Agriculture

The National Farmers Union recently produced data to show that Northamptonshire farmers generate £223m each year and employ over 4,000 people in the county.  The barley produced in Northamptonshire would brew 615 million pints of beer and bake 543 million loaves of bread, making agriculture an exciting and vibrant industry in the county.  In these highly technical times, the agriculture industry has taken the lead in using initiatives such as GPS technology in crop management and sophisticated nutrition systems. This is the industry for a challenging and sustainable career if you have a passion for science, technology and making a contribution to world health.

Study Agriculture at Moulton and immerse yourself in the exciting role that Agriculture plays both in the UK economy and internationally.  The Agricultural Technologies and Agriculture courses will challenge and reward you by growing your skills, knowledge and research skills working alongside academic staff who have outstanding industry experience and are active in the research world.

Our commitment to Post Graduate study through sponsoring doctorate students and offering MSc provision will stimulate and build your academic ambition.  You’ll be inspired by our lecturers and can read more about some of them on our Research Page

Click here to find out more about our Agriculture courses for 2017!

Agriculture Facilities

Beef Unit

Located at Lodge Farm, the Heifer and Beef Unit is an enterprise within the college’s farm.

All calves are removed form their dams at birth, penned separately and then transferred to the young stock unit at Archingworth in order to reach a weaning weight at eight weeks. They are then transferred to the replacement heifer group.

Cross-breed continental heifers are retained and turned out to grass for summer before being housed and intensively finished out of yards on a concentrate and straw ration. The heifers are then sold dead weight to a number of abattoirs.

The college is accredited under the Farm Assured British Beef and Lamb Scheme.

Classrooms

All classrooms at the college are fitted out with modern and specialist equipment related to the area of study. They are also regularly upgraded to ensure they remain state of the art and provide inspirational places to learn and grow your knowledge.

Estate

Here at the College we currently farm 509 hectares, including 64 hectares of rented land under various tenancy agreements.

All land is farmed commercially and subject to the normal market forces of the agricultural industry. It is also used extensively for teaching purposes to support our aim of providing high quality, practical education and training with a commercial focus. Crops grown include winter wheat, winter oilseed rape, malting barley, short and long-term leys and stubble turnips for autumn sheep-keep.

Livestock enterprises include a sheep flock of 900 North Country Mule and Lleyn ewes put to Charolais, Suffolk, Texel and Meatlinc rams. The farm is also in the process of establishing a Pedigree Suckler Cow enterprise based on the Stabiliser and Continental breeds with the aim of providing breeding and finishing stock for local markets.

The focus of the Arable Unit is to develop knowledge and skills in the use of high tech such as GPS and precision farming. Farm activities are coordinated by the Deputy Principal and Farm Manager who meet regularly to discuss operational matters and to formulate proposals for discussion by the Senior Leadership Team.

Field Crops

Our Arable Unit is based at Lodge Farm and is an enterprise within the college’s farm.

Rotations are based on the use of break crops such as oilseed rape and forage crops in order to optimise the area of first wheat grown. We currently grow the Scout and Viscount soft wheat varieties, as well as the Cabernet and Camelot varieties of oilseed rape.

Crops are marketed through a number of merchants, including Nidera, Frontier Agriculture, Charles Jackson and United Oilseeds, while the college is accredited under the Farm Assured British Beef and Lamb Scheme for Combinable Crop Assurance.

IT Facilities

Significant investment has been made in I.T. facilities over recent years, teaching is enhanced with IT in the majority of classrooms and a number of I.T. Suites operate throughout the different campuses utilising a mixture of PC’s, Laptops and Netbooks.  A cutting edge Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) system means that Students at all sites receive a consistent IT experience. 

Fast WiFi networks cover the majority of the campus, and students are enabled to bring their own devices for use during informal study periods. 

We run Microsoft Windows and Office 2010 with a range of specialist software to support each curriculum area.  Each student is provided with a College email address and a home area to store their files alongside this 24/7 access from home is available to the College’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) where lesson notes, interactive study aids, and videos support and reinforce teaching from both the classroom and practical sessions.

