAST AND EAST ANGLIAVisit: to nd your local branch A27 M23 A23 A22 A3 A31 M3 A259 A2 M20 M2 M25 M25 M11 A1 A928 A12 A14 A14 A1 A47 A10 A17 A47 A12 A1 Eastbourne Portsmouth Cowes Lymington Eastleigh Crawley Uckfield Tunbridge Wells Dover Maidstone Guildford Staines Croydon Rochester Dartford Slough LONDON Watford High Wycombe Stevenage Luton Royston Hertford Harlow Chelmsford Bicester Milton Keynes Bedford Ipswich Bury St Edmunds Cambridge Northampton Kettering Peterborough Boston Sleaford King’s Lynn Ely Norwich COLCHESTER FULBOURN LITTLEPORT MARLESFORD FRAMLINGHAM FAKENHAM SUDBURY FYFIELD ESHER DARTFORD RINGMER ALBOURNE NORTH WALSHAM ROCHFORD WYMONDHAM BRAINTREE ULTING M4 M40 BENINGTON M1 ASHFORD ERNEST DOE ERNEST DOE POWER THE FRUIT & VITICULTURE MACHINERY SPECIALISTS ERNEST DOE & SONS LTD AGRICULTURE AGRICULTURE Contact our Fruit & Viticulture Sales Manager: Tom Wheatley for more information: Mobile: 07387 023 467

Out & About

People & property

The latest industry moves, appointments and property news


Products, research and events you need to know about

Show review

Latest innovation in fruit research at Fruit Focus 2023

Show preview

The National Fruit Show enters its 90th year

Grower pro le

Celebrating heritage, embracing the future


Long-established industry specialist stages successful two-day event

Grower pro le

Blending tradition, innovation and a true love for the art of winemaking


Specialist machinery working days prove popular


06 10 13 16 20 29 35 39 43 47 50 66 53

Agronomy Are biologicals about to deliver on their promise?


Piwis: Do the opportunities outweigh the challenges?


New tractor-mounted sensor raises level of precision farming in orchards

Special report

WineGB Awards showcase the best of English and Welsh wine

Professional services

Grape brokerage: The dos and don'ts

In the know

How to get started with regenerative viticulture

September/October 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
Deputy editor Sarah Kidby attended the WineGB Awards in July, which welcomed nearly 200 vineyard owners, wine makers and industry professionals. Sarah's full report can be found on page 50. Machinery editor David Williams attended one of two working demonstration days by Kent-based NP Seymour Ltd. See page 29 for some of the highlights from the event. Fruit & Vine editor Rachel Hicks chatted with Catherine Scarff and her brother James at their beautiful Burnt House Vineyard in the Suffolk countryside recently. Turn to page 35 to read more. Sales director Zohra Mitchell, marketing manager Charlotte Harknett and sales executive Lauren Munson spent a busy day at Fruit Focus in Kent - read all about it on page 13.


Managing director Julie Goulding

Director Greg Goulding

Editorial Editor Rachel Hicks

Deputy editor Sarah Kidby

Machinery editor David Williams

Staff writer Henrietta Szathmary


Sales director Zohra Mitchell

Fruit & Vine specialist Samantha Wilson

Senior sales executive Joanna Blower

Senior sales executive Jana Moyes

Sales executive Chloe Fox

Sales executive Lauren Munson

Sales executive Rosanna Sweet

Sales executive William Taylor

Classi ed sales manager Nicki Procter


Marketing manager Charlotte Harknett

Design & Production Production manager

Martyn Smith

13 29 43 35 20 39 50 47 Contents

Industry’s rst ever

graduate programme launched

Vinescapes has launched the industry’s rst ever Graduate Training Programme of its kind, announcing the appointment of Sarah Stott as its rst graduate trainee.

The graduate trainee programme is a structured two-year scheme providing training and experience across all aspects of Vinescapes’ vineyard and wine production business delivery, vineyard modelling and establishment, winemaking (in the UK and overseas), research and data analysis, and both technical and strategic consultancy service provision.

Sarah holds a BSc in Viticulture

& Oenology from Plumpton College and, since graduating in 2022, has already gained vineyard and winery experience in Oregon, USA, UK and South Africa.

Vinescapes CEO Dr Alistair Nesbitt commented: “There is exceptional ambition and skill amongst many new Viticulture & Oenology graduates around the world and this programme provides a fantastic opportunity to

WineGB appoints

sustainability ambassador

Anne Jones has been appointed in a new and rst sustainability advisory role at WineGB.

The sustainability ambassador role is an advisory position created to bring commercial awareness of national and international sustainability regulations, schemes, and practices to WineGB.

Anne is a respected wine and spirits professional with in-depth knowledge of the global wine industry. Through her positions as Waitrose wine and spirits category manager and John Lewis Partnership drinks brand

experience development manager she has developed and demonstrated an incredibly strong commitment to sustainability and brings a wealth of experience that can bene t WineGB.

Ned Awty, interim CEO of WineGB said: “As a young wine region, English and Welsh wines are in a unique position of being able to put sustainability at the heart of everything we do. With Anne’s knowledge and experience we

harness and nurture those talents. We want to attract the world’s best graduates to our business and support rapid career development through a mix of training, mentoring and exposure to a range of projects with some of the worlds’ top viticulturists, winemakers and production businesses. We are really delighted to welcome Sarah to the team as our rst graduate trainee.

Vinescapes is looking to appoint further graduates to the scheme and has circulated details to educational institutions internationally. The details of the scheme and Sarah’s blog can be found on the Vinescapes website www.

can integrate our sustainability agenda into the wider world, play an important part in meeting the UK’s net zero and biodiversity targets, and be prepared for future regulation. I am pleased and excited to welcome Anne to WineGB and look forward to seeing her give voice and shape to sustainability in our industry.”

Anne added: “I’m delighted to be joining the WineGB team at this stage on the sustainability journey. We have an exciting opportunity to position ourselves as a world leader in sustainability, building on the great work that is already being done around the UK. My role will help to re ne what that means for all our winemakers Vinescapes also recently announced the appointment of Graham Fisher as senior viticulturist to its expanding team. Graham holds a BSc in Viticulture & Oenology and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from his many vintages from around the globe. Graham has a background in IT but quickly caught the passion for viticulture and wine when travelling in New Zealand, which prompted a change in career in 2004. Now based in Dorset, Graham is well-placed to manage the fastgrowing number of vineyards for clients across south west England.

and producers, and then to create a united voice in order to support and represent the industry on a local, national and global stage.”

Anne remains in her position at John Lewis Partnership.

The vines were planted under the watchful eye of Professor Frank Vriesekoop, adjunct professor in

Food Biotechnology, and with the guidance of Martin Vickers, the founder of the Halfpenny Green

Wine Estate in Bobbington, near Bridgnorth.

Professor Vriesekoop said: “Ten di erent varieties of vines were planted on a 1ha plot by specialist contractor VineWorks, in order to establish a vineyard at Harper Adams that could be a production vineyard, a teaching vineyard, and a research vineyard.

“There are two drivers for the increase of viticulture and winemaking in the UK. One of these drivers is the development of new grape varieties that provide a mature crop in colder climates. Many of these new varieties also have a strong resistance to pests that would normally make it very di cult to grow grapes in wet and cool climates like the Midlands.

“The second driver will be the notion that global warming has shifted the climate enough to even

allow more traditional grape varieties to do well in the UK.”

The vines were planted in early May but are already growing well – and Martin believes that their grapes could be producing wine within two years.

Martin explained: “Depending on conditions and varieties, if they develop a decent cane by the autumn that is capable of over-wintering, then the rst small batch of wine could be ready in 2025, and the rst decent cropping year for wine would be 2026.”

Professor Vriesekoop added: “I’d like to thank Martin and Halfpenny Green Vineyard [...] for their work with us.

“The Vickers family has been a very strong supporter for Harper Adams taking on teaching and research related to viticulture and wine making, and we look forward to working with them as our vineyard develops.”

September/October 2023 6 PEOPLE & PROPERTY
Vines have been planted to establish the rst vineyard on the Harper Adams University estate – with the grapes potentially ready to produce wine within two years.
at Harper Adams University Vineyard planted

Charles Moon & Sons

07711 593316 . 07860 395334


covering the south east offering the personal touch to contract spreading. We have a wide range of unique and custom machinery suitable for all types of fruit, vineyard and arable spreading applications. Lime, compost, fertiliser, GPS, soil sampling and dung etc.





We have been trading since 1987, supplying services to growers, nurseries and vineyards. With over 40 years experience in the business we offer a unique service. Whatever your requirements, we can supply a solution to meet your needs; from simply supplying a pruning saw through to a bespoke requirement for a soft fruit tunnel sprayer.

TELEPHONE: 01359 250796



7 September/October 2023

in new vineyard venture seeks partnership Norfolk mixed farm

Fruit & Vine chatted with Worstead Estate co-owner Bruce Paterson about his plans for establishing a vineyard on his Norfolk site.

Q. What prompted you to consider diversifying into viticulture?

A: As an arable enterprise, part of the site has proven to be lower yielding when planted with combinable crops compared to other parts of the site. At the same time, it’s south-facing, with sandy loam soil, 5–35m above sea level and surrounded by woodland with a spring-fed reservoir at the bottom, so after doing some research I realised it could be ideal for planting a vineyard.

I had a chat with specialists Vinescapes, who attended the site and carried out a brief survey, which con rmed my thoughts around its suitability for vine-growing. So now we’re looking to nd somebody to partner up with us in terms of establishing and potentially managing a vineyard of around 60 acres in total.

Q. What is the terroir like at the site?

A: In Norfolk, we don’t necessarily have the heat of the south coast, but we do get a lot of sunshine. The intriguing thing about our site is that it’s the

only hill for miles around, so it has a very niche microclimate.

We also sit in a very unique avenue between the sea and the inland, where we actually bene t from the weather of both, but are not exposed to the extremes of either. The sandy loam soil means there is the potential for really strong root growth, and drainage is excellent.

Q. What are you looking for in terms of partnership options?

A: In a nutshell, we’d like to nd somebody who likes the idea of being part of a community of small businesses that all have their own speciality in terms of their own industry, while forming part of a much larger mechanism.

We wouldn’t necessarily be looking to sell the land, but we would certainly be willing to lease it; this could be on a long-term lease so that essentially, it’s safeguarded in terms of the business coming in; they would have a really good starting point to get themselves up and running.

Also, we’ve already created a wedding venue with holiday lets; there’s further plans to build a restaurant and an on-site shop, so there would be ready-made outlets for a locally-produced wine, bene tting all the di erent businesses involved in the site.

Q. What are your thoughts on the English wine-making industry?

A: In terms of the industry itself, I’d say it’s upand-coming, and easily a force to be reckoned with; but no one in the traditional areas of Europe wants to admit it.

Norfolk is a very lucrative area in terms of second homes and holidays from London, so it’s a well-placed and ready-made market for this type of venture, plus there’s only a handful of vineyards of any scale in this area.

And with the model we’re looking at, it allows somebody to come in and really push their skills and knowledge in a geographical area which is virtually untapped.

September/October 2023 8 PEOPLE & PROPERTY Up to 24Ha with very favourable draining soils and optimal elevation, aspect and angle for viticulture Beneficial growing season rainfall and temperatures with irrigation if required Potential to establish on site facilities, together with other estate outlets and North Norfolk "The land at Worstead Estate provides very good viticulture potential" - Alistair Nesbitt, Vinespaces | 01692 536226 |

Land with vineyard potential generating significant interest

Simon Gooderham, joint managing partner at Che ns, discusses the impact that the booming viticulture industry is having on land values and market direction.

It’s been estimated that the footprint of vineyards in the UK will double in the next decade following the popularity of British wine. And with currently 943 winemaking sites now in existence, according to WineGB, the demand for vineyards is increasing at pace.

The number of acres under vine is expected to exceed 7,600 acres in the next decade, as a result of the burgeoning viticulture sector and the growing popularity of British wine. Values are now exceeding around £15,000–25,000 per acre for prime vineyard land; well over and above the average arable price of circa £10,000 per acre. The perfect storm of a new commercial interest in British wine, coupled with climate change, has now made the UK a serious contender for winemaking on the world stage. Our chalky soils in East Anglia and throughout the South East mimic those of Champagne and the typical growing areas of France, allowing for good quality sparkling wines, and some brands, such as Nyetimber, are really now making waves in the market.

Last year, we o ered one of the most established vineyards in East Anglia to the open market. With 22 acres of vines, wine making equipment and a winery, the vineyard had been established over 50 years ago, and already had a good reputation among the viticulture community. The vineyard generated signi cant interest from buyers from the UK, Germany, Spain, Australia and New Zealand.

This is partly due to the wide-ranging types of buyers who are currently actively seeking out vineyard land. These vary from farmers looking to diversify and ride the wave of UK winemaking, speci c wine makers, everyday buyers looking for a career change and even some of the largest Champagne houses, such as Taittinger and Pommery, which have both been buying up UK land for production. Demand is mainly focussed on established vineyards, which are rare to come to the market and achieve much attention when they do so, but land which is ripe for planting is also popular. However, it can take up to ve years

for vines to reach full productivity, making this a lengthy process for a buyer looking to start a vineyard afresh.

As farm subsidy payments are beginning to fall, we are seeing that more and more farmers are actively looking for additional income streams, and winemaking can provide a great, fun alternative. For farmers looking to plug the holes in income following the changes to farm subsidies, if their soil ts the bill, investing into creating a vineyard could well be a timely exercise, particularly if UK wines continue to grow in popularity. There will shortly be a diversi cation grant coming available under the Rural England Prosperity Fund which is set to include funding for processing equipment and buildings amongst other projects. These funds are being delivered by di erent local authorities, which will make decisions on eligibility and what the funds can be used for, however they could well provide a substantial leg up for those looking to start out on a new vineyard venture.

41 acres


Newton Court Farm offers the opportunity to purchase a superbly renovated farmhouse with its own productive vineyard. This unique opportunity offers several vineyard management options, including transition arrangements with the current owners for an agreed period to assist with the handover of the management of the vineyard, a lease out agreement with a third-party grower or immediate in-house management with vacant possession available upon completion. Please contact the agents to discuss the options or to book a viewing.

GUIDE PRICE £1,990,000

• Exceptional renovated farmhouse with spectacular views across its productive vineyard

• 20 acre vineyard planted with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay

• DEMETER certified biodynamic and organic

• Wine making contract available and options for a management plan or lease outsourcing

• A range of traditional and modern outbuildings including a magnificent barn and a cider mill with potential to convert (STP)

• Beautiful location on the outskirts of Monmouth with superb access to the wider region to Cheltenham, Cardiff, Bristol and London

September/October 2023 9

Vine & Wine NIAB to host a Discovery Day

only dedicated research winery in the UK, allows NIAB to develop research programmes to address the needs and challenges of the UK wine industry.

The appointment of internationally renowned oenologist Dr Belinda Kemp earlier this year, ensures that NIAB has the knowledge and expertise to work collaboratively with grape growers and wine producers, ensuring that the organisation’s work meets the needs of the UK wine sector.

Commenting on this event, Dr Kemp explained: “Since my arrival at East Malling, I’ve been working hard both to set up our new facilities and to secure research funding to develop viticulture and oenology research projects for the UK industry. This event will allow me to share information with grape growers and wine makers and explain how we aim to develop the ‘NIAB Grape and Wine R&D Consortium’. This is open to all vineyard and wine producing businesses, through three types of membership (Full, Associate and Patron), and o ers a range of assistance, support services and access to research.”


is hosting a ‘Vine and Wine Discovery Day’ at its East Malling site in Kent, exclusively for UK grape growers and winemakers.

The event on Thursday 14th September 2023 will brief visitors on NIAB’s current and future research for the vine and wine industry, reveal the new Wine Research Centre facilities, and introduce services to support both grape growers and wine producers. Free and open to all, booking is

essential as places are limited. NIAB rst established a research and demonstration vineyard at East Malling in 2015, currently supported by the NIAB Grape and Wine R&D Consortium. The addition of new research winery and laboratory facilities, believed to be the

Wonky and surplus food brand fruit box launches new

Launched on 1st August, Earth & Wheat’s 5kg Variety Fruit Box includes variations of ultra-fresh fruit such as apples, pears, oranges, satsumas, melons, passionfruit, kiwi, mangos, and nectarines.

The brand’s move into fruit was “the next logical step” according to its founder James Eid as it is one of the most wasted food items on the planet with millions of pieces of perfectly good fruit dumped in the bin every day.

According to Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), a British charity, more than half of the food waste generated by UK manufacturing and retail sectors is avoidable.

The research showed that the UK wasted 1.9 million tonnes of food and drink per year – 1.1 million tonnes of which is avoidable, worth £1.9 billion. Fresh fruit and vegetables represented around 11% alone which equates to 100,000mt.

Earth & Wheat will rescue wonky and ‘good’ surplus items at the point of production from fruit producers, suppliers, and growers, from

around the UK who are regularly forced to bin these items due to their odd shape, size, colour or cosmetic speci cations which do not meet retailers’ strict standards.

James Eid said: “Earth & Wheat continues the next part of our mission to reduce food waste as we declare war on fruit waste. Food producers are forced to bin tonnes of fruit every day so it was the next logical step for us to start rescuing this precious commodity from being unnecessarily thrown away.

“Our mission is to stop food waste in the supply chain as early as possible which means combatting waste at farm level – where so much fruit is thrown away because it is either too big or too small, too odd or

Included in the programme will be the latest information on the progress of current research projects, plans for new research, and the installation of a winery tank system, a new rainwater capture system to reduce water usage in the winery. There will also be a chance to view NIAB’s underground Rhizolab. The only facility of its kind in the UK, it has been planted with a range of varieties and rootstocks to allow NIAB to investigate rootstock di erences below ground, and carry out soil/ rootstock interactions and microbiome studies. In addition there will be a tour of the new laboratory, winery and research vineyard.

strange looking. This means it is destined for one place – the bin – before it even hits the shelves. This is unacceptable; wonky and surplus fruit is perfectly delicious to eat.

“Due to variances in weather conditions, sometimes crops grow ‘wonky’; additionally, seasonality and demand will a ect surplus stock quantities – resulting in perfectly good fruit being tossed aside. It is this type of invisible waste that consumers do not see, which Earth & Wheat is ghting to reduce by redistributing it to our valued customers.”

Earth & Wheat launched in 2021 with the world’s rst ‘wonky bread’ box before introducing a ‘wonky veg’ box followed by a wide range of artisan and patisserie and plant-based bread boxes.

September/October 2023 10 NEWS
Wonky and surplus food brand Earth & Wheat has declared “war on fruit waste” and entered the market with a new Variety Fruit Box.
AGRI SERVICES To find out more call 01670 789 020 or visit woxagriservices woxagri woxagri Perfect for management of compact fruit & vine settings Watch me in action! Mini Greenmaster ®
12 September/October 2023 PLANTING&GROWING TUNNEL&SHELTER TUNNEL&SHELTER PRUNING&FRUITTOOLS TUNNEL&SHELTER PRUNING&FRUITTOOLS HARVESTING HARVESTING PRUNING&FRUITTOOLS HARVESTING PLANTING&GROWING PLANTING&GROWING TUNNEL&SHELTER TUNNEL&SHELTER PRUNING&FRUITTOOLS HARVESTING PRUNING&FRUITTOOLS TUNNEL&SHELTER TUNNEL&SHELTER TUNNEL&SHELTER PLANTING&GROWING TUNNEL&SHELTER HARVESTING TUNNEL&SHELTER ProductDirectory2023T:01304842280 Workshop AgricareUKLtd,CootingRoad,AyleshamIndustrialEstate,Canterbury,Kent CT33EP Viticulture & Horticulture Agriculture Livestock Cleaning&PPE Brooms Brushes CleaningandSanitisingFluids Clothing and Protection FirstAid Gloves PaperTowelandCleaningSundries VehicleCleaning FarmandEstateManagement Adhesives Batteries Alkaline Ties Creosote ElectricalSundries 240v FencingProductsandTools 13, FixingsandFaste Gates, teFittingsandFencing Hose,WaterPipe,ClipsandFittings 23 Lubr antSpra 26 PestControl Pumps 24, Secur Produc 35 SilageTape SprayersParts,Nozzles Accessories 16 StopcocksandValves 24 StrimmerCord Tape 27 Tarpaulins Tools 15 Containers WireRopeandAccessories 29 WorkshopTools,Compressor Fittings Anti-Freezeand d-Blue, BarrelPumps 55 BarrelPumps ElectricalComponentsandSundries 47 FuelDeliveryProducts,Valves Filters Grease,GreaseGunsandNipples 54 39 HydraulicHoseandFittings 59 andGeneralWorkshopSundriesOilSpillKits 55 56, PaintsandAccessories 48 andAbrasives TyreProducts,FuelCansandFunnels 50 52 WeldingandCutting VehicleandMachineryParts BatteriesandChargers LinkageectricalPlugs,SocketsandSwitches Pins Clips 66 PerfectPulveriserandMowerParts PTOShafts Components Ratchet LiftingStraps Screenwash,VehicleSundriesandDe-Icer 68 TowingandTrailerProducts VehicleLighting,Bulbs,Beacons Accessories 62 64 Vehicle SeatCoversandMirrors 67 otexParts PlantingandGrowing Anchors Bamboo ChainClipsCropCoverSystems Gripples,GrippleAnchors Crimps 78 HogRingsand RopePullers Stringan Tw Tee-BarsandFixings and Guards TunnelClips Tapes TunnelRope TyingSystemsandProducts SteelandPolyesterWoodenPosts Pruning ElectricChainsawandHedgecutters ElectricPrunersandAccessories 95 Pruners LoppersandParts 88 SecateursuningSawsandBlades Parts 87 Sharpeners Harvesting ColdStoreProducts HarvestingBinRepairsandMarkingBarrowsandTrolleys Knives PalletHandling 99 PickingBuckets TripodLadders 99 LivestockEquipmentandMachinery AccessCage Attachments BaleHandlingEquipment 0, 103, Ca HandlingandFeeding 107 Cultivators Harrows 102 MoleDrainers 105 SheepHandlingandFeeding 10 Sprayers 101 TractorWeights 10 WaterTrough 107 2023AgriCat.indd 22/ 2023 PLANTING&GROWING PLANTING&GROWING TUNNEL&SHELTER PRUNING&FRUITTOOLS HARVESTING HARVESTING ehicleLighting,Bulbs,Beaco Accessories Contact us for your copy of our new Product Directory 01304 842280 Agricare UK Ltd, Cooting Road, Aylesham Industrial Estate, Canterbury, Kent CT3 3EP Annual ServicingBook in Now to Avoid the Rush!! Fruit & Vine Ad Dec 22.indd 5 03/08/2023 16:29 NO MORE BINNING OUT! LESS RUTS THANKS TO OFFSET WHEELS AUTO LEVELLING FOR UNEVEN TERRAIN Our Tecnofruit Harvesters are the ideal machine for commercial orchard use. Available in 2 models with various options including self-levelling and automatic bin trailer. Load & unload your harvester from the rear using our unique Z-4 bin carrier. This means the harvester is the first machine to pass down the row therefore not driving in ruts especially in a wet season. KIRKLANDUK.COM | 01622 843013 | INFO@KIRKLANDUK.COM | ME17 3NW

Latest innovation in fruit research at

Fruit Focus 2023

Visitors to Fruit

Focus on 12th



East Malling, Kent

were able to explore cutting-edge research and innovation projects, funded to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing the fruit sector.

