North Ayrshire MF Meeting Reports 2018

Last modified: 
30th January 2019

The November meeting at Girtridge focussed on cattle health and nutrition.The group heard from Veterinary Investigation officer Marion McMillon who covered  liver fluke and Megan Fergusson  highlighted the challenges and solutions for lungworm and BVD.  Farmers were encouraged to visit the COWS website which has useful cattle parasite information and risk forecasts. The  Moredun 'fight the fluke' animated video was shown.  Please also see the QMS video on controlling liver fluke.

Karen Stewart from SAC Consulting discussed cattle rationing and performance levels of stores and finishers at Girtridge . The meeting report is here with additional information on livestock health here.

The North Ayrshire Business Group visited two farms to explore a range of topics from store finishing, use of EID, diversification and benefits of business benchmarking. The report is here.

The September 2018 meeting featured Heather Wildman of Saviour Associates, who gave a presentation on succession planning and encouraged participants to think ahead about their own goals and aspirations. John Howie gave a farm update. The meeting report is here.

Revealing the results from the buried underpants was just one part of the North Ayrshire Monitor Farm meeting on 15th August. There was an update on the sheep flock performance.  A demonstration from David Kerr of  ScotEID,  highlighted future developments,  John Howie explained how the technology will help his cattle finishing enterprise as he follows a group of  recently purchased store cattle  through this year.  Gavin Elrick discussed the pros and cons of drainage of the wetter areas on the farm.  Malcolm  Young outlined the options for woodland management including its benefits to the farm bottom line. The meeting report is here.

The sunny weather for the June 2018 meeting meant that conditions were almost too dry to demonstrate machinery to alleviate soil compaction in grassland fields. Bill Crooks from SRUC discussed the range of options for improving soil structure .  Local companies gave demonstrations of different machinery from sub soilers to aerators.  Bill stressed the importance of understanding soil texture, liming and  correct fertiliser applications. The afternoon discussion included an update from John Howie and a presentation on the role of drones  from Lewis Butlin. Richard Gray of Agrovista also discussed  soil compaction.  The meeting closed with some fresh cotton underpants  distributed to  community group members  who were going home to bury them. They will  discover how healthy ( or not) their soils at home are- all to be revealed at the next meeting! The meeting report is here.

At the Monitor Farm Meeting on 2nd March, John Howie gave an update on the suckler cow enterprise at Girtridge to stimulate discussion on its future. Gavin Hill gave an update on the prospects for the beef industry and Robert Ramsey a presentation on preparing for lambing. The community group also heard from Andrew Laird a nuffield scholar on his cattle enterprises and improving efficiencies. Please click here for the report.

The January 2018 meeting focussed on cattle housing and ventilation. The community group also did a SWOT analysis of the Girtridge Farm business. Please click here for the meeting report.