Newman Farming Partnership
Born in Dorset to a family who have farmed in Cattistock country since the early 1600s, Dan Newman now farms in partnership with his wife, Helen and son Bertie. They farm a commercial organic and conventional suckler herd comprising 400 head of cattle and a sheep flock of 1500 ewes. The extensively managed all grass farm of 1600 acres, part rented and part owned is split over 4 farms in West Dorset. Their daughter, Tillie has recently returned from working in New Zealand and is currently helping during the lambing season.
They moved from Chantmarle Farm to Manor Farm, Cattistock in July 2017, when they purchased the farm, which they had previously rented for 20 years on a temporary basis from the Creswell family. In the year since they purchased the farm, buildings have been erected to house the cattle in the winter months and they have renovated the bungalow where they now live. Bertie lives at the top of the farm at Hill Barn.
UK BEEF INDUSTRY – CARBON NEUTRAL BY 2040
Many of you will have seen the AHDB sign on the gate at the entrance to Manor Farm stating the UK beef industry aims to be Carbon Neutral by 2040 and be curious about what this actual means and how it can be achieved.
Climate change is a critical issue for all of us. We are at a moment in time when we all need to accelerate our ambitions and work harder to look after each other and our planet. At Newman Farming, we aim of be ahead of the game and be Carbon Neutral well before 2040.
The Definition of Carbon Neutral “If a person, organisation, event, etc. is carbon-neutral, it does things such as planting trees to reduce carbon dioxide by the same amount as it produces it”
When planning on the farm, there is always thought about how we can improve our Carbon Footprint.
We have already had an independent Carbon Footprint report produced for us by ADAS, using the Agricalc Carbon Calculator and our current Carbon Footprint is 52% lower than typical farms with the same enterprises in the Agrecalc database.
At Manor Farm we are using the following methods to reduce our Carbon Footprint and achieve our goal:
- Less Plastic
- This year we have moved from making silage in individual bales wrapped in plastic to clamp silage with a plastic sheet – this has reduced our use of plastic by 90 %, it has also let to less hauling of bales.
- Organic Status
- We aim to maintain our Organic status, which means amongst other things, we are unable to use fertilisers and sprays on the farm. Animal stocking rates are lower than on some non-organic farms and we are inspected frequently by the Soil Association.
- We will continue to plant hedges and trees
- Bi cropping
- We grow two crops together i.e., Peas & Barley for silage, under sown with clover and grass, this method has several benefits include nitrogen fixing
- Herbal Leys
- We grow a variety of Herbal Lays, which are diverse mixture of grasses, legumes and herbs. These have deeper roots to help the soil structure, are resistant to drought and waterlogging.
- Holistic Grazing
- The management of grazing livestock to improve grass regrowth. You will note that during the grazing season we rotate the cattle around the farm, this allows the pasture to rest, improves Carbon sequestration and increases biodiversity.
- Integrated Nutrient Management
- This optimises the supply of nutrients via spreading manure to grass with the aim of boosting fertility.
- Nitrogen Fixation
- A process where bacteria turns nitrogen gas from the air into ammonia, nitrates and nitrates in the soil, improving soil fertility. Nitrogen fixing bacteria are present in nodules on the roots of legumes i.e., clovers, peas, beans. They fix nitrogen naturally.
- Short Supply Chain/Transportation
- The majority of the beef and lamb produced on the farm is sold to local abattoirs i.e., ABP Yetminster and Sturminster.
Newman Farming Partnership – August 2021
If you are interested in the Manor Farm page, and would like to know more about the farm, please contact Peter Farmer.