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An Introduction to Bielgrange

Father and son Angus and Niall Jeffrey farm 288 ha (711 acres) arable and 246 ha (608 acres) of grassland over two farming units in East Lothian. Bielgrange lies between the village of East Linton and Stenton with Weatherly on the edge of the Lammermuir Hills and has been awarded the AgriScot 2018 Scotch Beef Farmer of the year award.

The crop rotation includes winter barley, winter oilseed rape, and winter wheat. Crop establishment for oilseed rape and 1st wheats is by minimum tillage with conventional ploughing for winter barley and successive wheat crops.

Cattle muck is applied in the autumn to winter barley stubbles ahead of oilseed rape establishment. In the spring pig slurry from a neighbouring farm is spread by umbilical on adjacent cereal crops and by tanker on grazed permanent pasture.

The arable soils are mostly imperfectly drained, non-calcareous brown forest soils of a clay loam texture from the Biel series (land capability index 3.1). The upland Weatherly unit features free-draining sandy loam from the Innerwick on the in by and peaty and humus soils from the Lauder series on the hill (land capability index 4.2 to 5.2).  Weatherly is grazed by 240 spring calving Aberdeen Angus cross cows which are wintered at Bielgrange on straw based diets.

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