HB Farms

HB Farms in Aberdeenshire consists of Newseat of Dumbreck, an arable farm on tenancy from the Aberdeen Endowment Trust, and Pitmillan Farm which is home to 450 breeding sows and a finishing unit.

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Farmers: Ben Lowe & Harriet Ross

Email: [email protected]

LEAF Demonstration Farm since 2022

LEAF member since 2020

Instagram: @hbfarms19

Twitter: @HarrietERoss @AgronomyBen

The Farm

HB Farms is run by Harriet Ross and Ben Lowe, who were part of the first cohort of LEAF and Corteva’s Resilient & Ready programme. The farm grows 338ha of combinable crops, with the grain used as feed for the pigs whilst manure is recycled back onto the fields as part of their ‘closing the loop’ ethos. Since taking on the farm, a key ambition has been to restore soil health, which has included reintroducing grass into the system, applying organic manures and direct drilling.

A further aim is increasing the long-term biodiversity on the farm, through allowing land that is not productive in the arable system to enhance the wildlife habitats. The farm is part of multiple agri-environment schemes and is working with wildlife experts to conserve water voles and seed eating birds in the local area.

Carbon footprinting is carried out annually and Harriet and Ben are currently involved in a Scottish project looking at the carbon footprint of their pig enterprise. The project will also look at how efficiently the farm uses muck and slurry to reduce the reliance on bagged fertiliser.

Resilient & Ready programme:

HB Farms was one of four farms which took part in the Resilient & Ready programme, a partnership between LEAF and Corteva Agriscience which supported the farms in a tailored programme of training, consultancy and trials, measuring their performance and sharing their experiences with other farmers across the UK. The launch of HB Farms as a LEAF Demonstration Farm was the culmination of three years involvement in the Resilient & Ready programme.

Research interests:

  • Soil health
  • Circular agriculture
  • Improving long-term biodiversity

If you are interested in visiting this LEAF Demonstration Farm, then please contact [email protected]. Thank you.