Bruce farms near New Aberdour, on the Buchan coast, and runs an organic mixed unit on 250ha (650 acres) of drought-prone sand and gravel land. The farm has 48ha (120 acres) of arable, mainly feed and malting barley, and oilseed rape when drilling conditions are correct, plus 19ha (46 acres) of forage crops. The remaining acreage is rotational and permanent grass. In previous years, stocking has been up to 1,000 sheep and 120 Salers, Limousin and Stabiliser suckler cows, but numbers have fallen to about 560 ewes and are likely to fall to about 100 cows this year. Young cattle are mainly sold as stores, with sheep finished on the unit and sold deadweight.
The ninth generation to farm the land, Bruce and his family are one of the nine new Monitor Farms, the four-year business-focussed initiative run by QMS, supported by AHDB and funded by Scottish Government.
“I’m looking forward to learning at Future Farming Expo, then taking the information back to the farm and applying it.”