background
spring
spring
summer
summer
autumn
autumn
winter
winter

Our Approach

Introduction

We grow our produce with an integrated approach to farming, linking modern, profitable and efficient farming techniques with environmental stewardship.

Luffness Mains Luffness Mains

Our LEAF Marque potatoes Our LEAF Marque potatoes

Luffness Mains has been LEAF Marque accredited for 7 years now; we are proud of this recognition and fulfill LEAF objectives assessed by annual audit. 

We are committed to sustainable, Integrated Farming and believe we have a responsibility to protect the land we farm.  We strive to protect and enhance the unrivalled beauty of our environment. 

As suppliers to some of the nation’s largest retailers, we adhere to the strict assurance schemes. Currently we are accredited by:

  • Leaf Marque
  • Red Tractor 
  • Tesco Nurture 
  • Marks & Spencer Field to Fork
  • SEDEX 
  • SFQC

  

The following steps are considerations we must manage every year to deliver produce in an environmentally responsible manner: click the arrows to follow our process.


 

background
spring
spring
summer
summer
autumn
autumn
winter
winter

Our Approach

Planning

Intensive cropping is planned annually in a rotation that is sustainable.

Allan & Geert discuss the potential prospects of a crop of potatoes in mid summer Allan & Geert discuss the potential prospects of a crop of potatoes in mid summer

Soil mapping results in variable rates of lime, phosphate and potash applied to suit each crop in the rotation Soil mapping results in variable rates of lime, phosphate and potash applied to suit each crop in the rotation

Fresh produce leaving Luffness Mains Fresh produce leaving Luffness Mains

Many factors influence the final decisions that create the annual cropping plan at Luffness Mains:

  • We explore market opportunities available to us 
  • We seek to develop supply chain integration
  • We minimise risk by carefully planning areas of responsibility in the supply chain for every crop we grow

Approach to Crop Planning

  • previous cropping
  • soil nutrient status
  • soil PH 
  • soil texture
  • soil depth
  • topography of the field
  • aspect of the field
  • local environment and logistical risks of the field
  • irrigation accessibility
  • storage 
  • end market for the crops
background
spring
spring
summer
summer
autumn
autumn
winter
winter

Our Approach

Seed

We source high grade seed from reputable Scottish seed growers

Seed potatoes must be of Scottish origin Seed potatoes must be of Scottish origin

Trayed seed for early production Trayed seed for early production

Healthy shoots on newly planted seed Healthy shoots on newly planted seed

Luffness Mains Potatoes

  • We source seed stocks ideally in the FG4 generation to avoid virus and disease build up
  • The seed must be distinct, uniform and stable, always certified and inspected to Scottish seed regulations
  • We agree a timed schedule for the delivery of seed to ensure we are able to store all seed in optimum conditions pre-planting in spring
  • When seed is delivered, samples are graded, washed and counted.  A wash-up report is then discussed with the supplier before the seed is accepted
  • During the winter, home-grown seed, which is chronologically older, is graded for chitting in trays provided with 100W light density to add 200-300 day degrees
  • Chitted seed encourages apical dominance and allows for Scottish early production

Luffness Mains Cereals

  • We grow winter wheat seed as part of the crop rotation for our local cereal seed merchants
  • New varieties are trialled at an early stage before they are released to the wider market for commercial use
  • Winter and spring wheat are the only cereals grown as this helps to keep the soil free from cereal volunteers
  • We aim to keep Luffness Mains free from wild oats and grass weeds
background
spring
spring
summer
summer
autumn
autumn
winter
winter

Our Approach

Crop Establishment

Soil conditions are considered and tested in every field before cultivations

Ridging up the topsoil creates a controlled wheeling system which is straight and accurate for our potato beds Ridging up the topsoil creates a controlled wheeling system which is straight and accurate for our potato beds

When warm and dry enough, the beds are separated from stones and clods for optimum root and tuber development When warm and dry enough, the beds are separated from stones and clods for optimum root and tuber development

The planter allows for in-furrow spray application The planter allows for in-furrow spray application

A GPS assisted tractor is used for subsoiling A GPS assisted tractor is used for subsoiling

Luffness Mains Potatoes

Cultivations

  • We assess each field individually by digging soil profiles at different times of the year; we do not plough every field
  • Cultivation costs and optimum fuel use are carefully considered and minimised wherever possible
  • We always assess the soil on the day to help look after and preserve our soil structures
  • Natural soil enhancers, including compost and gypsum, are applied in the rotation

Nutrients

  • Luffness Mains is situated within an NVZ (Nitrogen Vulnerable Zone).  We limit the use of nitrogen to ensure that we minimise loss of nitrate to water sources that can cause water pollution
  • Soil nutrient sampling is strategically done in the rotation.  The results create soil maps that allow variable rate application of the major nutrients (Potash, Phosphate, Magnesium and Lime)
  • Our approach is to minimise use of artifical fertilisers, we prefer to use policies such as cereal straw chopping and green crop manuring as an alternative, if the crop rotation allows
  • Our staff are well trained and our machinery is calibrated to apply variable rate application effectively

Planting

  • Our 6 row planter applies the nutrients before the seed is planted, which ensures the nutrients are placed directly next to the seed for optimum efficiency and uptake
  • We are constantly investing in updated machinery and continue to update our understanding of precision farming techniques
  • We aim to improve efficiency, safety and environmental impact in a sustainable manner
  • Our ultimate goal is to provide an increased yield of delicious potatoes for our customers to enjoy

Luffness Mains Cereals and Oilseeds

 

  • Drilling techniques for cereals and oilseeds are suited to soil type and cultivations are minimised where possible
  • We use GPS (Global Postitioning System) when cultivating and drilling to avoid overlap and optimise land usage
background
spring
spring
summer
summer
autumn
autumn
winter
winter

Our Approach

Growing

We grow our food produce conventionally at Luffness Mains and must irrigate and protect our crops with sprays to ensure healthy growth.