Growing Kent & Medway, Innovate UK and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) all joined forces for the rst time at this year’s Fruit Focus.

Some of the projects on display included:

• Fotenix Limited: Integrating advanced camera hardware, 3D multi-spectral and laserdot technology, and AI services to enhance UK food production (Innovate UK)

• Machere Ltd: Identifying organic liquid fertilisers for aeroponic systems (Growing Kent & Medway)

• Air-seq: A revolutionary technology developed by Earlham Institute that uses DNA sequencing to provide early warning of airborne pathogens (BBSRC)

• University of Greenwich and NIAB, East Malling: Pheromone of apple saw y,

developing new tools to manage a reemerging pest (BBSRC).

Free outreach programme launched NIAB launched a new free outreach programme for the fruit industry at the 2023 Fruit Focus event in Kent.

NIAB Fruit is designed to be a one-stop shop for the results of NIAB’s research projects, study tours, demonstration sites and best practice information, all available online at

Growers have online access to the NIAB Fruit Annual Review, a portfolio of NIAB’s current fruit research projects, as well as dedicated webpages for its demonstration centres – the WET (Water E cient Technologies) Centre, the Plum Demonstration Centre and the Grape and Wine Centre. Best practice growing guidelines

are available for apple and pear crops, along with useful updates on study tours and grower guidance on a range of topics. There are also links to NIAB fruit technical days, with recordings of the presentations made on the results of research projects.

Commenting on the new programme, NIAB’s knowledge exchange manager, Scott Ra e explained that with the loss of AHDB’s activities, NIAB understood that the fruit industry needed a new home for its wide range of information, advice, events and research.

“At NIAB, we are working hard to raise the pro le of our fruit research projects through our technical events, NIAB Fruit Annual Review, and press articles. However, with growers, agronomists and technologists nding it increasingly di cult to attend every event and to nd time to keep abreast of our work, knowing that they can nd all of this information in one place will help them to nd it quickly when the need arises.”

NIAB Fruit is freely available to everyone at

September/October 2023 13 SHOW REVIEW

Research and development

Elsoms’ everbearing F1 hybrid strawberry range are bred by ABZ Seeds and have all been trialled in the UK. Elsoms has also been working on trials to improve the resilience of strawberry production. Pictured (l-r) are midlands and north west England vegetable specialist Andrew Vincent, crop specialist Claire Taylor, and marketing and communications executive Jake Wallis.

Plenty of interest

On the Kirkland stand, visitors were interested in the impressive Antonio Carraro tractor range, as well as the Orizzonti equipment which included pruning and cultivating machinery. The Air-Jet Berry Harvester – suitable for blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and blackcurrants - also garnered a lot of attention. Pictured (l-r) are administrator Hollie Kamel, marketing executive Tilly Shephard, company partner Scott Worsley and sales manager Ben Devine.

Latest agronomy advice

Chatting about the latest agronomy updates, as well as coir substrate Botanicoir were Agrovista technical manager Alex Radu, fruit agronomist Karen Morgan, agronomist Fokion Chatziavgerinos, fruit agronomist Simon Warren, and head of fruit Mark Davies.

Educating growers

At Fruit Focus this year, Omex’s UK-based team, including (l-r) Dr Neil Holmes, Richard Cameron and Joe Barfoot, were educating growers on the importance of in-feed water treatment through the use of DeSaltus 2.0, with trials from 2022 showing impressive results, as well as discussing SAP analysis.

Promoting woodlands to landowners

The UK’s largest woodland conservation charity, Woodland Trust, discussed its MOREwoods scheme with Fruit Focus visitors. Pictured are the charity’s Simon Miller and Josh Pastars.

Supporting crops

Talking fertilisers

Experts in controlled release and watersoluble fertilisers, ICL’s Andrew Judd explained that the company’s speciality fertilisers are designed to feed soft fruits grown in substrates as well as in the soil, with the range including control release fertilisers, fertigation with fully-soluble fertilisers and foliar feeding – allowing growers to choose the best nutritional regime for their crops. The company’s Vinemaster product was a particular talking point on the stand.

Hortifeeds’ specialist fertilisers and biostimulants are designed to support crops throughout every stage of development. The range of products include liquid, water soluble and granular fertilisers which are suitable for “any growing situation”, the company says.

Pictured are regional sales manager (north and west of England Ireland and Scotland) Paul Wright (left) and regional sales manager (south of England) Ben Dalton.

September/October 2023 14 SHOW REVIEW

Extremely busy team with exciting announcements

The NIAB team were incredibly busy at the event, offering tours as well as announcing the new free outreach programme. Pictured (l-r) are: Tadd Robson, Scott Ra e, Emma Smith, Celine Xavier e Silva, Will Roberts, Tom Passey, Mitzi Else, Phoebe Carter and Geoffrey Lidell.

Making human workforce more productive

Cambridge-based technology start-up Dogtooth’s agship product is the autonomous fruit-picking robot, which was designed to make the human workforce more productive. At Fruit Focus, the team was actively promoting the fthgeneration strawberry-picking robot which, it claims, can pick delicate berry fruits with near-human visual acuity and dexterity.

Pictured on the stand are the company’s Ed Herbert, Natalie Tetusch, Duncan Robertson, Cat De Haes and Candy McGrevy.

Electric weeder

RootWave, the Warwickshirebased electrical weed control manufacturer

RootWave launched its rst tractor-powered machine for orchards, vineyards and fruit at Fruit Focus this year. The RootWave machine treats weeds in the rows of vines, bushes and trees using treatment electrodes, boiling them from the inside out.

Pictured are Jimmy Phillips (left) and Ed Phillips, who said that growers can reserve a machine now, with those rst in the queue able to secure delivery in spring 2024.

Improving irrigation efficiency

As well as chatting with visitors on the Sencrop stand, account executive Mark Herriman (pictured left, with UK sales manager Kelly Stevens) also spoke at one of the event seminars, providing advice on how growers can get the best out of their irrigation systems by keeping an eye on every element that has an impact on e ciency –evapotranspiration, solar radiation and temperature.

Innovative offering

As well as a range of machines suitable for top and soft fruit growers, the NP Seymour team were showcasing the innovative, fully-electric variable rate bene cial insect applicator on their stand at Fruit Focus this year. Developed in partnership with Bioline AgroSciences, the battery-powered Bio Applicator can be towed by a quad or any compact vehicle, and features a cooled hopper which prevents certain insects –mainly Phytoseiulus – from rising to the top when warm, thus keeping the natural pest enemies well mixed and making consistent application easier.

Looking for grower support

Fox Robotics’ innovative Hugo RT robot has been designed to operate in elds and polytunnels and has many uses, including delivering empty trays, collecting and weighing picked produce and transporting to mobile collection points. The company is now looking to raise funds for its commercialisation round and bring on expertise from the farming community. Fox Robotics’ hope is to work closely with individuals interested in novel technology and farmers who are open to implementing automation on their farm to help to improve e ciencies and productivity.

If you’re interested in investing in the future or want to give this novel technology a try, contact Fox Robotics business development manager Alejandra Acevedo –pictured on the right with Henry Acevedo.

Hands-on demonstrations

Agricare’s Charlton Worsley and Ross Worsley offered hands-on demonstrations at the event, including the Infaco F3020 electric pruners, as well as the Bellota cordless pruning and tying equipment.

Pictured (l-r) are Ash Baldry, Ashley Manwaring, Nick Seymour and Claire Seymour.

National Fruit Show

enters its 90th year

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.

The Marden Fruit Show Society (MFSS) is a registered charity run by a voluntary committee who represent many di erent facets of the fruit industry. The aim of the Society is to promote the better growing, grading and marketing of fruit.

The Society organises the National Fruit Show –“by growers, for growers” – which acts as a meeting place for the industry. The event is dedicated to

showcasing British top and soft fruit, with the centrepiece of the show, held each November, being the largest competitive display of commercially grown top and soft fruit staged in the UK.

Now entering its 90th year, new for 2023 is an increased focus on soft fruit, including a soft fruit technical forum, as well as the return of The Hive –an information sharing zone and break out area for start-up businesses.

Earlier this year, MFSS 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 takes the reins from Sarah Calcutt, who stepped down as the executive chair to become the honorary chair.

Sally, who has been involved as a committee member for a number of years, now presides over all day-to-day 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 commented: “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

“This year is also the 90th year of The National Fruit Show and following the success of the 2022 show, opened by HRH The Countess of Wessex, we are looking to build on that success with an exciting event to showcase the talents of British fruit growers, the best of British fruit and the wider industry, along with access to the latest technology that innovates and supports it.”

Andrew Tinsley, chair of the trustees at the MFSS commented: “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 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.

September/October 2023 16 SHOW PREVIEW
Sally Flanagan, new chief executive
Taking place across 1st-2nd November 2023, this year’s National Fruit Show will be introducing some new elements to keep growers engaged and informed.
17 September/October 2023 MOBITECH LIFT TRUCKS Grandshore Wood Farm, Grandshore Lane, Frittenden Kent. TN17 2BZ CALL NOW ON 01580 852473 Throughout the UK we can support your ever growing business by specialising in most popular makes and models of materials handling equipment. The leading specialists In horticultural and viticultural agronomy Backed by an unrivalled range of services • Digital farming solutions • Soil health strategy • Environmental stewardship advice • Farm business consultancy • Agroecology advice • Seed and nutrition planning • Product supply • Specialist packaging division H L Hutchinson Limited Weasenham Lane • Wisbech Cambridgeshire PE13 2RN Tel: 01945 461177 e: Talk to us and see the di erence for yourself! 22255HUT-Update_The_Leading_Specialist(190x133).indd 1 09/08/2023 09:01

fruit crop

Whether you are an established vineyard looking for advice for your next big endeavor or a start up project in your own back garden, we can help you select the correct and most suitable vines for your needs and terroir. Based in the North of England we have vast experience in planting and maintaining vines in our own British cool climate vineyard, Ryedale Vineyards.

The Vine House UK offer a dynamic consultancy and project management service for start ups, which can include site visits, soil analysis, planting and trellising plus ongoing support.


18 September/October 2023 Do you want to increase the yield and quality of your crop? Are you looking for help to combat nutrient deficiencies? www 07768598122 Tracy
believe that
with readily available nutrients
when needed is
to our
Specialists and see how Yara’s high quality fertiliser, fertigation and
products can help you grow bigger and better
season. Call 01653 658035 email
Beilby We
fundamental. Come
bio stimulant

Highlighting fertilisers and biostimulants

Hortifeeds is looking forward to welcoming visitors to its stand at this year’s National Fruit Show, held at the Kent Showground on November 1st and 2nd.

Joining members of the Hortifeeds team, the company is delighted to welcome Laura Bishop from Plant Impact to the stand, who will be happy to discuss the bene ts of the company’s calcium mobility product Amētros, available through Hortifeeds. Amētros has been shown to improve Class 1 yield and fruit rmness in a range of fruit crops. Laura says she will be happy to chat with visitors about how it can bene t their business.

The Hortifeeds team will also be highlighting the bene ts seen from regular applications of its complete biostimulant, HortiBoost. When used in tank mixes with each round of programmed sprays, HortiBoost has been shown to improve yield the fruit quality and can strengthen plants to combat stress events such as extreme heat and drought. The little and often approach to HortiBoost application is cost effective, Hortifeeds says, and ensures crops are protected from stress whenever it may occur.

Hortifeeds will also be showcasing its extensive range of fertiliser and biostimulant products at the show, including foliar products to suit all fruit crops and growth stages, and an extensive range of bespoke soluble fertilisers for top and soft fruit.

Head to stand S35 at the National Fruit Show to discuss how Hortifeeds can help you improve your crop fertiliser programme.

Materials handling on short- and long-term hire

Mobitech Lift Trucks is a Kent-based, independent specialist materials handling equipment company.

Established in 1986 by Andrew Barker, Mobitech Lift Trucks remains a family-run business to this day, with the second generation – Andrew’s son and daughter and their spouses – actively involved across all areas of the company.

Based in Frittenden, the team is passionate about helping its loyal and expanding customer base across the whole of the South East to nd the right equipment to suit their requirements. Mobitech is a dealer for EP Europe, Agrimac UK and Samuk Forklifts, but can also supply and support customers with any make or model of materials handling equipment.

Mobitech is able to supply both, new and used equipment alongside a hire eet of 250+ machines, which the company says enables it to provide short- and long-term hire equipment.

Having its very own transport department enables the business to provide all of its customers with fast and affordable transportation, Mobitech says.

With a team of highly skilled engineers, Mobitech is able to carry out on-site servicing and maintenance. At the company depot, it also offers the bene t of a fully-equipped modern workshop, which enables it to carry out more extensive repairs and refurbishments. The depot also has a very well stocked parts department.

With safety being of paramount concern, Mobitech can also offer customers a full range of on-site forklift driver training courses, all of which meet current RTITB standards.

Visit to nd out more – or pop along to stand K20 at the National Fruit Show this November.

Returning as show sponsor

NP Seymour is a family business that was set up in 1974 by Nick and Barbara Seymour. Over the years, the business has slowly but steadily evolved from a ‘man with a van’ to a key part of the fruit and vine industry. The company says it is proud to have now been in business for nearly half a century, and has been a Fendt tractor dealer for more than 30 years, with the narrow 200 series being its speciality.

NP Seymour designs, manufactures and supplies specialist equipment for the fruit, vineyard and hop industry; from machines to prepare the land for planting, right through production to storage, grading and packing of fruit into boxes for sale. Its bespoke design and build table-top strawberry sprayers lead the way in this sector of the spraying market. The business also carries out sales and service of winery and juice processing machinery.

The truly family-run business is today headed up by the secondgeneration, Nick and Barbara’s daughter Claire Seymour, who remains dedicated to helping fruit farmers, hop growers, packhouse managers, vineyard owners and winemakers with all their equipment needs.

Based just outside Goudhurst, Kent, NP Seymour’s purpose-built site, Avon Works, is a hub of activity, complete with sales showroom, extensive parts stores and a busy workshop. Over the last 49 years, the team has proudly developed relationships with leading manufacturers from around the world to bring its horticultural and viticultural customers the very best machinery solutions.

Renowned for reliability and innovation, NP Seymour’s range of tractors, sprayers, mowers, cultivation equipment and more ensures that farmers and growers of specialist, high value crops can produce the best quality and yield, in the most e cient way, year-on-year.

Cementing the link between crop and consumer, the business also provides modern, e cient grading and packing solutions for packhouses and the state-of-theart winemaking equipment it supplies is used by many leading English wine producers. Visit the team on stand K33 at this year’s National Fruit Show.

Advice on all growing and packaging aspects

Hutchinsons’ specialist horticultural team advises on all types of top and soft fruit, hops, vines, ornamentals and other horticultural crops, both protected or outdoor.

Advisory services also cover variety selection, planting and establishment, pruning, post-harvest treatment and fruit storage.

The company supplies crop protection products, biological control products, all aspects of plant nutrition (including fertigation) and growing systems, as well as horticultural sundries such as growing media, ground cover, plastic lms and bamboo canes.

The organisation works closely with colleagues at Produce Packing in supplying packaging requirements for growers and their pack houses.

Hutchinsons says that many of its agronomists are leading industry experts and work in close liaison with research establishments, while its training and development programme ensures that all agronomists are fully up-to-date and advice is completely independent.

The company also runs its own in-house research trials, such as the HELIOS project exploring orchard yields, to ensure it can always offer the best advice for its clients.

Find the Hutchinsons team on stand K21 at the National Fruit Show.

September/October 2023 19 SHOW PREVIEW

embracing the

heritage, future

Somerset farmer William Thatcher made the rst ever Thatchers cider at Myrtle Farm in 1904. Today, the farm continues to honour traditional varieties, as well as leading the way in cider innovation with its extensive variety trials.

From humble beginnings to iconic brand

As was the tradition in the early 1900s, Myrtle Farm – a mixed enterprise at the time – grew cider apple trees and pressed the fruit to make cider for its farm workers. William Thatcher soon became known for making the best cider around, and began selling it in the local villages. The tradition continued through the generations to current cider-maker Martin Thatcher – William’s great grandson. The fth generation is also now working for the business, which has its roots rmly in the Mendip Hills area of north Somerset.

Having been a mixed enterprise until 20 years ago, the farm now grows apples solely for cider production, with more than 500 varieties planted.

They focus on a core range of 26 for commercial cider making, ranging from varieties with high tannin content, for ciders that require a complex depth to the avour – such as Thatchers Vintage – to low tannin eating and juicing varieties for the increasingly popular lighter style ciders – such as Thatchers Katy.

Farm manager Chris – who grew up on a farm and previously worked at Frontier and Heineken –is particularly partial to Thatchers Rascal, crafted from bittersweet apples, but added: “My fridge is full of Thatchers Gold – you can’t beat it for a wellbalanced cider which just hits the spot. Equally, if I’m driving, a bottle of Zero – our alcohol-free cider – is just as good.”

As an homage to its early beginnings, the farm also has an exhibition orchard of 458 rare and heritage apple varieties curated by third-generation cider maker John Thatcher. Many of the varieties came from the National Fruit and Cider Institute at Long Ashton when it closed. “We believe this to be the largest collection of apples for cider in the country and is an incredibly important living library,” Chris commented.

As well as honouring the traditional, they are currently trialling 100 varieties, exploring the cider apples of the future to keep up with

September/October 2023 20
Deputy editor Sarah Kidby sat down with farm manager Chris Muntz-Torres, and the farm’s agronomist Matt Greep

consumer tastes.

Like many farms, it has also diversi ed its cider business, o ering farm tours and running the popular Railway Inn which includes a restaurant and bar selling an array of ciders. The pub is located along a walking/cycle path close to the farm, The Strawberry Line. The farm also works closely with local schools and colleges to teach students about the life cycle of apple trees.

A year on the farm

With cider apples being a lower value crop compared to dessert apples, input and establishment costs must be lower too. But being a juice producer, the farm doesn’t have the same concerns about size, colour, shape and storage which keeps some costs down, including labour due to the mechanisation. Nevertheless, quality of juice is the prime focus, and they are not immune to the price increases being felt across the farming sector, said Chris.

Having fewer concerns about super cial damage to the fruit also means the farm’s primary tasks throughout the year di er slightly from those growing eating apples. Trees are dormant from December to March and blossom time

occurs in April/May depending on the variety –traditional cider varieties are later than others.

“Our trees are grown on semi-vigorous rootstocks such as MM106, MM111 and M116; after a few years they should be self-supporting,” Chris explained. “Harvest is a mechanised process which involves letting some apples fall naturally, shaking the remainder o trees and collecting the apples from the oor before being transported in bulk to the mill where they are pressed.

“All our apples are pressed at Myrtle Farm, and our ciders made right here. All our packaging is also carried out here – canning, bottling and kegging. In that way, we are able to ensure quality every step of the way.

“It’s important for us to press the apples immediately after harvest (within 24 hours) so that we have the freshest avours in our juice. In order for us to make cider all year round, we store the juice in temperature-controlled vats so that it is always in optimum condition.”

He added: “The orchard year starts in winter when we prune/shape the trees – we keep our trees in what we call hedgerow style, so that we harvest maximum sunlight. Each year we plant new trees across our Somerset orchards, and the spring is spent ensuring the trees are in top condition.”

Harvesting at the optimal ripeness is particularly important for cider making: “This is usually when all the starch within the apples has been converted into sugars. For early varieties this window is very short, only a few days, so we need a quick and e cient harvesting process.” This begins at the end of August with varieties such as Katy and Grenadier, and ends with Dabinett and Vilberie towards the end of November. “It’s important for us to have a range of apple varieties that crop throughout the harvest period.”

The farm works with local beekeepers who keep hives in the orchards all year round, but they don’t just encourage honeybees. “Solitary bees and bumblebees play their part too – so we have an active management system for the orchard margins and hedgerows, and plant wild ower plots where we can, to encourage wild populations of solitary bees,” he said.

