South West Agrii iFarm Event Bond Farms

The South West Agrii iFarm event was held at Trerulefoot in June. This is our third year working in partnership with Agrii to host the South West iFarm and the first year we were able to host an event on site rather than virtually. Agrii iFarms and Technology Centres are a network of farm Research and Development sites across the UK. Hosted in partnership on working farms, they are lively and engaging events offer an opportunity to demonstrate and discuss new technologies and growing systems with farmers, agronomists and industry specialists.

Agrii operates the UK’s most comprehensive agronomy-based arable research trials base, incorporating Agrii’s own R&D work and many other independent sources of leading-edge innovation.

Agrii iFarms shine a light on how these innovations can be adopted into real farming practice. Each facilitates a lively and engaging events programme through the year to keep farmers and agronomists abreast of the latest varieties, management systems and technologies to aid productivity and profitability.

The ifarm partnership with Agrii was announced in March 2020, at the time Agrii UK posted the following update –

We’re looking forward to working with the W H Bond family and farm team at Trerule Farm and establishing the iFarm site and events in Cornwall. William Herman Bond started farming as a tenant of Port Eliot Estate, on a 30-acre farm, supplemented by a local milk round. In 1942 the family moved nearby onto a larger 140-acre farm.  William forecast that the rapid improvement in yields at the time would lead to overproduction and told his three sons that ‘they would farm themselves out of business’, encouraging them to become ‘serial diversifiers’.  Heeding this advice, the family started initially with a bed and breakfast business and caravan site.  In 1957 William joined forces with his three sons and W H Bond and Sons was formed.  The diversification continued with the building and opening of the St Mellion Golf and Country Club in 1976 and with the next generation in 1997 into plant hire, agricultural machinery sales, civil engineering and the acquisition of Bake Sawmill.

In 2019 the directors took the decision to retire from plant hire and agricultural machinery sales and held one of the largest machinery auctions ever seen in the South West with over 1,600 items.  Today the company is concentrating on the farming, timber and contracting sides of the business.

The farm in total is around 1500 acres, on medium silty clay loam soils. Current cropping includes 600 acres of winter wheat, 200 acres of winter oats, 100 acres of grain maize, 200 acres of salad potatoes, 135 acres of Calabrese, 40 acres of rotational grassland, 100 acres of permanent grass, 100 acres  of woodland, 25 acres of lakes, several acres of solar panels, and 2 wind turbines.  The farm is managed by William Doidge.
March 30, 2020

Will Doidge, Bond Farms Farm Manager with John Harper & Michael Dray from Agrii UK