Auchmore, Ross-shire (Beef & Sheep)
Stephen and Sheena Mackenzie run Auchmore Farm just outside Muir of Ord in partnership with Stephen's brother Donald.
The farm covers 303 hectares of mainly grass and hill ground. Crops include 8 ha of turnips and 40 ha of forestry. The farm runs 85 autumn calving Shorthorn and Salers. Calves are sold as stores. There are 250 pure Cheviot ewes plus an additional 800-1000 lambs bought in to finish.
Stephen and Sheena volunteered to work with SAC Consulting as a Climate Change Focus Farm to look at ways that they could further improve their business. Over the three year initiative, they looked at practical ways to improve farm efficiency, saving around £9,000 and reducing their farm carbon footprint by 7% compared to their baseline.
Auchmore joined with two other farms within the local area, Clynelish and Corrimony, forming the HiFEN Group - Highland Farming Efficiency Network
How can you benefit from the work at Auchmore and the Climate Change Focus Farms Highland Farming Efficiency Network?
Together the three farms held a number of on-farm events and meetings looking at the respective changes they had put in place or were considering.
At Auchmore, Stephen and Sheena had already invested in renewables, with wind turbines on the hill and a 100kW hydro system. From incorporating clover into grass swards, nutrient budgeting and grazing management, Stephen, Sheena and Donald looked at ways to make their enterprise more efficient and easier to manage.
Auchmore Case Study (917 KB PDF)
HiFEN: Group visit to Mid Coul Farms AD Plant - July 2016 (475.24 KB PDF)
Auchmore: Optimising animal performance - lameness and nutrition - Nov 2016 (1.6 MB PDF)
HiFEN Introductory Meeting at Auchmore - September 2014 (630.98 KB PDF)
There is more information on our Downloads page, ranging from what other farmers have done, to practical guides and ideas you can adapt and consider to benefit your own farm business and reduce the farm carbon footprint.
How do you compare? You can complete your own carbon audit via AgRECalc, or if you would prefer a bit of help, a free carbon audit is available via Scotland’s Farm Advisory Service (FAS) at www.fas.scot/carbon-audits/