Sustainability is integral

Being a family company and growing apples and producing ciders in a sustainable way, is integral to the farm. Whether that be reducing plastic packaging (an area they are continually researching and innovating), or installing solar panels to contribute to their use of renewables and energy creation across their cider making.

“We work hard to constantly reduce our use of water, to reduce our carbon, and our waste throughout our cider making process,” Chris commented. “And we’re doing all of this from the ground up. We’re not investing in o set schemes or anything like that – we want our progress to be meaningful, genuine, and in itself, sustainable.

“As a cider maker with hundreds of acres of orchard, planting trees is second nature to us. As a family, Thatchers has been planting trees for generations. The resulting biodiversity within our orchards is amazing, and this is something that bene ts not just our apples, but our local community too.”

There are 3,000 solar panels at Myrtle Farm which they anticipate will provide a total

Farm manager: Chris Muntz-Torres

Location: Sandford, north Somerset

Total farm size: 200ha

Varieties grown: Over 500 in total, including variety trials. Traditional cider varieties are grown, such as Dabinett, Somerset Redstreak and Tremlett’s Bitter; modern varieties such as Three Counties, Gilly, Hastings, and Prince William; and eating varieties such as Katy, Red Windsor, Jonagold and Falsta , which are used to make lighter ciders

Soil type: Predominantly sandy-silt loam

Thatchers has 100 varieties in tree trials, including Cider Lady’s Finger apples

Bloody Turk apples – part of Thatchers’ extensive tree trials


Apples are pressed immediately after harvest

CO2 saving of 301 tonnes a year, and an annual generation of 1,064Mwh of electric, contributing to the green energy that is produced and used across the farm all year round. A biomass boiler also uses wood chippings from the orchard, and apple waste left over from the cider making process goes for anaerobic digestion, though some is saved for cattle feed.

Around 18 months ago, they also acquired a nearby 50-acre block of land which is the subject of a regenerative project. Having been arable land for at least 50 years, soil testing con rmed that the organic matter levels had fallen to the minimum; so a soil regeneration project is underway before any apple trees are planted. It will be in herbal ley with grazing sheep for 3–4 years.

As the saying goes, “a farmer is only as good as their soil” so the farm carries out soil testing across the farm every two years and takes an in-depth scienti c view of getting the chemistry right in the soil – whether that’s trying to balance out nutrients that are too high, causing locking up, or looking at organic matter levels.

A mechanised process

With cider apple harvesting being a mechanised process and the farm team keeping busy all year round, the farm has only seven permanent orchard sta and no need for seasonal pickers – a fact which surprises many people, Chris said. Within the Thatchers business as a whole,

however, there are around 250 sta , and the farm will take on two apprentices this year as part of the Thatchers’ Early Careers Programme.

Much of the machinery the farm has, for example its harvesting equipment, is bespoke to the cider apple industry and comprises brands such as SFM, Bavenhills and Tuthill. “We typically have larger tractors than traditional fruit farms as our trees are planted on wider rows; this means they can be utilised for other jobs such as hauling apples into the mill from the orchards. When purchasing equipment, we are constantly looking to improve e ciency, such as reducing passes, fuel economy, reliability. There is also an emphasis on driver comfort.”

There remains a “hangover” from the shortages of machinery and parts triggered during the pandemic. The farm managed to buy an apple harvester just in time, but it now keeps more parts in stock as availability and lead times continue to pose some problems.

Encouraging bene cials

Another bene t of being juice producers is that many of the super cial pests other growers would be concerned about are not a problem for Myrtle Farm. Instead, they focus on those that harm yields and tree health, including apple blossom weevil, rosy apple aphid, apple saw y, woolly aphid and mites – speci cally spider mites.

On the disease side, being in the west of

There remains a “hangover” from the shortages of machinery and parts triggered during the pandemic, but the farm managed to buy an apple harvester just in time
to ensure the freshest avours in the juice

Generate more from your land

BSR Energy is developing solar, wind, hydrogen and battery storage assets to provide stable clean energy to the National Grid, ensuring certainty of supply across the UK.


We can provide a same-day desktop survey, to quickly realise your development potential. We offer attractive index linked solar rents and additional premiums for battery storage.

We are also now offering feasibility surveys for our fruit-integrated agriPV system.

BSR Energy is a subsidiary of British Solar Renewables. We're one of the UK’s leading renewable energy developers with over 100 employees. We providing in-house abilities to develop, build, operate and asset manage projects.

Our long-term landowner partnerships allow the company to carefully design the solar park to your needs, whilst ensuring positive long-term benefits to the local natural habitat.


To find out more, please get in touch with our Site Acquisition Team by: emailing or calling +44 (0) 1458 224 900

Spotted wing drosophila solutions from Russell IPM

SWD Dry Lure

MaxDro, Suzukii Trap

The SWD Dry Lure and MaxDro (liquid lure) are highly attractive lures for monitoring of SWD. SWD Dry Lure is a versatile attractant that can be paired with the Red Impact Trap or hung inside the Suzukii Trap. MaxDro is a liquid attractant for the mass monitoring of SWD. It can be paired with the Suzukii trap and SWD Dry Lure to maximise trap catch.

ProBandz is an effective food bait adjuvant which is mixed with insecticides to enhance the control of fruit flies such as SWD. It increases the uptake of insecticide which leads to a faster kill of the target pest with a much reduced insecticide rate. It can be used with all authorised plant protection products and is applied to plants as a band treatment.

50% reduction in active ingredient costs (estimate)

Red Impact Board with SWD Dry Lure

Red Impact Board is a ready-to use, quick and effective monitoring tool for SWD when paired with the SWD Dry Lure. It comes with UV- light stable, hight-tack adhesive for easy capture of SWD.

Contact us: Russell IPM Ltd, Unit 45, First Avenue, Deeside Industrial Park, Deeside, Flintshire, CH5 2NU, UK Phone: +44 (0) 1244 281 333, Fax: +44 (0) 1244 281 878, Email:

the country scab is one of the primary diseases of concern. Mildew can come in certain weather conditions and canker in some varieties. Fire blight is seen intermittently.

Thatchers has worked with Agrii for at least 18 years, going back before Chris and agronomist Matt Greep’s time.

There’s a big emphasis on letting bene cial insects “ ght it out” with pests where possible. “The main thing we do, and a lot of people do, is avoiding broad spectrum insecticides – the loss of products is easy to fall back on with some of these but we’re trying to hold our own on that and maintain those natural background populations,” Chris said.

As well as avoiding products that a ect those bene cial populations, they try to encourage habitats – whether it’s in non-cropped areas around the orchards, or more recently, trying mixed species sward mixes between the trees in their young orchards over the past couple of years.

Biodiversity is key for the farm, so natural methods of crop protection are a priority and ag-chems are only used when strictly necessary. When conversations are had about what products work well for certain pests, Matt and Chris will not only consider whether the product hurts the pest, but also whether it hurts the bene cials. Matt explained: “We need to factor that into the equation as well, and that’s really integral for the IPM structure of the farm to work successfully. It’s a key part of the decision making – what is the product’s bene cial pro le like, and do we have any data to back that up? If we don’t, where are we going to nd it?”

Crop protection

The farm is very good at putting measures in place to minimise the use of ag-chems, Matt said – for example thinking about how to prune as aphids like to overwinter in the crevices around the pruning cuts.

“There are some really good cultural controls that Thatchers have put in place to try to minimise the risks,” Matt said. “Chris has also tried some

alternative products with varying degrees of success, including silicone-based nutrient Sion and magnesium sulphate for breaking down the woolliness on the pest.”

The farm also uses more biostimulants each year. “These are trying to kickstart the immune system in the trees and I think there’s quite a bit of potential there in terms of what can be available. Quantifying it can be tricky but it’s something that we’re keen to pursue,” Chris said.

Of course, there are occasions when ag-chems are required to protect the crop and insecticides with a physical mode of action have been quite successful, he added.

Matt also praised Chris and the team on their successful use of the Batavia product, as it’s something the industry has struggled with. “Batavia is a spirotetramet, which is a very good ingredient for sucking pests. But it’s a very technical product – it must go on at the right time, and it can’t be tank mixed, so it’s a single pass on its own. If the tissue is too warm, the stomata close up and it won’t go in. It’s a systemic product only so there’s no contact activity.

“As an agronomist, when I advise that product a lot of growers try and take short cuts and then it doesn’t work, but the Thatchers team are very good at thinking about how they can get the best out of the products. So although we’ve seen certain areas of the farm that probably haven’t had the best results from the product – perhaps because the pest pressure was just too high for it to manage – in other areas we’ve certainly seen it work well. And I put that down to the guys being very good at what they do when it comes to application and knowing how to use these products.”

Weather considerations

Although the farm has a couple of low-lying areas and some early owering varieties, frost is not usually much of a problem. The only mitigation strategy is growing a range of varieties in di erent areas. The farm is quite protected and traditionally a lot of its branches are late

The farm acquired a 50-acre block of land which will be in herbal ley with grazing sheep for 3-4 years before any apples are planted – as it was previously arable land

The farm works with local beekeepers who keep hives in the orchards all year round, but encouraging solitary bees and bumblebees is also important

owering so they tend to miss any frost events. There are a couple of products available with limited trial data on frost protection, but the margins are very ne, providing 0.5–1ºC protection, Matt said. Although farms often fear frost events, the greater real-world threat is protracted cold springs that can lead to poor owering and pollinating conditions.

“That’s where we’ve got armoury that could mitigate against that and the biostimulant range would certainly help. ProAct is a harpin protein that helps the plant defend itself by sending signals into the plant, helping calcium bind to the internal parts of the cell tissues. By having a higher concentration of calcium, it takes colder temperatures for cell decay to occur and it promotes normal activity – whereas plants

September/October 2023 25

that are under stress tend to shut down normal activity and go into protection mode.”

Being based in Somerset, they often experience long periods of wet weather in winter, which along with the heavy land can lead to root death – so rootstocks must be tolerant of wet feet.

At the other end of the spectrum, the farm fared well during the very hot summer of 2022 and its growers were not overly a ected either, Chris said. Having planted the trees early and got them into good condition before the high temperatures hit, they didn’t need to water them –although they have done in previous years. In fact, they processed their largest ever crop. If anything, higher rates of sunshine resulted in higher sugars which is a positive from a cider making point of view, Chris added. Nevertheless, rising temperatures are something they must keep an eye on. “At what point can we justify investing in irrigation? If we get more summers where we think it’s justi able maybe our thinking will change.”

Ciders of the future

Looking to the future of the cider apple industry, Chris said there is potential for further automation – “whether it be during the harvesting process or even pruning – the majority of which is still done manually”. He added: “It is encouraging to see the developments in other areas of agriculture and horticulture that our industry can look to.”

For Thatchers, the aim is to keep doing what they’re doing – “making the best cider around, innovating and keeping our consumers excited about new avours and styles.”

As part of this the farm is running more tree trials than anyone else in the industry, according to Chris – featuring around 100 varieties making up 10% of the total acreage. Key to this is nding varieties that are good for the market, but also grow well in the farm’s system.

“Some things that are perfect for the market are not that easy to grow so there’s a trade-o . Some varieties don’t like growing in our system and we can’t get the yield high enough despite making a very good cider. Equally I’ve got varieties which are fantastic cropping, easy to manage, low pest and disease pressure and just a joy, but if they don’t make good cider there’s no point growing them. Certain varieties tick both boxes and that’s what we’re always looking for.”

Thatchers’ trials include lots of eating varieties with low tannin content, which the cider market is increasingly moving towards as it makes for a lighter, more refreshing cider. This could be the way to encourage new drinkers into the market, Chris said. The trials are helping to identify the best eating varieties for cider making.

Many traditional or vintage varieties were also brought into the trials programme a few years ago. “Lots of those varieties have a really good reputation but have not been grown in a modern

way so we’re seeing how they perform in those systems. We’ve also brought over a few French varieties to see how they do in Somerset. There’s lots of interesting things going on.

“It’s a constantly moving market so we’re always looking at trends,” Chris added.

As generation Z increasingly moves towards no alcohol or low alcohol, Thatchers Zero took two years to get right but after lots of trials Chris said they have a good strong product that is gaining good traction with consumers. One of the challenges is persuading the consumer that it’s not just a sparkling apple juice and the fermentation process requires the same level of care as with any alcoholic cider – and therefore it commands a similar price. “But we’re getting there, and Thatchers Zero is now the number one low/no apple cider in the country,” Chris added.

With fruit ciders being a big part of the market in recent years, Thatchers has launched a couple of its own and these will always be part of the cider industry going forward, Chris reckons. “The biggest cider launch we’ve done was last year and that was called Blood Orange. That was actually o the back of noticing trends in the spirits market and blood orange avours seemed to be really taking o there. It’s a case of looking at the market and understanding what the market is ready for. We spend a lot of time and e ort thinking about the next arena we need to be playing in.”

Incorporating avours such as blood orange allows for more exibility in an industry with a very long production cycle, he added. “We’ve got a very fast-moving industry at one end of the supply chain and a very slow one at the other. We have to take a very long-term view when it comes to growing apples and growing a variety mix which can be adaptable to changing trends.”

Watch the Tramlines podcast with Thatchers and Agrii at

September/October 2023 26 GROWER PROFILE

Are you


your export PPA revenue effectively?

For many growing enterprises, investment in renewable generation over the last few years has been a no-brainer. This is due to systems substantially decreasing business overheads, providing farm diversi cation, as well as additional revenue generated from government subsidies and surplus power sales. However, not all growers have the time required for the ongoing negotiations and analysis required to ensure maximum revenue from their system.

Oakwood Energy Group specialises in the negotiation and management of export PPA contracts, allowing customers to get back to doing what they do best. The company works alongside over 20 energy suppliers, who purchase renewable power via Oakwood Energy Group. This enables it to conduct extensive market tenders, to

ensure the most lucrative deals in the industry are always included. This same concept is also applied to the rm’s import electricity and gas negotiation services, reducing expenditure on grid purchased energy as much as possible. Customers that use this service alongside its export PPA management bene t

from having a single point of contact for all their energy needs, Oakwood says.

Unlike price comparison websites, the company’s specialist team negotiates in person, directly with senior authorities within its supplier network. This approach allows Oakwood to conduct several rounds of negotiations, bespoke to the client’s system, driving competition and increasing potential purchasers’ o ers.

With energy markets rapidly returning to what would be deemed ‘normal’ levels, there has never been such a wide gulf between top and bottom end o ers from suppliers. Some suppliers are o ering only £60/MWh (6p/kWh), whilst others are still o ering anywhere between £100/MWh and £130/MWh for the exact same power, making it crucial that the market is scoured thoroughly, Oakwood says.

As a wider organisation, Oakwood Energy Group o ers a variety of renewable services, which it says means “we don’t just sit behind our desks”. The company reckons it truly understands both the physical and contractual aspects of power generation, helping it to get the most out of its customers’ systems. This includes the design and installation of solar PV, for those either wishing to extend an existing system, or invest in on-site generation for the rst time. It provides a variety of O&M packages for those looking to maintain optimal performance from their arrays.

If you have any form of generation, of any size, and would like to nd out what is achievable in the current market speci c to your system, contact Oakwood’s commercial director Alex directly.

September/October 2023 27 ENERGY REVENUE ADVICE T: 0845 567 7333 E: All Your Corporate Energy Needs Under One Roof ›› Solar Design & Installation ›› System Operation & Maintenance ›› Export PPA Negotiation ›› Import Electricity & Gas Procurement ›› Electrical Contracting ›› Energy Efficiency Assessments ›› LED Lighting

Long-established stages successful two-day event industryspecialist

Kent-based NP Seymour Ltd, which celebrates 50 years serving the fruit and viticulture industries next year, hosted two well-attended demonstration days in late July. David Williams attended.

A wide range of specialist machinery was displayed, working in orchards and vineyards belonging to JL Baxter & Son, based at Hunton, near Maidstone. The rst day was targeted at top fruit and soft fruit growers, and the second focussed on machinery solutions for vineyards. Specialists from the main suppliers were on-hand to assist the Seymour team dealing with the large number of enquiries from visitors.

Premium brands

Brands represented at the popular event included Fendt, Berthoud, Braun, BMV, Carrarospray, Clemens, ERO, iMetos, and Felco hand tools. NP Seymour took on the Fendt specialist tractor franchise 45 years ago, and the workshop team has unrivalled experience looking after the 79–114hp narrow tractors.

Wide appeal

“People attended from as far as Devon, Wales and East Anglia to view the machinery we o er,” explained NP Seymour sales and marketing director Claire Seymour. “There is always considerable interest in the Fendt specialist tractors, but many visitors wanted to see and compare mechanical vegetation control solutions as they move away from chemical control, and there was also plenty of interest in defoliators for orchards and vineyards as labour for hand stripping leaves. becomes harder and more expensive to source.

“Both days were very well attended, although pressures facing fruit growers currently meant that most sales enquiries were for our vineyard machinery.”

September/October 2023 29 MACHINERY
The working demonstration by NP Seymour included a wide range of specialist machinery for the fruit and vineyard industry, and highlighted features and bene ts of the latest Fendt 200 Vario-series narrow tractors

Precision crop management

Munckhof owner, Han Smits promoted systems for monitoring and managing crops at individual tree level to optimise results. “The objective is to achieve produce of uniform size and quality which is what markets require,” explained Han. Aerial images of the orchard are obtained using smart drones, which are then analysed to pinpoint anomalies. Agronomists work with growers to agree thresholds for action and treatment including strategies such as root pruning, blossom control and targeted spraying.

Han is pictured with one of his company’s harvesters equipped with M-Connect yield monitoring. Yields of picked fruit are automatically recorded including the GPS position accurate to individual tree level. Data is transferred to the ‘cloud’ for access at any time to assist crop management strategies.

Speed and accuracy

Ground vegetation control solutions included the Perfect Terra Ranger. This removes unwanted grass and weeds from both sides of the alley and under the trees while maintaining accuracy at very high working speeds.

The powered cultivator combines nger weeders which work between the trees, with reverse rotation rotary cultivators which lift and lightly till the top few centimetres of soil on each side. It’s very accurate and provides long-lasting weed control,” explained NP Seymour product sales specialist Sam Barnes. “PTO-driven blades mean that the hydraulic oil ow demand is low, and this allows use with smaller or older tractors.”

Sam is pictured (left) beside Perfect international account manager, Mark Mocking and his son, Brent.

Excellent back-up

NP Seymour engineer Steve Bowles is pictured (left) with open day visitor, Robert Hoad. Robert is from Rolvenden and has a smallholding as well as being involved in the Hoad family’s Korker Sausages business. “I deal with Steve and the rest of the Seymour team and they supply and look after my orchard and grass-care machinery,” Robert explained. “Our grass is used for sheep grazing and horses and we use Fendt tractors which are perfect for our situation. We always receive excellent back-up, and I rate everyone at the dealer with ve stars. There is nothing to fault.”

Frost warnings

Static displays included iMetos weather stations. A dedicated frost monitor is new. iMetos Frost combines information from wet- and dry-bulb thermometers to accurately predict frost risk. When frost events are predicted, alerts are automatically sent to registered users, allowing steps to be taken to prevent crop damage. “For vineyards particularly, as well as for top fruit and soft fruit growers, frost monitoring is extremely important,” explained iMetos area sales manager, Lily Nuttall. “All of our products are available from NP Seymour, which is one of the biggest UK suppliers, and the new iMetos Frost has a recommended retail price of only £700.”

Specialist sprayers

Sprayers from Berthoud and OCLL are stocked, although the Seymour team also produces its own range of specialist sprayers. An OCLL Wector 3 trailed orchard sprayer was demonstrated at the open day. The range includes tank capacities of 1,100, 1,600 or 2,100 litres. The pump delivers ow rates up to 137 litres/min at 50 bar and an 800mm fan with eight blades and centrifugal clutch drive provides air circulation. An attraction of the Wector 3 design is the fan position ahead of the spray tower which reduces the amount of debris drawn in.

September/October 2023 30

Nylon flail weed control

Designed mainly for orchard use, the MultiClean XL has hydraulic-driven large diameter rotating ail heads with thick exible nylon lines to remove vegetation at surface level without penetrating the ground. The two spring-mounted heads push back at an angle to work around obstructions. The exible cutting lines are extremely hard wearing and Clemens sales representative for the UK, Paul Tuteirihia said that they have a typical 12ha working life, depending on conditions.

Pictured with the Clemens MultiClean XL are (l-r) Clemens technical support specialist Marcel Lasch, NP Seymour founder and director Nick Seymour, visitors to the open day – David Wheeler and Paul Seeley both from Alan Hudson Ltd based at Wisbech St Mary, Cambridgeshire, and Paul Tutorship. David Wheeler is managing director at Alan Hudson Ltd, and he explained that he attended the demonstration day to nd out about ground vegetation control options for the company’s Bramley apple and pear enterprise.

The full package

Martin Mills.

Martin said that NP Seymour has sold large numbers of specialist tractors over many years. “The team understands the requirements of orchard and vineyard users and supplies the full range of machinery. Fendt 200 Vario specialist narrow tractors are a perfect t, and customers like being able to obtain the tractor and all the associated implements from one supplier.”

Sussex-based Rath nny Wine Estate & Vineyard manager Cameron Roucher attended the demonstration. “We have been dealing with Seymours since 2011 when we planted our rst vines, and I attended the open day with two of our operators to see what is new this year that might bene t our operation.” he explained. “The dealer supplied our four Fendt tractors, a defoliator and Clemens under-vine vegetation control implements. For me, it’s attractive working with such a well-run business. All aspects of vineyard management are catered for, and everyone is knowledgeable and easy to deal with. The back-up is really good and the team provides sound advice when we are considering various solutions.

