A new monitor farm programme in Scotland has been launched. The project, which will be funded by £1.25 million secured from the Scottish Government and European Union’s Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Fund, will be run jointly by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds.
The aim of the programme is to establish a group of farms to serve as monitor farms to help improve the profitability, productivity and sustainability of producers through practical demonstrations, the sharing of best practice and the discussion of up-to-date issues.
Nine new monitor farms have been established across Scotland, all based at farm businesses typical to their location.
The nine new monitor farms are:
- Clonhie Farm (Nithsdale Monitor Farm)
- Whitriggs Farm (Borders Monitor Farm)
- Girtridge Farm (North Ayrshire Monitor Farm)
- Prestonhall and Saughland Farms (Lothians Monitor Farm)
- Mill of Inverarity Farm (Angus Monitor Farm)
- Strone Farm (Lochaber Monitor Farm)
- Corskie Farm (Morayshire Monitor Farm)
- Clynelish Farm (Sutherland Monitor Farm)
- Bigton Farm (Shetland Monitor Farm)
Each of the nine farms will have a different focus determined by the predominant farming in that area; however, the farms will work together to bring all relevant aspects of farm businesses to each group.
This whole farm approach, while still maintaining sector specialisms, will help Scottish farmers to make real developments in changing farm business management practices, resulting in improved agricultural efficiency, environmental management and mitigating climate change.
Each of the nine new monitor farms will have its own dedicated Management Team and an associated Business Group that will evaluate solutions and best practice before sharing its findings, both with the wider Community Groups and more generally, through various media channels including a dedicated website.
The appointed facilitators will work with their monitor farmer to show how the use of accurate baseline and benchmarking information can help to improve the profitability of the monitor farm and other farm businesses in the area.