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Helix Fife Demonstration Farm

Field Key

New to the Helix network for 2022 is Helix Fife

Helix Fife is located in the East Neuk of Fife at Airdrie Farm; just 2 miles north of Anstruther and 8 miles south of the popular tourist destination and historic university town of St Andrews. The business is owned and run by Roy Fisher.

In addition to the home farm, which extends to 200ha, Roy manages two 5-year contract farming agreements on the neighbouring farms of Frithfield and Burnbrae.

Green manure cover crops are grown across the three farms alongside a wide and diverse crop rotation of winter wheat, barley, oilseed rape, beans and oats. Land is only ploughed if there is no alternative.

Roy is a champion of Integrated Farm Management and recently achieved LEAF accreditation for his work:

“We take overall responsibility for the wider environmental, social and economic aspect of the land we farm and how we produce food from it”.

Soil health is at the forefront of his business as it is seen as an essential part of making the land, and business, more resilient in times of weather patterns and market volatility.

“The future of farming relies on the quality of our soils. We will continue to strive to improve soil quality which brings with it improved water and air quality.”

With a strong focus on soil health, Helix Fife will be looking at cover crops, companion cropping and Nitrogen usage efficiency over the year ahead.

For the covers, the focus is on soil health.  Looking at two Hutchinson mixes: Maxi N and Maxi Cover, we will investigate whether and how modifying the ratio of different species in a mix can impact upon rooting, carbon and soil microbiology.

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