Meet the farmer – Gustav Storm

Meet Gustav Storm who runs a pure grain farm of about 300 hectares in Ärentuna, north of Uppsala. Gustav is also the Chairman of Lantmännen's District Board for Uppland. Gustav is 43 years old and together with his partner Johanna who is a chef, they have three children; Ella 15 years old, Filip 13 years old and Hilda 8 years old.

Name, age, and family: Gustav Storm, 43 years old, my partner Johanna who is a chef and our three children Ella 15 years old, Filip 13 years old and Hilda 8 years old.  

How come you are a farmer? 

It's kind of weird really but I've always been interested. My grandfather had a farm, so maybe my interest was awakened in early years. I went to high school at an agricultural school, specializing in natural farming, and then worked on different farms. I was employed where I am today and in 2007 I became a partner in the operating/holding company for the farm.   

What kind of farm do you run and with whom?  

The farm is located in Ärentuna, north of Uppsala, and is a pure grain farm of about 300 hectares. We have a lot of wheat, especially winter wheat. I would say that we are a very classic farm. It is the farm owner who is now no longer active, which is why I run the farm full-time together with three other full-time employees. That includes carpentry services as well. It started with the fact that we had down time and wanted to make use of the time. We then started taking in carpentry assignments for customers and now we do quite a lot. 

What is the most fun thing about being a farmer? 

The variety. That there's always something new happening. Every year is different and it's never static.  

What is the most challenging thing about being a farmer? 

The weather! A factor that you can't control. The weather can have a huge impact, both good and bad.  

What does a typical day look like for a farmer like you in April? 

For us, it is now a lot of the construction business, we are building a house and renovating an apartment. But now we are working as efficiently as we can to be able to focus on the upcoming spring farming.  

The 2023 harvest was tough for many. What was it like for you and your farm? 

Quality wasn't good at all, but at least we had decent volumes. Volumes were only slightly below average. The autumn crops were decent and the spring crops so-so. But still, somewhat more positive than for many others. The plains of Uppland fared relatively well.  

What are your predictions for this year's harvest? 

We must get a good harvest to meet the numbers needed. That's just the way it is! We did the best we could given the conditions of last year, but due to current prices overall, a good harvest this year is a must. But we farmers are probably somewhat a strange breed after all. Everything could go to hell and yet most of us are of the mentality “just give it another go”.   

And finally, what are the conditions for this year's spring farming? I was afraid of wintering damage, but the autumn crops seem to have done decently. It actually looks ok, beyond expectations. However, no winter rapeseed because we didn't get to that, it was too acidic in the soil. But a lot of autumn sowing so quite like previous years. We started fertilizing in the beginning, mid-April. I ordered seed early and I've got what I've ordered so at least we have that. Maybe not dream quality but what to do. If we had needed wheat, we would have had problems. Then it would have been lacking. Well, now we want to get started! This is always the case around spring farming. I hope that it will be sown before Walpurgis Night, then we are fairly on time. If it will be pushed into May, it's a little later than usual.