Peter is an arable farmer and his son, Alastair, has recently introduced sheep to the farm. They are learning how to incorporate the sheep into the arable rotation.
The farm is based on a tenanted farm on the Harewood Estate, and Peter has added to this with owned land and land farmed under Farm Business Tenancies and contract farming agreements. Much of the land is near the river Wharfe and some of this suffers from flooding.
Crops grown include milling wheat (which is sold to flour mills and made into bread), barley, oilseed rape, spring beans and milling oats (which are sold to the makers of breakfast cereals and mueslis).
The sheep are New Zealand Romneys and they spend all the year outdoors, including lambing outside, and all their nutrition comes from grazing grass, legumes and forage crops.
Peter thinks the farmed countryside environment is very important and so the farm is in the Mid-Tier Countryside Stewardship Scheme. It has previously been in the Entry Level Scheme and the Countryside Stewardship Scheme.
Peter is involved with other farming organisations: member of the NFU, past County Chairman, and currently sits on the North East Regional Crops Board; member of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, and past member of Council; member of the Yorkshire Agricultural Adventurers, and past chairman; member of the Farmers’ Club.
Peter has a degree in microbiology from the University of Leeds and has the BASIS and FACTS qualifications in agronomy and fertiliser use. He does his own agronomy on the farm, but is also a member of Crop Dynamics which carries out its own field trials and supplies agronomy advice. He is a member of an AHDB Farmbench group who benchmark their farms against each other in the group and other farms outside. He is a member of the Anglia Farmers buying group.
Peter is a Nuffield Scholar and his scholarship was sponsored by YAS in 1992 when he travelled to Australia, New Zealand, USA and Canada to study arable cropping under different regimes and climates. In 1997, Peter, again sponsored by YAS, did the Advanced Course in Agricultural Business Management which is run by the Worshipful Company of Farmers of which he is an alumni member.