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Soils expert Mark Hodkinson will emphasize just how much yield potential farmers could be missing out on due to poor drainage systems at the next Lothians Monitor Farm meeting on 25 January.

Farmers are invited to the next meeting of the North Ayrshire Monitor Farm on Friday 26 January.

The focus of the meeting will be a review of the first year as a monitor farm and the plans to improve the profitability and sustainability of their business.

The first full week of trading in 2018 has seen farmgate prime hogg prices stabilise, standing 6% higher than last year, 2% higher in Euro terms. This left them trading 13% above their autumn low point. Prime sheep prices have also firmed across Europe, according to Quality Meat Scotland.   

An Angus-based butcher has won the 2018 World Scotch Pie Champion award run by Scottish Bakers.

Scotch Butchers Club member, James Pirie and Son of Newtyle, scooped the top award after beating off the competition of over 80 butchers and bakers with their world-class Scotch pie.

The need for commercial sheep farmers to make looking for signs for Maedi Visna (MV) in their flocks an absolute priority was a key message at this week’s meeting of the Borders Monitor Farm.

Vet Andrew Robinson from Hawick Vets, who was a speaker at the meeting, said his practice had seen a sharp increase in the incidence of MV in the borders over the last 12 months. He urged farmers to check whether their flocks are infected through a simple blood test.

The search is on for the best product made with Scotch Beef PGI, Scotch Lamb PGI or Specially Selected Pork as part of the Scotland Food & Drink 2018 Excellence Awards.

The first Shetland Monitor farm meeting of 2018 will focus on finishing cattle and sheep for markets both on and off Shetland.

The meeting will be held in two parts, with the first part on Sunday 14th January looking at the finishing process on farm. This will be held at Kergord Farm, courtesy of GB & AM Anderson. 

Optimising farming systems has emerged as the stand out theme of the first year of the Monitor Farm Scotland programme.

Each and every one of the nine farms in the programme is working hard to ensure they have the right systems in place for their farm, and are then reviewing elements with their farmer business groups to ensure they are as efficient as possible.