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Rob, Tom, Rory and Alison Stodart

At the Angus Monitor Farm Open Day on 15 July the Stodart family will discuss how far they have come, and where they want to be by the end of the project.

The next Nithsdale Monitor farm meeting on Thursday 19 July will focus on how technology can be used to increase efficiency on livestock farms.

Andrew and Aileen Marchant, who farm at Clonhie Farm, Penpont near Lockerbie, run 900 breeding ewes, a small herd of 20 Luing cattle and have recently invested in 100 deer hinds on their 300-hectare upland tenanted farm.

Like many other farm businesses across Scotland, the Marchants rely almost entirely on family labour, so are keen to see how technology can help save time and money.

The importance of benchmarking will be emphasised at the coming Morayshire Monitor Farm meeting on Tuesday 10 July.

Past monitor farmer Steven Sanderson, who farms 330 acres on  Orkney, will join the community group at Corskie Farm to share his experiences after he completed a Nuffield Scholarship on benchmarking in beef farming.

The progress of a family farm near Hawick trying to improve its efficiency and profitability as part of a monitor farm programme will be highlighted during an open day they are hosting on Wednesday 11 July.

Whitriggs Farm near Denholm was announced as a monitor farm in December 2016. Eighteen months later and now half way through the three year programme, it is opening its gates to let anyone with an interest in livestock farming learn more about what they have been doing so far to improve the management of their business.

Pelvic measuring of heifers will now be a regular activity on Morayshire Monitor Farm after recent try outs found merit in it as a management tool.

Pelvic measuring is a simple process where the height and width of the pelvis are recorded before pregnancy; the data can then be used to improve breeding practices.

Monitor Farmer Iain Green decided to try out pelvic measuring last year and so took measurements from a group of 31 heifers, all put to the same bull. The team then gave each heifer a score for calving ease and also for calf size.

Chris Cameron from Strone Farm

The changes introduced at Strone Farm during its first year as the Lochaber Monitor Farm Monitor will be highlighted by host farmers Chris and Malcolm Cameron at an open day at Strone Farm near Banavie, Fort William on Wednesday 13 June.

John Howie from Girtidge Farm

Ways to improve soil and crop health and to reduce compaction issues will be the focus of the next meeting of the North Ayrshire Monitor Farm on Friday 8 June.

The importance of managing summer pastures and what factors influence profit during the summer months will be the focus of the next meeting of the Sutherland Monitor Farm on Wednesday 6th June.

At the meeting, which will begin at Brora Golf Club at 10.30am, Trevor Cook, a vet and grassland consultant, will share his knowledge on how livestock farmers can best profit from pasture based systems. Mr Cook, who is from New Zealand, is one of the most respected consultants specialising in advising farmers on all aspects of production from grass based systems.

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