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Chris Cameron from Strone Farm

The changes introduced at Strone Farm during its first year as the Lochaber Monitor Farm Monitor will be highlighted by host farmers Chris and Malcolm Cameron at an open day at Strone Farm near Banavie, Fort William on Wednesday 13 June.

An auctioneer is set to take on a local farmer and an award-winning chef in a culinary showdown at this weekend’s Taste of Grampian.

Aberdeen & Northern Marts auctioneer, Colin Slessor - star of the hit BBC series “The Mart” - has been brushing up on his cooking skills in preparation for two lively cook-offs tomorrow, Saturday 2nd at Thainstone Centre, Inverurie.

 

Ways to improve soil and crop health and to reduce compaction issues will be the focus of the next meeting of the North Ayrshire Monitor Farm on Friday 8 June.

At the meeting, which will be held at Girtridge Farm in Dundonald, Dr Bill Crooks, Soil Specialist from SRUC, Scotland’s Rural College, will explain how soil health influences grass growth, describe the essential soil nutrients and highlight options for improving soil structure.

The importance of managing summer pastures and what factors influence profit during the summer months will be the focus of the next meeting of the Sutherland Monitor Farm on Wednesday 6th June.

At the meeting, which will begin at Brora Golf Club at 10.30am, Trevor Cook, a vet and grassland consultant, will share his knowledge on how livestock farmers can best profit from pasture based systems. Mr Cook, who is from New Zealand, is one of the most respected consultants specialising in advising farmers on all aspects of production from grass based systems.

The potential to make better use of  pasture and barley variety trials will be among the areas under the spotlight of the next meeting of the Shetland Monitor Farm on Saturday 2nd June.

Shetland generally has longer winters and shorter summers than the rest of the UK, which can make it difficult for livestock farmers to grow enough grass or crops to feed their animals all year round. 

Members of the Scottish Association of Young Farmers Clubs (SAYFC) are hoping to impress judges with their culinary talent over the coming weeks as they battle it out in a national cooking competition.

SAYFC members have been challenged to create a main dish from Scotch Beef PGI, Scotch Lamb PGI and Specially Selected Pork, along with a selection of mystery ingredients, in the Scotch Kitchen Country Cook competition which is being supported by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS).

New season lambs are beginning to appear on the Scottish market and are continuing to benefit from a firm trade which, although they have dipped this week, sees prices some 10% higher than last year. 

According to Stuart Ashworth, Quality Meat Scotland Director of Economics Services, the poor spring weather and lack of grass has slowed the rate at which these new season lambs are reaching the market, with volumes considerably lower than last year. 

Two North East Scotland College students are preparing to take part in the Aspiring Young Chef culinary showdown at Taste of Grampian next month.

The finalists – Ryan Laird and Barry Gunn - are set to battle it out in a live cook-off at the event on Saturday June 2nd during Taste of Grampian at the Thainstone Centre, Inverurie.The cook-off – which also celebrates Scotland’s Year of Young People – is aimed at encouraging young chefs to demonstrate their innovation and culinary talent.

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