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Borders Monitor Farm Meeting - January
Robert and Lesley Mitchell and their son Stuart from Whitriggs Farm took the difficult decision in Autumn last year to dispose of their 1,000 Lleyn flock after discovering that they had a issue with Maedi Visna (MV). The family are keen to start again and establish a new sheep flock at Whitriggs this year.
At the meeting, local farmers will be asked to discuss what they feel the best breed for Whitriggs would be, how many sheep the business should restock with and whether to restock with ewe lambs, gimmers or older sheep. They also be asked to discuss the best time of year to restock and where the Mitchells source the sheep to minimise the risk of buying in any health issues.
Also at the meeting on 23rd January, three local sheep farmers will discuss the reasons they chose the breeds they run and what they like about them. Kevin Stewart from Sharpitlaw near Kelso will discuss the merits of the Aberfields he manages, whilst Pete Scott from Dolphinston farm near Jedburgh will discuss why Lleyns suit his system best. They will be joined by Graham Lofthouse from Bankhouse farm near Stow who will highlight why Texel/Easy Care ewes work for his business.
Haig Murray, Livestock Procurement Manager for Dunbia, will also attend the meeting and give a report on the latest market situation and advise farmers how to get their prime lambs to hit market spec, irrespective of breed.
As well as tackling practical problems at the meeting, Gavin Dick, Farms & Commercial Manager at the Agricultural Engineering Precision Innovation (Agri-EPI) Centre will give a presentation on their work and how farmers make better use of available technologies to improve production. The Agri-EPI Centre has been established to drive growth and support innovative ideas to help farmers and business owners become more profitable and sustainable.