FIVE FARMS are in the running for the first ever AgriScot Scottish Arable Farm of the Year Award.

Explaining the award, AgriScot chairman Andrew Moir said: “It is great to have the new Arable Farm of the Year award to add to our existing dairy, beef and sheep farm of the year titles for AgriScot 2017. These awards are designed to promote and showcase forward thinking and best practice in the industry.

“However, over and above all of that, they are about recognising businesses who make the most of what they have. The Arable Farm of the Year award is therefore not about giving a rosette for the highest yields or neatest fields – rather it is about giving recognition to farming enterprises where the best results possible are achieved in the prevailing circumstances.

“Thanks to the sponsorship of precision farming specialists, Soil-Essentials and support from AHDB Cereals and Oilseeds the award process has been established and we now have a shortlist of five finalists.”

The five farms are:

Delab Farm, Monymusk, Aberdeenshire – a contract farmed unit overseen by Robert Drysdale on behalf of Farmcare Ltd;

Ploughlands, St Boswells, Roxburghshire – managed by Jack Parsons on behalf of Mertoun Estate Farms Ltd;

South Redbog, Strichen, Aberdeenshire – an owner-occupied unit farmed by Peter Chapman;

Templehall, Pencaitland, East Lothian – a family farm run by Barclay Hamilton;

Wheatrig, Longniddry, East Lothian – the base for an arable enterprise farmed by Willie Thomson.

Each farm has submitted an entry form outlining aspects of their business, such as rotation, agronomy, crop marketing and soil and environmental management. The farms will receive a visit in October from the award assessors.

Robert Ramsay of Soil Essentials commented: “We are delighted to be associated with this award. I believe the whole stable of AgriScot farm of the year awards are extremely worthwhile, they fit well with the innovative focus of Soil-Essentials.

“We wish all of the 5 finalists best of luck with their assessor visits, and we look forward to meeting the farmers and hearing the winner of the 2017 Scottish Arable Farm of the Year announced at AgriScot on 15th November.”