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Farmers are invited to the next meeting of the North Ayrshire Monitor Farm on Wednesday 28 February, which will focus on improving the profitability and efficiency of suckler cows.

At the meeting, which will be held at Auchans Restaurant in Dundonald, Gavin Hill, a Beef Specialist with SAC Consulting, will give an outlook for the beef industry and share ways in which farmers can increase margins on their own farms.

The start of 2018 has seen farmgate process for prime hoggs increase, unlike early 2017, when prime hogg prices flatlined throughout the first quarter of the year.

Having opened the year at 178p/kg lwt, prices reached 204p/kg by the second week of February with the upturn in the sheep despite 7.5% more hoggs being sold at Scottish auctions in the four weeks to mid-February than in the same period last year.


The AHDB, Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) are running two Brexit roadshows across Scotland in February and March.

The events will feature expert speakers from each organisation who will outline the latest thinking on policy, potential implications and opportunities, as well as how farmers can prepare now for the future outside the EU.

The future for those farming and crofting in Scotland’s hills and mountains will be under consideration at a horizon-scanning event in later this month.

The day-long event is being organised jointly by the Lochaber Monitor Farm management group and NFU Scotland. It is open to all and will take place at the Moorings Hotel, Banvie, near Fort William on February 23rd, starting at 10.45am.


The fundamentals of breeding and rearing top class livestock will be discussed at the coming Morayshire Monitor Farm meeting on 13 February. On the arable side there will also be a session on how best to manage new spring barley varieties this coming season.


The red meat levy bodies in England, Scotland and Wales have announced a major programme of joint activities to be paid for by a ring-fenced fund of £2 million of AHDB red meat levies.

An agreement by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), Hybu Cig Cymru, (HCC) and Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) will see a range of activity delivered in a three-way collaboration starting in 2018.

While average Scottish prime cattle prices generally eased towards the end of January, prime cattle prices ended the month some three percent higher than this time last year with similar volumes reaching the market. 

According to Stuart Ashworth, Quality Meat Scotland’s Head of Economics Services, said that towards the end of last month, cull cow average price increased to stand 10% higher than a year ago on a higher throughput.  

Farmers attending the next meeting of the Nithsdale Monitor Farm on Thursday 1st February will hear first-hand how developing an effective grassland management and grazing strategy can help boost livestock performance and improve profit margins.