“We chose Fendt tractors as they are so well designed for vineyard applications. The Vario CVT transmission is easy to use and gives us precise speed control, and the superior hydraulic ow rates allow use with demanding implements.”

Air pulse defoliation

The Fruit-Tec RedPulse Duo Defoliator uses powerful air pulses produced by an on-board compressor to remove excess foliage from top-fruit crops. The air blast is targeted through adjustable heads which are positioned at the height where leaves need thinning around the fruit. Bene ts include increased air circulation, reduced fungal disease and better ripening by improving sunlight interception. “We have shown it before, but many visitors to the open day wanted to see it in action,” explained NP Seymour marketing assistant Victoria Rose. “Stripping leaves by hand is extremely slow and costly, but using the RedPulse Duo allows one operator to achieve in just a few minutes what a number of workers can do manually in a day.”

September/October 2023 31 MACHINERY
Pictured with one of the latest Fendt 200 Vario-series narrow tractors are (l-r) NP Seymour company founder Nick Seymour, sales and marketing director Claire Seymour, and Fendt UK commercial manager,

Dual mode vine defoliator for year-around use

For vineyard applications, the ERO VitiPulse Combi Defoliator has both an air blast and a roller defoliator, allowing use throughout the season. When crop conditions allow - using both defoliator systems simultaneously gives the best results as the rollers create conditions for better air blast penetration deep within the canopy. However, the air blast system can only be used before bunch set, and then just before harvest to remove the leaves for easier picking. Between these times, the roller defoliator with its much gentler action is used on its own to limit leaf cover without damaging the fragile grapes.

“It was the rst time we have shown the VitiPulse Combi machine,” explained Victoria. “For those producing grapes it’s an ideal solution allowing growers to regulate leaf coverage through the growing season.”

Cost-effective ground weed control

With Sam Barnes (centre) are George Chambers of Mid-Kent Growers and his son Harry. George explained that apples are grown, stored and packed for the Co-op at his Northiam Farm, Horsemonden base and he has used NP Seymour as a machinery and hand tool supplier for many years.

“They are local, and always very helpful,” he con rmed.

The Braun Rollhacke nger weeder has ground-driven rotating star blades which loosen the soil, break down clods and leave weed roots exposed on the surface to dry out. The blade angle, pitch and working depth can be adjusted without tools, and many users mid-mount the weeder on tractors allowing vegetation control to be carried out simultaneously with other operations. “The Rollhacke is a simple but effective solution for weed control in orchards and vineyards,” explained Nick Seymour. “For growers wanting to reduce chemical dependency and use mechanical weed control instead, it’s a popular and cost-effective solution.”

September/October 2023 32 MACHINERY
Members of the NP Seymour team are pictured with a selection of Fendt 200 Vario-series narrow tractors which were demonstrated at the event. Local, helpful dealer team
33 September/October 2023 Modus UK Limited (trading as ‘OnePay’) is a companyregistered in England an No . Registe ayfieldHouse, LowerRailway R Yorkshire, LS29 8FL. The OnePaycard is issued by PSI-PayLtd pursua byMas national PSI-PayLtd is authorised andr Financial Conduct Authorityof the United Kingdom under the Electr lation rrefer he issuing of electronic money registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademarkofMaste national Incorpo ing t d account issubject to our ter can beviewed and downloaded struggle ount? e solu secure Simple set up for you and your workers Dedicated account management support A digital portal for easyworker onboarding and access to information An in-house multi-lingual customer support 24/7 account accessvia the c app and portal Use yourOnePaycardwherever Mastercard® is accepted And for your workers: Discover how OnePay can support your business Call us today on 0113 320 1466 Do your workers struggle to open a UK bank account? At OnePay we provide an alternative solution to pay your workers in a fast and secure way That’s why we o er: Easy set up for you and for your workers  Client portal and customer mobile app  Dedicated account management support In-house multi-lingual customer support  OP020_AD-Vineyard Show Preview_v2.indd 1 11/10/2022 11:31 andColdstab testing Lab services • Pressing • Filtering • Bottling • Riddling • Disgorging • Labelling • Storing Outside Canterbury, CT4 5HL CONTRACT WINEMAKING SERVICES No vineyards or brands, just contract services for others
passion excellence f or Bottling and Packaging Machinery for the Wine Industry Visit us at Vineyard Show Stand H5 Do you want to increase your profits and improve your crops in a sustainable natural way? 07846654979 It can be hard to maintain good quality crops every year, as you need more and more chemicals to produce a good harvest. Now imagine being able to: Increase resistance to pests, diseases, drought and frost, Improve Brix and yield, Use fewer chemicals, And Increase your profits, With a simple to use, sustainable, natural input. If you would like us to help you create a bespoke plan to increase your profits and improve your crops using our vermicast products, contact us now: tel: 07702 293 727 email: Algifol™ Biostimulant 30 year success story ✓ High resistance against cold, drought and heat ✓ More pro t for farmers without extra work ✓ Protection from stress due to pest attack ✓ Stronger rooting & larger root mass ✓ Rich harvest of excellent quality Follow us on Facebook & Twitter @mjpsupplies

tradition, innovation, true love

Blending and a for the art of winemaking

Brother-and-sister team, Catherine and James Scarff are fourth-generation farmers, who have successfully diversi ed part of their arable acreage into a successful vineyard with a stunning tasting room; and they have even bigger ideas for the future.

Tucked along a quiet country road in Combs near Stowmarket, Burnt House Vineyard is best viewed from namesake Burnt House Lane, which o ers a spectacular vista of the whole site – you can see from one end of the vineyard to the other, with a beautiful, ancient oak tree in the middle.

With the arable enterprise run by James, the pair co-manage the vineyard, assisted by a passionate, hand-picked team. Meanwhile, Catherine oversees the wine and hospitality/tourism aspect of the cellar door/tasting room.

“Our great great grandad started the original farm at Combs,” Catherine says. “It was passed down to us by our dad Stuart, and mum Jill, who are also both very much involved in the vineyard – mum with accounts, and dad on the growing side.”

In fact, it was their dad Stuart who rst suggested a vineyard as a potential diversi cation for part of the farm. “He’s always had a passion for wine,” explains Catherine. “It was one of a few diversi cation options we were considering, and in 2017 we decided to go for it.”

Planted on a gentle slope, leaning towards the picturesque oak tree, the main vineyard (containing varieties aimed primarily at the sparkling market) was established in two stages during 2017 and 2018, with a second, smaller planting of Bacchus added behind the original farmhouse in 2019.

Commercial operation

For the original vineyard, James and Catherine employed VineWorks as consultants, and to

manage the planting, as well as install the single guyot/VSP trellising system. “They were the standout option of the various companies we spoke to prior to establishing the vineyard. I had a lot of faith in VineWorks owner James Dodson,” says James. “He recommended planting sparkling varieties due to the level of demand within the industry, but also encouraged us to do our own research.

I ended up contacting so many di erent wineries, gauging the level of interest, and we had a number of contracts on the table before nally deciding on an agreement to supply Ridgeview Wine Estate.”

In order to meet the contract demands, they opted for a 50:35:15 split of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.

While up to 90% of the crop is currently sold on contract, in order for the vineyard to establish its own identity, the siblings decided to build their own tasting room, and begin selling their own wines.

The modern, cedar-clad, slate-roofed tasting room, which was designed by Whitworth Co Partnership, was funded in part by an RDP grant. The light- lled building sits just in front of the vines, and o ers a selection of carefully chosen and locallysourced cheeses, meats, breads, and more – tasting platters designed to complement the wines.

They opened the cellar door in August 2022 with a limited number of bottles of their 2021 Bacchus, and sold out of this rst release by that Christmas.

Victims of their own success, this year they have produced more than ve times as many bottles – a signi cant level of growth in such a short time, but Catherine is already feeling nervous that they won’t have enough to see them through until next year. “It’s a great position to be in,” she says. “But now we need to focus on ensuring production levels can meet demand – both now and in the future.”

The majority of the marketing for the cellar door sales, tours and tastings is done via social media, plus a local wine merchant as well as a couple of restaurants currently include Burnt House on their wine lists.

A high-end Air BnB also includes the vineyard’s wine in its welcome hampers. This is an area that Cat is looking to expand, so they have recently hired someone to focus on marketing, in particular in terms of on trade/o trade sales.

WIth demand outstripping supply, the duo is making plans to increase the size of the vineyard over the next couple of years.

New plantings

As James and Catherine move into the next phase of the business, looking to produce more of their own wines, Catherine says the new plantings are likely to be the same varieties, but this time they will predominantly be clones that are suited for still wines rather than sparkling. This decision has been made both because Burnt House has already launched a number of wines in that range, but also because if they have a surplus one year, Catherine says it’s far easier to sell those into a contract rather than choosing more obscure varieties, such as piwis, which would have far less appeal from a commercial perspective.

However, James points out that they have another two years to decide, so will assess this depending on what the demand is like at the time. Currently time is on their side – and, for now, focusing on the current vines and the Burnt House brand is the most important element.

James says a key lesson they learned from their initial planting is that they wouldn’t leave such a wide gap at the end of the eld – the current vineyard has a 40m unplanted strip at one end which they previously left to grass following an initial climatologist report which suggested that there could be a frost risk within that pocket.

“I wish we had continued the planting into that area, as frost hasn’t caused much of a problem to date, and even if some yield had been lost to frost, it would be preferable to having a signi cant amount of grass to cut,” he explains. “This time around, I reckon it would be better to make use of every hectare of the eld.”

However, as Catherine points out, as they are looking to expand into o ering events and weddings in the future, this area has given them a great space to be able to do that.

Taking elements in-house

As well as purchasing grapes under contract, Ridgeview also produces the Burnt House sparkling wine using the Traditional Method – the rst vintage of which is currently ageing on lees.

Burnt House Bacchus, Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier rosé and Pinot Noir still wines are made by De ned Wines, and have been incredibly well received by visitors.

Despite being hands-on and keen to be involved in all elements of their wine production, James and Catherine don’t feel that building their own on-site winery would be feasible – although they are considering the practicality of bringing certain aspects of the production process in-house.

This would provide more work over the quieter winter months, and allow the vineyard to take on more full-time sta – with local permanent job creation for 12 months of the year rather than just seasonal being something that James and Catherine feel passionate about.

“But in order to undertake this level of investment, both in terms of time and money, we would need to ensure we do our homework – as we have done with all other aspects of the business,” comments James.

“We managed to get a grant for diversifying into agricultural tourism for the tasting building, and will keep an eye out for any available grants for a cold storage and production line building –for me, it’s a case of waiting for the right grant to come along. In the meantime, the plan is to get the planning permission agreed, and then we can sit on it until the time is right.”

Grant advantages

The vineyard also managed to obtain four frost fans under the Leader grant back in 2017, which James and Catherine imported themselves directly from Australia.

So far, the vineyard has only su ered minimal frost damage in 2021, where there was a pocket of frost damage of around 2% seen – but what followed was their biggest harvest to date, so it didn’t impact the business, Catherine explains.

“The fans are the only frost protection we would consider using,” says James. “While e ective, bougies are too time- and labour-intensive for a vineyard of our size, so they’ve never really come into the equation.”

The fans were analogue when they arrived, but James has since had them updated and digitalised.

They draw the cold air in through the bottom and then push it upwards, and are moved around the vineyard using a telehandler.

The frost fans theoretically cover 4ha each, so the initial intention is to use three of the fans on the

September/October 2023 36

current vineyard, and the other one will be used on the new planting. James has done some trials with drip irrigation lines following on from last year’s drought, but currently isn’t looking to invest in a full irrigation system as the fans are doing the job required.

There are four Sencrop weather stations around the vineyard – two Leaf, a Wind and a Rain – which they primarily use for weather modelling, and also piggy-back onto the weather station data network from another farmer in the Bury St Edmunds/ Woolpit area, which all helps to manage and mitigate weather risks.

Healthy soils, healthy vines

The land under the current vineyard was originally used for combinable crops, which was min-tilled and direct-drilled with a Sky EasyDrill – so the clay soil was really healthy prior to the vines being planted. It was newly drained before planting in 2017, with modern plastic drains.

Since the initial soil sampling that was carried out before the vines were planted, James and Catherine haven’t been regularly soil testing, instead choosing to leaf test; but now they’re in the process of making a move into the Sustainable Wines of Great Britain scheme, they intend to conduct annual soil testing as part of the sustainability audit.

Regular leaf testing allows James to deal with any nutritional needs in a timely fashion. “We use Force, which is phosphate-heavy, as a nutritional boost which also works well against mildews, along with magnesium and bitter salts,” he explains.

He also uses seaweed-based biostimulant Maxicrop, tank mixing it with pretty much every spray. “You can visually see the vines respond to it.

I’m a rm believer in seaweed-based biostimulants, particularly for younger vines, as they’re packed full of goodness and really help to give a boost to the vines at the start of their life,” James says.

Prunings are currently mulched back into the soil – James and Catherine removed them one year, but James says it was such a nightmare when the ground was wet, and explains that mulching makes sense for the soil given the robust disease management on the vineyard.

Pest and disease control

Burnt House works with Hutchinsons agronomist

John Chapman, who is based down the road at Needham Market – he visits every two weeks and provides the ag-chems used by the vineyard, along with any advice James and Catherine need when it comes to the health of the vines.

Disease is kept under control with a robust spray programme, so causes very few issues currently.

Deer are the most signi cant large pest, so James and Catherine installed a specialist fencing system around the vineyard – although part of this was removed when the tasting building was built, so needs to be replaced as deer have recently reappeared and begun nibbling the vines.

Increasing biodiversity

None of the vineyard is in any form of Countryside Stewardship, as this would prevent them from cutting the grass – which, says James, is a key control technique for frost management.

They intend to establish a cover crop, as currently every other row is bare and the alternate row is laid to grass – so James and Catherine

are looking at cover crop mixes with a view to increasing both biodiversity and improving soil and vine health, as well as introducing some wildlife habitat elsewhere on the site.

Quality preferred

James sources tractors for both the farm and vineyard from local dealer Tuckwells, while they purchase vineyard-speci c kit via a third party in Germany primarily.

James is a rm believer in buying better quality kit from the outset, as he says you’ll appreciate the bene ts in the long run. “Reliability is essential, and although it’s easy to be blinkered by costs when coming up with an initial business plan, grapes are such a high risk, high reward crop, cutting corners just can’t be done – do it right the rst time, and quality will take care of the bottom line.”

The vineyard has recently invested in a piece of kit to aid with bud rubbing; although due to initial customs issues and subsequent delivery timings, they’ve not been able to try it out yet.

But, Catherine explains, now the ground has settled, they’re intending to use the Braun undervine bud rubber as soon as practicably possible; not only to manage the shoots and buds, but also to assist with weed management under the vines.

Yielding well

Yield forecasts this year are looking extremely good – in fact, the Burnt House team are now about to begin green harvesting the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to enable the vines to support the growth, as the vines have very large bunches this year and are sitting too heavy. The Pinot Meunier however is looking a little more even.

Anna, who is on the Plumpton College viticulture apprenticeship scheme, assists with pruning, and last year Catherine and Anna completed a Simonit & Sirch course, before teaching their whole team the principles and pruning methods. This means they can fully manage the pruning in-house. As Catherine points out: “This has really helped the longevity of the vines, and you can already see the di erence.”

Bud burst can vary on the site depending on the year – from around middle of April to the beginning of May, depending on the climate. Likewise for veraison, this can vary from year to year and usually occurs between the beginning and the end of August.

The grapes are hand-harvested; Catherine recruits locally for labour and employs directly through the company. “We start our recruitment drive at the end of July in preparation. We aim to pick around 12 tonnes a day so need a large number of workers to be able to achieve this,” she explains.

Looking ahead

Burnt House already o ers ‘picnic under the vine’, experiences, where guests collect a picnic basket from the building, and are given a numbered picnic spot under the oak tree.

This is also where the ‘dine in the vine’ experience takes place – while they don’t operate a permanent kitchen, James and Catherine put on special events with a number of di erent external food vendors and chefs, where guests can enjoy the Burnt House wines with a meal outside.

Weddings are next on the list – with such a beautiful setting and delicious wines on hand for guests to enjoy, it would be rude not to, after all...

Location: Burnt House Vineyard – a family-run enterprise located just outside Stowmarket, run by Catherine Scar

(pictured) and her brother, James Scar .

Total vineyard size: 8.59ha under vine

Soil type: Clay

Aspect: South facing gentle slope.

Rows are planted north to south Varieties grown: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Bacchus

September/October 2023 37
38 September/October 2023 Find out more at: 01423-324221 At the cutting edge! KRM offer a range of flail mowers with specifications and working widths ideally suited to working in orchards and vineyards. The Spit Green model places the shredded material at the base of the growing plant, smothering weeds and providing nutrients. Hydraulically adjustable outlets allow for easy adjustment from the tractor cab. Heavy duty hammer flails leave a clean finish on grass and can also handle crop residue and prunings We love working with ambitious businesses just like yours. Talk to us about growing your brand. Are you looking for a new website? FoodE is the e-commerce platform built to make your business more efficient. Growing a food and drink business can be a daunting task. FoodE is here to make things a lot easier, it will provide you with: • Intelligent insights & advanced reporting • An enhanced shopping experience to grow sales • Integration with third party services to save time 01303812848 Brand building expertise to elevate your business Book a free demo at 7693 OAK ADVERT 210x148_FAW.indd 1 05/04/2023 17:22

working days Specialist machinery prove popular

environmentally friendly solution.”

Mechanical weed control machinery from Dondi was also in action and several visitors to the Denbies Vineyard event had come especially to see it working.

Enquiries and sales

New and existing customers enjoyed an opportunity to see the latest fruit and vineyard machinery working at events organised by Ernest Doe & Sons in Essex and Surrey in early July. Machinery editor David Williams was there.

Ernest Doe & Sons, which has 19 depots supplying agricultural, horticultural and construction machinery and equipment across East and South East England, set up its Fruit & Viticulture division last year in response to growing demand for specialist machinery from customers across its trading area. As well as o ering a wide range of products from long-established franchises, the dealer has also entered into agreements with specialist fruit and vineyard machinery manufacturers based in Europe and elsewhere, to ensure it o ers customers the very best brands and solutions available. Those currently represented include Case IH, New Holland, Dondi, Ideal, Berti, Provitis, Frost Fans, Tow & Blow, Fleming, Marshall, and Berthoud.

New Case IH specialist tractors

The working days took place at New Hall Wine Estate near Maldon in Essex, and at Denbies Wine Estate near Dorking in Surrey. At the Essex event, the latest Case IH and New Holland narrow tractors and the estate’s own New Holland grape harvester supplied new by Ernest Doe last year were featured, while at the Surrey working day which was attended by Fruit & Vine, highlights included the latest specialist Quantum narrow tractors from Case IH which arrived in the UK this spring (see our May/June 2023 edition for a full report). Other brands featured at the events included KRM, Teagle, Dondi and Ideal.

Great support from customers

Ernest Doe & Sons Fruit & Viticulture Division sales manager, Tom Wheatley was delighted with the

attendance at both events. “All 19 of our depots are reporting increased demand for machinery for fruit and vine growing, so we expected there to be a lot of interest in the working days,” he explained. “Many of those who came were from long-established fruit producers and vineyards, but there was also a good attendance of owners and managers of newer enterprises seeking advice before investing in specialist equipment. Most were genuinely interested in the machinery and solutions we can o er, and feedback was very positive. Visitors found the events useful.”

Plenty of new products

Tom said that the latest Case IH Quantum and New Holland T4-series tractors were star attractions. The latest models feature signi cant improvements over earlier versions, and rst deliveries of both brands to customers started this spring. For many visitors it was the rst time they saw the new tractors in the esh and the more comfortable and spacious cabs were widely commented on by those who enjoyed test drives.

KRM demonstrated its new side-discharge ail mower. “It’s a very practical solution as it cuts grass and other vegetation between the vine rows, and then discharges the mulch through adjustable side chutes to the base of the vines,” said Tom. “The chopped material provides nutrients for the crop, and smothers weeds providing e ective under-plant weed control. As more growers seek sustainable alternatives to chemical weed control and arti cial fertilisers, it provides an

“Both events went well, and generated many sales enquiries for follow-up in the coming months, and we took several orders for new machines from people who attended. I’m very grateful to the venue owners and managers for allowing us to use the locations, and to all the supplier representatives who spent time explaining features and bene ts of various models, and who helped make the event so useful for our visitors,” Tom con rmed.

The Dondi Under Vine Weeder has proved especially popular since Ernest Doe & Sons took on the franchise earlier this year. Mechanical hoes are selling in increasing numbers as vineyards reduce reliance on chemical weed control. The Dondi Weeder at the event had hoe blades each side which retract as a sensor detects each vine, and the quick movement means that very little of the gap between each vine is missed.

The Ernest Doe Power event at Denbies Wine Estate featured a wide range of machinery. Dealer and supplier representatives were kept busy throughout the day as new and existing customers sought advice and information.

Members of the Wiston Estate team were at the event. Based at Washington in West Sussex, the estate grows grapes for its own range of wines, most of which are sparkling although still wines and rosés are also produced.

“We already deal with Ernest Doe Power and have a Provitis vine pruner and an Ideal sprayer,” explained vineyard manager, Travis Salisbury. “Backup so far from Tom Wheatley and the Albourne depot has been excellent. From delivery to machine installation and then ongoing technical support, the service has been impressive. We need dealers who react quickly when problems occur, and we have complete con dence in the back-up from the Ernest Doe Power team.

“The Dondi Under Vine hoe impressed us at the demonstration. It’s well made and features such as the oil cooling radiator are an advantage.” Pictured (l-r) are vineyard operative Tom Bailey, Travis Salisbury, and vineyard operative Hugo Livingston.

