Norfolk grass is being fed to Indonesian racehorses after a family farm struck an unexpected export deal for its animal feed.

Peter Scott runs EH Haylage at Beeston, near Dereham - part of a mixed farming and contracting business which also includes his brother Robert and parents Hugh and Suzie.

Having grown up with horses, he has made haylage as animal feed for many years, but he took the opportunity to expand this venture after taking over the EH Haylage brand from retiring relative Ed Howard at the end of last year.

Soon after, he was contacted by Sennett Ho, president of Nearco Racing Management, based in Jakarta.

And it sparked a profitable - if surprising - business relationship which has now seen the fourth 40ft container loaded for Indonesia, carrying 900 of the 20kg haylage bales.

"It is really interesting," said Mr Scott.

"Yes, I know there are racehorses all over the world, and products get exports around the world, but I never would have thought that a small little Norfolk farm would be sending haylage to the other side of the world.

"They must have just found us online through our new website. Sennett wanted haylage for his own racehorses, plus I believe as well as running their own racing team they also distribute horse feed throughout the Jakarta region."

The customer has also been promoting the EH Haylage product via Instagram, with images showing horses eating it in dry pastures with mountainous scenery - illustrating just how different their landscape is from Norfolk, and why they need the specialist equine feed, made from fermented cut grass.

The acquisition of the haylage brand prompted the family farm to expand its grass area from 50ha to 200ha, and invest in a new processing and packing barn.

The company has also grown its customer base to almost 50 distributors across East Anglia, and into Lincolnshire and Leicestershire - but Indonesia is their only export destination so far.

Eastern Daily Press: Peter Scott (right) and his brother Robert with horse feed made by EH Haylage at Beeston, near DerehamPeter Scott (right) and his brother Robert with horse feed made by EH Haylage at Beeston, near Dereham (Image: Archant)

Mr Scott's brother Robert manages the farming operations on the 200ha home farm, plus another 1,300ha which is contracted for other landowners, including options for mixed farming and no-tillage regenerative agriculture.

He said the haylage had many synergies with the broader family business, utilising machinery and manpower at quieter periods in the arable rotation, and making use of the farm's sheep to graze the grass in the winter.

Haylage now makes up a third of the family business, and the growing firm hopes to sell 60-70,000 bales this year, compared to around 40,000 last year.