Award for Glamorgan farmer

6 February 2013

A tenant farmer who started on his own account on 110 acres in 1997 and now runs a 2300 acre enterprise near Bridgend has been made an Associate of the Royal Agricultural Societies.

Richard Anthony of Tythegston, Bridgend, set up a farm contracting business and such was the high standard of his work that he was offered the tenancy of two 700 acre holdings on the same day by different landlords. He took them both and farmed them so successfully that he was offered another farm of similar size by a third landlord.

The enterprise is predominantly arable and has been diversified into the supply of hay, haylage and straw for the equine market, and the growing, harvesting and supply of grass and maize silage for several independent dairy units.

The arable land is farmed on a rotational cropping basis with some 900 acres of wheat, 330 acres of oilseed rape, 430 acres of maize and 300 acres of forage rye. The balance of the acreage is made up of short and long term grass lays and 100 acres sown mainly with mustard to create a breeding habitat for up to 50 pairs of lapwings.

Mr Anthony who received the award for his work on soil recovery, improvement and management, has increased yields from his land by 25-30% and the earthworm population ten-fold.

Future plans for the farm include the construction of an Aerobic Digestion Plant to treat maize and food waste to produce odour-free organic matter and nutrients to return to the land, and to generate renewable energy.