Sheep farmer chosen to join national 'farm excellence' network

David Cross, who runs a mixed sheep and arable farm in Sedgeford, has joined the AHDB Monitor Farm network

David Cross, who runs a mixed sheep and arable farm in Sedgeford, has joined the AHDB Monitor Farm network - Credit: John Eveson

A west Norfolk sheep and arable enterprise has been chosen from hundreds of applicants to join a national "farm excellence" network.

David Cross, of Glovers Farm in Sedgeford, has become one of the new Monitor Farmers in the knowledge-sharing network run by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).

Mr Cross farms in partnership with his father John as tenants of Sedgeford Hall Estate.

A closed flock of 900 ewes is managed alongside an arable enterprise with crops including barley, wheat, potatoes and sugar beet.

Of the 360 hectares of tenanted land, 80ha of temporary grassland features heavily within the arable rotation, while around 30ha is sublet to a free-range pig operation. 

Mr Cross said: “I am keen to develop a resilient farming operation that isn’t dependent on subsidies and allows me to viably integrate my sheep with the farm’s arable enterprises while ethically promoting the environment.

"Becoming an AHDB Monitor Farmer gives me and other farmers the chance to learn and discuss how we could achieve these goals and ensure our farming businesses remain compliant and robust for the years ahead.”

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Mr Cross will join the Monitor Farm network along with three other beef and lamb farms in Herefordshire, Devon and Northumberland.

Leah Shanks, AHDB knowledge exchange manager, said: “We are looking forward to welcoming attendees to David’s launch event on September 15 at Glovers Farm.

"All of our Monitor Farms will focus on key areas of a functioning farm business including environmental matters, breeding, health, grassland management and financial performance.

"With David, we are especially excited to explore the opportunities that livestock in arable rotations presents.”

David Cross, who runs a mixed sheep and arable farm in Sedgeford, has joined the AHDB Monitor Farm network

David Cross, who runs a mixed sheep and arable farm in Sedgeford, has joined the AHDB Monitor Farm network - Credit: John Eveson

The Monitor Farm’s first meeting offers an opportunity for other farmers and industry representatives to learn more about the farm's operations, discuss key priorities and sign up for a new farmer discussion group.

It will include a farm walk and discussion on topics such as livestock practice, sheep and pigs in arable rotations, grassland and arable management strategies, and the integration of environmental schemes.

David Cross, who runs a mixed sheep and arable farm in Sedgeford, has joined the AHDB Monitor Farm network

David Cross, who runs a mixed sheep and arable farm in Sedgeford, has joined the AHDB Monitor Farm network - Credit: John Eveson


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