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Stuart Ashworth

After a few years with little discernible lift in prime cattle prices in the run up to Christmas, 2017 has restored the trend. 

Over the past three years the lift in price between the start and end of November has been around 2-3 p/kg dwt but this year the lift has been 7-8 p/kg dwt on average, according to Stuart Ashworth, Quality Meat Scotland’s Head of Economic Services.

Martin Birse from Pitgaveny Farms, Elgin

The development of a management system which focuses on carefully measuring and monitoring cattle performance, is one of the secrets of the success of Pitgaveny Farms near Elgin.

The Pitgaveny beef enterprise, which involves two different beef units – one organic and one conventional - managed in tandem, was a finalist in this year’s Scotch Beef Farm of the Year award, run by AgriScot and Quality Meat Scotland, and supported by Thorntons.

Jason and Vic Ballantyne

Farmers and crofters are invited to the next meeting of the Sutherland Monitor Farm, which will focus on developing a sustainable business.

Innovations specialist Stephen Burns from the Agricultural Engineering Precision Innovation (Agri-EPI) Centre will be the main speaker at this meeting which will be held at Brora Golf Club on Tuesday 5 December.

Robert Osborne from Castlehill Farm, Durisdeer will host Nithsdale Monitor farm meeting on 7 Dec 2017

Farmers attending the next meeting of the Nithsdale Monitor Farm will be given an insight into the management of the 250 breeding cows run by Robert Osborne on his tenanted farm near Thornhill.

Rob Stodart with some of his cattle

The Stodart family will be looking for advice on overhauling their cattle enterprise at their next Angus monitor farm meeting on Thursday 7 December.

Morayshire monitor farmers Iain, Laura and Jemma Green revealed the results of their #soilmyundies experiment at a meeting for local farmers recently.

The Greens are one of the latest to join the #soilmyundies craze, where farmers bury 100 per cent cotton underpants in different parts of the farm, to start discussions on the activity of soil biology.

Five trainee butchers from across Scotland have been recognised for their skills and progression in the Scottish Craft Butcher Training Awards.

The awards, sponsored by the Scotch Butchers Club run by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), are in their second year. They play a valuable role in recognising the efforts of young people to develop their butchery skills throughout their careers, as well as those who offer support along the way. 

A year after the launch of the new monitor farm programme for Scotland, Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity, today (Wednesday 20th Nov) visited the Borders Monitor Farm.

The aim of the programme, run jointly by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds, is to help improve the productivity, profitability and sustainability of producers through practical demonstrations, the sharing of best practice and the discussion of up-to-date issues.