Hartwood Home Farm
Hartwood Home Farm is a research farm located near Shotts in Lanarkshire. The area is mainly upland farms devoted to stock rearing. Hartwood covers 350 ha, most of which slopes gently southwards, rising from 150 to 300 metres above sea level. Annual rainfall is about 1100mm.
The soils are heavy, poorly drained gleys of the Rowanhill and Caprington series, typical of soils to be found in this part of central Scotland. Rainfall level and distribution combined with poor drainage due to soil type often make the farm difficult to work, with a tendency to "poaching" especially from October to May.
There are 230 ha of rotational grassland in addition to 28 ha of moor and 40 ha of permanent grassland. Mature woodland and shelter belts cover 35 ha with a further 3 ha of woodland for biomass production.
There is a herd of around 200 suckler beef cows (Luing and Simmental x Luing). Luing cows are mated to Luing or Simmental bulls and the cross cows mated to a Charolais bull. Most of the cows (150) calve in March and April with the balance calving in June and July. Some Luing heifers are sold for breeding with most of the rest of the calves sold as yearling stores. There is a flock of 350 crossbred ewes (mainly Greyface and Texel cross) and 50 Texel cross hoggs. Lambing starts in mid April. All ewes are mated to a Texel or Suffolk ram and the hoggs with a Charollais ram. Lambs are finished on the farm.
Research projects are concerned with the development of sustainable management systems to meet agricultural and environmental objectives. Research is conducted on the welfare of beef suckler cows. Also under way are long-term experiments to examine the effects on grassland when sewage is applied, specifically on the effects on the distribution of endocrine disrupting chemicals in soils, herbage and sheep; and on the impact of sewage-borne heavy metals on the soil. There is also a long-term evaluation of the effect of coppicing different tree species on the productivity of such systems.
The James Hutton Institute
Hartwood Home Farm
John Rattray, Farm Manager
Subscribe to our monthly newsletter: