Sky Roadshows

SKY Roadshows

Field Walk at College Farm: Tuesday 27th February 2018, 10.30 - 12.30

Join Joe Redman, OPICO's conservation agriculture (Sky Drill) specialist and Ian Gould from Oakbank seeds for a morning walk across College Farm.

The site of previous SKY Roadshows, College Farm is a fully working farm in its second full season employing the conservation agriculture technique. Joe and Ian will be looking at established winter crops and discussing how the various cover crops have benefited the soil ahead of spring drilling. 

"The OSR companion cropping farm trial created a great deal of interest at the Autumn Roadshow and you will be able to see how the OSR has come through the winter in the different trials"  explained James Woolway, MD at OPICO "We also have some "don't try this at home examples" where we haven't got it right so it should be an educational morning!  Our plan is to have an open and honest discussion and share all our learnings to date with you." 

The event is scheduled for 2 hours from 10.30 - 12.30.  There will be coffee on arrival.  To help us gauge numbers please email if you are planning on joining us.

The next full Sky Roadshow event will take place on 22nd May and will focus on the impact of cover crops on soil health, particularly the nitrogen fixing effect vs. applied fertilizers, as well as a breakdown of how the financials stacked up for 2016/2017.  Please email if you are interested in coming to this event.


Sky Roadshow: Tuesday 22nd May 2018 - more details to follow in 2018
Sky Roadshow held October 2017: The most versatile and flexible drill on the market

In Autumn 2017, our third Sky Roadshows delved into the principles behind conservation agriculture.  Guest speakers gave their view on the future of farm incentives and gave practical guidance on the process behind DEFRA's "Leader" and other funding currently available.  Presentations were followed with field walking to show the impact of different cultivation methods, seeding methods and different cover crop and companion mixes following this year's wet harvest.  Of particular interest was the companion mix sown with OSR.

Feedback from the event has been excellent with delegates being able to dig a little deeper into conservation agriculture and seeing for themselves how a Sky EasyDrill can enable them to drill in conventional, reduced till and no till system and why a Sky Drill is the most versatile and flexible drill on the market.

If you would like to hear about future SKY events please email

Reduced Till Roadshow - held June 2017

In June 2017 OPICO, SKY Agriculture and our dealers invited farmers to come and learn more about the benefits of adopting reduced tillage and no-till systems to combat blackgrass, reduce establishment costs and improve soil health. We believe that No-till drilling is not a magic wand and cannot be adopted overnight so the Roadshow meetings explored the transition to less tillage; both the pitfalls and successes. We looked at integrating cover crops, altering rotations, incorporating fertiliser at seeding and of course minimal disturbance drilling.

Delegates came to find out how a Sky Drill's versatility can enable you to drill in conventional, reduced till and no-till systems and why it's the ideal machine for a gradual transition to reduced establishment cost, better soil and less blackgrass.


Christophe de Carville, Sky Agriculture

After studying engineering at agricultural college Christophe spent three years at the end of the eighties working in the United States where he learnt about different crop establishment systems. Back in France he became Sky's Chef de Product for the EasyDrill range and has now been working on min-till and no-till drilling with farmers all around the world for over 25 years. In this time Christophe has amassed a huge depth of knowledge of the associated techniques and agronomy. More recently he has spent a considerable amount of time trialling cover crops and different rotations in order to understand their interaction with no-till systems. He has also worked with conservation agriculture since the mid nineties, gaining experience from other parts of the world including South America, the US and Canada. A major part of his current role at Sky Agriculture is to spend time imparting his wealth of knowledge to customers working through the transition to No-till.


Sky Roadshow Host - June 2017

We Are Agrii

Agrii harnesses the power of skilled agronomists and the best intelligence to deliver unrivalled expertise and support for sustainable and profitable farming systems in the UK.

As a leading provider of agronomy services, technology and strategic advice, Agrii combines excellence and innovation with the latest research and development to ensure our customers can meet today’s farming challenges with knowledge and confidence.

Backed by in-depth research, we have more than three hundred BASIS-trained advisers who share a ‘total crop management’ philosophy. They draw upon the most comprehensive knowledge base on all aspects of successful agronomy and work with their farming customers to adopt management systems that deliver high output and lower costs of production.

Integrated Agronomy from Agrii

James Winslade

James WinsladeAfter weeks of heavy rainfall during Christmas and New Year 2013/14 left many thousands of acres underwater, James Winslade, farmer-owner of West Yeo farm came to prominence as an agricultural spokesperson for the area.  About 94% of James farm, including his home, was underwater for several months.  

