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An Introduction to Clachan Farm

Clachan Farm is a tenanted croft which is run by Donald Norman MacDonald.  It is located on the island of North Uist in the Western Isles.  The croft and other land which is sublet by the business extends to just over 320ha.

The current stocking on the croft consists of a herd of 40 spring calving cows and 195 breeding ewes.  The cattle herd is a mix of Limousin and Simmental cows which are crossed to a Charolais Bull; a Limousin Bull hired through the department is used to cover Heifers.  Calves are sold store with the bulk leaving in October. North Country Cheviots make up the breeding sheep flock and these are crossed to a Suffolk terminal sire.

Clachan Farm has a large variation in soil types across the farm with the land to the west being peaty with a pH around 5.2-5.5 and the land to the east which lies closer to the sea being Machair type land which is Calcareous based where pH can be 7.8.

Large areas of moorland to the west were successfully reseeded during the ’70s and went on to provide sufficient grazing to maintain stock during the summer and autumn months however there has been a noticeable decline in the quality and quantity of the grazing in these fields over the years.

Donald wants to focus on the hill reseeded areas and the grassland fields on the machair which are used for silage production. He hopes to help improve productivity by taking a closer look at the soils and their management.

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