The winner of the 2012 Nabim/HGCA Milling Wheat Challenge has been announced reports Farmers Guardian. Bedfordshire farm manager Andrew Robinson has taken this year’s award with his 2,232acre plot which has been growing for over thirty-years.
Despite small marginal gains the Farms manager at Heathcote Farms, near Toddington, was praised by judges for his engagement with the milling trade, his solid business foundations and his ability to aggregate them for a positive net business benefit.
There were two other finalists, Andrew Martin of Broadstream Farming, Kent and Mark Boyd of John Boyd Farms, also from Kent.
The duty of judging this year’s winner fell to Martin Savage of NABIM, Pat Thornton of HGCA and Lincolnshire farmer Mark Ireland. They said that each finalist demonstrated attention to detail and a strong commitment to the milling trade’s needs and processes.
Mr Thornton said, “Andrew’s methodical approach shows a deep understanding of good agronomy, and demonstrates an excellent understanding of what his market wants from him.”
All three finalists demonstrated they were forward-thinking and could consistently grow quality crops of bread-making wheats – even in a year as challenging as 2012,” he added.
“All three finalists were on top of their disease control and when we made the farm assessments in June, all crops were full of potential. Unfortunately, the first 14 days of grain fill, which are so important, were blighted by bad weather . The result is that milling wheat supply is more than one million tonnes down on the national forecast,” said Mr Thornton.