A new monitor farm programme in Scotland was launched in Autumn 2016. The three-year project, which is funded by £1.25 million secured from the Scottish Government and European Union’s Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Fund, is being run jointly by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds.
The aim of the programme is to establish a group of farms to serve as monitor farms to help improve the profitability, productivity and sustainability of producers through practical demonstrations, the sharing of best practice and the discussion of up-to-date issues.
Each of the nine farms have a different focus determined by the predominant farming in that area; however, the farms will work together to bring all relevant aspects of farm businesses to each group.
This whole farm approach, while still maintaining sector specialisms, will help Scottish farmers to make real developments in changing farm business management practices, resulting in improved agricultural efficiency, environmental management and mitigating climate change.
Each of the nine new monitor farms has its own dedicated Management Team and an associated Business Group that will evaluate solutions and best practice before sharing its findings, both with the wider Community Groups and more generally, through various media channels including a dedicated website.
Each monitor farmer has a facilitation team, which works with the farmer to show how the use of accurate baseline and benchmarking information can help to improve the profitability of the monitor farm and other farm businesses in the area.
As well as the nine Monitor Farms run by QMS and AHDB, six diverse farms in the North and North East of Scotland are involved in the ANM/Farmers Journal Farm Profit Programme: Making Livestock Pay, which is also supported by the Scottish Government.
AHDB's Strategic Potatoe (SPot) Farm Programme has one focus farm in Scotland, kindly supported by the Scottish Government, with the programme providing growers with an insight into how the latest new systems and practice stemming from AHDB and Scottish Government funded research can be adopted on their farms.