We caught up with Chris Pacey, OMEX DSM for The East and West Midlands, all about his journey with OMEX, what changes he’s seen in the farming world over the last decade, and his key advice for Spring 2021
Name: Chris Pacey
Hobbies: I’ve ran a shoot with my best mate for the last 10 years now… so my favourite hobby appears to be chasing partridge around all Winter, trying to outsmart them.
Favourite Food: A Lincolnshire Mixed Grill from The Five Bells at Bassingham, washed down with a pint of Timothy Taylor’s Landlord.
Pets: 1 very well behaved Springer (credit to my wife Molly) and a pair of feral terriers
YFC: I was an active Young Farmers Club member, and actually met my wife dressed as a bumblebee during a Young Farmers East Midlands Area weekend
When Did You Start Working With OMEX
I’ve been with OMEX for 13 years. I started in 2007 soil sampling and really enjoyed working with OMEX. I went everywhere that our Bardney site supplied from North Yorkshire down to The Wash, meeting lots of different farmers with many varying approaches to crop production. The next season I went to work for OMEX full time as a trainee District Sales Manager and I now look after farms from Wales all the way over to the East Coast.
What Is Your Agricultural Background
Farming runs in my blood. Our family have now grown cereals and sugar beet on our farm at Bardney in Lincolnshire for over 100 years, with my father Geoff being the 4th generation to farm here. Upon leaving school, I worked on the home farm as well as doing relief milking on a friend’s dairy unit. I then took on the soil sampling position and, after achieving my FACTS qualification, became a full time DSM with OMEX.
What Does Your Role Cover
Farming, as we’re all aware, isn’t a 9-5 operation. As DSM’s, we’re always at the other end of the phone to offer nutritional advice and, during the busy periods, to ensure fertiliser deliveries and applications are running smoothly. Each farm is different so we tailor our advice/products/services to make sure the farmer gets the right fit for what they need. A lot of what we do is working closely with farmers to review the previous year’s performance; both in terms of yield and quality. We’ll spend time discussing new ideas/technologies and how these can be incorporated to improve productivity, nutrient use efficiency, etc.
Have You Seen Many Changes To The Industry In The Last 13 Years
Definitely, 100%. There have been huge advances in the technology available to the agricultural industry over the last decade. For me, yield mapping has to be one of the most pivotal advances; growers now have access to so much information specific to their own farm in order to make informed decisions, which is great. The industry has also become much more transparent and our ability to access and share knowledge has made major headway; the resulting technical ability of our growers nowadays within their specialisms is seriously impressive. Another stark observation is the consolidation of farms; the average farm unit size continues to increase along with their daily demand for product during the peak workload periods, so we are continually improving our infrastructure to ensure that our ability to supply a consistent, quality product in a timely fashion meets the demands of our customers.
Plant Health and Crop Nutrition – Has It Become A Hot Topic?
Absolutely. It’s had to be. Scott (our Crop Nutrition Agronomist) has become an integral part of the process in what we do as DSM’s. He’s an expert on crop nutrition and plant health, and works alongside us to advise on how best to approach integrated crop management.
Your Specialty Crop
I work across all agricultural crops, but I tend to now specialise in root crops and field veg. These weren’t crops that I grew up around so I’ve had to learn a great deal but it’s been brilliant working alongside a team of industry leading experts such as Steve Ebbage, who’s been with OMEX for over 40 years.
Advice For Spring 2021
After such a prolonged period of wet weather it seems obvious to most of us that the opposite extreme is now likely to follow at some stage. We continue to see the advantages of front-loading your Spring Nitrogen, both with regard to tiller promotion but also having your full season’s nutrition ready and waiting in the root zone sooner than relying on moisture to galvanize your split-applied Nitrogen into action during a droughty Spring period! So my advice would be to weatherproof yourself; make use of management tools such as DIDIN to allow you to get ahead of the game and apply all of your Nitrogen early doors without having to concern yourself with any adverse effects the weather would have should it take a turn for the worst. Think – by the time conditions have dried out with the lion’s share of your Nitrogen still to apply, it’s already too late!