Meet the farmer – Ida Iacobaéus

Meet Ida Iacobaéus whom for the past four years has been working full time at Marsvinsholm's farm located just west of Ystad. The farm has been in her husbands family since 1978 when it was bought by Idas husband André's grandfather, father, and aunt. Ida is 42 years old and married to André, together they have two children, Ellen 10 years old and Nils 8 years old.

Name, age, and family: Ida Iacobaéus, 42 years old, married to André, two children Ellen 10 years old and Nils 8 years old.  

Interests: Animals have always been a dear interest, especially dogs. I also do horse ringing with my daughter, and I love to travel! In the summer there is a lot of work and then we rarely have time to enjoy the nice weather and warmth. Therefore, we try to travel abroad to enjoy the sun for a week sometime during the winter months and preferably we enjoy some snow and downhill skiing if an opportunity arises.  

How come you are a farmer? 

I grew up in the countryside of Småland and working in the green industries has always been a matter of course for me. When it was time to choose a professional career, I got an education as agronomist and worked for many years in the feed industry. In 2011 I met my husband who ran his family farm Marsvinsholm. For the past four years, I have been working full-time on the farm and together we are constantly trying to develop our business. The latest addition is a larger strawberry cultivation that we started with in 2022. 

What kind of farm do you run and with whom?  

Marsvinsholm's farm located just west of Ystad has been in the family since 1978 when it was bought by my husband André's grandfather, father, and aunt. The agricultural landscape is beautiful with varied and hilly terrain. Here we conduct crop cultivation, chicken production, rental of housing and, since 2022, also strawberry cultivation. We run the farm together with six full-time employees. We have an operations manager who is responsible for the crop production, André has the main responsibility for the strawberry cultivation, and I have the main responsibility for the rental business, personnel, and administration. 

What is the most fun thing about being a farmer? 

To run a business and the freedom, to have the opportunity to plan your own time and day. 

What is the most challenging thing about being a farmer? 

The weather, I must say, and a troubled market. Regulatory complications are also an ongoing challenge.  

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

Right now, I'm working a lot with preparing everything administrative for the strawberry season, staff, logistics, packaging, etcetera and trying to work through various self-checks before everything starts at the end of April.  

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

For us, 2023 was almost worse than 2018, which was hard hit by drought. The autumn-sown crops lost 20-25 percent and rapeseed was a disaster. The spring sowing was less than half of the expected harvest.  

What are the conditions for this year's harvest? 

The conditions right now look really good, the winter wheat looks good, and the rapeseed looks very promising. But the big fear is early summer drought, historically it is something that can affect us. 

And finally, what are the conditions for this year's spring farming?  

Spring farming is a bit late. We had hoped to have part of the area sown by now, but as the weather looks right now, spring sowing will be a bit delayed. The first and second doses of wheat and rapeseed have been distributed. In the strawberry fields, we have seen some frostbite after the winter, especially on one variety. Plastic and fabric are laid out on the early varieties. We hope to be able to start planting new strawberry acreage at the end of April.