Growing early potatoes Growing early potatoes

Fertilising the wheat in summer Fertilising the wheat in summer

Sometimes we have to irrigate our crops as we have a very low average rainfall (550 - 650ml a year) Sometimes we have to irrigate our crops as we have a very low average rainfall (550 - 650ml a year)

We understand that water is scarce and valuable and insure that we justify application We understand that water is scarce and valuable and insure that we justify application

  • We use pesticides and herbicides from an EU standard approved product list, which is annually reviewed.  We strictly follow the guidelines set and eliminate known active ingredients by choice as part of good farming practice
  • Weekly inspections of our crops are organised with our BASIS and FACTS qualified agronomists.  We are subsequently provided with a herbicide (to be used once at emergence stage), pesticide (to be used only when there is evidence of pests) and blight programme (applied every 7-10 days) 
  • We use Muddy Boots software, a legally recognised programme, to deliver automatic application figures and additional important information for our sprayer operators
  • We have weather stations placed in strategic positions within our fields to help our agronomists evaluate the true risk from blight to our crops.  Our agronomists are able to take growth stage, temperature and humidity into consideration to provide an accurate assessment of our crops
  • All of our sprayers are NPTC tested annually
  • All of our sprayer operators are PA1, PA2 and PA4 approved.  Our operators have very high standards of practice, they recalibrate their machines daily, dispose of chemicals safely, recycle wherever possible, wash out spray tanks meticulously in our designated filling/ cleaning area and store chemicals safely in our purpose-built chemical store
  • We must irrigate our crops when natural rainfall cannot deliver enough water for the uptake of water by plants during critical stages of growth.  There is often a moisture deficit during Summer, particularly as Luffness Mains is located in a very low average rainfall area (on average between 550ml-650ml a year)
  • We understand that water is scarce and valuable and ensure that we justify application
  • We carefully measure fuel use when irrigating and strive to minimise the use of fuel by selecting efficient engines and wider pipe diameters
  • All of our irrigation fuel tanks are bunded to prevent leakage into the water course
  • All of our irrigation engines are soundproofed to minimise the impact on the surrounding environment

 

background
spring
spring
summer
summer
autumn
autumn
winter
winter

Our Approach

Harvesting

Our fresh, tasty produce is ready to harvest from the middle of June.

Harvesting from the middle of June Harvesting from the middle of June

We are constantly assessing quality so that we can supply the perfect potato to our customers We are constantly assessing quality so that we can supply the perfect potato to our customers

  • Our crops are pulverised 3-5 weeks before harvest, this avoids the use of dessicant and allows the potato skins to set
  • All of our produce is harvested into wooden boxes which will either transported by lorry for immediate use, or will be stored in our purpose-built cold store
  • We pledge to provide consistent high quality produce; our harvester is supervised by people picking off any unwanted products
  • We have a specially designed quality control room to assess our produce.  We take daily samples of crops and test it in a hot box; this evaluates the crop for damage and bruising levels.  We also boil and fry produce to check that the dry matter is at a satisfactory level for the end user.  Our samples are also checked for skin diseases.  We aim to supply perfect potatoes for our customers
  • We aim to finish harvesting by the middle of October to avoid damaging fields and soil structures when heavy machinery is used on wet ground. Tractors and trailers are geared up with wide tyres to minimise ground pressure.  We also plan to harvest rented fields ahead of our own ground so that we can leave our landlords' fields in good condition and they are able to replant the field as soon as possible
background
spring
spring
summer
summer
autumn
autumn
winter
winter

Our Approach

Storage

We store potatoes at Luffness Mains to enable us to supply our delicious produce every day of the year.

All boxes are labelled to allow full traceability All boxes are labelled to allow full traceability

Wind turbines are used to power our storage facility Wind turbines are used to power our storage facility

  • We store our produce using natural temperature control and relevant humidity.  We do not use any CIPC
  • We examine our stored produce daily and keep a record of the temperature and fridge performance
  • We ensure that our produce is always stored in a safe and clean environment
  • All of our boxes are labelled to allow full traceability for all potatoes from field to table
  •  We have wind turbines on the farm to create power for our cold store, refrigeration and ventilation plant.  We monitor energy usage daily
  • Our purpose-built storage facility is adequately insulated to minimise energy usage
  •  All of our motors run invertors on variable speeds, again to minimise energy usage
  •  Luffness Mains strives to store potatoes on an energy neutral basis
background
spring
spring
summer
summer
autumn
autumn
winter
winter

Our Approach

Innovation

Luffness Mains is committed to sustainable, integrated and environmentally friendly farming.  This reflects the nature of the modern farming business, we work as part of an integrated supply chain with leading multiple retailers.

Weather is recorded and logged to assist with farm decisions daily Weather is recorded and logged to assist with farm decisions daily

A map showing the yield of salad potatoes taken from the yield monitor fitted on the harvester A map showing the yield of salad potatoes taken from the yield monitor fitted on the harvester

  • Luffness Mains is passionate about innovative and creative farming for the future
  • Luffness Mains is committed to sustainable, integrated and environmentally conscious farming techniques
  • Luffness Mains is dedicated to delivering consistent, high quality produce, every day of the year

 

Some of the Innovative features we practice at Luffness Mains:

  • LEAF Marque accreditation and our dedicated LEAF room used for educational purposes
  • GPS soil mapping and sampling
  • GPS application and steering
  • Variable application of NPK
  • Variable spacing potato planting
  • Yield mapping on the combine and potato harvester