CUEA Farm Tour 2023

On Sunday 21st May, CUEA members met at Manor Farm, Little Harrowden for a tour with Reynolds Farmers Ltd. Greeted by fine weather, an impressive display of farm machinery, a croissant, and a cup of tea, we began the day in style.

Formal proceedings started with a presentation given by Henry Reynolds (farmer, engineer and CUEA committee member) on the history of the farm, the regenerative principles on which it operates, and the crops which the farm grows. We discussed subjects as broad ranging as climate change and carbon capture, to the influence of cultivation techniques on worm numbers, to ergotism and the Marie Celeste! We then headed out into the field around the farmyard for a look at trial plots, argi-environmental margins, watercourse buffer strips, field drainage, and the growing crops. The crowd found the walk and the commentary from the Reynolds family highly engaging, and our hosts were kept busy answering the many questions it inspired.

After a delicious lunch we had a detailed look at the farm machinery on display, some of it modern and some of it almost 100 years old (and still in operational use), covering its history and key technical developments, principles of operation, economics, and future direction.

We departed with a new appreciation of the technical challenge of farming, and the science and engineering it involves. The day was very much enjoyed by all, and we are extremely grateful to the Reynolds Family for their generous hospitality, insight and enthusiastic hosting of the event. We plan to make the event an annual feature of the CUEA calendar, and so look forward to returning next year.