Pictured are Simpsons Wine Estate assistant vineyard managers, Mark Wilson (left) and Tim Parrott, with the new Case IH Quantum 110F narrow tractor. “We grow, harvest, produce, bottle and sell our range of still and sparkling wines,” explained Tim. “We have 40–50ha of cropped land and are considering mechanical under vine weeding options to replace herbicides. We are environmentally aware, but also want to keep the vines in good condition and tidy. Some of our vineyards are a particular challenge for mechanised solutions with row spacing down to 1.8m and even less in places.

“I’ve seen Dondi machines working previously, and they are well made and perform well, and I’m impressed by the look of the new Case IH Quantum tractors. Ernest Doe & Sons has a very good reputation, so when we need new machinery in future, I’m sure we will contact the dealer to nd out what it can offer.”

The new KRM side discharge ail mower is available in 1.2, 1.35 and 1.65m working widths. Hydraulic adjustable discharge chutes on each side direct chopped material at the base of the vines. The mulch helps control grass and weed growth directly below the crop and provides bene cial nutrients. Pictured with the new mower are (l-r) Denbies vineyard manager Olly Whit eld, Tom Wheatley, and KRM area technical representative David Wagstaff.

“We have just over 80ha of vines,” explained Olly. “We make sparkling red, white and dessert wines, depending on the season, and machine harvesting helps us make the most of the crop as soon as the grapes are ripe. It’s good to see Ernest Doe & Sons investing heavily into our industry, and it gives us a wider choice of brands and machines to choose from. Tom Wheatley is always friendly, and happy to discuss our requirements and he gives sound advice. The dealer has a good range of kit to offer, and I like the Case IH specialist tractors. They are an affordable option with a great reputation.”

Hutchinsons Omnia sales manager, Chris Hoskins is pictured at the event. Chris explained that the Omnia digital platform is becoming a popular choice for vine and fruit growers wanting to accurately analyse margins and costs and identify areas where crop performance can be improved. “It’s extremely versatile and makes it easy to bring data in from many sources including satellite imagery, climatic information and our TerraMap system, and then manage it to extract useful information. The TerraMap system is available with subscription costs dependent on the level of information required. Standard includes nutrient and soil type analysis. Gold helps users understand what nutrients are already present in their soils and how to make them more easily accessible to plants.”

The range of Teagle machinery displayed generated plenty of enquiries and Teagle area sales manager Chris White was kept busy explaining features and bene ts throughout the day. He is pictured (left) with Simpsons Wine Estate viticultural estate manager, Darryl Kemp.

September/October 2023 40 MACHINERY
Members of the Ernest Doe & Sons and supplier teams at the event (l-r) Ernest Doe Power Dartford area sales manager Nick Booth; KRM area technical representative David Wagstaff; Ernest Doe demonstrations manager Karl Last; Ernest Doe Power representatives, David Murray and Ryan Edwards, Teagle area sales manager Chris White; Ernest Doe Power representatives Joe Hopkins and Grant Buckingham; Hutchinsons Omnia sales manager Chris Hoskins; Ernest Doe fruit & viticulture sales manager Tom Wheatley; Ernest Doe marketing manager Hayley Hill and Ideal representative Giovanni Baldo.

biologicals about to deliver on their promise?

Biological crop protection agents have been heralded as the future of pest and disease control for more than a decade, but for many early adopters the experience left them underwhelmed. Fortunately, the strong performance of several products, such as Serenade ASO (Bacillus subtilis strain QST 713), Sonata (Bacillus pumilus strain QST 2808) and, more recently, Botector (Aureobasidium pullulans strains DSM 14940 and DSM 14941) served to demonstrate that some have real potential.

Often, growers are right to be sceptical, says Don Pendergrast, Agrii technical manager for noncombinable crops; but there is also cause to be optimistic.

“In many cases, the introduction of a biological product brings a new mode of action or other bene ts such as reduced harvest interval or exemption from residue limits, while in rare cases, such as with Botector, the performance is better than that of the conventional fungicide standard,” Mr Pendergrast explains. “In other situations, such as powdery mildew in strawberries there is simply not enough active substances or modes of action to deliver a robust programme, so we need to be savvy in how we approach protection and utilise all available options,” he adds.

Proven performance

Of the many biological products – pheromones, micro-organisms and natural substances – available

to growers in Great Britain, only a handful have shown su cient performance to earn the respect of growers.

Botector o ers strong performance against Botrytis and has demonstrated better control than many conventional products in Agrii trials over a number of seasons in both vines and soft fruit. “Botector can also be used for reduction of Monilinia spp. in stone fruit. Botector use has increased in grape and soft fruit production in recent seasons as con dence in its performance has spread,” Mr Pendergrast says.

Blossom Protect contains the same active substance as Botector but is a di erent formulation that can be used for the control of re blight in pome fruit. “Fire blight is a di cult disease to control and Blossom Protect has become widely used in Europe for this threat. It is now used by growers across the UK for re blight,” Mr Pendergrast says.

Mevalone (geraniol + eugenol + thymol), an encapsulated terpine approved in Europe but not yet in Great Britain, is a foliar-applied bio-fungicide for the control of Botrytis cincera in wine grapes. It is yet to gain registration for use in GB or Northern Ireland but

is an example of the potential o ered by terpenebased products. “Mevalone has a novel mode of delivery using a biological yeast encapsulation to extend the e cacy of the three terpenes it contains. It is particularly exciting because it o ers control or partial control, of three di cult-to-control diseases: Botrytis, powdery mildew and downy mildew. “We have seen the use of non encapsulated terpenes perform well against downy mildew versus other bio-fungicides, so Mevalone and other terpenebased products may o er some potential should we lose mancozeb,” Mr Pendergrast says.

ProAct has become a staple bio-stimulant in many programmes. It is a complex peptide that delivers quality and physiological improvements that support shelf-life through its bio stimulatory e ect on calcium utilisation. “In cherries it has been found, depending on variety, to reduce splitting, in apples it has reduced bitter pit, improved colouring, set and size and in strawberries it has improved vegetive development, fruit size and shelf-life,” says Mr Pendergrast.

Frutogard is a phosphite with fungicidal properties. It has shown strong activity against Oomycete pathogens, such as downy mildew, in grapevines. Frutogard has become a valued product in the grapevine programme.

Sonata (Bacillus pumilus strain QST 2808) has been an e ective means of control in protected cropping situations as part of a programme for the control of powdery mildew.

Amylo X (Bacillus amyloliquefaciens D747) is the next generation of fungicide to contain bacillus species. “It has performed consistently well in trials over several seasons delivering good control of botrytis and other storage diseases such as penicillium in strawberry. It has also proved e ective against storage rots and as part of a programme for control of powdery mildew,” Mr Pendergrast says.

Secover is a silicon product registered as a physical insecticide. “It has performed well versus other biological products. While not as good as a conventional insecticide, it can be used e ectively in programmes against pests such as rosy apple aphid in orchards as well as aphid in soft fruit. Similarly, Flipper, a plant oil containing fatty acids, has a physical mode of action but is registered as a bio-insecticide.

Innocul8 is a bio-stimulant peptide + Mn + Zn typically applied early in programmes to improve plant health and reduce abiotic stresses in top fruit. Used alongside fungicides, it can reduce the overall disease seen on the plant and can also help with safening of some of the harsher products.

Laminarin is a plant elicitor product that is yet to receive authorisation from CRD as a bio-fungicide for use on top fruit and soft fruit. “In Agrii trials during 2022 it delivered control against apple scab that was comparable to captan,” Mr Pendergrast says.

Dipel and Delphin are both based on di erent strains of Bacillus thuringiensis (BT). Both products have been used for reducing populations of lepidoptera larvae and have a good IPM pro le due to their selectivity. “Interest in their use is increasing as well as interest in granulovirus products such as Madex Top and Carpovirusine which are both speci c to control of codling moth (Cydia pomonella). The BT products do, however, o er wider control across many of the lepidoptera species that are of signi cance in fruit, such as winter moth (Operophtera brumata),” says Mr Pendergrast.

September/October 2023 41 AGRONOMY
Don Pendergrast
42 September/October 2023 DARBY PLANTS LTD SUPPLIERS OF STRAWBERRY PLANTS & RASPBERRY CANES Contact Nick Darby 07771 748771 01245 231320 Chelmsford, Essex BOOK A DEMO NOW CONTACT US For More Information Orchard and vineyard spreaders o ering a wide range of solutions The undisputed leader between the rows CLOUD AGRO LTD Organic Nutrient Recycling FUTUREGRO “Quality and yield will deteriorate if no soil amendment is done postharvest and at budburst, as every tonne of fruit produced removes vital nutrients responsible for the movement of water and energy in the plant.” THE NUTRIENT SIGNATURES FOR U.K. TOP FRUIT AND VINES (07543) 265454 SOIL HEALTH SMART FEED TM use organic fertiliser + soil conditioner: PREPARE BEFORE PLANTING BOOST AFTER BUDBURST REPLENISH POST HARVEST


Do the opportunities outweigh the challenges?

Can piwi varieties help British vineyards manage the threat of disease? What do growers need to do differently when managing these hybrid varieties? Do they make good wine –and how do we market them to consumers? The recent Viti-Culture event in East Sussex saw a panel of experts tackle these questions. Sarah Kidby reports.

As British vine growers look with increasing interest to hybrid varieties that o er fungal resistance, there are several questions about the opportunities and challenges they present. Visitors at the VitiCulture event heard from Ben Brown, viticulture agronomist at Agrii; Sergio Verrillo, winemaker at Blackbook Winery; and Dr Greg Dunn, head of the wine division at Plumpton College.

Piwis, a mix of Vitis vinifera and North American grape varieties bred for resistance to fungal disease, are becoming increasingly important to many wine growing regions around the world. One of the most passionate advocates of piwis, Sam Doncaster, who works with Freytags Nursery in Germany, said it is becoming di cult to keep up with demand for these varieties – and not just from alternative vineyards, but traditional growers too.

Pros and cons

Although the number of sprays per year depends

on the variety, Ben Brown, who has designed a number of programmes for piwis now, recommends around 4-6. Robb Merchant, of White Castle Vineyard in Abergavenny, who was in the audience during the debate, said this ts with his experience as a piwi grower.

Piwis o er three key opportunities for British growers, according to Greg Dunn:

• The opportunity to use less pesticides, with obvious economic and sustainability bene ts

• The ability to reliably ripen pro table yields. This is a real threat to the UK wine industry and much of this ability is limited by disease

• Spraying less means fewer tractor passes, which not only reduces emissions but also protects soil from structural decline and compaction.

Piwis could also o er opportunities for organic growers, Greg suggested, as recent research has

shown that downy mildew – a particular challenge for organic vineyards – is one of the key reasons organic is less productive than conventional. Challenges, on the other hand, include maintaining the fungal resistance, potential issues with wine making, lack of funding for research, and marketing and consumer perceptions. There are also unknowns such as whether we can spur prune piwis – and if we can and we’re making still wine, there is an opportunity for mechanisation which will signi cantly reduce the cost of production, Greg added.

Rondo grapes (stock photo)

(l-r): Greg Dunn, head of Plumpton College’s wine division; Chets Modi, NFU Mutual; Sergio Verrillo, winemaker at Blackbook Winery; and Ben Brown, viticulture agronomist at Agrii

September/October 2023 43 AGRONOMY

Managing piwis in the UK

Fungal resistance is not an absolute and it’s not forever. Maintaining the disease resistance of piwi varieties is a key issue as breeding a new grape variety is a 25–30-year process – compared to 7–8 years for a new wheat variety for example, Ben explained. Maintaining disease resistance is therefore something we need to consider when planning fungicide programmes.

A common misconception regarding piwis is their tolerance to all diseases; depending on the variety there may be loopholes for black rot and anthracnose, Ben added. While these are generally less of an issue now, especially with conventional spray programmes, they can cause a high level of crop and yield loss – so this is something to think about where resistance hasn’t been bred into these hybrids. The main concern would be early season black rot up to veraison, Ben continued, recommending 3–4 sprays depending on rain pressure. Piwi varieties are generally bred to have loose clusters so they’re more disease tolerant for botrytis, however any wounds can sit and colonise, so a couple of late season botrytis sprays may also be needed.

Generally, however, piwis have moved from monogenic resistance – o ering single gene resistance – to predominantly two genes that convey resistance to fungal diseases. With botrytis, rather than the genetic disease resistance seen with powdery mildew and downy mildew, it is more of a physiological or phenological resistance, Ben explained.

Another big issue is that piwis seem to have a lot more vigour. “With Voltis in particular, there has been some work suggesting that essentially the rst two buds are like Chardonnay, so it is not very fruitful on the rst two buds.”

The increased vigour should not directly impact nutritional requirements, although growers might cut out a bit of nitrogen application. However, piwis “de nitely seem to su er more from magnesium de ciency and sometimes potash” – which is likely down to the American varieties having a greater requirement or being less adapted to utilising it.

Robb Merchant – who grows several piwi varieties including Regent, Rondo, Phoenix, Pinot Noir Précoce and Siegerrebe – agreed that managing the vigour is a key di erence when working with

piwi varieties. As a result, they give them a di erent planting structure, leaving around 1.4m rather than 1m spacing between rows and spend more time looking after them with regards to leaf stripping, taking care with positioning on longer canes and clipping wires etc. With the leaf removal the bunches are loose so getting ripeness into the grapes is not the problem, Robb said. The challenge for White Castle is Regent, as it tends to ripen late at the end of October, while the other varieties are mid-October.

Sour rot could also be more of a risk in piwis because of the way they’re grown, Ben said. As they’re loose clustered you can a ord to leave them hanging on the vine for much longer, making them more susceptible to SWD. Most sparkling varieties in the UK, on the other hand, are generally fairly underripe when grapes are harvested. “The variety we see a lot of sour rot in is Pinot Noir Précoce because it’s so much earlier than everything else – it’s in prime SWD mating and reproduction time whereas other varieties are in the back end of October when it’s getting a little late for SWD,” Ben said.

Asked whether piwis ripen at a di erent pace, Ben said again, this depends on the variety – Solaris is one of the rst to ripen whereas Cabernet Noir will be one of the last. Rootstock can have a limited impact too with 3309 generally being a bit earlier ripening than SO4, while 101 can maintain acidity a little more.

A marketing problem?

Without much experience making wines from piwi varieties, there have been some question marks over the quality of the wine and challenges in the wine making process. Sergio Verrillo, co-founder of Blackbook Winery in south London, says commerciality is more of an issue – you can make some very good wines, but demand can be mixed as consumers are unfamiliar with the varieties. Whilst the winery is passionate about sustainability, you must look at the commerciality, Sergio said.

Blackbook specialises in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, but also works with hybrid varieties as part of its experimental range, including Seyval Blanc, Cabernet Noir, Sauvignac and Pinotin –which Sergio says all have a real place in the winery.

“Anecdotally, I can certainly say that both domestically and internationally there’s a lot less demand for these types of wines no matter how good they may be. If we cannot sell the wine or people are a little more sceptical then it’s quite di cult.”

The Sauvignac that Blackbook was about to release at the time of the event went down very well with a Scandinavian importer, but there was still some reluctance due to its lack of recognisability with the consumer. An importer from Finland, however, reported that the Cabernet Noir ew out of the door.

Using these varieties in blends also works very well, Sergio explained. Pinotin in particular is one that they have found di cult as a single varietal but works well in their eld blends. From a wine making perspective overall, they have very little trouble with piwis.

Greg questioned whether the sector could take a collective approach to marketing piwis in the UK – but Sergio believes many shifts would have to occur; it would require an industry collective to change perceptions, and research constraints are

holding us back from becoming a leader in certain areas.

What’s in a name?

Certain varietals will have more commercial success due to the familiarity of the name, Sergio continued – Cabernet Noir and Cabernet Blanc will be more recognisable to the consumer than Sauvignac, for example. This is seen with the noble varieties too – drinkers may say they don’t like Chablis but will have a Chardonnay, and wine labelled Burgundy has sold poorly compared to that labelled Pinot Noir.

Robb Merchant agreed that some of the success can be in the name, but White Castle Vineyard’s piwi wines have been very well received, including Gwin Gywn (meaning ‘wine white’ in Welsh, from the Phoenix variety) and Harry (named after their grandson, from the Rondo variety).

It’s not just the variety names themselves that could present problems – audience members pointed out that the name piwi – from the German word PilzWiderstandsfähig – is confusing or even laughable to the UK public, and Sergio suggested using ‘hybrid’ more widely instead. “We’ve found that the non-noble varieties do really well in restaurants, ne dining, wine bars etc. Where piwis don’t do well is in retail. People typically are not going to grab a bottle of Pinot Noir Précoce o the shelf,” he said.

Speaking from the audience, a wine educator who works on English vineyards said that hand selling is particularly successful for these types of varieties, although we can’t grow the market through this alone. On wine tours, for example, people tend not to see the bottle and may not learn about the varieties until after they’ve tasted the wine. When visiting a restaurant or a wine tour, consumers are looking for an experience, and so are more likely to try something new, Sergio pointed out.

With sustainability in the spotlight, piwis o er hope in reducing environmental impacts as well as the use of costly inputs, whilst – for now at least – helping to overcome the disease threats that dampen the potential of British vineyards. From the debate, the quality of the wine appears to be far less of a challenge than making these unfamiliar varieties appeal to the consumer. As with other areas of British agriculture, the ability to tell a compelling story about the sustainability of the product could hold the answer.

White Castle Vineyard’s still white, Gwin Gywn, from the Phoenix variety, has been well received

September/October 2023 44
Robb and Nicola Merchant, of White Castle Vineyard attended the seminar and shared their experiences growing piwis. Pictured here are Phoenix grapes growing at their vineyard in Abergavenny


Nr. 1 in performance and reliability:

- Mowers from 1.05 – 5.70 m

- Mowing + spraying in one pass

- Side discharge possibility (mulching)

- Interrow mowers (single and double-sided)



• 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!



45 September/October 2023
EN 92 X 129  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!
07972 668370
EST. 2006 Install posts, trellising and ground anchors. Save time and money with the Easy Petrol Post Driver. A professional tool built to withstand long hard work. Made in Australia with 3-year commercial warranty. FOR VINEYARDS & FRUIT FARMS Call 0114 3830 598 FOR METAL & TIMBER POSTS
46 September/October 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.
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

New tractor-mounted sensor raises level of precisionfarming in UK orchards

Excessive shoot growth can reduce owering potential, but can vary widely within and between orchards, depending on soil type, nutrition, and water availability.

Agrovista’s vigour mapping service measures crop height, canopy volume and vigour using the drone, rapidly identifying areas that require attention.

Remedial operations include targeted PGR applications, variable rate nitrogen inputs and/or GPSguided root pruning, which can result in signi cant savings.

Last season, one customer used the information to accurately target the most vigorous trees, which meant just 40% of the orchard was root pruned rather than the more usual 100%.

“We are aiming to improve uniformity within a eld,” says Tom. “This is particularly important with varieties prone to biennial bearing.”

Vigour mapping also helps pinpoint poorerperforming areas of the orchard, which, in conjunction with Agrovista’s Soil Health service, can help identify soil problems and potential solutions.

Precision operations increasing

Tom believes the arrival of TreeScout, combined with the ever-increasing area of fruit planted on an intensive post-and-wire system which is ideally suited to scanning, could see a big increase in precision operations in UK apple orchards.

“This year, using drones, we’ve blossom mapped three times the area we scanned in 2022,” he says. “That’s a big jump in 12 months, but the arrival of TreeScout, which growers can own and operate themselves, is likely to lead to an even bigger increase for next season.”

According to Bert Rijk, chief executive of Aurea Imaging, TreeScout will simplify and increase reliability of the data-gathering process, further helping growers to increase yields and reduce inputs, bene ting revenues and the environment.

Now, further improvement to the service, developed in association with Dutch crop intelligence specialist Aurea Imaging, is imminent following the recent UK launch of Aurea’s tractormounted sensor, the TMS TreeScout, replacing drones as the primary source of information gathering.

So, what is on o er at the moment, and what additional bene ts will the new sensor deliver?

Blossom counting

Optimum blossom levels are vital to produce ideal fruit loads, but achieving those levels relies on accurate ower counts to target ammonium thiosulphate (ATS) applications to thin overly dense trees.

Growers have traditionally evaluated blossom load by manually assessing several trees per orchard, taking into account the owering period and stages of ower development on di erent ages of wood, which is labour intensive and slow.

Agrovista’s current drone service has revolutionised this process. Agrovista fruit agronomist and fruit precision lead, Tom Johnson, says: “The drone can cover about 10ha per hour while assessing the percentage of blossom load on each tree. The resulting analysis and orchard

density map, produced by Aurea Imaging, is more than 90% accurate.

“Treating each tree as an individual, rather than treating the whole orchard as one, leads to the additional bene ts of a more homogenous orchard. Growers, with their agronomists, can more accurately match ATS applications to need using GPS-guided variable rates, producing a more uniform fruit set and improving quality and yield consistency.

“At its simplest, if aiming for 60-65mm fruit, most varieties with a low blossom count will require all those owers. But some varieties, like Gala, produce very high levels of blossom, which, without intervention, would produce a large crop of small fruits.

“Agronomist and grower will also take account of other factors such as historical records, experience, current weather and planned timings before deciding whether to reduce the number of viable owers or ensure that all owers set to produce a crop.”

Vigour mapping

Vigour mapping is an equally useful management tool, helping growers to hit target fruit load by balancing vegetative growth and fruit bud set.

Drones are a good starting point to this sort of precision technology, but also have their downsides, Bert says. “Drones are low barrier to entry – growers don’t have to invest, they can easily explore and become familiar with the technology.

