Established in 1996, Baillie Haylage is totally committed to producing top-quality, consistent haylage with full traceability, specifically for the equestrian market. In 2021 we were delighted to be celebrating Baillie Haylage’s 25th harvest and this milestone prompted us to reflect on our foundations, how the company has grown and what’s next for Baillie Haylage.
The Baillie Family: Horses & Farming
Baillie Haylage, owned and run by Robert and Nicola Baillie, was born out of the Baillie family’s extensive knowledge of agriculture and horses, and their experience within the equestrian sector. The Baillie family, originally hailing from Scotland, are arable and livestock farmers who have been involved in various equestrian activities at national and international levels for generations.
Robert’s grandfather saw great success showing Clydesdales in the early 20th century. In 1919, in what would be unheard of in today’s society, Grandpa Baillie walked 16 Clydesdales 30 miles to Lanarkshire and was rewarded with the Calderwaterhead Farmers Society Centenary Prize for the Best Clydesdale Animal. Robert’s father David carried on with the Clydesdales, however, as his four children’s ponies moved in, the heavy horses moved out and the family’s focus turned to show jumping. As a junior Robert was four time Scottish National Champion whilst his brother John, went several steps further competing internationally in many Nations Cup teams and became the individual Junior European Champion in 1965, riding the ever-popular ‘Dominic’ who was unbeatable against the clock.
Whilst still a keen equestrian, Robert’s focus turned from show jumping to agriculture and he moved from Kinross to Lincolnshire to farm in the late-1970s. It was not until the early-1990s that Robert spotted a gap in the market and turned his head to producing 100% grass, top quality forage for the equestrian industry.
The Growth of Baillie Haylage
Starting out 25 years ago, with three full time employees and one variety of haylage in one bale size, Baillie Haylage has grown to be one of the largest producers of haylage in the UK and has earned a reputation within the industry as a most trusted supplier. Robert and Nicola remain very hands-on and have reinvested and developed to remain at the forefront of the industry; now employing twelve full time members of staff and six additional harvest workers to produce five varieties of haylage in three bale sizes.
The introduction of the handy bale to the range in 2015 has been instrumental in spreading the Baillie Haylage name far and wide through our ever-growing network of nationwide stockists. This bale size is great if you are travelling for shows, for those feeding one horse or pony, or if you just want to treat your four-legged friends to their favourite Baillie Haylage variety!
Initially farming just 100 acres of grass, Baillie Haylage now harvests in excess of 2,000 acres of grass each year, producing 50,000 bales. Our 25th harvest was our most efficient yet, using top of the range equipment including three balers and four high speed wrappers to make the most of the good weather opportunities and take the grass in its best condition.
What’s Next For Baillie Haylage?
Baillie Haylage remains totally committed to supplying our customers with top quality 100% grass haylage. We continue to review and challenge all of our processes across the business in order to provide the best products and service. Keep an eye on our social media channels for exciting announcements in the coming months!