Best in Field 2023


The results are in, the awards are out... 

Congratulations to all our farming champions who were crowned Best in Field Winners 2023.  

This series is all about celebrating the hard work and dedication of farmers committed to growing outstanding crops across the 2023 season, awarded for the lowest variable Cost of Production seen across the YAGRO platform. 

We travelled across the UK speaking to these farms to learn more about their season, operation and award-winning crops.  

Check out all the winners below and follow the links to learn more.   

These conversations were also recorded as a podcast, with episodes featuring a range of industry guests including Jeff Claydon and the Event Director of Cereals. If you’d rather listen - Click here. 

Graham Innes - A P Innes. Oilseed Rape.

Farmer Graham Innes holding YAGRO's Best in Field Award for Oilseed Rape

Graham is a multi-award winning OSR grower based on the Scottish borders. In our conversation with Graham, he delves into why he uses a consistently low seed-rate, what changes he’s made to make to farm more efficiently and highlights what’s driving his decisions around rotations and varieties.   

If you’re interested in the ongoing viability of growing OSR on your farm – Read here. 

Will Oliver - A H Oliver & Son. Winter Beans.

Farmer Will Oliver driving his tractor. Will won YAGRO's Best in Field Award for Winter Beans

Will has previously won Farmers Weekly Arable Farmer of the Year 2022 and other awards. He found space on the shelf to welcome YAGRO’s Best in Field for Winter Beans, 2023.  

During our chat, Will describes Winter Beans as a ‘Cinderella crop’ but offers solid reasons why he values them as part of his rotation. Will also shares how he’s diversified his business and some of his thoughts around the relationship between SFI’s and food production.  

If you’re actively considering break-crops, legumes or open to inspiration from a top arable farmer – Read here. 

Chris Papworth – Little Staughton Farms. Spring Barley.  

Farm Manager Chris Papworth and his agronomist standing in a field of barley during harvest. Chris won YAGRO's Best in Field Award for Spring Barley

Working Farm Manager Chris Papworth was quick to credit his wider team with their award for Spring Barley.  

However, with over 8 years in the role, Chris had plenty of insights to share about how he keeps ahead. From strategic cropping rotations and thoughts around premiums, to the transformative impact of well-timed investments in machinery – Chris lifts the lid on their operation in this chat.  

Perhaps most notably was the value they’re finding in using available tools for accurate farm benchmarking and making data-driven decisions.  

If you’re looking to get more out of your farm records and farm management software, hear what Chris has to say – Read Here.  

James Nott - J.R & E.H Nott. Winter Barley.  

Farmer James Nott leaning on his John Deere Tractor. James won yagro's best in field award for winter barley

A modern, diversified farming business based in Suffolk, J.R & E.H Nott has taken a collaborative and integrated approach to staying at the top of their game.  

Combining agronomic expertise with on-hand experience enables James to make forward thinking decisions around adaptive crop rotations and strategic input & cost management.  

In this conversation, James also shares his feelings on how SFI’s will impact plans across the industry and what he thinks the next few years holds for agriculture – Read here.  

Harry Middleditch – D F Middleditch & Son. Winter Oats.  

Farm Manager Harry Middleditch holding yagro's best in field award for winter oats

Harry offers some brilliant insight into his ‘new generation mixed farm.’ From recently incorporating a broiler unit, to his mentality of ‘always following a learning curve’ – this fascinating conversation holds great value for any farmers wondering how to keep ahead when the industry is changing at such pace.  

The biggest takeaway? Harry’s notion that “it’s not always about cutting costs, it’s about optimising them.” Learn exactly what Harry means by this and what technology is helping him along the way – Read Here.  

Frazer Jolly – Saltby Farms. Winter Rye.  

Farm manager Frazer Jolly and his Agronomist Damian from Indigro presenting their Best in Field Award by YAGRO for Winter Rye

We were joined this time by Frazer’s agronomist Damian from Indigro. This light-hearted conversation revealed how agronomist & farm manager worked together to produce an award-winning crop of Winter Rye.  

Exploring the reasons and techniques behind including Rye in the rotation, we also tackled the risks and benefits of hybrid varieties, seed rates and varying soil types. Frazer has adopted a mindset of continuous improvement and was very quick to credit his fantastic team with their Best in Field Award.  
This chat is worth a read for any farmer. Entertaining, valuable, and packed with great examples of teamwork – Read here.  

Congratulations to each of our 2023 Best in Field winners. We wish them all the best for the 2024 harvest, and look forward to reviving the awards next year for another cracking Best in Field series.  

James is our Customer Sales Manager. He has 25 years customer facing experience and is deeply connected to agriculture through owning his own family farm. James takes pride in providing reliable, honest and personable communication with the farming community. With the current volatility being experienced across UK Agriculture, James believes the YAGRO platform is an enormously valuable tool for empowering farmers and supporting the industry. He is motivated to share this value by providing demos on-farm and at events throughout the year, and by writing articles like this one. Contact James on