“But, organisationally and logistically, using drones can be quite complex. Apple blossom, for example, can sometimes only be accurately assessed for a couple of days a year, and the window of opportunity can move forward or back depending on weather.”

September/October 2023 47 AGRONOMY
Agrovista fruit agronomist and fruit precision lead, Tom Johnson
Over the past two seasons, Agrovista’s blossom counting and vigour assessment mapping services have been providing apple growers with a quick, easy and economical method of collecting the data they need by drone to help maximise production of rst-class fruit.

TreeScout bene ts

With the TreeScout, which integrates with existing RTK GPS receivers, growers control their own data collection, removing dependence on external providers and logistics. “It also removes quite a bit of cost, especially if used more than once through the season,” Bert adds.

“The TreeScout is more scalable. On average, a tractor drives through an orchard about 30 times a season, so you can monitor every stage of the growing season without any external cost or dependencies, while collecting a lot more data.”

While this is not necessary for blossom counting and vigour assessment, there are plans to add fruit count to improve yield forecasts, apple sizing, colour estimation and, longer term, pest and disease monitoring. “We are really excited about the potential for the range of agronomic insights that will be realised as we scale the application,” says Bert.

A drone can cover 10ha per hour, but TreeScout is no slouch either, able to operate at up to 8km/hour. “It also o ers improved viewing angles, more horizontal than vertical, so overall o ers more frequent, higher detail data collection and analysis than a drone,” says Bert.

Information is sent to Aurea’s cloud platform for processing and mapping. Unlike a drone, where all raw data has to be uploaded, TreeScout has on-board processing computers, that carries out data analysis in real time.

“We don’t have to send all the raw imagery to the cloud, which will really help growers and will eventually allow for real-time see-and-spray type applications as they are developed,” says Bert.

TreeScout’s economic bene ts appear to stack up well. Work carried out on precision thinning in the Netherlands, in a commercial orchard with a high variation in blossom density, showed a yield uplift of 6t/ha, worth just over €3100/ha (£2,600/ ha). The result was independently assessed by the University of Wageningen.

This gure appears typical, according to further work carried out in the Netherlands, France, Italy and the US. “The overall value will depend on blossom variation, but this is usually signi cant in apple orchards, especially in alternate bearing sensitive varieties,” says Bert.

The increase excludes hardware and software purchase costs, which are yet to be nalised, but Aurea estimates that improved returns from just a few hectares will cover these. Aurea expects to sell TreeScout as a package, which will include a licence for three years of software and analytics.

The rst batch of beta units are now on farm

and, after four seasons of testing, the unit will be available commercially in the rst quarter of 2024.

Agronomy support

Expert agronomy back-up is vital with to ensure maps are interpreted correctly and the correct agronomic decisions are made.

“That is why we have chosen Agrovista as our agronomy partner,” says Bert. “You can’t just throw technology at growers without providing support.

“Agronomics di er around the world, so we need a good regional agronomy partner that provides the context and experience to help implementation in the grower’s day-to-day operations and realise the full bene ts. Plus, Agrovista is a very forward-looking company and has done an excellent job providing support for these new technologies.”

Tom says the partnership will improve the agronomic potential of orchards under Agrovista’s care, helping customers manage their businesses more e ciently and more pro tably.

“Our experience over the past three years shows the signi cant potential precision management has to o er in the top fruit sector. We are very pleased to be partnering Aurea in these developments – a system like this needs careful interpretation and the relevant agronomic intervention and support, and together we believe we can add signi cant value to our growers’ operations.”

A promising breakthrough

The UK launch of the tractor-mounted system took place at Wingham in Kent, hosted by Adrian Scripps, one of the UK’s largest top fruit growers. The business grows apples, blackcurrants and grapes across 750ha in Kent. Pioneering innovation and continuous investment are key to help the company produce the best quality fruit, whilst aligning with the company’s aim to increase the use of environmentally sensitive and sustainable methods.

As such, the business has proved an ideal testbed for Aurea’s precision operations, and it has been operating a beta version of the TreeScout this season.

Senior farms manager Russell Graydon says the company contacted Aurea after seeing some of their promotional work.

“We have our own drones, but have been using Aurea’s portal for the past two seasons. We are still at the trial stage at the moment but the work so far looks promising.”

Russell and his team put a lot of work into blossom thinning and vigour control. “It’s crucial to managing crop load and tree/fruit nutrition,” he says.

“Traditionally, for blossom assessment, we have counted by hand using a marker tree system. For tree vigour, we have been using visual assessments and/or leaf node counting.”

Whilst the drone-based system has been a major step forward, the advent of a tractor mounted system is set to improve matters further.

“The TreeScout o ers the potential to gather information weekly should we need to. Although operating our own drones gives us more exibility than depending on an outside provider, the fact we can collect information from the sprayer means we have one less job to do, which must be good news.

“From what I’ve seen so far, I believe Aurea’s precision mapping service, along with the new TreeScout, will be a great aid to our marketing and storage planning.”

September/October 2023 48
Bert R k, chief executive of Aurea Imaging Vigour mapping helps pinpoint poorerperforming areas of the orchard TreeScout integrates with existing RTK GPS receivers Root pruning demo in action
49 September/October 2023 01359 212110 AIRJET GROUND AERATOR BARRIER MOWER RI 60 & 80 QUADSAW LRS 1402 Agricultural Horticultural Forestry Specialists Hydrostatic Power Steering • Stage V Mitsubishi 3 Cylinder Engine 9+3 Gears Side Shift Levers Front Opening Bonnet Ergonomic Seating & Footboard Area 750kg Hyd. lifting Capacity 2 PTO Speeds Di erential Lock • Multi Disc Oil lmmersed Brakes Smart ADDC (2 Lever) Hydraulics 4wd Prices start from £8,795+VAT • Hydrostatic Power Steering • Stage V Mitsubishi 3 Cylinder Engine 9+3 Gears Side Shift Levers Front Opening Bonnet Ergonomic Seating & Footboard Area 750kg Hyd. lifting Capacity 2 PTO Speeds Di erential Lock Multi Disc Oil lmmersed Brakes • Smart ADDC (2 Lever) Hydraulics 4wd Prices start from £7,995+VAT • • Call Francis Holohan 07496 734212 FINANCE AVAILABLE • COMES WITH 2 YEAR MANUFACTURER WARRANTY Ideal for use in limited spaces, like Orchards & Vineyards! Optional extras available Optional extras available 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 Basic, Simple & Reliable Call us on 01258 817372 37hp, 47hp & 60hp 2WD or 4WD 2 Year Warranty Comprehensive Parts Backup

Pushing the boundaries:

showcase the best of WineGB Awards

English & Welsh wine

The decadent Drapers’ Hall in London once again played host to the WineGB Awards Luncheon and Ceremony this July, welcoming nearly 200 vineyard owners, wine makers and industry professionals for a wine tasting, lunch and awards presentation. Deputy editor Sarah Kidby attended.

Ahead of a sumptuous lunch and awards ceremony, guests descending on Drapers’ Hall on 7th July were able to sample from a wide selection of still and sparkling wines entered into this year’s national competition. A record number of producers –

nearly 100 from 27 counties – entered the 2023 awards and judges handed out the highest number of gold medals to date.

Digby Fine English in West Sussex secured its place in the Hall of Fame, being crowned Supreme Champion and also scooping trophies for Best Classic Cuvée Vintage and Top Sparkling for its 2013 Vintage Reserve Brut. Meanwhile the Malvern Fox orange wine 2021 from Nania’s Vineyard was recognised with the Innovative Still award.

Two new trophies were introduced for 2023. The Pioneer’s Trophy – named after one of the pioneers of English wine, the late Colin Gillespie MBE of Wootton Vineyards in Somerset – went to Ridgeview for its Sparkling Red Reserve NV. The new Sustainable Wine Trophy, given to the highest-scoring wine certi ed by the Sustainable Wines of Great Britain, was awarded to Gusbourne’s Chardonnay Guinevere 2021.

Co-chair Oz Clarke OBE advised growers to stay exible, open minded, con dent and optimistic

Ageing fabulously

Speaking to guests in the magni cent Livery Hall

at Drapers’, event co-chairs Oz Clarke OBE and Susie Barrie MW highlighted the successes of the British wine industry and looked to the everevolving future for the sector.

Susie noted that the UK’s still wines are becoming “just as exciting, if not more so in some ways than its sensational sparkling wines”. For any wine region to be considered world class, she believes it requires one key attribute – ageability. Demonstrating how far the British wine industry has come, the recent International Masters of Wine Symposium in Germany included Gusbourne’s English sparkling wine in the ‘Old and Rare’ category.

“These wines needed to be able to age to be included in this stellar line-up,” she explained. “I don’t think anyone would walk away from that tasting in any doubt of the potential of that Gusbourne wine, and by association, all of the UK’s top sparkling wines to age fabulously.”

She added: “In my experience the UK’s nest sparkling wines unquestionably age superbly. And there’s absolutely no reason why we won’t be saying exactly the same thing about our top still wines in the very near future.”

What does the future hold?

In light of the changing climate, Oz Clarke questioned whether the industry’s targets are still appropriate. June 2023 was the hottest June

September/October 2023 50

since records began at nearly 1ºC hotter than the previous record. Meanwhile, 2022 was our hottest year yet and experts predict temperatures will rise still higher in 2024 and beyond.

“Many of our wineries are set up for sparkling wine as their prime, and sometimes sole, purpose. As we look at the weather conditions for Essex, Kent, Sussex and Hampshire, is this still wise? Should we thinking more about non-sparkling Pinot Noir and Chardonnay? After all, Chablis is right next door to Champagne and they’re not famous for zz.”

He added: “Are we thinking about the right colour? Most of our wine is white, but the British wine drinker is lapping up pink wine. Numerous British wineries I’ve talked to in the past year have only just made their rst pink wine. Our Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier – and our Rondo too for that matter – are perfect for pink wine. The British wine

Full list of trophy winners

Best Classic Cuvée

drinker will buy it if we make it.”

Although Bacchus has been the British equivalent of New Zealand’s Sauvignon Blanc, with rapid climate change perhaps we should be thinking about our Pinots for the next generation of quintessential white British wine, added Oz, advising growers and wine makers to stay exible, open minded, con dent and optimistic.

Speaking after the event he said: “We have a wine nation that has barely begun to exploit its potential. Every year we have more growers and winemakers brimming over with imagination and ambition. Every year new areas of Britain stand up proud and say – we can do it too. We have the chance in the next generation to become one of the world’s greatest cool climate wine nations. And this year’s Awards competition shows that we’re going about it in the right way.”

Vintage Top Sparkling Supreme Champion Digby Fine English 2013 Vintage Reserve Brut

Best Chardonnay

Sustainable Wine Joint Top Still

Gusbourne Chardonnay Guinevere 2021

Best Red Pinot Noir Joint Top Still Sandridge Barton Pinot Noir 2020

Classic Cuvée NV/MV

Sugrue South Downs Cuvée Dr Brendan O’Regan MV

Best Blanc de Noirs Ridgeview Blanc de Noirs 2015

Best Blanc de Blancs Sugrue South Downs Cuvée Boz Coldharbour Single Vineyard 2015

Best Sparkling Rosé Bluebell Vineyard Estates Hindleap Rosé 2016

Best Prestige Cuvée Chapel Down Chapel Down Kit's Coty Coeur de Cuvée 2016

Best Still Rosé Tu on Hall Vineyard Pinot Noir Rosé, Beatrice 2022

Best Still Bacchus Chapel Down Kit's Coty Bacchus 2020

Pioneers’ Trophy –

Best Sparkling Red Ridgeview Sparkling Red Reserve NV

Boutique Producer Sugrue South Downs

Newcomer Candover Brook

Estate Winery of the Year


Contract Winery of the Year Wiston Estate

Regional trophies

West Sandridge Barton Pinot Noir 2020

Wessex Candover Brook Brut NV

East Tu on Hall Vineyard Pinot Noir Rosé, Beatrice 2022

Wales White Castle Vineyard Pinot Noir Reserve 2021

Thames & Chilterns All Angels Classic Cuvée 2015

South East Digby Fine English 2013 Vintage Reserve Brut

Midlands & North Halfpenny Green Wine Estate Chardonnay 2020

Digby Fine English was crowned Supreme Champion this year, and also won Best Classic Cuvée Vintage and Top Sparkling for the 2013 Vintage Reserve Brut. Pictured l-r are: Digby’s Gabriella Rondelli, CEO Trevor Clough and marketing director Rachel Fellows

Tuffon Hall Vineyard in Essex won Best Still Rosé and the regional trophy for the east for its Pinot Noir Rosé, Beatrice 2022. Pictured l-r are: Awards co-chair Susie Barrie MW; Tuffon Hall’s Liz Waddington; Bevica’s John Bain (trophy sponsor and awards lunch cosponsor); and Tuffon Hall’s Angus Crowther

Robb Merchant (centre), of White Castle Vineyard in Abergavenny, took home the regional award for Wales for their Pinot Noir Reserve 2021

September/October 2023 51 SPECIAL REPORT
© WineGB/Tom Gold Photography


We specialise in the supply and construction of steel framed buildings. We have a wealth of knowledge and experience in the wine and fruit production sector and general farming and industry to complete your new facility

Based in the heart of Sussex, covering the South East Sussex builders since at least 1605.

Forma offer all aspects of steel framed construction and cladding together with groundworks and electrical fit out if required.

52 September/October 2023
Over 35 Years experience Site visits Call to arrange a site survey Office 01825 371500 100% British designed & built @info_forma

The dos and don’ts Grape brokerage:

When it comes to buying or selling fruit, you essentially have two options - nd yourself a traditional long-term contract, or look at the option of trading on the spot market. Both have their bene ts and drawbacks, but ultimately, whether you are a buyer or a seller, it all boils down to which is going to offer the best value for money.

As harvest is now fast approaching, if you haven’t already secured fruit contracts, now is the time to do so. Steve Burnett, director of The Grape Exchange has a few useful pointers for those weighing up the options of trading using the platform:

• Planning is essential. Fruit sold early season can often be worth far more than the late sales. Mainly because buyers prefer to know that they have secured ample amounts of fruit, which is perfectly understandable.

• Know exactly what it is that you want to sell and plan to ful ll contracts. One of my most used pieces of advice to clients is to provide far more information than is technically necessary. Things like historical yield data, which clones and rootstocks you have are essential. Also, decide whether you are looking to sell per tonne or per hectare.

• Make a plan for what sort of price you are willing to accept for your fruit. As a grower, this is quite di cult, as striking that all-important balance between making your fruit attractive and making it seem overpriced is hard. We often ask for a minimum rate that you are looking to sell the fruit for. Anything over and above is a bonus. You should also be prepared

for us to barter on your behalf.

The Grape Exchange looks to challenge the oldfashioned long-term deals and o er a greater degree of access to the spot market. The reason for this is quite simple – long term contracts may o er a good degree of stability and security, but so often, they end up paying far less than what the fruit is worth. In some cases, The Grape Exchange says it has helped some growers practically double their revenue per tonne, just by switching to the spot market.

The Grape Exchange has now been running for a few years and is the brain-child of Paul Woodrow-Hill and Steve Burnett. As sister company to Vine Care UK, it was initially intended as the fruit trading division of Vine Care; but quickly expanded to work with other clients around the UK. The Grape Exchange now not only trades fruit, but also wine in bulk and bottle.

But why use a platform like The Grape Exchange? Ultimately, you could just as easily approach the same people as you’ve always dealt with, and continue the trading agreement.

The biggest (and, arguably, most important) reason is to obtain a fair price for what your fruit is actually worth this year, not just what is ‘about right’ based upon previous years. In addition, The Grape Exchange o ers very rigid contracts

to ensure the security for both parties, but above all, anonymity for buyers and sellers, until such a point as contracts need to be signed. Furthermore, The Grape Exchange o ers rst refusal on harvest labour through its sister company, Vine Care UK, when selling 10t or more of fruit (this applies to South East England only).

For more information, contact The Grape Exchange directly.

Steve Burnett, director of The Grape Exchange and vineyard manager for Vine Care UK Paul Woodrow-Hill, director of Vine Care UK and co-founder of The Grape Exchange



REFRIGERATION unit, cold store, 40kw, approx 1990, recently refurbished compressor, floor standing evaporator, newer inverter driven condenser. £5,500+VAT. J Brocksopp Tel 07831 309922 (South Yorkshire)


KAWASAKI Mule 4 seater, road registered, diesel, electric tip, heater. £5,500+VAT. R Hopkinson Tel 07976 424263 (Lincolnshire)

POLARIS Ranger 570 EFI, petrol, 2017, 1300hrs, canvas doors, newish tyres, selling as no longer used, good condition. £6,000 ono. J Martin Tel 07944 890032 (Shropshire)

1994 New Holland 570 baler, owned last 3yrs & been faultless, always oiled up when put away, recent new knife, new striper arm balls, new knotter knives, serviced, ready to go, can c/w r/ camara & screen for right price, hyd pickup. £5,500 ono no VAT. M Jeffrey Tel 07802722408 (North Yorkshire)

WELGER AP630 conventional baler, 1988, always dry stored & oiled up each end of season, hydraulic pick up, drawbar & wide angle PTO, used this year for hay, but no longer needed. £2,995+VAT ono. S White Tel 07721 412979 (Essex)


KAWASAKI Mule diesel, 3 seater, front winch, new battery, all good. £5,500+VAT. R Hopkinson Tel 07976 424263 (Lincolnshire)

WELGER Lely AP830 high cap conventional baler, 2011, first used 2013, later type in Lely decals, c/w longer hyd d/bar, w/a double joint PTO, hyd pickup, LEDs, only 44,000 bales from new, c/w Cooks bale sledge bracket & hyd pipework, exc cond. M Summerfield Tel 07884 138719 (Oxfordshire)

112211 (Gloucestershire)

MF2190 baler, 2012, new bearings, chains, serviced yearly, all good. £45,000+VAT. R Hopkinson Tel 07976 424263 (Lincolnshire)

VERSAILLES flooring, 80m of new Versailles floor panels, made from oak, untreated ready to lay, similar to parquet, lovely addition to any house or office. £3,800 ono. J Hatton Tel 07803 721236 (Essex)

KUBOTA RTX 1110, 2021, well maintained, just had full 1000hr service by dealer, being used on vineyard & farm shoot. £12,500 ono. T Chadney Tel 07762 753654 (Essex)

N Hamer Tel 07940 536327 (Shropshire)

KUHN SW7664, 2010, all square & round bales wrapper, vgc, very little used. £9,500. L Rich Tel 07774 112211 (Gloucestershire)

WELGER AP830 high capacity conventional baler, 1997, very reluctant sale as not making small bales now, been with us for 16yrs, only doing approx 6000 hay bales/ season, always been reliable. POA.

J Coxon Tel 07748 901482/07876 774404 (South Yorkshire)

JOHN Deere 456A conventional baler, wide pickup. £2,350 ono. E Monk Tel 07885 496730 (Essex)

CLAAS Markant 65 balers (2) both in perfect working & tidy order, both baled about 1500 bales this year, genuine reason for sale, viewing more than welcome. One with hydraulic unfold £5,250+VAT one without £4,750+VAT. E Pitcher Tel 07796 264745 (Buckinghamshire)

MASSEY Ferguson MF185 MB 4-string mini Hesston baler, spare wheel & string, good condition. I Faircloth Tel 07887 902708 (Norfolk)

BALE wrap, 6.5 rolls, 500mm x 1800m, 25my. £300+VAT. I Rook Tel 07771 575171 (Bedfordshire)

RECLAIMED timber, various line beams 6/8, 4/9, 6/6, look like they were roof trusses, about 35 in total, approx half at 8' & half at 11'. £300. J Hatton Tel 07803 721236 (Essex)

KUHN Primor 2060 M, 2015, genuine reason for sale due to change in farming policy, not been used since mid 2022, only used on wheat Hesstons, no more than 500T straw through it in a year, excellent condition. £4,500. T Over Tel 07767 111267 (Suffolk)


DAVID Thomas sugar beet drill with small seed kit (eg swede, turnip), 6 row. £100. A Clements Tel 07873 263687/01502 476606 (Suffolk)

SLABS of oak & other species, various lengths, widths & thicknesses, both green & air dried, would suit table tops, bar tops or kitchen work tops. £100. J Hatton Tel 07803 721236 (Essex)

September/October 2023 54
JOHN Deere 580 round baler, 1998, very good condition for age, own farm use only. £4,000+VAT. NEW Holland BB9050 80x70 baler, control box & Isobus, low bale count, vgc, big flotation tyres. £28,500. L Rich Tel 07774
September/October 2023 55 Growers - place your FREE advert in the magazine by visiting THE PLACE TO BUY AND SELL WIDE SELECTION OF VINEYARD MACHINERY AVAILABLE - CALL 01359 250796 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 Galvanised Narrow Topper 80cm cut Mounted vineyard sprayer Value For Money! Vineyard Sprayers Mounted Sprayer various specifications available Just in! 400L trailed sprayer suitable for low horsepower tractor Votex PT2000 9ft Pruning Pulveriser excellent value Votex Vixen 6 grass topper Fendt 260V vineyard tractor MANY MORE NEW AND USED MACHINES AVAILABLE - PLEASE ENQUIRE £4,450 POA POA £2,950 £750 £1,440 POA £3,500 POA £2,250 £950 GUIDE PRICE


20-FOOT single way container, as new, end opening & full side opening, ideal for storage or converting into shop/bar.

