Balbirnie Home Farms at Freuchie in Fife has been selected to be the first AHDB Strategic Cereal Farm for arable growers in Scotland.
Host farmer and farm manager, David Aglen and Balbirnie Home Farms owner Johnnie Balfour will work with AHDB over the next six years to improve the arable productivity of the estate through demonstration of innovative practices on a field or farm scale.
Key areas of focus will include regenerative agricultural practices, plant and soil health and carbon offsetting on the 1,300-hectare mixed farming operation.
A number of different organisations, drawn from across the Scottish Agricultural industry, have come together to form a steering group that will work with Balbirnie Home farms and AHDB to oversee the demonstrations on-farm and drive the strategic farm towards achieving the objectives agreed at the start of the project.
These include Scottish Natural Heritage, Scottish Land and Estates, NFU Scotland, Scottish Agronomy, LEAF, the James Hutton Institute and Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA).
Five local farmers are also members of the steering group.
Each Strategic Farm runs for six years to allow independent research to be tested across a full rotation.
Approaches showcased at the farms will be subject to full cost-benefit analyses to help farmers assess the potential for adoption on their own farms.
Each Strategic Farm will host three open events at key stages during the cropping year and will connect with local farmer groups, including Monitor Farms and Arable Business Groups. Information will also be promoted via AHDB’s digital channels.