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.
Of the total of 750 hectares, 700 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 NIAB. 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. The farm also hosts trials for BBRO (British Beet Research Organisation) both small plot and larger demonstration areas. From time to time the farm host other trials with further organisations for example Agrovista, Bayer, BASF etc.
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 years. In 2022 the farm was accepted into the Sustainable Farming Incentive Pilot. This Involves doing a number of things to help the environment e.g., feeding wild birds, providing pollen and nectar sources, maintaining hedges, protecting water courses, and improving soil quality. As this is a pilot there is the opportunity to give feedback to DEFRA on what works and what doesn’t. Hopefully this will shape future government policy.