When the floods eventually subsided James was left with almost barren land that has since been nurtured back to life.  James will talk about his experiences, his conversion to a system of conservation agriculture, the importance of cover crops and minimal cultivation that he has employed to rejuvenate his land.  

James will expand on both why he chose Sky's EasyDrill, when the time came to switch from a direct drill contractor to buying his own drill, as well as how he has used a rotation of cover crops to breathe life back into his soil.  

James' relationship with OPICO goes back to 2012 after previous flooding when he used OPICO's sward lifter and sward rejuvenator on his grassland.  James commented "I've know and trusted Richard Amphlet, (Territory Manager for OPICO) since 2012 and when I approached Masons Kings for a direct drill, and they suggested I try Sky's EasyDrill, I knew I would be in safe hands."  Fortunately the EasyDrill performed as well as he had hoped and James was able to part fund it with a government Leader Grant. 

We are fortunate to be invited onto James Winslade's farm for our Autumn 2017 Sky Roadshow.

Local agricultural dealer Masons Kings have supplied James Winslade with OPCIO grassland equipment, HE-VA Sub Soiler and Sky Easy Drill.


Oakbank are a specialist game crop and stewardship mixture provider who advise farmers around the UK on species and mixtures associated with conservation agriculture.

The recent increase of interest in cover crops has highlighted a need for knowledge and experience in growing different species which Oakbank are well positioned to provide.

Masons Kings

Masons Kings 30 years

Masons Kings was established in 1974 as an agricultural machinery dealer and in 1985 became one of the first John Deere dealerships in the South West.

The business employs over 90 staff at their 3 depots based in Somerset, Devon & Cornwall. They provide a high standard of service for sales and product support to all customers whether agricultural, horticultural, leisure or domestic.

Masons Kings recognise the importance of promoting different cultivation systems for different situations.  They acknowledge the versatility of the SKY EasyDrill with the ability to drill direct, drill into mintill seedbeds, into grassland, through cover crops as well as in conventional cultivation systems which makes the Sky EasyDrill a true all rounder.

Masons Kings stock a wide range of agricultural products across all their 3 depots in the South West.  The sales team has over 85 years of combined experience with the company.  As well as being John Deere specialists they sell a range of other brands, including OPICO, HE-VA and SKY, within their portfolio.

Their 50 strong Product Support team of specialist technicians are fully trained in maintenance, service and repair work on all agricultural & turf equipment, at very competitive prices with unrivalled customer service.


T H WHITE supply and maintain market-leading agricultural machinery brands, backed by reliable, knowledgeable support.

They offer comprehensive sales, servicing and breakdown cover for new and used agricultural equipment and pride themselves in helping to find the right machine for the job and keep it running smoothly. T H White's experienced staff have the agricultural know-how to enable farmers to get the best from their assets, offering expert advice to help farmers to keep on growing.

T H WHITE have embraced the SKY EasyDrill in light of its versatility with the ability to drill Direct, into mintill seedbeds, into grassland, through covercrops and in conventional cultivation systems.  

As well as being New Holland dealers and specialists they sell a range of other brands, including OPICO, HE-VA and SKY, within their portfolio.

Brown & Co

Brown&Co is a leading provider of agency, professional & consultancy services across the whole range of rural, commercial & residential property, agriculture & the environment. From a growing network of offices throughout East Anglia, the Midlands and Yorkshire & Humber region as well as internationally, Brown&Co combine a high level of specialist technical expertise with experience and local knowledge.

The firm has a real commitment to build strong, proactive and long term relationships with both corporate & private clients, for whom they always strive to deliver the best results and total satisfaction. Brown&Co are well placed, to assist farm businesses with grant funding applications (subject to availability) and have a high rate of success securing grant funding. 

Chris Sheldon from Brown&Co's Grantham office shares his experience in securing a Leader grant to purchase a Sky Drill.

Pearce Seeds

Pearce Seeds is part of the Pearce Group of Companies. The Pearce Group provides essential services and products for farmers across the South West.

Sporting and game products are supplied by Pearce Sporting Services, who provide: cover crops, agronomy support and game feed.

Mark Cole is the agronomist at West Yeo Farm.

Greenslade Taylor Hunt

Greenslade Taylor Hunt is one of the largest and longest established firms of Chartered Surveyors and Auctioneers in the West Country, with a team of agricultural specialists based across Devon, Somerset and Dorset. The agricultural department offers extensive expertise in various matters, including rural funding, valuation, compensation, planning, livestock marketing and on-site sales.


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