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Bill Gray and Peter Eccles

Farmers will get the chance to compare notes on an extremely challenging season, as well as finding out how their local monitor farm coped, at the coming Lothians Monitor Farm meeting on 23 May.

Project facilitator Colin MacPhail explains: “We see the whole day as chance to catch up after a really difficult period for the livestock and arable farmers. We’ll look back over what the farms have been doing over the winter and spring months, and find out what the plans are for this season.”

The organisation tasked with promoting some of Scotland’s most iconic food brands, Quality Meat Scotland, has today (Wednesday 16th May, 2018) unveiled a new strategy and vision for the five-year period to 2023.

Speaking at QMS’s spring media briefing, Jim McLaren, Chairman of QMS, said the development of new strategic priorities had followed full and careful consideration of the factors influencing the different parts of the Scottish red meat industry.

Livestock farmers are invited to attend one of the five free “Fundamentals of Grazing for Growth” meetings being organised by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) as part of its Better Grazing programme.

The meetings, which will be held across Scotland later this month, are expected to attract a large turnout of farmers, particularly after a very challenging spring in terms of early grass growth.

UK farmgate prices for prime cattle continue to rise, following the same pattern as last year and maintaining a premium of around three percent on the year. 

The rise in prices was initiated in March when the weekly throughput of prime stock fell below year-earlier levels, observed Stuart Ashworth, Director of Economic Services with Quality Meat Scotland (QMS).

Andrew Marchant, Nithsdale monitor farmer, with facilitator Rhidian Jones with Clonhie farm’s bumper crop of kale

A farm tour will give attendees at the next Nithsdale Monitor farm meeting the opportunity to see the changes made on Clonhie Farm over the last 12 months. One of the things to be reviewed during the tour of Clonhie Farm on Thursday 17 May, will be the overwintering grazing system the farm established for the first time last winter.

Stuart Mitchell (Whitriggs Farm) with his SmartGrass

At the next meeting of the Borders Monitor farm on Wednesday 16 May, the host farmers will share their thoughts on a plant growth enhancer which they have been trying out on their farm.

After one of the most challenging periods of weather Scottish farmers have faced in decades, the Mitchell family at Whitriggs Farm, near Denholm, decided to try out Smart Grass, to help boost grass growth on their farm.

Rob, Tom, Rory and Alison Stodart

Maintaining feed levels after a difficult spring will be on many farmers’ minds right now, and this challenging topic will be tackled at the coming meeting of the Angus Monitor on 17 May.

Rotational grazing will be covered by Poppy Frater, a sheep and grassland specialist with SAC Consulting. While the Stodarts have been trying out rotational grazing this year they are keen to take a more systematic approach and the group will be exploring how to get the most out of the grass through managing key areas such as stocking densities and shift patterns.


Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) has merged its consumer-facing social media platforms to further strengthen The Scotch Kitchen, as its lead social media channel, promoting the Scotch Beef PGI, Scotch Lamb PGI and Specially Selected Pork brands.