An enterprising young farmer is extending his family's rural business legacy by launching a new contracting service to tackle problematic arable weeds.

Archie Keenan, 19, from Barsham, near Beccles, is offering an alternative to chemical herbicides by mechanically harvesting the seed heads of grass weeds as they stand proud of the crop.

He has made a "significant investment" in his new venture by purchasing state-of-the-art equipment made by the German specialist Zurn.

It is designed to cut and collect the heads of grass weeds, such as blackgrass, before they go to seed - preventing its spread and reducing its seed bank in the soil.

The German-made Zurn Top Cut Collect machine at work in an arable fieldThe German-made Zurn Top Cut Collect machine at work in an arable field (Image: Archie Keenan)

Mr Keenan said: "The problems caused by grass weeds are only getting worse, as they become more resistant to conventional agrochemicals. I wanted to find a way to help manage these issues more effectively.

"With the Zurn we can be certain that weed seeds are removed from the fields, leading to healthier crops and better yields in the future."

After completing his agricultural apprenticeship last year, he joined forces with his grandfather David Miller, who has farmed in Westhall near Halesworth for nearly 60 years.

Mr Miller described it as a "remarkable display of entrepreneurial spirit", adding: "By bringing fresh energy and innovative ideas, Archie is poised to secure the future of this long-standing farm business."