The integrated approach: Wellshead Estate

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The integrated approach has produced impressive results for Wellshead Estate in Somerset. Having joined the estate as head keeper in spring 2016, Rob Eggins turned to Kings for his game cover needs. With 85 acres of difficult, exposed sites, many of which had been planted with game cover for several years, Mr Eggins required a full suite of products to establish successful plots, as well as ongoing expert advice.

With a lack of previous rotation and all the sites fixed on hilltops above some impressive valleys, Mr Eggins worked with Richard Barnes to design a rotational system that would account for the difficult growing conditions and ensure weed control options were available across the board. The system also needed to fit the various needs of holding and driving both pheasants and partridges.

A full soil analysis of each plot identified the anticipated shortage of lime and key nutrients. Working with crop nutrition and agronomy experts from Frontier, the extended team identified the key lime and fertiliser requirements along with a herbicide strategy to support a rotation of cereal and brassica crops. For a complex project like Wellshead, this additional technical input from Frontier colleagues was invaluable.

“Being able to access everything through Richard made my life much easier,” states Mr Eggins. “I’d call him and within a couple of days I had everything I needed. I send him pictures from my phone too and get answers back straight away. That advice makes everything very, very easy.”

FACTS and BASIS qualified advisors provided the full fertiliser and crop protection recommendations and products were supplied and delivered from Frontier stores in the South of England.  Essentially a ‘one stop shop’ for game cover success, this approach ensured simplicity for Mr Eggins and his contractor.

With ongoing support from the collective team throughout the spring and summer, crops received the right inputs at the right time. Mr Eggins is delighted with the impressive range of game cover crops established as a result: “We’re very pleased. Early in the season, many of the brassica crops had reached eight feet tall, giving great cover for birds and the cereal mixtures have delivered valuable food too. The beaters have certainly noticed a difference this year as they had to walk through those huge crops!”

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