Ryan McCormack

Old Rides Farm, Burden Bros Farms, Kent

ENSURING the business is set up to buffer the impact of Brexit is top priority for Ryan McCormack, farm manager at Burden Bros Farms, Kent.

The 1,250-hectare mixed farm is operated on a min-till and zero-till system, accompanied by a suckler herd of 800 Aberdeen-Angus crosses and a storage solutions business.

Growing milling wheat, feed and malting barley, forage maize, oilseed rape and distilling rye, last year Ryan achieved the best spec in the UK for wheat variety Montana, with a protein level of 16.9%, a Hagberg of 450 and grain weight of 83kg/hl.

Burden Bros Farms produces barley, wheat and rye for Copper Rivet Distillery in Chatham, and brewers grains are returned for cattle feed. The farm’s circular  economy also means cattle are bed on home-grown straw and farmyard manure is returned to fields.

All machinery on-farm is kitted with the latest technology, including GPS, yield mapping, telematics and GPS sectional shutoff on the sprayer.

The farm has created a bespoke time recording app which allows live up-to-date hours for all staff, linked to specific machines to create accurate invoicing and
collate actual running costs.

With a vision to reduce the carbon footprint on all the crops he produces, Ryan says the introduction of a zero-till drill has reduced cultivations, transformed his black-grass management strategy and made savings of £100/ha.

Diversifying into storage solutions has given the farm an additional income of more than £500,000 per year without loss to existing revenue.

Introducing liquid fertiliser this year to free-up more shed space has allowed the storage business to further expand.

Ryan has dedicated a substantial amount of time into educating the public and inspiring future generations. He runs a bee project with local schools who attend on-farm workshops and receive honey from the hives, as well as taking part in Open Farm Sunday, FaceTime a Farmer and attending educational shows such as the Living Land Show at Kent Showground.