Our 1250ha arable farm is mainly heavy clay loam, this enables us to support a range of crops which include milling wheat, feed barley, malting barley, forage maize, OSR and distilling rye. Maize is grown in the rotation for cattle feed.
Burden Bros Farms operate a minimal till and zero till farming system which helps retain the moisture for the new crop and protects against soil erosion. We have also made significant progress in eliminating black grass from the farm, cover crops and zero till have played a vital part in this. Our cover crop and catch crop strategy has been successful at improving the soil quality, locking in nutrients and has retained soil moisture. We grow bumblebird mix and pollen nectar mixes to benefit our bees and other valuable insects.
Grain to glass
In 2016 we became the sole supplier of grain to the Copper Rivet Distillery based in Chatham Dockyard, Kent. We supply spring barley, wheat and rye for the production of their premium gin and vodka. Traceability of ingredients is paramount to Copper Rivet’s ‘grain to glass’ ethos’, we supply the growing location of the grain to enable them to communicate this to the end consumer. Deliveries are made directly to the distillery via tractor and trailer, we then collect the high-quality brewer’s grain which is then fed to our cattle as it is rich in protein and fibre.
Technology on the farm
We embrace technology in all our arable farming operations, it enables us not only to increase our yields, but be more efficient in our tasks, helps us reduce operating costs and provides us with data that allows us to make informed business decisions.
Our John Deere tractors and combine harvesters all have AutoTrac GPS guidance installed, which has reduced overlaps and gaps, and soil compaction. The John Deere 4040i self-propelled sprayer is equipped with GPS sectional shut-off to allow accuracy and input savings. Yield mapping and telematic wireless data transfers to our 'My John Deere' account, allowing our Farm Manager to see yield data in real time and to see what fields have been completed and documented.
Burden Bros Farms and the community
Through connecting with schools, we aim to inspire and educate young people about farming, food production and the countryside.
We have a long-standing relationship with Westlands School Farm and the Young Farmers Club, by supplying cattle to the farm. The school farm enables students to experience farming life and develop life skills such as commitment and teamwork.
In 2019 we installed two beehives on the farm in conjunction with Sheppey Honey Producers, this is an ongoing project with East Church Primary School which aspires to educate the pupils on bee keeping, honey production, the importance of bees in farming and the environment. All honey extracted from the hives will be donated to the school.
Ryan, our farm manager has joined the FaceTime a Farmer initiative where he chats live to a classroom about issues that farmers face, answers pupils questions and educates pupils on where their food comes from.
We support local events and shows such as The Living Land Show, which is a free event for Kent school children aimed at educating pupils in areas of farming, agriculture, countryside and healthy eating.