Aidansfield is a new state of the art farming facility. Based on 800 acres of prime Northumberland farmland it grows 630 acres of combinable crops and keeps 120 pedigree high genetic merit Salers cows. Embedding precision equipment and Lean principles at the heart of its operation, to ensure accurate data acquisition and interpretation of financial and environmental impacts on the farm.
Strong data and process control measures have been designed into Aidansfield Research Farm. For example, feed intake, growth rate and behaviour data is secure and sealed to GrowSafe systems, and cloud based diet monitoring through Alltech provides real time external verification of diets fed. Automated feed delivery to the mixer wagon means highly accurate and repeatable feed formulation daily, dry matter ovens in place ensure continuous knowledge of feed dry matter content, executed to known and trusted protocols. Even the water pipes are heated to ensure no freezing or loss of data through reduced water intake if a trough were to be frozen. Full height weather shields have been fitted to the GrowSafe feed troughs to prevent wind disturbance to the weighcells which can affect data accuracy as well as rain ingress into the feed which can affect dry matter content. Finally expertise in Lean value stream mapping will enable any scientific study performed to be converted into the net financial impact for the farmer and the value for the supply chain and consumer, carbon footprint impact can also be assessed.
Our systems enable the facility to conduct precise analysis of cattle genetics, cattle diet performance, add value to the supply chain through better functioning cattle for customers and carbon footprinting of new farming systems. The farm can also trial and validate new Government policy in a real farm context to understand the environmental enhancement and productivity impacts for farms.
We are driven to optimise farming systems for best economic & environmental performance for ourselves and for industry.
The farm is available for commercial as well as grant funded research. Compared to larger research institutes the family farm possesses lower complexity that enables quicker decision making. The farm is capable of conducting research independently in a small business to small business capacity as well as in collaboration with larger and longer established research institutions.