Acres - 652 plus contract work
Type - Arable
Soils - Gravel Loam, Bromyard Series; Silt, Clay, Loam
Cropping - Wheat, OSR, Oats, Beans
Machinery - Mzuri Pro-Til, John Deere 155 & 215, Cambridge Roll with Paddle Boards, Double Press
Embracing Innovation for a Greener Tomorrow
In the picturesque countryside of Herefordshire, where verdant hills stretch to the horizon, a farmer is singing the praises of a Worcestershire-based drill manufacturer that has revolutionised his farming practices. Meet Adam Lewis, the forward-thinking farmer at the helm of sustainable agricultural practices, who has embraced the cutting-edge solutions offered by Mzuri Ltd.
Adam’s journey with Mzuri began in 2017 when he purchased his first Mzuri Pro-Til after a remarkable demonstration the previous year. Since then, he has become an enthusiastic advocate for the company and its unparalleled commitment to customer service.
“I am continually impressed by the outstanding customer service from the Mzuri team, an aspect that sets them apart from other companies I have dealt with. The sales and service team go above and beyond.”
After a brief experiment with a disc drill, it quickly became apparent that the disc drill paled in comparison to Mzuri’s single-pass tine drill. Recognising the unmatched potential of the Mzuri system and presented with an offer for the disc drill, Adam promptly sold it and returned to using his trusted Mzuri Pro-Til. Recently, Adam has upgraded to the 2023 Pro-Til 3T, a top-of-the-line model that boasts independent coulters, each equipped with its own depth wheel. This innovative design ensures impeccable soil-to-seed contact and accurate seed depth across every row.
The Pro-Til features a leading tine which effortlessly cuts through the soil, creating a clear path for accurate seed placement while minimising soil disturbance. The long stubble left on the surface acts as a valuable shield, protecting the soil from capping and erosion. The straw remaining on the field surface is utilised by worms which in turn increases the soil organic matter content and improves the nutrient availability for the emerging crops. Moreover, the tilled strip ensures a uniform and fertile seedbed, facilitating quick and even germination. By harnessing these unique features, the Mzuri Pro-Til optimises crop establishment, resulting in healthier and higher yields for farmers like Adam Lewis.
Among the many success stories on Adam’s farm, his fantastic crop of Spring Oats stands tall which was sown using the Pro-Til’s 3-inch coulter on 333mm row spacing. Wider row spacing is a hallmark of Mzuri’s approach, which allows for increased light interception, promoting healthier and bushier crops.
Adam expresses his admiration for the 3-inch coulter, commenting, “The coulter ensures minimal soil disturbance, even in adverse weather conditions there is no significant disruption to the soil”.
Apart from the remarkable crop results, the Mzuri system has also significantly impacted soil health and sustainability on Adam’s farm. By leaving long straw on the field surface, the system reduces combine volume during harvest, increasing overall efficiency. Additionally, this residue acts as a valuable resource for worms and as a direct result has increased the soil organic matter content from 2.8% to an impressive 3.8%. Visiting guests have commended on the lift in soil colour, a visible testament to the positive changes.
A particular challenge Adam faced was dealing with changeable soils that caused uneven crop establishment due to varying moisture levels across the field. With the Mzuri system, these issues have become a thing of the past, as the Pro-Til has efficiently levelled the soil profile, resulting in healthy and uniformed crops from headland to headland.
A remarkable outcome of Adam’s adoption of the Mzuri system is the reduction in diesel usage for crop establishment, saving an impressive 40 litres per hectare. Not only does this save on operational costs, but it also reduces the farm’s carbon footprint and contributes to a more sustainable agricultural practice.
The Mzuri system promotes wide row spacing between crops allowing for an increase in airflow, which has contributed to a remarkable shift in folia and insect management practices for Adam. The requirement for insecticides has been eliminated for an impressive decade at Hampton Wafre Farm, which has reduced production and labour costs increasing the profit margin across the farm. Furthermore, a natural ally, the Devil’s Coachman Beetle has taken charge of slug control, offering a sustainable solution to a historically challenging issue.
Adam acknowledges that change can be daunting, especially when it comes to altering established farming systems. However, he firmly believes that the Mzuri system has been the driving force behind significant improvements in soil profiles and a noticeable reduction in chemical applications. With the Pro-Til, Adam now enjoys extended drilling windows and enhancing overall productivity, making it a long-term management plan with significant benefits.
Confident in the benefits of the Mzuri system, Adam shares, “Naturally, producers are apprehensive to change, but as a long-term management plan, the Mzuri system provides the necessary steps for crop establishment in one pass using sustainable and environmentally friendly practices.“
Adam Lewis stands as a shining example of how embracing innovative agricultural solutions can pave the way for a greener, more sustainable future. Through adapting the Mzuri system, Adam has harnessed the power of advanced technology and eco-conscious practices, setting a precedent for others to follow. As we march towards a future where sustainable agriculture is no longer an option but a necessity, Adam’s story stands as an inspiration to farmers worldwide to embrace change and lead the charge towards a more sustainable, fruitful tomorrow.