Lively debate at the annual 2012 South West farm walks

Velcourt South West Farm Walks 2012


Velcourt Regional Director Richard Williamson and the local Velcourt management team welcomed 130 local farmers, land agents, accountants and bank managers to their annual spring farm walks held over two evenings this week.  The walks were held at the Fonthill Estate and Hinton st Mary Farms and were an opportunity for a two-way dialogue with discussions covering all aspects of farming, management, agronomy and even a bit of crystal ball gazing.  


The first evening was at the Fonthill Estate on the Cranborne Chase in Wiltshire.  Tractors and trailers carried the guests round the farms where Richard outlined the many strands of the estate and farm management.  Velcourt’s South West agronomist Tim Mayhew discussed the difficult season for the crops, disease and septoria levels, fungicide spend and how Velcourt managers had tackled the challenge. 

Fonthill’s Velcourt Farm Manager, Ed Whitton highlighted the merits and problems of Environmental Stewardship Schemes from both the point of view of the farm and the environment. He described how an area of the farm had been transformed from arable land into an area of species rich semi-natural grassland.

The second evening moved to Dorset where Farm Manager Mark Harvey and his team welcomed guests on a very wet evening.  He outlined how the core business was the 390 cow dairy unit and talked the group through his management, the performance of the milking herd and how he monitors all aspects of production through a unique weekly feedback system.  Velcourt Livestock Director Robbie Taylor was on-hand to give an insight into milk marketing and the challenges facing the livestock businesses in the coming year.




Over the course of both evenings there was an open and active discussion on grain and milk marketing, cost inflation, currency management, environmental schemes and all the farming and agronomic challenges from 2012.  Local professionals and farmers were asked to give their views on farm rents, grain marketing, capital investment and livestock values and needless to say there were some differing opinions!


Both days ended with a buffet supper and reception featuring local wines and beers and a chance to continue those discussions from the farm tours.

To come along to next year’s farm walks  or to speak to your local Velcourt farm manager about any of the topics mentioned or to vist Velcourt’s operations local to you please contact the South West regional office.