£5,000+VAT. R King Tel 07929 424474 (Nottinghamshire)

GRANITE paving slabs, used, 2' square, approx 130 slabs. £250 for the lot. D Carter Tel 07768 935715 (Essex)


USED L-shape silage clamp walls, 2 corners & 48 straights, 3m x 1m. 0.6m foot, cut out to finish building, could be log, woodchip or muck midden, may sell individually, previous clamp was 18m sides & 14m back, buyer to arrange transport. £5,000 ono. G Parkes Tel 07855 288597 (Leicestershire)

BOGE CL10 compressor, excellent condition. £2,500+VAT ono. R Clarke Tel 07811 956789 (Essex)


CARIER 4m seed drill, sold as spares or repair, complete, just been standing for a while now. £500+VAT ono. J Hatton Tel 07803 721236 (Essex)


EQUITREK Space Treka horse trailer, partitioned for 2 large horses, inside camera, good condition, covered in winter, easy tow & load, owner now retiring. £4,950 ono. S Groome Tel 01733 810018 (Cambridgeshire)


FIFTY-FOOT 6" belt with 5.5" cups, for a grain elevator, c/w man platform. £90. R Sinkler Tel 01377 270251 (East Yorkshire)

PORTABLE welfare cabin, 24', anti vandal windows, self powered 11kva generator, electrical consumer unit, full electrics, lights, heaters, sockets, water tanks, open plan kitchen with seating area, drying room, office, chemical toilet. £5,995. R Hopkinson Tel 07976 424263 (Lincolnshire)

HONDA tracked power barrow, petrol, 2 forward gears, 1 reverse, turns & drives as it should, fair condition, good tracks & tipping body removes for a flat deck.

£1,400+VAT. R King Tel 07929 424474 (Nottinghamshire)

FOSTER D2P back actor digger, c/w 2 buckets. £900. C Slatter Tel 07881 443396 (Gloucestershire)

SIMBA Horsch CO4 folding tine drill, 2004, vgc, cleated tyres, bout markers, pre-em marker, 3 sets coulters/tubes for rape beans & std duet coulters, Horsch seeder unit with 4 different barrels small to large seeds. £13,250+VAT R Allan Tel 07771 922747 (Leicestershire)

HYDRAULIC post knocker, 3 point linkage mounted, good condition. £845+VAT. B Burton Tel 07775 877136 (Nottinghamshire)

THERMOBILE GA110 gas burner, stack of three. £3,250+VAT. R Mills Tel 01780 460465 (Rutland)


VADERSTAD Rapid RD 300, 1995, very tidy, in gwo, front tyre packer, front tine system, levelling tines, disc drill coulters, rear packer, harrows & bout markers, good metal all round, small seed kit, ready to work. £7,500+VAT ono. R Allan Tel 07977 933554 (Warwickshire)

ARMSTRONG Holmes flat roller, water filled, tow with quad or similar, ideal for small paddocks. £250 no VAT. C Whitehead Tel 01296 625529 (Hertfordshire)

THREE portable chemical toilets. £295+VAT each. R Hopkinson Tel 07976 424263 (Lincolnshire)

SHEPHERD'S hut, 20' long x 7', LED lighting inside & out, fully insulated all over, some internal fittings, unfurnished, would make a good office or holiday home. R Knight Tel 07860 700508 (Northamptonshire)

BENFORD P52000 4t dumper truck, recent new gearbox & clutch, excellent working order, collect from Pollington near Goole.

£8,000 ono. J Peake Tel 07833 452532 (East Yorkshire)


VICON 4m Air drill. £1,200+VAT. J Smith Tel 07774 290777 (Cambridgeshire)

KVERNELAND TS-EVO 6.0m, hyd fan, mechanical metering system, 12.5cm row spacing, Signus control box, pre-em markers, tank camera & screen, low disturbance points, 2012, spares available, excellent all-weather drill from family farm. £18,000. J Lane Tel 07760 369492 (Northamptonshire)

DUTCH openers, 5", brand new, delivered on machine but not used, 24 available. £100+VAT. G Paice Tel 07904 753408 (Essex)

WOLSELEY electric fencer (3 strand wire system), needs 6V battery. £50. R Sinkler Tel 01377 270251 (East Yorkshire)


TAARUP 501 Direct Cut fine double chop forage harvesters, choice of two, good working order when last used 5yrs ago, stored under cover. S Jaques Tel 01754 763319 (Lincolnshire)


KONGSKILDE wooden corn drying bin, 60T, c/w heating fan. Free to a good home, buyer to dismantle. A Clements Tel 07873 263687/01502 476606 (Suffolk)

AGRIMASTER KL190 SW Super flail mower, good flails. £1,750 no VAT. C Whitehead Tel 01296 625529 (Hertfordshire)

KUHN FC 280 P, owned from new, not the tidiest but a runner. Offers. R Reakes Tel 07966 483118 (Somerset)

September/October 2023 56 Trade advertising — Tel: 01473 794440 Email:
September/October 2023 57 Trade advertising — Tel: 01473 794440 Email: BR Strathern Ltd . New Holland Specialist . Sales Agricultural . . Service & Repair . Hydraulic Hose . . Used Fruit & Vineyard Tractor & Machinery Specialist . ALM for demo in Essex and Suffolk Tel: 01621 828318 . Mobile 07715 565606 Chelmsford, Essex

MUTHING MUL280, push/pull flail topper, hydraulic offset in as new condition, 2017, only done genuine max 300 acres. £5,250+VAT. G Stallard Tel 07837 063054 (Devon)

ATCO ride-on cylinder mower, petrol, Villiers engine. £100+VAT. R Hopkinson Tel 07976 424263 (Lincolnshire)

SHELBOURNE Reynolds Power Blade 67T, 6.7m telescopic reach, 1.2m head, T flails, proportional electro hyd joystick control, hyd roller, power slew, serial no 1054454, good condition. £6,950+VAT. M Howard Tel 07977 001523 (Nottinghamshire)

IRRIGATION pipes (48) & trailer, 30 Wright Rain & 18 Bauer, all 4", will fit together perfectly, all in good condition. £3,000+VAT ono for full set. Will consider selling separately. W Butcher Tel 07979 805863 (Cambridgeshire)

BULK bags of wheat, less than 0.5t in each bag, this is not sweepings, it contains a little ergot, would suit a shoot for birds, if you are able to release any, or cattle feed. £50/bag 10 available. J Hatton Tel 07803 721236 (Essex)

KVERNELAND Taarup 8052 4 rotor tedder, in good working order, viewing welcome & can be seen working, more photos & video on request. £2,950+VAT ono. Ring Ian to enquire or arrange a viewing. J Woodward Tel 07960 866025 Ian/01455 221112 (Warwickshire)

WEIDEMANN Terra Combi overseeder, very clean condition, little use. £4,995+VAT. R Hopkinson Tel 07976 424263 (Lincolnshire)

FLAT heavy water ballast roller, almost new, width 2.5m, roller diameter 50cm, pin link, collect from Pollington near Goole. £1,500 ono. J Peake Tel 07833 452532 (East Yorkshire)


DIESEL Perkins powered high pressure drainjetter, Harben pump, 500' hose, trailer mounted, all legal, 5 good tyres, brakes overhauled 2020, fittings & pump, vortex pump, lockable tool box in trailer, fully working road lights. £2,500 no VAT. C Whitehead Tel 01296 625529 (Hertfordshire)

IRRIGATION pump set, 6 cylinder Perkins engine, Caprari pump, Murphy Protection unit. excellent condition. £5,000+VAT. W Butcher Tel 07979 805863 (Cambridgeshire)


UNSEXED peacock chicks, ready to go mid August. £35. R Hopkinson Tel 07976 424263 (Lincolnshire)

PYGMY goats, two nannies with three kids & one billy goat, vaccinated with Lambivac, would like them to go together, but would sell the three kids. P Rutter Tel 07926 095493 (Lincolnshire)

KUHN BP24 8' flail topper, brand new, never been used, c/w hydraulic sideshift. £5,250 no VAT. B Wothers Tel 01793 790016 (Wiltshire)

WOODS Batwing Slasher topper, 15' wide, needs new clutch plates, for spares or repair, choice of two available. £1,000+VAT ono. G Pullin Tel 07706 583158 (Buckinghamshire)


CRICKET bat willows (12), ready to fell, right size & clean, collect & fell near Norwich. Offers on inspection. G Scham Tel 01692 651021 (Norfolk)

IRRIFRANCE Javelin irrigator, 82mm x 310m, c/w rain gun, on turntable, good condition. £1,500+VAT. W Butcher Tel 07979 805863 (Cambridgeshire)

GREAT selection of our beautiful Pygmy kids, newly weaned & looking for new homes, lots of different colours, both nanny & wether kids available, all vaccs, hoof trimmed & wormed as are all our stock. E Bunting Tel 07889 640199 (Essex)

EXCELLENT quality Pygmy wether & nanny kids, stunning selection, farm bred mums, vaccs & wormed. E Bunting Tel 07889 640199 (Essex)

BLUE X Blonde bull, well bred, very quiet, ready for work. S Jaques Tel 01754 763319 (Lincolnshire)


SIMPLICITY ride-on mower. £100. R Hopkinson Tel 07976 424263 (Lincolnshire)

FLAT heavy water ballast roller, almost new, width 2.5m, roller diameter 50cm, pin link, collect from Pollington near Goole. £1,500 ono. J Peake Tel 07833 452532 (East Yorkshire)

IRRIFRANCE Javelin irrigator, 82mm x 310m, c/w rain gun, good condition. £1,000+VAT. W Butcher Tel 07979 805863 (Cambridgeshire)

EXCELLENT selection of Pygmy billies, for sale or rental, small sizes & great colours, up to date with vaccs, wormer & foot trimming, contact us for further info. E Bunting Tel 07889 640199 (Essex)

MORRISONS 600 petrol cylinder lawn mower. £100+VAT. R Hopkinson Tel 07976 424263 (Lincolnshire)

TERRATECH Raptor 200 tree shear to fit JCB 3CX & 6t digger, 2022, 200mm cut blade, cuts & holds soft & hardwood, interchangeable Hardox blade, brand new unused. £6,500+VAT. G Pullin Tel 07706 583158 (Buckinghamshire)

B Sharp Tel 07917

Angus bull, 3yrs old. P Summerfield Tel 07776 192162 (Oxfordshire)

FULLWOOD Legato Life pulsators, 24v, excellent condition, 10 available, excellent condition. Price is for one pulsator. £100+VAT. R Gray Tel 07939 443353 (South Yorkshire)

September/October 2023 58 Trade advertising — Tel: 01473 794440 Email:
PERKINS 3654 engine with a Javelin trolley c/w integral fuel tank, had less than 50hrs use, good condition. £1,500+VAT. 127061 (Lincolnshire) PEDIGREE Aberdeen

machinery, equipment & livestock with the click of a button.

MONTABERT hydraulic breaker, used on JCB 3CX, 2 points plus 6” post knocker cap, good at knocking in posts. A Soames Tel 07970 505050 (Bedfordshire)

IAE galvanised storage cages, c/w two doors & pallet fork sockets, as new. P Summerfield Tel 07776 192162 (Oxfordshire)

IAE single sided creep feeder shelter, 4’, features full length adjustable creep aperture, feed hopper, 1200mm wide x 900mm high, supplied with four 254mm wheels x 25mm bore rubber tyre, excellent condition. £475 ono. C Weaver Tel 07790 491081 (Somerset)


Tecnoagri 1.8m lift, 1,500kg tractormounted forklift

Leading Landini & McCormick dealer in Kent

• Hand Tools • • Irrigation parts •

• Rotary & flail mower

• Sprayer parts • & more… Scan the

MANITOU 735 MLT LSU Turbo teleporter, 11 plate, 6500hrs, all good, air con, boom suspension. £30,000+VAT. R Hopkinson Tel 07976 424263 (Lincolnshire)

FULLWOOD parlour parts

– Fullwood 10/10 Direct herringbone milk meters, Auto Id, Crystal Management, Augermaster feeders, variable milk pump, excellent condition, sell whole or for parts, excellent condition.

£250+VAT each ono. R Gray Tel 07939 443353 (South Yorkshire)

01580 712200

SHOTBLASTING gun with 20kg of shotblasting grit. £50. R Sinkler Tel 01377 270251 (East Yorkshire)


September/October 2023 59 Trade advertising — Tel: 01473 794440 Email:
We are a leading supplier and an approved repair centre With 50 years trading in the cleaning industry. With our strong ties and long term relationship with the leading manufacturers 01825 705777 Unit 4, 72 Bell Lane, Uckfield, East Sussex TN22 1QL enquiries@pressureclean SALES SERVICE HIRE
code to visit our store & open an online account today! Can’t find what you are looking for? 01233 226284 or visit us in-store Unit 2, Owens Court Farm, Selling, Faversham Kent, ME13 9QN Call us on Kent’s #1 MATERIALS HANDLERS
Master, 2100hrs, 2 pipe air compressor, 4 in 1 bucket, all good. £12,000+VAT. R Hopkinson Tel 07976 424263 (Lincolnshire) JCB quick fit headstock converted to Matbro cone & pin. Buyer to collect & pay cash. G Ulley Tel 07798 872221 (South Yorkshire) MANITOU MT728, 7m reach, good old bomb proof machine, useful yard/second telehandler. £12,500. L Rich Tel 07774 112211 (Gloucestershire) JCB bucket. £1,000+VAT. R Hopkinson Tel 07976 424263 (Lincolnshire) GENUINE Alo Quicke bag lifter, excellent condition. C Shaw Tel 07900 048303 (Gloucestershire) MISCELLANEOUS ELECTRIC motor. £50. P Beales Tel 07584 189359/01284 828360 (Suffolk)


VICON heavy duty chisel plough, No11 tines, c/w depth wheels.

£1,500. P Nickalls Tel 01953 602208 (Norfolk)


TULLOW slurry tank from about 1990, approx 1000 gallon, Italian pump, A frame chassis, spare wheels, fair condition. £2,000 ono. J Jones Tel 07929 288434 (Shropshire)

JOHN Deere GreenStar

1800 display with autotrac activation, works well, selling as no longer needed, excellent condition. £2,200. J Lane Tel 07760 369492 (Northamptonshire)


CONOR 2750 slurry tanker.2750 gallon, 2011, replacement 11,000 MEC pump, originally bought to spread digestate, but digestate is no longer available to us, had very little use, but has always worked well. £6,995+VAT ono. C Manford Tel 07702 194324 (Shropshire)

SINGLE cylinder Lister diesel engined SLD 4" self priming pump, old but works, will pump dirty water. £500 buyer to collect & pay cash. G Ulley Tel 07798 872221 (South Yorkshire)


PARTS for IH tractors – PTO covers £5, water pump £25, gaskets £10, exhaust stack £15, turbo kit parts to fit IH £15, oil filters to fit MX axial flow combines, Magnums £10, Claas baler chamber crimp £10, double acting valve £25. P Beales Tel 07584 189359/01284 828360 (Suffolk)


DIESEL bowser, G T Bunning & Sons, 2500L capacity, in good condition, with 12volt pump. £1,999+VAT ono. R Clarke Tel 07811 956789 (Essex)

SELF-CONTAINED galvanised vacuum tank, 4500 gallons waste, 150 gallons clean water, c/w engine, pump & hoses, good condition, can go on ground, trailer or vehicle. A Soames Tel 07970 505050 (Bedfordshire)

LARGE trade line sprayer/fertiliser for tractor, 600L capacity, 10m spraying span fully open, PTO included, collect from Pollington near Goole. £1,000 ono.. J Peake Tel 07833 452532 (East Yorkshire)

GEM trailed 24m/20m/12m

2500L sprayer, 2 sets of wheels.

£2,250+VAT. J Smith Tel 07774 290777 (Cambridgeshire)

FABDEC bulk milk tank, 5000L, would make water bowser. D Seymour Tel 07850 292743 (Buckinghamshire)

SLURRY tower store, decent condition, over 1 million litres capacity, pump & stirrer available, could help to dismantle as we have a cherry picker.

£123,456+VAT ono. R Gray Tel 07939 443353 (South Yorkshire)


DOWDESWELL plough parts – 6 each of left & right points & shares with bolts to suit, new & unused, surplus to requirement. Worth £900+. Offers over £500+VAT please. T Ireland Tel 07976 890191 (Lincolnshire)

TAARUP 622 forager hand book & parts manual & electric spout controls, very hard to come by now. Sensible offers invited. B Robinson Tel 07740 683113 (Gloucestershire)

MERCEDES S Trac/Chafer FC, 24/30/32/36m & 4000L, c/w 2 sets wheels, 4ws & CTI torque converter gbox, 230hp, Muller Track Guide3 rate controller/ guidance/section control, well maintained by SCT, vgc, owner retiring. £38,000 ono. . P Williams Tel 07966 273748 (Lincolnshire)


ADJUSTABLE links, mainly off McConnel machines, call for end sizes. £12 each ono. P Beales Tel 07584 189359/01284 828360 (Suffolk)


DOWDESWELL DD & UCN wearing parts, various. Price available on request. R Freeman Tel 07764 151082 (North Yorkshire)

4-FURROW single plough, excellent condition, only just been taken out of use, ideal for the smaller fields & difficult areas, PTO included. £2,200 ono. J Peake Tel 07833 452532 (East Yorkshire)

KUHN Multimaster OL 180 7 furrow plough, hydraulic on land/in furrow, good condition, no cracks or welding very strong, some spares included.

£7,500+VAT. I Brand Tel 07899 795220 (Lincolnshire)

NEW Holland wafer weights 22x45kg plus clevis hitch, mounting bar & ball ends, approx weight 1050kg, requires no top link due to perfect balance, stripped, cleaned & repainted, selling due to retirement.

£1,300+VAT. D Cowton Tel 07712 005508 (County Durham)

HARDI Commander 4400i, 2008, trailed 24m, 4400L tank boxes & sensors for Norac auto height adj on the boom, although we do not use it, liquid fert lines & nozzles, all working & correct, c/w a host of spares. £9,000+VAT ono. R Hodgkins Tel 07747 623124 (Hertfordshire)

GEM 2500 24m trailed sprayer, induction hopper, tank wash, 2 sets of wheels. £2,250+VAT. J Smith Tel 07774 290777 (Cambridgeshire) KNIGHT mounted sprayer, 18m 1000L, great little sprayer, triple nozzles, hopper, tank rinse. C Slatter Tel 07881 443396 (Gloucestershire)

KVERNELAND fertiliser spreader, 36m vanes, also sold with a set of 24m vanes, plus border limiter, 2008, good condition. £3,000+VAT. D Voutt Tel 07900 818810 (Cambridgeshire)

STEEL bunded diesel tank, 4500L, professionally made, lifting eyes & fork pockets, piped for pump. £1,000+VAT. J Hatton Tel 07803 721239 (Essex)

AMAZONE ZA-M Maxi spreader, hydraulic shut off for both sides, manuals & chart, PTO, gwo. £775 ono, no VAT. M Jeffrey Tel 07802 722408 (North Yorkshire)


GOOD hay for sale. Offers to clear. R Bailey Tel 01449 766350 after 6pm (Suffolk)

UK Bunded Fuel Tanks (www. 6000L with 230v mains electric pump & usage meter, 2015, immaculate condition, inside use only. £5,250+VAT ono. R Clarke Tel 07811 956789 (Essex)

IBC 1000L containers (2). £20 each. R Sinkler Tel 01377 270251 (East Yorkshire)

BUNDED diesel bowser, 2000L, mobile. £800+VAT. R Hopkinson Tel 07976 424263 (Lincolnshire)

September/October 2023 60 Trade advertising — Tel: 01473 794440 Email:

DIESEL towed bowser, 2000L. £800+VAT. R Hopkinson Tel 07976 424263 (Lincolnshire)


CASE Farmall, like new, 2016, full working order, only 360hrs, only ever used on smallholding, c/w loader & bucket. £16,100 ono, no VAT. D Polivka Tel 07547 765353 (Essex)

WEIGHT block, 3pt linkage, ideal for a loader tractor. £60. R Sinkler Tel 01377 270251 (East Yorkshire)

2009 John Deere 6930

Premium, 1 owner, excellent condition, 11,500hrs, Autoquad Plus 40k, TLS, cab susp, 4 electric spools, f/links & PTO, dealer serviced, head gasket & turbo replaced & uprated, 95% rear, 75% front. £34,500+VAT. J Collis Tel 07780 869595 (Dorset)

IFOR Williams LM1466 14' flat tailer, excellent condition, stored under cover, owned from new. £1,950 no VAT. D Smith Tel 07973 139483 (Nottinghamshire)

Agrofer 5 bin self-unloading trailer

JOHN Deere 8300, 1997, 8500hrs, tyres 50%, gearbox & front diff rebuilt by Deere 1500 & 500hrs ago, sale due to business restructure. £26,000+VAT ono. R Lane Tel 07801 537556 (Cambridgeshire)

JCB 2135 4ws Smoothshift w/Knight sprayer, f/linkage, 53 reg, 6000hrs, owned since 2008, used as our sprayer & for harvest duties, no liquid fert, v clean cond, c/w flotation field & rowcrop wheels, sprayer demounts in 10mins & in gwo. £25,500+VAT. R Evett Tel 07899 916159 (Buckinghamshire)

Fendt 210V Gen3, 100HP, Profi, FL and PTO, Susp

MASSEY Ferguson 6480 Dyna 6, 2006, low 6457hrs, in good condition, one owner from new, tyres 40%, complete set of weights, serviced by dealer since new, used for all jobs on an arable farm. £28,750. W Bailey Tel 07721 414517 (Wiltshire)


owned from new, from arable farm, run around & rolling tractor, excellent original condition, owner driver, tyres original & 50% tread, 3 DSV, PUH, c/w clevis, a/c , f/ weight carrier, air seat, similar to NH 5070/TS115. R Dyball Tel 07711 278646 (Suffolk)

01580 712200

974049/01926 491313

TRACTOR rear 3pt link counterbalance, quick hitch, width 1.2m, height 60mm, material concrete casting, weight c 400kg. £300 ono. J Peake Tel 07833 452532 (East Yorkshire)

JOHN Deere 3050, 1988, 10581hrs, seat needs attention, 30kmh, average condition. £8,500. T Over Tel 07767 111267 (Suffolk)

01580 712200 npseymour co

M Lee Tel 07743 142298 (Suffolk)

JOHN Deere 6250R, 2150hrs, 2020, Ultimate edition, 600 front 710 rear VF tyres, upgraded Comfort seat, unlocked for section control & variable rate, excellent condition. POA. J Cook Tel 07734 312519 (Buckinghamshire)


2014 Bailey flat trailer in excellent condition, dry stored when not in use, sprung drawbar, takes 8 boxes, approx 25' long. £6,250+VAT ono. R Clarke Tel 07811 956789 (Essex)

AS Marston 12t grain trailer, 1984, very good condition, always stored under cover. £6,200+VAT. N Cutmore Tel 07850 412685 (Essex)

2005 Massey Ferguson 5465, 5300hrs, 5300 genuine hrs, owned last 3yrs & been faultless, 6 cyl turbo Perkins, forward/ reverse on L/H lever, full LED lights, serviced last week, air con, f/linkage, drives great, very reliable. £23,950 ono, no VAT. M Jeffrey Tel 07802 722408 (North Yorkshire)

(West Yorkshire)

JCB Fastrac, 2011, 6900hrs, still in daily use so hours will increase, 380/80/38s 90% & 540/65/30s 20%, owned since 2014, mainly spraying duties hence low hrs, available September, good condition, everything works. £39,000+VAT. A Watson Tel 07974 075240 (Aberdeenshire)

CASE 895XL, tidy genuine tractor, original & not been messed around with, very good starter & has always been reliable, had an easy life, all oil & filters changed regularly. £12,000 ono. H Hall Tel 07518 905405 (Norfolk)

BROSHIUS articulated trailer, 42', tested. £1,500+VAT. R Hopkinson Tel 07976 424263 (Lincolnshire)

TOILET trailer, CIP 3+1, self contained, electric recirc. vgc.

