Northern Powerhouse Farmer Stories: Oliver Harrison

18 October 2022

Oliver Harrison

Growing 1,400 acres of cereal crops on the urban fringe near Liverpool is fourth-generation arable farmer Oliver Harrison.

Across a mixture of owned and tenanted land, he grows 550 acres of wheat, 220 acres of oilseed rape, 200 acres of winter barley and 120 acres of spring beans and linseed.

He purchases seed from Openfield, the UK’s largest cereals cooperative if it is not home treated by a local contractor.

To ensure his crops have the correct nutrients to grow, Oliver spends £80,000 on fertiliser per annum and an additional £90,000 on plant protection products to control weeds without destroying soils and nests.

Oliver sells his wheat and barley through Openfield to meet the demand from the livestock feed sector, moving his grain off the yard monthly for continuous cash flow.

His oilseed rape goes into Cargill’s rapeseed crush plant and refinery based in Brocklebank. This is only one of two oilseed crushes in the UK to produce protein meal for animal feed and rape oil.

Approximately 400 tonnes of straw is sold per annum for £30,000 to North West Farmers through a local haulage firm - Morris Corfield at Chester.

Oliver employs six full time staff and two part time in summer. He recycles 4,000 tonnes a year of tree waste from the local council to fuel a biomass boiler.

His renewable heat initiative is beneficial to the business since it dries grain and saves £30,000 a year on oil.

Oliver voluntarily plants five acres each year of pollinator mixes and wild flower strips as part of the ‘Championing the Farmed Environment’ (CFE) initiative and direct drills to protect soils.

Who does Oliver do business with?
Oliver spends £500,000 a year on machinery with various local tractor and machinery dealerships including RVW Pugh at Homes Chapel, John Bownes Ltd at Winford, Clarke and Pulman at Burscough and the Cornthwaite group in Ormskirk.

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