To maximise returns on both our own and our clients land, using sustainable yet efficient and progressive farming techniques.
- We currently farm on 18 different farms in Perthshire
- These are a mixture of owned, rented and contract farming agreements
- This means we are currently farming 2,000 Ha's (5,000 Ac's) of arable land within the business
- All the land lies within a 16 mile radius of the home farm at Easter Rhynd
- We have a complete range of soils and topography to handle across the farms from sandy loam to heavy clay and from steep gradients to flat land.
- 2 Full time staff, 4 self employed staff, 2 students from summer through harvest and a number of seasonal workers at various stages throughout the year.
- We grow predominantly Winter Wheat and Spring Oats but also sow some Spring and Winter Barley, Winter Oilseed Rape, Potatoes, Carrots, Turnips and Vining Peas to supplement the rotation.
- The Oilseed Rape is sown using min-till techniques along with some early sown winter cereals but otherwise the vast majority (roughly 80%) is ploughed.
- We have experimented with many different establishment techniques but our experience has shown nothing rivals the plough. Any financial savings made on min-till cultivations are eliminated through extra costs of chemicals.
- The crops are sown using either a 6 metre Vaderstad Rapid drill or a 6 metre Lemken Solitair power harrow drill. It depends very much on soil type and soil conditions as to what drill we chose to use but having both allows us the flexibility to put in large areas per day in varying conditions.
- The key to establishing good spring crops, particularly in heavier land, is to get the land ploughed during winter and allow it to weather making cultivations far simpler in spring.
- Some Spring Barley is sown but the predominant crop is Spring Oats.
- We rent out around 300 hectares of land for Vining Peas to WP Bruce each year which are sown by ourselves in late spring/early summer when our spring crops are established.
- One of the reasons for having a range of cereals is that it allows us to spread harvest over a longer period rather than all the crops ripening at once.
- The first of the Winter Barley is usually ready in July and from there it is usually fairly steady through until mid September.
- We run with two Claas Combines, a 780 with a 12 metre header and a 600 with a 9 metre header, this allows us to cover up to 100 hectares a day which is essential in the sometimes unpredictable Scottish summers.
- With a 16 mile radius to manage, logistics can be difficult as we run all our produce straight off the combines and back to the home farm at Easter Rhynd. Therefore we employ the use of a 30 tonne Western Chaser Bin to collect the grain from the combines and transfer onto lorries to be brought back to Easter Rhynd.