Heckley Seeds - RL Green & Sons - Autumn 2012 - Winter Wheat and Barley Varieties


R.L. Green & Sons, a family farming partnership run by father and son Richard and Lance Green on the Northumberland Estate near Alnwick.

We are farming about 1100 acres, which is roughly split half grass half arable. The main farm Heckley High House is the centre of the business where the main enterprise is focused – Heckley Seeds Ltd.

We grow about 90 acres of Oilseed rape and around 400 acres of cereals which comprise of some 10 to 15 varieties specifically grown for seed. The 600 acres of grass run 3 cattle enterprises focusing on producing prime Aberdeen Angus for Waitrose, and top quality Aberdeen Angus breeding heifers sold direct to other suckler herds in the area.


All the cereal crops are grown to produce about 1000 tonnes of C2HVS seed. We grow winter wheat, winter and spring barley. Contractors are used for most of the field preparation and crop establishment. We apply all the necessary fertilizers and sprays ourselves. All seed crops are carefully rogued and crop inspected to meet EEC regulations in the summer. We take great care in combining our crops to ensure grain is well separated with the minimum of damage. The seed is then precleaned and dried before final processing and certification in our seed plant before our branded ‘Heckley Seed’ is finally delivered onto customer’s farms. Oilseed rape and temporary grass are used as break crops.


We run 3 different cattle enterprises:

Heifer Rearing

Each autumn about 50 Simmental heifer calves are purchased at about 2 weeks of age. These are carefully reared until they join the main herd, calving at two and a half years of age.

Suckler Herd

Our herd of 200 Simmental X cows calve in March each year to Aberdeen Angus Bulls. After calving the cows and calves are turned out onto grass in groups of 45 before the bulls are turned out in the middle of June. The herd is housed in November before the calves are weaned two weeks later. Our winter system focuses around feeding straw supplemented with cereals and minerals.

Cattle Finishing

At weaning in November all calves are weighed. Like the main herd winter diet focuses on straw with cereals throughout the winter. The heifer calves are nearly all sold in May to local farms as breeding replacements. The aim with the steer calves at turnout is to achieve a high daily live weight gain at grass. As grass quality diminishes in July rolled barley is introduced into their diet before increasing the rate slowly up to ad lib. We aim to have all the steers finished off grass and barley by the end of the summer at 18 months of age. All Angus steers and a few heifers are sold to Dovecote Park for Waitrose.



Heckley Seeds, Heckley High House, Alnwick