Clynelish Farm, near Brora in east Sutherland, is a 125-hectare farm is run by Jason Ballantyne and his wife Vic, in partnership with Jason’s dad Murdo. The Ballantyne family took on the tenancy of Clynelish in 1982 with Jason taking over the majority of the day-to-day management of the business in 2012. They also contract farm 48 hectares nearby and rent a further 50 hectares of rough grazing.
The family runs 900 breeding ewes, of which about half are Lairg type Cheviots and the other half Lleyn cross. The Ballantynes also have 80 suckler cows which are a mostly a mixture of Simmental cross native cows which are all outwintered.
The farm produces all its own hay and silage and all stock are nearly completely forage fed. The Ballantynes are keen to find ways to supplement their winter keep and grew 12 hectares of brassicas for the sheep and cattle this year.
Vic and Jason are excited about being involved in the new monitor farm programme and are looking forward to seeing how their farm, and other farms in Sutherland and the far North, will benefit from the initiative.
“It’s going to be great to have specialists coming to the area and sharing their knowledge and expertise on how to step up efficiency with us and other local farmers,” said Vic Ballantyne.
Jason Ballantyne added: “I think it is really important to us as farmers to challenge ourselves and look at our businesses and the way we do things. Hopefully by doing this, we can go on to make improvements and improve our bottom line.
For further information on Sutherland Monitor Farm meetings contact Cat MacGregor, one of the facilitators, on 01847 892602 / FBSThurso@sac.co.uk