Huddlestone Farm, West Sussex
Dairy: The main enterprise at Huddlestone Farm is the dairy unit. The unit has grown steadily from 120 milking cows in 1987 to 420 milking cows in 2012 with investment in buildings and parlour along the way. In the summer cows have access to meadowland either side of the River Adur as well as grazing close to the farm buildings.
The cows are milked three times a day through a 32 point rotary parlour by a team of 5 dedicated stockmen and takes around 3 to 4 hours each milking. Cows are fed a complete diet which is mixed in a feeder wagon (large food processor) and they have fresh food daily.
Our milk (average 11000 litres per day) is collected by a tanker in the early hours of the morning and following pasteurisation by Arla Foods hits Tesco shelves the following day. We work collaboratively with Tesco to ensure that our cows and calves have the highest welfare possible and that we are constantly driving increased efficiency and sustainability. We are proud of our relationship with Tesco and to be one of the ~750 dedicated Tesco dairy farms. For more information about the dairy please see the dedicated dairy page on our website here.
Sheep: The 300 Mule ewe flock works in parallel with the dairy herd and allows us to maximise the amount of food we produce from the land. Cows and calves both graze grass as effectively as they can but this still leaves some grass cover that feeds sheep perfectly. They also make much better use of land in the winter due to their much lower body weight over cows!
The sheep lamb every year outside using a very simple system. Every November we introduce the Tups (male sheep) to the Ewes (female sheep) following a 6 month pregnancy lambs are born over Easter. We aim to sell around 500 prime lambs each year. For more information about the sheep please see the dedicated sheep page on our website here.
Arable: Arable cropping includes winter wheat, winter barley and maize (similar to sweetcorn). Crops are grown to feed both human and animals. Maize and Winter Barley are fed to the cows and the wheat leaves the farm to be used in bread making (as long as it meets the right levels of quality). For more information about the arable operation including this years crops please see the dedicated arable page here.
Blackburn Farm, Scottish Borders
Blackburn Farm is the most recent addition to the farm and was bought in 2013. It is predominantly an arable farm with a small acreage of grassland that cannot be used to grow crops.
Once a year we transport around 60 weaned ‘beef’ calves born on the dairy in Sussex to Blackburn. These calves graze the grass acreage and allow us to maximise the value of the land in at Blackburn.
This area of Scotland is well known for producing barley for the distilling industry and we grow malting barley each year which is used in the production of whisky. We also grow: vining peas, winter wheat, oil seed rape and potatoes.
We also inherited several cottages and a farmhouse when we bought the farm. The cottages have been modernised and currently provide accommodation to three families. The farmhouse and is planned to be modernised and will hopefully be available to let for holidays and weekend breaks.