A Soames Tel 07970 505050 (Bedfordshire)

WOOTTON 14t trailer, 1995, roll over sheet, hydraulic tail door, sprung drawbar, hydraulic brakes, 445/65R22.5 tyres, new tipping pipes. £7,000 ono no VAT. J Cornwell Tel 07379 349770 (Lincolnshire)

AXLES (2), 90mm, from a 16t grain trailer, c/w leaf spring suspension, wheel nuts. £500+VAT. J Hatton Tel 07803 721236 (Essex)

September/October 2023 61 Trade advertising — Tel: 01473 794440 Email:
QUICKE loader brackets to fit Case MXU 110 or NH TSA110, good condition. £700. J Charlesworth Tel 07807 (Warwickshire) NEW Holland T4050, 2013, only 3800hrs, front links & PTO, Super Steer axle, 95hp. £24,500. L Rich Tel 07774 112211 (Gloucestershire) FORD 7740, 1993, 6579hrs, gears, gearbox, clutch & loader all work as should, new tyres & battery, call for further information. £14,000 ono. B Sagar Tel 07734 469385 JXU 115 4wd, 2385hrs, NEW Holland 8240, 1996, in good condition. J Pitcher Tel 07775 688875 (Norfolk) NEW Holland TS110 2wd tractor, 1999, superb condition, 6700hrs, straight to work, ideal tractor for farm or paddocks, etc. £20,300+VAT ono.
September/October 2023 62 Trade advertising — Tel: 01473 794440 Email: New GF, GV and GN available in stock PREMIUM USED MACHINERY 6 MONTHS 500 HOURS OR WARRANTY Tuckwells Premium Used is available on selected machines EXPERT CHECK INCLUDING… • Air Conditioning check • Full Hydraulic Test • Full Service History • Engine Dyno Test • Minimum 30% tyre tread SPECIAL FINANCE OFFERS LOW % APR FOR TUCKWELLS PREMIUM USED MACHINES JOHN DEERE 5075GL 2021, 324hrs, 24F/12R transmission, electro-hydraulic reverser, Premium Used, 6 months 500hr warranty #A1074186 £32,000 JOHN DEERE 5105GF 2019, 2183hrs, 24F/12R 0.5-40 KM/H, air con cab w/super deluxe seat, 3 SCVs, 540/540E PTO, rear 380/70R28, front 280/70R20, front hitch #B1068056 POA JOHN DEERE 5105GF 2019, 2681hrsm 24F/12R 0,5-40 KM/H transmission, 3 X SCV, air con #B1068055 POA JOHN DEERE 5090GF 2018, 4337hrs, 24F/24R HI-LO transmission, front linkage and PTO, air con, super deluxe seat, 380/70R28, 280/70R20, 3 X SVC #A1065860 POA KRAMER 14.5 2021,137hrs, Premium Used, 6 months 500hrs warranty, pallet tines #B1068708 £38,500 John Deere 5090GF 2018, 2159hrs, 4F/12R 0,5-40 KM/H, transmission, air con, front linkage, Premium Used #A1065717 POA


DOLLY/5TH wheel for artic, c/w generator & compressor, generator does require service, hence price.

£650 ono. J Peake Tel 07833 452532 (East Yorkshire)

RICHARD Western SW T18

Wellington 18T trailer, 2013, heavier duty than standard grain models, large tyres 560/60R22.5, hydraulic tailgate & tip, air brakes, lights, 2013, good condition. £16,500+VAT ono. S Rowsell Tel 07926 048112 (Essex)


HIAB & donkey engine, both in working order, currently on trailer.

£800+VAT. J Hatton Tel 07803 721236 (Essex)


GOODYEAR tyres (4), new, suit loading shovel, etc, 16.00x20. G Scham Tel 01692 651021 (Norfolk)

MICHELIN Agribib 380/90R50 & 380/85R34 tyres, replaced as too worn for destoning & potato harvesting, but OK for top work. £650+VAT ono. P Nichols Tel 07773 342495 (Gloucestershire)

MITSUBISHI L200 Trojan DCB DI-D 4x4 truck, 2013, crew cab, red, 97500mls, one owner from new, 8 months MOT, tow bar, sidestep, air conditioning, very tidy condition. £7,500+VAT. D Woodward Tel 07760 317410 (Leicestershire)

AS Marston 14t grain trailer, hydraulic rear door, spring drawbar, old but OK. £7,500. L Rich Tel 07774 112211 (Gloucestershire)

GALVANISED car trailer, 6' x 4', with rear loading ramp, hand winch attached to front of trailer, leaf springs on axle, excellent condition. £550 ono. J Dalby Tel 07788 722165 (Warwickshire)

TRELLEBORG tyres 710/70/42 & 600/70/30, 10% tread, good side walls, no repairs. £1,000+VAT ono. R Freeman Tel 07764 151082 (North Yorkshire)

MICHELIN Axiobib 650-75 R30 wheels & tyres, complete set of 4, 10 stud centres to fit Unimog U300/400/500/520, etc, also some Fastrac models, 50% wear remaining, no damage or repairs to tyres, vgc, owner retiring. £2,000 ono. P Williams Tel 07966 273748 (Lincolnshire)

T-RACKS heavy duty roof bars with roller frame, to suit light commercial vehicles. £75. D Ivens Tel 07969 877834 (Northamptonshire)

EASTERBY ET12, 1994, sprung d/ bar, h/d eye, always stored inside, super singles, manual door, no grain hatch, in very, very good condition, shouldn't be selling them really, one of two I have available. £5,500+VAT ono. M Baker Tel 07747 675186 (Kent)

EASTERBY ET12 grain trailer, excellent condition, small arable farm, overwintered indoors since new, two available, essentially new but old stock condition, Super singles, can come with spares. £6,250+VAT ono & £5,500+VAT ono. M Baker Tel 07747 675186 (Kent)

EX-ARMY fast tow trailer, 2.5T for Land Rover, etc, has been used behind Unimog sprayer to carry IBC, c/w lockable chemical compartment, excellent condition, owner retiring. £450. P Williams Tel 07966 273748 (Lincolnshire)

FULL set of rowcrop wheels, used on a NH T 7.210, Alliance tyres, very good condition, fronts 320/85R32 360mm axle stub, rears 300/95R46. £2,250+VAT. M Campion Tel 01777 817359/07785 768563 (Nottinghamshire)

JOHN Deere rear wheel spacers c/w bolts, 8 stud, can post, in very good condition. C Shaw Tel 07900 048303 (Gloucestershire)

LAND Rover Freelander 2 HSE auto, top of the range with all the extras, full MOT, near new tyres all round, on 18" alloys, 122,000mls. £4,995. C Bigley Tel 07909 910005/01406 540505 (Lincolnshire)

EIGHT corner posts (2 sets) for a 5/6t Weeks trailer. £80 total. R Sinkler Tel 01377 270251 (East Yorkshire)

GULL trailer, manufactured 1976, hydraulics work well, video of hydraulics working can be forwarded, will require new bed, good workhorse. £1,000 ono. J Wordley Tel 01375 891439 (Essex)

TWO sets of front tyres Michelin Multibib 540/65/30, both sets virtually identical in wear, good condition, no stone cuts to walls, etc. £550+VAT ono. D Hurn Tel 07786 441918 (Norfolk)

NOKIAN industrial front tyres, 440/80-R24 (replaces 16.9R24)

heavy duty tyres, ideal for road work, hedge cutting, etc, as new & only done 100hrs on tractor before tractor was sold with original ag tyres. Sensible offers invited. B Robinson Tel 07740 683113 (Gloucestershire)

LAND Rover Discovery 2 TD5 Pursuit, 2004 54 plate, one of the last made, 7 seat, manual, full MOT, good tyres all round, owned from new, 149,000mls mainly driven by she who must be obeyed, well maintained & cared for (that's the car!). £4,995. C Bigley Tel 07909 910005/01406 540505 (Lincolnshire)

AS Marston tipper trailer, high tip. £2,000+VAT. R Hopkinson Tel 07976 424263 (Lincolnshire)

GRAIN trailer, approx 12T, very tired but chassis is still in very good order, slight

£2,000+VAT ono. S Rowsell Tel 07926 048112 (Essex)

September/October 2023 63 Trade advertising — Tel: 01473 794440 Email:
leak in ram at certain point when tipping.


2018 Toyota Active rear bumper, grey, has a few dimples & scratches, not good enough for a showroom vehicle but would make a cheap repair to a working pickup, can send more pictures if required, bulky item so collection preferred. £70. B Robinson Tel 07740 683113 (Gloucestershire)

red, straight & intact with a few scratches, not good enough for a showroom truck, but would make a cheap repair for a working truck. £50. B Robinson Tel 07740 683113 (Gloucestershire)

NUFFIELD 465 tractor, restored a few years ago, starts & runs well, used for road runs & fun ploughing, good tyres, always barn stored, call for more info. £5,750 no VAT. A Lee Tel 07836 773893/01440 820954 (Suffolk)

SHEEP hurdles or gates, to build a race of sorts. J Hatton Tel 07803 721236 (Essex)

STARTER motor for Fordson E27N tractor, either working or repair, now too old to swing starting handle, thanks. T Fenton Tel 01262 470277 (East Yorkshire)

YORK stone slabs. D Brown Tel 07710 316205 (Cambridgeshire)

MEADOWS 4 cylinder petrol engine, also, starter & water pump. A Saville Tel 07710 256307 (Essex)

PAIR of older type (1960-ish) JCB

4-in-1 front bucket forklift tines, size 32" high x 44" long x 4" wide, c/w mounting brackets, retaining pins & round mounting rail, 84" long x 2" dia. R James Tel 01263 837569 (Norfolk)

07976 424263 (Lincolnshire)


auto in grey with black leather interior, 2008, full service history, MOT till April 2024, 122854mls, in good condition. £4,500 ono. A Towns Tel 07751 917839

FERGUSON TE20 diesel, 1952, good runner & all working, bought for renovation 8yrs ago but never got round to it, all panel work sound, gears & clutch all appear OK along with hydraulics working. Offers over £2,000. D Wakefield Tel 07889 756705/01487 814432 (Cambridgeshire)

JOHN Deere 1750 tractor with loader (must be good condition), would consider other 50 to 60hp tractors with loader, 2 or 4wd. P Jackson Tel 01422 243913 (West Yorkshire)

2018 Toyota Hilux single cab, 56000mls, well serviced, recent MOT, tidy outside & in, tow pack & load liner, can send more pictures if required. POA. B Robinson Tel 07740 683113 (Gloucestershire)

1950 Nuffield M4, petrol/paraffin, road registered, new clutch, etc, c/w original buff log book. £6,000. D Carter Tel 07768 935715 (Essex)


CTM beet cleaner loader with a roller system, any model considered, but must have roller system, immediate payment & collection. B McCarthy Tel +35 3877 981133 (Republic of Ireland) PUMP up pallet truck, 2T capacity, must be in good working order. P Waspe Tel 07462 472289 (Suffolk)


288434 (Shropshire)

INTERNATIONAL 584, 5700hrs, tidy for age, everything works, ideal small haymaking/yard tractor, c/w V5. £4,500 no VAT. B Robinson Tel 07740 683113 (Gloucestershire)


LOADER for Ford 3000. R James Tel 01263 837569 (Norfolk) RACK & pinion saw bench, c/w 4–5' circular blade, one needing TLC would be acceptable, or another bench suitable for ripping tree trunks to slabs, with or w/o motors, single or 3 phase. R James Tel 01263 837569 (Norfolk)

PAIR of older type (1960-70ish) JCB

4-in-1 front bucket forklift tines, size 32" high x 44" long x 4" wide, c/w mounting brackets, retaining pins & round mounting rail, 84" long x 2" dia.

R James Tel 01263 837569 (Norfolk)

3-CYLINDER Massey Ferguson 35 or similar, 135, or any small Massey Ferguson tractor, quick decision & payment. D Lunn Tel 07941 072957/01945 772416 (Cambridgeshire)

ESAB 300amp TIG welder, AC/DC settings so will weld aluminium as well as mild steel & stainless steel, pulsed, water-cooled & c/w torch & earth lead, very good condition, can send on a pallet if required. £1,750+VAT ono. G Taylor Tel 07874 004171 (North Yorkshire)

VERY large Facam 4 leg puller, c/w hydraulic pack. £750 ono. G Charity Tel 07889 316853 (Lincolnshire) ANVIL in good condition, 21" long, saddle 4.5" wide x 13", 10" high. £200. G Charity Tel 07889 316853 (Lincolnshire)

07803 721239 (Essex)

September/October 2023 64 Trade advertising — Tel: 01473 794440 Email:
MAN 440 26 TGA Taughtliner, 6 wheeler, drawbar spec, auto, long MOT. £8,500+VAT ono. R Hopkinson Tel 2011 Isuzu Rodeo front bumper moulding, Rover Freelander 2.2TDi (Lincolnshire) 2017 Isuzu Dmax rear bumper, black, off a 2.5L utility model, c/w with brackets, wiring & number plate lights, a few imperfections, not good enough for a showroom but OK for a working truck, can send pictures. £50. B Robinson Tel 07740 683113 (Gloucestershire) 2017 Toyota Hilux Invincible X, red, auto, only 41000mls, top of the range model with every accessory, used as a private car so very tidy outside & inside, lovely car to drive, Euro 6, one owner, full service history & new MOT. POA. B Robinson Tel 07740 683113 (Gloucestershire) MASSEY Ferguson 590, 1978, PAVT wheels, mechanically sound but scruffy, good candidate for restoration, 7010hrs shown, contractor's machine owned since mid 1980s. £6,000 ono. J Jones Tel 07929 WORKSHOP chop saw, good vice, balance weight & auto shut off, old & in working order, about an 8” throat. £120+VAT. J Hatton Tel SEALEY Strut & Spring compressing station, 1500kg capacity, good condition. £150. D Ivens Tel 07969 877834 (Northamptonshire) CLARKE Strong-Arm 10t hydraulic floor press, good condition. £175. D Ivens Tel 07969 877834 (Northamptonshire) ELEKTRA Beckum SPA 1000 dust extractor, good condition, 240 volt. £100. D Ivens Tel 07969 877834 (Northants)
RECORD Power DX 750 dust and chip extractor, 240 volt, good condition. £100. D Ivens Tel 07969 877834 (Northamptonshire)
FREE MAGAZINE SIGN UP TODAY FREE MAGAZINE 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 or visit

How to get started with regenerativeviticulture

With a spotlight currently on improving sustainability in farming, deputy editor Sarah Kidby spoke to Becky Sykes, programme director at the recently launched Regenerative Viticulture Trust, about how British vineyards could bene t from regenerative techniques.

Q. How does regen differ from biodynamics or organics?

A: Regen has many similarities to both biodynamics and organic, in that it aims to break free from the chemical monoculture that is conventional viticulture. However, it is not a set of prescriptive rules; it involves incorporating practices that improve soil health. By revitalising the microbiome of the soil, the vine can obtain nutrients from the soil and build resilience to disease.

The principle point of di erence with organics and biodynamics (as practised by many) is that regenerative viticulture (RV) places a lot of emphasis on not disturbing the soil, and avoiding tillage where possible. Working in concert with nature, rather than against it, restores biodiversity, improving quality and potentially having a positive impact on pro tability. It also sequesters carbon in the soil, helping to mitigate climate change.

Q. What are the pros and cons?

A: Conventional viticulture involves short feedback loops – the vineyard manager spots a problem, applies a solution and expects an immediate outcome. However, this short-term improvement will likely then require further treatment. These treatments are often damaging to the microbial life in the soil which reduces soil health and vine resilience, making more inputs necessary, which is costly to both pro tability and the planet.

With RV, however, the addition of organic matter and minimising soil disturbance increases the microbial activity in the soil. Keeping the soil covered with green sward all year round increases carbon sequestration and builds fungal networks in the soil. The vines can then obtain the nutrients they require without fertilisers and the pathogenghting microbes build resilience to disease. When it is hot and dry, soil with plants growing on it is up to 20ºC lower in temperature and retains moisture.

But it isn’t possible to ick a switch to regen. As it takes time to build up soil health, it’s really important for growers to transition gradually, to have plant and soil health analysed and to take advice from knowledgeable agronomists. Regen vineyard managers nd themselves becoming experts in soil analysis, composting, mulching, etc. These might be new areas for some growers, which is why we are forming support groups for growers to give each other advice.

Q. What three pieces of advice would you give to growers looking to start RV?

A: 1. First, nd a mentor. Make friends with someone nearby who has similar conditions and is

a bit further down the regen journey. Go along to their vineyard for some suggestions. Check out their compost pile and take notes – it’s the ultimate recycling and a fast-track way to improve your soil health. If you can’t nd a local mentor, get in touch and we will help.

2. Don’t go cold turkey on chemical monoculture! Maybe start trying no-till in just one block. Allow the sward to regenerate under your vines and observe what plants grow. Everyone talks about cover crops, but native plants can perform a great job. Make sure you have a means of cutting the growth back every now and then. There are lots of options, but once you’ve got the bug and converted your whole vineyard, you might want to get a side discharge mower to place cuttings undervine, acting as a pretty handy mulch.

3. Contact a regen-friendly soil analysis lab and have samples analysed for all the di erent blocks. And keep really good records. There are some great apps out there these days. Then you’ll know what you’re working with and what is working for you.

Q. How does the Regenerative Viticulture Trust help growers on this journey?

A: We aim to provide support for growers wherever they are on this journey – and wherever they are in the world. In the UK we have held two workshops and our rst farm visit, which was a huge success. It can be lonely breaking away from convention, and support is vital.

Our website is a source of information on the ‘why?’ of regenerative viticulture, as well as starting to build the resources for the ‘how?’ of RV. Alongside this, we are working on providing evidence behind its viability – both the scienti c case and pro tability.

Q. What’s in the pipeline for the charity?

A: We only launched in 2022, and a lot has happened in that time. The main focus at the moment is developing an online self-assessment tool, which will enable growers to look at what they are doing now and see which practices they might implement to improve their soil health and biodiversity.

We are also conducting a literature review to fully understand the scienti c evidence behind RV practices and identify any gaps. And we are starting to identify regional champions who could help set up grower support groups around the world. Later in the year we will be including a whole set of resources for each of the practices we recommend.

September/October 2023 66 IN THE KNOW
Compost spread undervine using a side spreader at Penn Croft Vineyards in Hampshire Viticulturist Matt Robson (far right) speaks to guests at an RVT farm visit at Harrow and Hope Vineyard in Marlow, Buckinghamshire Stock photo for illustration purposes

Unleash Success with the Fendt 200 V Vario

Your Future-Ready Partner for Unrivaled Results

Tackle tomorrow's challenges today with the Fendt 200 V Vario – your ticket to exceptional success, now and beyond. Streamline and digitise your work with advanced functions and software, ensuring a bountiful harvest of achievements for your business.

Drive a tractor that's a crop-navigation virtuoso. From demanding tasks to specialised terrains, our Fendt 200 V Vario stands strong as the ultimate specialist, your flexible companion in vineyards, orchards, and more.

Book a Demo with Crawfords WRITTLE (HQ) Fox Burrows Lane, Writtle, Essex, CM1 3SS 01245 322733 CHARING Little Hook Farm, Hook Lane, Charing, Kent, TN27 0AN 01233 714123 BILLINGSHURST New Bridge Road, Billingshurst, West Sussex, RH14 9HZ 01403 330030 ROPLEY Unit 1, Ropley Business Park The Dene, Ropley, Aylesford Hampshire, SO24 0BG 01962 674640 | Fendt is a worldwide brand of AGCO

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.