Thomas Sewell  -  Long term benefits of direct drilling

Hi, my name is Tom Sewell and I am a second generation arable farmer from near Maidstone in Kent. We currently farm about 1000 acres cropping milling wheat, OSR and Spring Beans with some grass grown for hay and haylage. I have been married to Sarah for 12 years and we have 4 young children. As well as my farming interests, I am on the leadership team of The Vine Church in Maidstone and involved in our local village with the school PTA.

My particular farming interest is no-till or Zero Tillage and am currently making the transition from minimum (shallow) tillage to a complete no-till system.

My Nuffield studies and travels will help me understand in more detail what the benefits to my business will be. Ill also be able to research the methods and machinery required to implement a no-till system on my farm

My sponsor for my scholarship is HGCA and I am thankful to them for their fantastic support and encouragement in my studies so far.

To follow my progress on Twitter, I'm @tandssewell

My Nuffield study topic is "Long term benefits of No-Till"

I have chosen this because it is something that I'm in the process of implementing on my own farm in mid Kent.

I believe it is more beneficial to the soil structure and will help with reducing erosion, run-off and compaction as well as improving nutrient retention and water infiltration levels in the soil. My aim is to try to see what many of the benefits are and try to quantify these to give an actual financial saving to the farmer which could be achieved in the UK.

My scholarship will see me travelling to USA (North Dakota), New Zealand, Australia, Brasil, Paraguay, Argentina and France. I will be visiting farmers and advisors trying to see what benefits they have found by adopting no-till on their farm. This will take many forms and i'm looking forward to finding out more!