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Stuart Mitchell (Whitriggs Farm) with his SmartGrass

At the next meeting of the Borders Monitor farm on Wednesday 16 May, the host farmers will share their thoughts on a plant growth enhancer which they have been trying out on their farm.

After one of the most challenging periods of weather Scottish farmers have faced in decades, the Mitchell family at Whitriggs Farm, near Denholm, decided to try out Smart Grass, to help boost grass growth on their farm.

Rob, Tom, Rory and Alison Stodart

Maintaining feed levels after a difficult spring will be on many farmers’ minds right now, and this challenging topic will be tackled at the coming meeting of the Angus Monitor on 17 May.

Rotational grazing will be covered by Poppy Frater, a sheep and grassland specialist with SAC Consulting. While the Stodarts have been trying out rotational grazing this year they are keen to take a more systematic approach and the group will be exploring how to get the most out of the grass through managing key areas such as stocking densities and shift patterns.

The message that livestock farming in Scotland’s hills and mountains can create productive larders for quality beef and lamb as well as delivering environmental benefits, was highlighted at an event near Fort William.

 

Potential routes to optimise the use and management of grazing land in order to improve profitability, will be discussed at the next Lochaber Monitor farm meeting on Thursday 15 March.

Monitor farmers Chris and Malcolm Cameron, from Strone Farm near Banavie, have recently secured a five-year tenancy of around 42 hectares of additional grazing with a small shed at Fassfern, Locheil, 11 miles away from the home farm.

 

Health planning, the marketing of Shetland hill lamb and opportunities for young people working in agriculture are just some of the topics to be discussed at the next meeting of the Shetland Monitor Farm on Saturday 17th March.

 

The importance of maximising soil health to boost grass production will be the focus of the next meeting of the Sutherland Monitor Farm on Tuesday 13th March.

At the meeting, which will be held at Clynelish Farm near Brora, Mark Hodkinson, a leading soil specialist, will explain the properties that make up good soil. He will also outline ways in which livestock farmers can improve their own soil management and nutrition in order to maximise grass production and animal health. 

Selecting the right breeding replacements for your suckler herd and choosing the correct feed to maximise the growth rates of finishing cattle are two of the key subjects being discussed at the next Borders Monitor farm meeting on 7 March at the Auld Cross Keys Inn at Denholm. 

 

Collaboration and innovation are key to more efficient farming, particularly when it comes to machinery, something the Lothians Monitor Farm will demonstrate at their upcoming meeting on 8 March.

The event will focus on machinery, investigating how best to finance it, the benefits of sharing it and what the future holds for on farm technology.

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