Kevin Heywood

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Led by Kevin Heywood, A.J Heywood and Sons offers a wide range of services including forage harvesting, combining, crop establishment, slurry spreading and, more recently, groundworks.

Recognising the changes in farming businesses and customer demands for increased insight into the tasks carried out, the business invested heavily in sensing and data collection.

Using a John Deere HarvestLab NIR sensing system allows them to provide information reports of silage quality and slurry nutrient consistency when collecting grass and applying slurries.

Aiming to offer year-round employment to their 22 full-time staff, the business expanded into groundworks to increase the diversity of the services offered.

This has allowed the business to maintain a closer working relationship with some of their customers as they are able to respond to a wider range of tasks required.

Focusing on punctuality and machine reliability, the business employs an operations manager and full-time mechanic to better manage customer expectations and reduce any issues with unexpected breakdowns.

What Kevin said

“Winning the Contractor of the Year award is totally unexpected, particularly being up against big competition. We do what we do on a daily basis with our farmer customers and decided to share to non farmers too what we do on social media. This has been a bit of a game changer for us to show the wider world what we do and why it is important.
“To be nominated for this award and then to go on to to win is just amazing. We work long days and hours but to be recognised for what we do is just brilliant.”
“I have grown up around farming all my life as my dad was a farmer so I guess you can say it is in my blood. I am so proud to be part of a a growing association and to be recognised.”

What the Judges said

AJ Heywood showed a strong understanding of its customer’s needs and maintained strong financials throughout their business. They are forward-thinking and have maximised opportunities to expand the business into new markets and activities. They have introduced technology to benefit both their customers through improved understanding of the products they are applying, and the environment through greater traceability and accuracy.