James Peck Managing Director of P.X. Farms will be will be addressing the Farming Scotland 2020 conference on 13th February, talking about how he has successfully used Controlled Traffic Farming (CTF) in growing and harvesting his potato crop – believed to be a first in the UK.
P.X. Farms has been using CTF with a range of crops, including combinable crops and sugar beet since 2010 across five counties with varying soil types and has reduced soil compaction from 86% to 13% in the process. In 2019 he applied CTF to farming potatoes for their first time and states great success in improving efficiency and yield.
They are a multi-faceted agribusiness, farming more than 10,000 acres of combinable crops, potatoes and sugar beet on owned land, farm business tenancy, contract or vegetable license basis. Its founder and Managing Director James Peck believes passionately in farming scale and driving forward innovation in the industry. He has built the business to provide field to mill services that can adapt, innovate and overcome farming challenges.
Working closely with specialist machinery manufacturers to modify kit for CTF, they have been able to devise a system which improves soil health and reduces compaction. With potatoes, the reduction in soil compaction is expected to be up to 50%, providing lasting soil structure benefits. Efficiencies have also been achieved by reducing cultivations, improving the yield and ultimately enhancing the profitability of the enterprise.
Commenting on the innovation, James says:
“Our business ethos is to drive innovation and efficiency into farming practices so that the sector is fit for the future. We’ve invested heavily in state-of-the-art technology to help create new opportunities, as well as greater efficiencies and yields.”
“We are delighted with the results from our first season using CTF with potatoes. It allows for a greater diversity of crops in the existing broad rotation, which in turn provides the opportunity for a better return back to landowners.”