The Campbell family’s Kirkton of Kinellar Farm is one of two farms in the running for this year’s Royal Northern Agricultural Society (RNAS) good farming practice award.
The award, sponsored by Aberdeenshire Council, celebrates a farmer in the region who is showing good practice in his or her farming business.
The 1,025-acre arable business – I & N Campbell – includes a groundworks contracting firm started in the late 1990s. Contracting work includes excavation work, levelling of hardcore, ditching, draining and forestry roads.
Brothers Iain and Neil take care of the groundworks, while Iain’s son Scott deals with the arable operations alongside farmworker Grant Cameron.
Cropping includes malting barley for Bairds Malt and Diageo, winter barley, oilseed rape and wheat.
The farm has been enrolled in an Agri-Environment Climate Scheme (AECS) since 2016 and a green manure crop is grown.
“We have been experimenting with different varieties of green manure and it’s putting a lot of organic matter back into the soil,” said Scott.
“We have to leave the field as stubbles over the winter and we wait until the start of May and then we direct drill the cover crop mix. We then mulch it down after August 15 and put wheat in after.”
He said 55 acres were used for green manure this year and benefits include increased crop yields and a widening of the farm’s rotation.
The farm is also involved in grass trials with SRUC and the college’s winter wheat challenge.
Scott reported good progress with harvest and said wheat had been cut at an average moisture of 16% and yields of 4 tonnes an acre.
This year’s contest was judged by well-known Moray farmer Iain Green, who runs an extensive arable, beef, sheep and pigs enterprise at Corskie Farm.
The other finalist is Gray Farms Limited near Portsoy. The winners will be revealed next week.