Q&A with East Yorkshire agronomist Richard Boldan

Our Q&A series with agricultural personalities from across Yorkshire continues this week with Richard Boldan.

East Yorkshire-based agronomist Richard Boldan.
East Yorkshire-based agronomist Richard Boldan.

An agronomist based in East Yorkshire, Richard has spent all of his 50 years in farming. Based near Pocklington, he trades as Richard Boldan Agriculture and offers independent agronomy services and direct drill contracting work.

What do you enjoy about working in agriculture? The joy of working with nature and the challenge of trying to feed a hungry world in a sustainable manner.

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What tasks are keeping you busy at the moment? Sowing winter cereals for my customers. On the agronomy side, managing the twin perils of herbicide resistant blackgrass and the oilseed rape pest Cabbage Stem Flea Beetle following the loss of the seed treatments which controlled it.

As an agronomist, what is your assessment of how the summer weather has left conditions on farms? The hot, dry summer has left many livestock farms short of winter forage. Yields of many crops, particularly root crops, are well down. Establishing winter crops has been tricky due to bone dry soil. The significant rainfall at the end of September was much needed.

How do you hope farming benefits from Brexit? There’s going to be a period of tremendous upheaval but we will see the emergence of a more resilient and business focussed industry. There will be more opportunities for new entrants with new ideas.

What is your best piece of advice to someone considering a career in agriculture? Spend a few years outside the industry first. Agriculture can be all consuming and having a different perspective can help you bring essential new thinking.

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