Cropping

The crop rotation on the farm has changed many times over the four generations that we have been farming, but has always been centered around soil health, even before regenerative agriculture was “cool”.

Mixed farming systems, where livestock and cereal production work in harmony, have always been the most sustainable way of farming. Soil health is a complex subject but, in simple terms, hangs on two key principles; high levels of organic matter and high levels of biological and fungal activity. These ensure that water and nutrient holding capacity are optimal.

We achieve this by applying manure back to the land, grazing livestock extensively, and having a sustainable mix of cropping.

At Embleton Mill we grow five different crops over 235ha of arable ground and it makes its way into some exceptional products.

Our winter & spring barley is produced on long term contracts for local grain merchant and maltster, Simpsons Malt of Berwick. The winter barley is used in the brewing sector, and the spring barley is sent to The Macallan distillery for its famous single malt whisky. We also grow two wheats which are used in the wheat distilling market or for biscuit production.

Our “break crop” (used to give the soil a break from cereal-based crops) is oilseed rape. This is grown for its uses as cooking oil, livestock feeds & biofuels. We will also have at anyone one time around 10-20ha of arable land in a 5 year grass ley. This, along with our overwinter cover crops, ensures that we are continually building our soil’s organic matter to assist in nutrient holding capacity and carbon capture.

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