Learning Resource Centres

The college has learning resource centres at the main Moulton site, at the East Northants, South Northants and Daventry vocational skills academies. The Moulton LRC provides access for 240 people, including a designated IT area for our higher education students.

Each learning resource centre offers a range of services such as libraries, careers advice, learning support and study spaces, as well as access to resources including books, journals, newspapers, trade literature, online resources and DVDs.

Each centre also has a computer suite that provides access to network drives, the internet and Moodle, as well as hardware such as printers, copiers and scanners. Specialist software includes AutoCAD and packages for horse management, farm management, garden design, accounting, statistics and mind mapping.

For anyone requiring additional support, the learning resource centres at Moulton and at the vocational skills academies offer learning support, where needs can be discussed and arrangements put in place.

Machinery Workshops

The machinery workshops and mechanisation area is well equipped, with both machinery used commercially for the farm and a wide range housed in modern workshops for teaching purposes. The workshops are also fitted with specialist fixed equipment for the maintenance of machines and for arc, MIG, TIG and oxy-acetylene welding.

Equipment available includes tractors, forklifts, all-terrain vehicles and excavators, plus a variety of powered equipment for horticulture and countryside management.

Machines used on the farm are maintained and repaired as part of practical classes, while additional machines are regularly brought in from local machinery dealers to provide opportunities for further skills development.

Mechanical Handling

Specialist mechanisation, welding and arboriculture workshops and mechanical handling resources are found at Lodge Farm, which also acts as the focus of our commercial farming activity.

The college owns an extensive range of modern forklifts and plant equipment, all of which belong to the mechanical handling training unit. Practical training takes place on a purpose-built driving area.

The college is a Construction Plant Competency Scheme test centre and a registered member of the Independent Training Standards Scheme and Register, one of only five accrediting bodies recognised by the Health and Safety Commission.

Sheep Unit

Based at Lodge Farm, our Sheep Unit is a complementary enterprise within the college’s farm.

The flock consists of 1,000 North Country Mule ewes and ten pedigree Suffolk, one Charollais and 12 Texel and rams, as well as two Beltex rams. The flock lambs in March, with ewes moved 18 days before tupping to a flushing pasture.

The March-lambed ewes are mothered with their lambs for 36 hours before being turned out to grass and the lambs are sold off grass between June and early August. Any unsold lambs are ‘stored’ at grass and then moved in early autumn to be finished and sold dead weight to a number of abattoirs.

Both ewes and lambs are grazed on the Moulton and Boughton Hall estates, extending to a total grazing area of around 100 hectares, and the flock is a member of the Farm Assured British Beef and Lamb Scheme.

Welding

Specialist mechanisation, welding and arboriculture workshops and mechanical handling resources are found at Lodge Farm, which also acts as the focus of our commercial farming activity and is home to our management centre.

The mechanisation section is well equipped, including both machinery used commercially for the farm and a wide range housed in modern workshops for teaching purposes. The workshops are fitted with specialist fixed equipment for the maintenance of machines and for arc, MIG, TIG and oxy-acetylene welding.

Machines used on the farm are maintained and repaired as part of practical classes, while additional machines are regularly brought in from local machinery dealers to provide opportunities for further skills development.

Wilson Countryside Centre

The recently completed Wilson Countryside Management Centre (supported by the Wilson Foundation) means South Lodge – linked by a cycleway and with its own shuttle bus service – is now home to ultra-modern resources (including three specialist workshops) for countryside management, game rearing and fish rearing.

The fish-rearing workshop contains eight industry-standard tanks in which carp are reared to stock the college lake; the game workshop has specialist equipment for hatching and rearing pheasant and partridge as well as an outdoor area with brooder houses; while the countryside workshop is a covered area with the specialist tools and equipment needed for maintaining the college estate.

Agriculture Profiles