Developing new ways of farming
Squab Hall Farm, Harbury Lane, Leamington Spa CV33 9QB
07 Oct 2019

Farm Manager of the Year – Awards Night

On Thursday 3rd October, the farming community congregated at The Grosvenor House Hotel in London to celebrate all those who make British agriculture the exciting, successful, world-class industry that it is today.

The Grosvenor House Hotel proved to be a wonderful, glamorous setting for the 2019 Farmers’ Weekly Farm Manager of the Year awards. Squab Hall Farm’s Rob Fox, made it to the final three in the ‘Farm Manager of the Year’ category but unfortunately it wasn’t to be for Rob this year. Everyone at Squab Hall Farm would like to congratulate Andrew Robinson of Herne Manor Farm, Bedfordshire, for not only winning the ‘Farm Manager’ category, but also being voted Overall Farmer of the Year. A fantastic achievement!

14 Jun 2019

Machinery fleet updates complete.

Over the last few years we have been looking bring our tractor fleet around to the same brand to simply our precision farming and controlled traffic systems. We took the decision to have a John Deere fleet as we felt they offer machines that are ahead of the curve when it comes to GPS guidance and control systems as well as comfort and ease of use. 3 years ago we purchased an 8370RT rubber tracked crawler. This decision was not taken lightly due to the financial outlay, but we felt that a tracked machine would allow us to tread more lightly on our heavy soils in the autumn and establish a more even crop in the spring. 2 years ago we decided to change our Bateman self propelled sprayer for a Horsch trailed machine and upgrade the tractor that was going to be used to pull it. Here we went for a 6175R which could also haul most of the grain at harvest. Finally last year swapped the last two tractors for another 6175R and a 6215R, the smaller tractor taking on the fertiliser spreading and pulling out chaser bin and the latter carrying out the secondary cultivations and some drilling. All of these tractors are tracked via JD Link and Navman to allow us to monitor performance and servicing. Farols at Hinkley remotely monitor the tractors for potential issues and they are all also on a service plan to spread costs. Farols give us fantastic support both mechanically and on the GPS systems and machine integration.

14 Jun 2019

Farm manager of the year shortlist announced.

We are very proud to announce that Rob Fox, our farm manager, has been shortlisted for the Farmers Weekly farm Manager of the Year. Rob has worked hard to shape the business into the productive arable farm that it is today and we know he has what it takes to clinch the prize on the night. The competition is very tough as there are some great managers involved in the industry and we wish all thee finalists the best of luck.
The team will be going to the awards dinner in London in October where we will keeping our fingers crossed. Good Luck Rob!

05 Feb 2016

Black-grass, drainage and a February update from Leamington arable Monitor Farm

As we hit February I usually start to think about what needs to be done over the next few months, finalising fertiliser orders and planning spring applications, but I usually end up  realising how far behind we are with other things. The weather has not been conducive to spraying here and it is backing up. A similar situation to others. Some late drilled wheat on one of the JV farms has only had Avadex and the black-grass is very bad. Read More

20 Apr 2015

Worrying about oilseed rape

Nearly 1,000t of feed wheat and barley has been loaded out in the last two weeks, with the feed wheat only making about £10t over our basic cost of production and feed barley probably breaking even when the straw is taken into account. Even though we will see the cash flow ease over the next month or so, it is not very inspiring. Did I not learn anything at our storage and marketing meeting?!Read More

22 Jan 2015

Figures and costs

This time of year I spend a lot of time in the office looking at figures and costs for the last cropping year as well as this one, as most farmers do. I see this as a vital part of the farming year, just as important as planting, harvesting and selling the crop!

Benchmarking has enabled me to get a much clearer idea of our cost of production per ha and per tonne and I look at our benchmarking meetings as some of the most important in the year. Read More