28 January 2022

Contract Farming & Agricultural Services in County Durham

With arable land covering 32% of the North East, 624,000 hectares of the region devoted to agriculture, and almost 11,000 people employed within the industry, it’s a well-established but expanding sector in the Durham region. The statistics speak for themselves, but with the total income from farming increasing to £86 million in the latter half of the last decade, it’s difficult not to be impressed.

As a region, Durham has had a long history of agricultural industry that can be traced back to the 12th century. Currently, there’s a wide variety of crops grown in the region to meet the demands of our growing population, and our livestock breeders are known for the genetic quality of their animals.

With so many businesses and farms operating not only in the Durham area but across the whole of the UK, it’s no wonder that an estimated 91% of UK farms are thought to use contractors to carry out some of their work. Our agricultural contracting in Durham can take numerous forms, from specialist services such as digestate spreading, slurry storage, spreading and injecting, to large scale whole-farm operations that can see the revitalisation of large tracts of arable land.

Agriculture in Durham, past and present

The rural landscapes you’ll see when travelling through Durham today are the result of centuries of farming and land management that has been led by successive generations of farmers. The latter half of the twentieth century saw a large-scale intensification of agricultural practices. A trend that benefitted from both national and European policies that drove productivity and technological progression.

In the past decades, outside factors played a large role in determining what happens to the farmers of Durham and the wider UK. One large shake-up for the farming community has been Brexit, with the UK leaving not just the EU but their common agricultural policy under which farmers received roughly £3 billion a year.

Another recent agricultural shift in the UK is rewilding. In recent years especially, Durham has moved away from intensive farming methods, in favour of more environmentally-friendly alternatives. The UK government has recently announced it would pay farmers to re-wild their land, a process of letting nature reclaim patches of land to help conserve natural habitats. While this may be a far cry from the industrious days of farming under EU incentives, it calls back to a traditional form of farming that might have been familiar to the grandparents of today’s farmers.

With all these significant changes creating some of the biggest upheavals in how farmers work and operate in living memory, one of the few consistencies you can count on have been the effectiveness and reliability of AWSM’s agricultural contracting in Durham.

Agricultural contracting in Durham and the North East

Agri-environmental changes aren’t simply sitting back and letting the grass grow, but instead focussing on careful management of the land, to conserve species, provide habitats, and restore aspects of the land that were once tightly controlled. The managerial aspects of the process means that agricultural contracting will still have a vital role to play in all aspects of farming, especially in long term contracts.

Often the best agricultural contracts require commitment from both parties, the owner of the land and the party carrying out the contract farming. If a whole farm contracting is on the cards, then a five year contract would be ideal, allowing for a confident investment in new machinery, equipment and labour.

Agricultural contracts in Durham and the North East can often be larger than those in the rest of the UK, primarily due to higher percentage of farms at over 100 hectares when compared to the rest of the UK. The work required in the North East reflects the more common types of farming available also, with grazing livestock taking up the majority of farming. Compared to the UK, Durham and the North East has far fewer farms that specialise in dairy and horticulture. Despite this, with over 25 years of experience managing farms of all kinds and getting the very best out of holdings across the agricultural spectrum, AWSM can and has taken up farming contracts of any kind across the North East.

AWSM’s services in Durham

Providing high quality contracting services in Durham and North Yorkshire, at AWSM Farming pride ourselves on our reliable, efficient and high quality agricultural contracting. Our wide range of services and our ability to provide the latest high quality farming equipment on the market sets us apart from the rest in Durham and beyond.

Our agricultural contracting services include but aren’t limited to the following:

Working with farms and plots of land that come in a wide variety of hectares, we have the knowledge and experience to not only carry out the best jobs for your farm but also advise. We can suggest the best course of action for you based on what you want and the season.

If you want to see how your Durham farm can benefit from agricultural contracting with AWSM, please contact us here.