Scottish farmer David Fuller-Shapcott wins bronze for oilseed rape - YEN 2019

Leslie Berger

Best Field Yield 2019: Bronze Award

Sponsor: BASF

Location: Roxburghshire

Variety: INV1035

Best % of potential yield: 63% of 10.1

David Fuller-ShapcottDavid Fuller-Shapcott farms JN Fuller-Shapcott & Co a family-farm comprised of 281ha of owned land at Sweethope in Scotland and 88ha of rented land adjacent. The rotation is fairly evenly split 6 ways into 55 ha parcels in the following sequence: Winter Oilseed Rape (WOSR), Winter Wheat, Spring Oats, Winter Wheat, Spring Barley and Winter Barley. The soil is a very heavy brown forest gley with clay content of between 25-40%. It is officially 'imperfectly permeable' which is very challenging in a wet year.

David is involved in a Scottish Rural Development Program Agri-Environment Climate Change Scheme.  In this scheme part of his oats area and WOSR headlands are used for an over-wintered stubble followed by green manure option.

Winning Ways 

David believes it is crucial to understand the market so all his crops are grown on contract for a known market, with many priced before they are harvested.  This helps him to manage his price risk especially when prices are volatile.   

He attributes his success in the YEN competition to paying attention to detail and being ready to learn from previous entries. David says he is happy to experiment with different ways of improving output and believes that “Without change, you cannot expect things to get better”

He has cited the YEN networking opportunities, including working with scientists, as an important aspect that brings a positive benefit to our business. David thinks ‘The YEN report is like gold dust!’