Thomas Robinson

Grendon, Robinson Agricultural Services, Devon

While Thomas Robinson undertakes general agricultural contracting across Devon and Cornwall, a significant part of the business is now the provision of spreading services for general farm and also specialised, wastes.

Six full time staff are employed and there is a constant workload.

The firm has invested significantly in the best equipment and the focus is on helping farmer-customers make the maximum plant nutrient potential out of waste, with poultry litter top of the list.

Equipment purchases are carefully considered and employees are given ‘ownership’ and responsibility for the kit and tractors.

Robinsons actually buy poultry litter – around 30,000 tonnes per year – then market and sell it based on its true value as a fertiliser.

Equipment includes spreaders with weigh cells, tractors equipped with GPS and for slurry and digestate spreading, shallow disc injectors with GPS and flow meters.

Thomas Robinson is FACTs qualified and uses the knowledge and experience to advise customers on application rates and other related issues.


“We aim to make the most use out of a very valuable product and help our customers realise the true value, often a direct replacement for artificial fertiliser,” explains Thomas.

“We also spread bio-solids for South West Water, plus gypsum, paper waste and ground limestone but use the same philosophy as with our poultry litter spreading so that customers get the most value out of the product.

“We tell customers exactly how much product has been applied and where, and what they might expect from it in terms of nutrient availability. This has led to our good reputation and also acted as a shop window for our other general contracting work.”

However, he says undercutting to gain work is out of the question.

“If we cannot realise our charges then the machine will not go out and every job has to stack up economically in its own right. But a measure of success is that for certain services, demand is outstripping supply.”