Griffin Farming is a member of BASE UK and has been involved with conservation agriculture methods or no-till and cover cropping since 2010.
- No-till farming (also called zero tillage or direct drilling) is a way of growing crops from year to year without disturbing the soil through tillage.
- No-till is an agricultural technique which increases the amount of water that infiltrates into the soil and increases organic matter retention and cycling of nutrients in the soil.
- The most powerful benefit of no-tillage is improvement in soil biological fertility, making soils more resilient.
- By leaving weed seeds, especially grass weed seeds, on the surface where their viability is effected by predation and bacterial activity no-till, if correctly understood and used, can significantly reduce the seed bank within the soil.
- Cover crops are used to both improve the soil structure in terms of the root mass left within the soil and by feeding the soil biology in the top few inches of that soil. This improves soil organic matter content and builds carbon (CN Ratio i.e Carbon = Nitrogen). A healthy soil biology also improves the Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) allowing nutrients to move between forms which are unavailable to plants into available pools of nutrients. Fertiliser usage can be reduced.
Griffin Farming is fully TASC registered and delivers its farmer’s grains right to the end user on its own transport. Most common deliveries are to Ipswich and Harwich docks for export wheat, Muntons PLC for malting barleys and Whitworth Bros, Victoria Mills in Wellingborough for milling wheat.
Our haulage capacity can be put at the disposal of our clients bringing advantages of bringing crops into central storage and delivering crops to specialist markets.
Griffin Farming produces some 12,000 tons of beet annually for British Sugar delivered to the Bury St Edmunds factory. The very considerable advantage in gross margin and profitability of this specialist crop together with the known benefits of including sugar beet in the rotation on all soil types should, we believe, be considered by all landowners in the light of the relaxation of the quota based system.
The use of new ways to grow beet is of great interest to us as an approach to reduce herbicide costs, increase yields through less herbicide damage to the actual crop and expand the range of soil types that this crop can be grown on. Different cultivation methods have already been used on Griffin’s farms; yields have been maintained and soil damage has been greatly reduced with the resulting beneficial effect on the following crop in the rotation.
In parallel we continue to explore the use of cover and companion crops during the beet growing season. This method is already used with success elsewhere on other root crops. Bringing these advantages into the sugar beet crop offers exciting possibilities.
Our clients have a range of appetite for risk and also cashflow requirements; a marketing policy is devised on a case by case basis. Griffin identifies entirely with its clients in terms of the desired economic outcome.
Grain storage is a key element to the economic performance of each farm in giving flexibility of harvesting and grain sales. Where existing grain storage on farm is limited Griffin will propose storage solutions to the landowner. Currently Griffin operates some 14,000 tons of storage for its clients including both continuous flow driers and on bulk floor stores.