Blacks of Bacton
Farming Since 1898

About Blacks of Bacton

David Black & Son Limited is a family farming business which was formed in 1956 taking on the farming operations of a partnership previously operated between the founders David Black & Thomas Black (his son).  David Black (Sen.) had been farming at Red House Farm since moving south from Scotland in 1898, so the Black family have been farming here in Bacton for over a century.  Currently there are 46 shareholders of the company, who are all family members; or descendants of David Black. Over the years since the company was formed, 4 generations of the family have served as its directors, and the current board comprises David Black a grandson of the founding David Black and great grandsons James and Ian David Black.   Bacton Pigs Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of the main company, was formed in 1976 and now manages all of the pig business interests; leaving the main company running the arable operations together with the servicing operations and managing the property portfolio.

Reappraisal of the main farm site at the turn of the century, led to planning permission being given for some light industrial use of under-utilised farm buildings and a diversification into commercial space.  As a result the site is now home to a number of non-related rural businesses, involved in engineering, carpentry and leisure.  In 2002 a diversification into portable cabin hire led to a further company, Portable Space Ltd, being formed which in June 2012 was bought by Mark Black to operate as a separate entity.

Our business and its directors are actively involved with the following farming organisations NFU, NPA, CLA, SAA, BBG, CFG as well as supporting a number of wider community bodies including the Church, Bacton United Football, Bacton Bowls Club.

Farming Operations

This is the centre for the farm business including its main arable base, workshop, administration and services. There is storage and drying facilities for 5,800 tonnes of grain and oilseed, in 2017 the company built a 3,000t flat floor grain-store and modern workshop and sprayer base. There is also a weighbridge, vehicle wash facilities and borehole.

Many of the older agricultural buildings on this site have been developed to provide Commercial units for rental to a mixture of tenants including Portable Space, utilising the B1/B2 planning consent which covers approximately 5.5 hectares of this site.

The in-hand land which is mostly Beccles Series boulder clay is made up of 45 fields with an average field size 18.45 ha. Most of the land has been drained with pipe drains at 10 to 30m, with the wider spacings stoned for mole-draining.  The cropping rotation which includes cereals, sugar beet and oil seed rape, and a small amount of beans, is currently compiled to give as much first wheat as possible.  The cereals and rape are winter sown, to achieve a high yield and minimise nutrient leaching. The sugar beet is grown on contract for British Sugar and we have a quota for 20,700 tonnes, which we have increased in recent years and with client tonnage we expect to grown in excess of 30,000 tonnes.  The farm had a five year average of just under 10 tonnes per hectare for wheat and 4.0 t/ha. for oilseed rape.  Sugar beet yields have averaged over 86 adjusted tonnes to the hectare.

The company has been in various environmental Stewardship Schemes and is current in the mid-tier Countryside Stewardship Scheme. We currently have 18.6 km of footpaths, 1.1 km of bridleway and by-ways.

As well as the family land, we rent some land and the arable team manages and contract farms for third party clients; this is farmed to provide the tailored requirements of the farmers concerned.

We manage one 600 sow outdoor breeding unit, together with 2 rearing sites and 4 finishing sites producing a total of 1100 pigs per week. We employ a dedicated team of pig staff operating at 7 locations, all based in Suffolk. Bio-security is essential to the health and welfare of our stock and all sites are certified under the RSPCA and Red Tractor Mark monitoring schemes and audited regularly.

Feed is manufactured to a high-quality standard by ‘ForFarmers’ and is mostly collected and delivered by our own transport. Wherever possible straw from our own arable production operation is used for bedding.

Blacks of Bacton
Farming Since 1898

Timeline

Our business and its directors are actively involved with the following farming organisations:

  • National Farmers Union
  • National Pig Association
  • Country Landowners Association
  • Suffolk Agricultural Association
  • Bury Beet Growers
  • Commercial Farmers Group
  • Framlingham Farmers

In addition, we also support a number of wider community bodies including the St Mary’s Church, Bacton United Football club and Bacton Bowls Club.