Markets focus for Angus Monitor Farm meeting

The Angus monitor farm community group will be heading south this week to share best practice in the arable and livestock sectors by visiting three local farms.

On Thursday the group will tour Prestonhall, Saughland and Barnside Farms to engage in farmer-to-farmer learning.

Starting at Prestonhall, attendees will meet with farmer Bill Gray to hear how he and fellow monitor farmer Peter Eccles integrated livestock into an arable system. They will also view the new grain shed – a significant investment – as well as discuss the cropping in the ground.

Next stop is at Saughland, courtesy of Peter Eccles. The group will be shown a flock of ewes which have been in the genetic spotlight as part of the monitor farm programme. There will also be an opportunity to see and compare the rotational grazing systems and learn why this farm has opted for a leader-follower grazing system.

The tour will culminate at Charley and Andrea Walker’s farm, Barnside, which is known for exceptional clover based rotational grazing and winning the AgriScot Sheep Farm of the Year in 2018.

During the visit, the group will be able to quiz the Walkers on how they manage a productive sheep and cattle farm combining low cost and simplicity, with a view to achieving a better work-life balance.

Angus Monitor Farmer Robert Stodart said: “With a packed agenda, this should be a really interesting meeting for the group with lots to take in. I’m particularly interested to hear from Charley and Andrea Walker on achieving a better work-life balance and discuss ways we can generate more time outside of work.”

Mill of Inverarity is part of the Monitor Farm Scotland initiative, managed by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds with funding from the Scottish Government. The aim of the monitor farm programme is to help improve the productivity, profitability and sustainability of Scottish farm businesses.

Groups will leave the SAC office at 77 North Street at Forfar at 7 am, heading for Prestonhall Farm. The event is free to attend and will, with lunch provided, but to assist with catering those who’d like to come should book a place by phoning SAC Consulting’s Stonehaven office (01569 762305) or emailing fbsstonehaven@sac.co.uk