Posted: February 18, 2020

Morayshire Monitor Farmers Share Key Learnings at Final Meeting

Farmers in Morayshire are invited to attend the final meeting of the Morayshire monitor farm programme on February 11, at Fochabers Public Institute.

At the meeting, monitor farmer Iain Green, from Corksie Farm, will talk about what he has learned over the three-year programme and share what he plans to do in the future.

The session will take place from noon to 4pm and is open to everyone with an interest in farming and rural businesses. It will report on what has been achieved through the implementation of key initiatives, including benchmarking and on-farm trials. 

Chris Leslie, Knowledge Exchange Manager (Arable) for AHDB in Scotland, said: “During the three-year project the arable side of the farm has expanded considerably with more land taken on a contract farming basis to increase the area farmed. This has helped lower the costs of production and using AHDB’s online benchmarking tool, Farmbench, Iain has been able to identify the strengths and weaknesses that lie within his farm business.”

Funded by Scottish Government and managed as a joint initiative by QMS and AHDB Cereals and Oilseeds, the aim of the monitor farm programme is to help improve the productivity, profitability and sustainability of Scottish farm businesses.

Iain Green said: “Being a monitor farmer has been a valuable process with tangible benefits across both livestock and arable enterprises on the farm. My farm business is  more efficient and cost-effective as a result of many of the ideas that have been suggested at the group meetings and I am confident that the farm, and most importantly, the soils will be in better condition and better placed for whatever the future holds.

“Our management group has been very focussed on improving soil health, which is our biggest asset. The tyre pressure trial we conducted in 2017 was definitely one of the most useful projects we did in the three years of the programme as we analysed tyre pressure and the effect it has on soil compaction. As a result, the Corskie team now alters the tyre pressures in many of our tractors, particularly when completing arable work in wetter ground conditions.”

Facilitator Laura Henderson, from SAC Consulting, said: “The final meeting will be a great opportunity to reflect on the impact of the project and share key learnings. We will be looking at the results from our lamb feeding trial followed by an update on the Ritchie beef monitor system, a soil health review, review and reflections on the programme from Iain Green and the management group. Finally, there will be an opportunity to visit the bulls at Corksie that will be sold at the Stirling Bull Sales. Speakers include Ross Robertson, from Ritchies, Stewart Rothnie from Agrovista and Kate Rowell, Chair of Quality Meat Scotland.”

The Monitor Farm meeting will take place on Tuesday 11 February from noon to 4pm at the Fochabers Public Institute, 15 High Street, Fochabers, IV32 7EP

It is free of charge, but please book a place by contacting Laura Henderson 07788 568 691 or 01343 548787 or email laura.henderson@sac.co.uk

The Morayshire monitor farm is one of nine monitor farms that have been established around Scotland in a joint initiative by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds. It is 100 per cent funded by Scottish Government through the Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Fund.

For more information about the monitor farm programme, visit www.monitorfarms.co.uk.

 

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