FGS Agri Ltd was originally established 20 years ago as Farm & General Services, a small family run agricultural contracting company based in Egerton. Due to our continued on-going development and the growing needs of the business we have moved to a much larger site at Pluckley in Kent with a second depot based in Andover, Hampshire to service the requirements in the western reaches of our business. The company has been built on the ethos of providing a one stop shop for all outsourced agricultural services required by the livestock and arable farmer. Through the utilisation of these services, our clients benefit from reduced overheads, flexibility through a choice of equipment, and a wealth of knowledge from our experienced staff.
Our progress in a market that is constantly shifting has allowed FGS Agri to diversify into new sectors. In addition to specialising in agricultural services we now offer a wide range of civil and utility contracting services and organics recycling.
FGS Agri’s farming division covers some 1600 hectares from our base at Stanford Bridge Farm, Pluckley. A mixed unit, consisting of arable and beef, we farm land under various contractual agreements with bases in Kent and Sussex.
We work with our landlords to ensure that full advantage is taken of ELS and HLS environmental schemes to enhance the landscape and environment as well as maximising returns from the individual holdings.
The arable unit covers 1200 hectares with soils varying from Weald Clay to Tonbridge Wells Sand. Our rotation consists of two Winter Wheat crops followed by a break crop of Winter Oilseed Rape with smaller areas of Winter Linseed, Winter Beans, Spring Linseed and Spring Barley.
Last year we purchased a new 5 metre Simba SL cultivator which is pulled by our Xerion 3800 for primary cultivation. Areas that need sub soiling are treated specifically with our Tim Howard 9 leg sub-soiler. We then aim to produce a stale seedbed which would be treated with Glyphosate before cultivating, if necessary with our Simba Culti-press, and drilling using GPS guidance with our 6 metre Horsch Sprinter cultivator drill.
The majority of our arable ground has one or another of the following organic by-products applied to it on a rotational basis each year:
- Green Waste Compost
- Paper Crumb
- Bio digested Cake
- Thermally Dried Granules
- Farm Yard Manure
All these products supply something different to the soil in the way of Nitrogen, Potassium, Potash and Sulphur as well as organic matter and other trace elements, providing nutrient for the growing crop as well as helping to maintain the soil organic matter.
Pesticide application is taken care of by our two Househam and one Bateman self-propelled crop sprayers which also cover some 10.000 hectares of contract spraying for other growers. Fertiliser is applied with our KRM M2 spreader. This is fitted with weigh sells and will be connected to our JD2600 GPS unit to enable us to apply variable rate fertiliser.
Combining has been taken care of with our Claas Lexion 570 with 7.5 metre vario header. Due to an increased area, this is due to be replaced with two new combines. We also contract harvest with an additional machine which we own jointly with a neighbouring farmer.
The majority of grain is conditioned and stored at Stanford Bridge Farm, on a new floor drying grain store.
Our livestock enterprise is based on a single suckler herd of 240 cows and followers. Predominately based on Sussex or Sussex cross cows we use a Limousin Bull to produce the confirmation that the local markets are looking for.
We have about 400 hectares of grassland which varies from zero input grassland under ELS / HLS schemes through to low input leys in ELS Schemes to higher input leys which are reserved for Silage and later in the season hay / haylage.
As well as feeding grassland silage, straw and a small amount of hay we grow 24 hectares of forage maize. This is supplemented with by products such as Oilseed Rape meal, Fruit Pulp and Potatoes. In addition we use a locally produced stock nut as a general purpose ration for the calves and finishing animals.
Early spring calving takes place at Stanford Bridge Farm where most of our animals are housed during the winter period. This year we are erecting two new buildings, one to improve and increase our winter housing and another for forage. Our yearlings are housed on a neighbouring farm. These are finished at grass and housed at Stanford Bridge.
During the summer all our stock are kept locally on grass with the young stock being fed a creep ration as required. Our stocking rates are low, at about 1 livestock unit to the acre to acre and a half to fit in with our various environmental schemes.