Land Forming Firm In A Field Of Their Own
Farming Monthly National|March 2021
An entrepreneurial agricultural contracting business has enjoyed a 30% increase in turnover after introducing an innovative land forming service.

AMS Contracting in Chichester, West Sussex, is currently the only contractor in the UK using the Mastenbroeksupplied Trimble® FieldLevel IITM system to generate cut and fill maps for farmland.

Established by Ashley and Myles Strange in 2011, AMS Contracting began life as a specialist big bale contractor, but significant competition and low margins forced the brothers to look at new opportunities.

Fate works in mysterious ways they say, and at the time of considering their future, a local farmer approached them and asked if they could reinstate a field that was prone to ponding. The field on the Chichester Plain, which had previously been used to grow potatoes, also suffered from rutted headlands.

Ashley and Myles decided to take the job on and started to look into how they could best level the land and remove the ponding.

The condition of the field wasn't the best, says Myles. It had been subjected to torrential rain and made harvesting a real issue. In fact, half of the crop had perished in the ground, and it was too wet to lift. It was so bad that even some of the headlands were suffering from ponding. We wanted to do the job but didn't quite know how to go about it. So, we started to have a look around at what other people were doing.

The brothers' research took them online, and by chance, they came across several American and European videos showing scrapers being used to form agricultural fields.

What we found was the exact technique that we wanted to employ, says Myles. The only problem we faced was sourcing the GPS software that the contractors in the videos were using. However, it is a relatively niche area, and it didn't take us long to find Mastenbroek's website.

Headquartered in Boston, Lincolnshire, Mastenbroek has been designing and manufacturing self-propelled drainage trenchers since 1977. Since then the company has grown into a globally respected name in trenching, ground stabilisation and groundwater control.

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