Castlemains Farm, East Lothian (Arable)
Bob Simpson and his family farm at Castlemains on the edge of the village of Dirleton, less than two miles west of North Berwick, East Lothian.
The arable farm covers 235 hectares with a mix of winter wheat, spring barley, oilseed rape, winter barley, combining peas and brussels sprouts. With a good climate and fertile soil, Castlemains is ideal for a varied crop rotation that helps maintain soil structure and nutrients.
Bob volunteered to work with SAC Consulting as a Climate Change Focus Farm. Over the three-year initiative, with help from SRUC, SAC Consulting, industry specialists and other working farmers - Bob and the farm discussion group looked a range of ways that they could increase profitability and improve efficiency of the arable operations carried out on the farm. During the course of the project, Bob saved in the region of £14,000 and reduced his carbon footprint by 14%* through practical tweaks to existing practices.
(* discounting the potato crop which was grown in the first year of the project only)
How can you benefit from the work at Castlemains?
Bob looked at topics ranging from reducing farm energy use to improving and protecting soil fertility, cover cropping and min-till. The links below give an overview of some of the topics which were discussed at the on-farm meetings.
Castlemains Arable Case Study (513.75 KB PDF)
Castlemains: Lessons Learnt and Adaptations - July 2018 (1.16 MB PDF)
Castlemains: Integrated Control of Grass Weeds - November 2017 (708.38 KB PDF)
Castlemains: Controlled Traffic Farming & GPS Sampling - Oct 2017 (4.65 MB PDF)
Castlemains: Improving Efficiency at Harvest - July 2017 (2.57 MB PDF)
Castlemains: Tyre Selection - Feb 2017 (4.08 MB PDF)
Castlemains: Nutrient Budgeting - Jan 2017 (1.73 MB PDF)
Castlemains: Cover Cropping & No-Till in Practice - November 2016 (4.51 MB PDF)
Castlemains: The Value of Soil Organic Matter - June 2016 (1.32 MB PDF)
Castlemains & Rumbletonrig joint meeting - Getting Back to Plant Basics on Major Plant Nutrients - February 2016(759.92 KB PDF)
Castlemains: AgRe Calc & Progress Update - November 2015 (1.4 MB PDF)
Castlemains: The Answer Is In The Soil - June 2015 (2.11 MB PDF)
Castlemains: Practical Ideas to Improve Farm Profits - February 2015 (970.89 KB PDF)
Castlemains Farm Introductory Meeting - Feb 2015 (1.03 MB 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/