Morley Farms Ltd is a commercial farming enterprise which farms the land owned by The Morley Agricultural Foundation (TMAF). In addition, some land is rented from The John Innes Foundation, Norwich, and land at Easton College is contract farmed, also near Norwich.
Of the total of 800 hectares, 730 hectares are cropped. The remainder is permanent pasture and woodland. The current crop rotation is typical for this region: wheat, malting barley, oilseed rape, sugar beet and dried peas.
Morley Farms employs a manager, David Jones, and two full-time members of staff, and is well-equipped with machinery to carry out all farming operations, with the exception of sugar beet harvesting which is contracted out.
Farming with trials
Morley Farms Ltd hosts field trials for several organisations, principally The Arable Group. This involves numerous 2×12m field plots within a commercial crop. There are also larger, field-scale, un-replicated trials. The total area for demonstration and trials areas is about 20 hectares.
Manor Farm has been hosting field trials since 1965. A wealth of this history and information generated can be viewed in the archive of research reports and other documents in the Morley Library.
Farming and the environment
Manor Farm has been in various countryside stewardship and ELS schemes over the last 12 years. This has involved sowing 6 metre margins around many fields, planting new hedges and managing existing ones and growing crops specifically to feed wild birds during the winter months.
Manor Farm recently was accepted into Higher Level Stewardship (HLS). This continues our existing environmental work but also includes an educational access option. We aim to host at least 10 school visits a year when we show children how and why we grow crops, e.g. linking our crop of wheat to a loaf of bread.