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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.

Livestock farmers are invited to attend one of a series of free workshops on worm and fluke control being organised by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) through their Better Grazing project in the coming weeks.

The farmer-focused meetings, which will be held across Scotland between 7th February and 1st March, will look at the challenges farmers face in controlling fluke and worm problems in their livestock and highlight best practice in diagnosis, control, treatment and pasture management. 

The next meeting of the Sutherland Monitor Farm will focus on the important, but often neglected, topics of achieving lifestyle balance and succession planning.

At the meeting, which will be held at Brora Golf Club on Tuesday 30th January, Heather Wildman from Saviour Associates will lead a workshop aimed at supporting local farmers and crofters to plan and tackle this often rather sensitive subject.

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.