E J Barker & Sons is a family owned partnership based at Lodge Farm, Westhorpe in North Suffolk, focusing primarily on the production of high quality arable crops for a range of markets.
Farmer: Brian and Patrick Barker
Address: Lodge Farm, Westhorpe, Stowmarket, Suffolk, IP14 4TA
Member since 2011 and LEAF Demonstration Farm since 2011
The 513 hectare farm is has been run by cousins, Brian and Patrick Barker since 2005; they have brought new energy and ideas to the business, developing and building upon the work of previous generations of Barkers.
E J Barker & Sons is a family owned partnership based at the 513 hectare Lodge Farm, focusing primarily on the production of high quality and high yielding arable crops, including Winter and Spring Cereals, Oil Seed Rape, Spring Beans and Herbage Grass Seed, for a range of markets.
Detailed nutrient mapping is carried out and crop pests are monitored to ensure treatments are applied when and where they are needed most. A long crop rotation is in place, using appropriate cultivation techniques depending on soil condition. The farm additionally conducts field trials with Bayer & Syngenta and is one of the strategic farms working with AHDB and NIAB looking at IPM and predatory insects in flower strips.
E J Baker & Sons continually look at ways to conserve and reduce their energy use and have reduced their machinery fleet, monitor fuel usage, recycle all farm waste, harvest rainwater and have made energy saving alterations to crop drying facilities. Electricity is additionally generated with two solar installations on farm buildings.
The Barker family continues to maintain and create habitats so there is a range of heights, ages and density of vegetation. A ‘Green Grassland Corridor’ has been established through the middle of the farm to allow for safe wildlife movement, ancient and new native hedgerows provide a mix of different plants and large areas of wild seed mix and wildflowers are planted each year. The farm is home to multiple BAP species with particular attention given to farmland birds. Numerous ponds have also been restored, in part for Great Crested Newts.
The farm has permissive access for local walkers and horse riders and regularly host visits for a wide range of groups and clubs.
Particular interests/farming issues:
LEAF Demonstration Farms are commercial farms, which show the beneficial practices of Integrated Farm Management (IFM) to a broad range of audiences, through organised visits. They communicate an understanding of IFM in order to encourage uptake by farmers, support from the industry and political awareness of sustainable food and farming.
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