Mark Stubbs goes for gold in YEN Cereal Award 2019

Leslie Berger

Best Field Yield: Gold

Sponsor: Hutchinsons

Location: Lincolnshire

Variety: Siskin

Yield: 16.3t/ha

Best % of potential yield (East Midlands): 85% of 19.2t

Mark farms an arable operation in partnership with his parents trading as A&C STUBBS & SONS.  The farm consists of 110 ha of owned land at Marshchapel in Lincolnshire which is where both entries were this year. This farm has clay soil type with a 50 - 50 split of 55 ha OSR and 55 ha Winter Wheat Rotated over every year. Soil is a PH 8 so club root risk is low. Cattle manure and cattle slurry are both applied on this farm on a field by field rotation. Mark Stubbs

Mark has another farm on the Lincolnshire Wolds near Louth which has a chalk shallow clay loam soil also with a PH 8 . The rotation on this farm is OSR , Winter wheat, Winter cover crop running from September until March.  The farm is then the planted with 50% spring barley and 50% spring oats with poultry manure applied before planting .

Other enterprises include Mark Stubbs Transport business which is a small haulage fleet of 4 bulk lorries and a Manure Spreading business which has 2 spreaders and a loading shovel.

Winning Ways 

Mark’s farm Philosophy is to make a good profit at the same time as caring for the environment by improving the soil structure and health as this will in return give good yields.

Mark feels his success in this year’s YEN competition is based on close attention to soil health. He applied a combination of cattle manure and slurry on his winning field which was then incorporated by a min till method of legs and discs. He then drilled into a warm seedbed in early November which meant the crop emerged within 10 days .  The crop was treated on a commercial basis throughout the year. The key period came in May. June, July when most the country was burning up but his area had sea fret keeping this crop at a constant warm moist temperature. He also missed the heavy rain around cereals so had maximum light and the correct moisture. Harvest timing was the final factor, as he was on the farm harvesting OSR so logistically checked the wheat ripeness to see if it was ready so didn't have to make a separate trip to this farm. Harvest occurred at just the right time before it lost any quality giving it maximum yield potential.  

Benefits of YEN involvement 

Mark values YEN for the insights gained by the many test results he wouldn’t normally have .  The network also gives him the chance to socialize with like-minded farmers who are prepared to talk about their successes and failures. YEN has made him aware of a different  way of farming.