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The latest Scottish agricultural census figures reveal the Scottish suckler cow herd is down 1.3% year-on-year, making the beef herd 12% smaller than it was a decade ago.

In contrast the Scottish dairy herd shows a modest increase of 0.3% which leaves the dairy herd 4% smaller than it was a decade ago.


A study to look at the feasibility of introducing DNA traceability as an additional measure to guarantee the authenticity of Scotch Beef PGI, is being commissioned by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS).

The study follows a period of engagement with different parts of the Scottish meat industry, to gauge the level of industry support for the potential introduction of an official programme of DNA traceability system.


Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) has appointed Jackie Burgess as its new Brands Integrity Advisor.

Jackie (24) will be working on a range of Brands Integrity activities including providing an advisory and liaison service for the whole chain quality assurance programme. This will involve working with external contractors and developing strong relationships with farmers, primary and secondary processors, auction markets, hauliers, feed suppliers and other key stakeholders.

Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) has this week launched a new video which highlights how to make the most of turnips as a low-cost winter feed crop and the importance of taking steps to keep sheep clean.

According to Kirsten Williams, SAC Beef and Sheep consultant with SAC Consulting, part of Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), farmers should be starting to plan their winter forage crops for 2018/19 in the coming weeks.

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.


Applications are being sought for a new Chair of Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and up to four members of the board. 

The appointments, made by Scottish Ministers, will each be for four years’ duration. The new Chair and one board member will take up their appointments on 1 September 2018 and the other new board members will take up their appointments on 1 April 2019.