Ed Horton

Ed Horton

2024

We are a mixed farming operation, managing 3500ha across Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Oxfordshire and Hampshire. We have a 180 cow Suckler herd of pedigree Beef Shorthorns, supplying Morrisons with fat cattle and producing 50 odd pedigree heifers and 5-8 pedigree bulls a year for sale. We also have a joint venture sheep flock with a neighbour comprising of 2500 ewes that are lambed all outdoors in April. We buy in around 1500-2000 extra store lambs a year for fattening.

The arable enterprise is what I like to call a ‘Hybrid’ system, a lower input, considered approach to growing arable crops somewhere between conventional and organic, that benefits the soil, water quality, biodiversity and gross margins. Livestock integration is key, the sheep are grazed on all cereal crops and OSR to remove disease and act as growth regulators, lowering our chemical usage. Pre-em herbicides have been dropped out of the system in favour of camera guided inter row hoeing to remove weeds. Companion cropping is used where possible to either extend or enhance the nectar and pollen available to beneficial insects. The rotation stretches over  14 different crops to allow a large amount of flexibility when dealing with problems.