A group of award winning horticulture and broadacre farmers from Australasia received a behind the scenes tour of Queen Elizabeth’s Royal Farms this week.
The group – all winners in the Syngenta Growth Awards including several agronomists and other industry stakeholders – kicked off an official week-long study tour of the UK and Austria, with a visit to the 1153 ha (2850 acre) mixed farming operation at Windsor.
It includes a 200-head Jersey cow herd – one of the last remaining dairies left in operation in the United Kingdom – a pedigree Sussex beef herd, breeding sows and hens.
The livestock operation is supported with mixed cropping including 404 hectares (1000 acres) of arable land which grows wheat, barley and organic oats, and 809 ha (2000 acres) of grassland.
There is also a winery, which bottled its first line of sparkling wine last year. It sold out of 3000 bottles in two days.
The Royal Farms farm manager Mark Osman, who previously worked for Syngenta at its Jealott’s Hill research and development facility, said the farm supported a shop, which employs around 50 people and includes an operating butcher shop.
“If you are able to get closer to your end customer, we have found that you are able to have a really viable farm,” Mr Osman said.
Queensland Country Life journalist Lea Coghlan is traveling with the study group, as a guest of Syngenta.