Ross Mitchell runs a soft fruit and arable farm in Aberdeenshire with a focus on regenerative agricultural practices.
|Farm Type||Soft fruit and arable|
|Total area farmed||567 ha (1400 acres)|
|Total cropped area||433 Ha (1070 acres)|
|Total number of livestock||None|
What climate/environmental actions have been undertaken on the farm?
“We practice no till regenerative farming on all of the cereal land, we produce electricity on farm through CHP’s and solar arrays. All of our heat comes from renewable sources. We plant wild bird margins and are part of the AECS scheme.”
What impact have these activities had?
“All the different activities have had differing effects but combined it puts us on a sustainable path. The cost savings and environmental benefits can be clearly seen on the land.”
What was the catalyst for you taking this action?
“Soil is the biggest asset that we own and to maximise the benefits of the soil and unlock the potential in there for our fruit growing operation we had to change our approach with the arable crops in the rotation.”
Have you completed a carbon audit & are you gathering any other data about the climate/environment impacts of your farm?
“Yes, we’ve undertaken carbon audits and I’m one of the Soil Regenerative Agriculture Group – a project being facilitated by Farming for a Better Climate.”
What are your top tips/lessons learned from the experience that other farmers should consider if taking similar actions?
“Look around, listen and be open minded.”
What if anything would you do differently?
“Yes, every day is a school day. We are constantly learning and evolving.”
What, if anything, are you planning next around climate and biodiversity?
“Trying to become more energy self-sufficient.”