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An Introduction to Kerchesters

Kerchesters is a progressive 350ha tenanted mixed arable & beef farm run by fa-ther and son James and Tommy Clark.
The family originally moved from Fife to Kerchesters in the 1930s and have worked to establish a mixed farming operation which now extends to

  • 120 Ha Winter Wheat
  • 60 Ha Winter Oilseed Rape
  • 80 Ha Spring Barley
  • 10 Ha Grass Margins
  • 20 Ha Potatoes (let out)
  • 30 Ha Rotational Grass
  • 30 Ha Permanent Grass
  • 120 Suckler Spring Calving Cows (Mainly AAx), with progeny finished or used for replacements.
  • Males are finished in an intensive system
  • Heifers are retained or finished on farm

Winter wheat is grown for a mixture of seed, distilling and feed, while spring barley is grown for malting or feed. The 65 ha of permanent & rotational grass is used for grazing and baled silage. Grassland is also managed in conjunction with an agri environment scheme, which includes options such as species rich grassland, water margins and wader grazed grassland.

This is a progressive farm, where attention to detail is key to decision making. Over the years, there have been a selection of tools used to manage the soil and nutrients. These include:

  • Using alternative inorganic fertilser
  • Establishing green manures
  • GPS soil grid analysis
  • Plant tissue analysis
  • Soil micronutrient analysis
  • Using FYM, hen litter
  • Composting on farm

During the course of the 2020, the borders nutrient network farm will focus in detail on some of the above tools/strategies, with the ultimate aim of maximising soil and nutrient efficiency in the borders.

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