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Farming in Dry Conditions Key Topic for Morayshire Monitor Farm

Farming in dry conditions will be a key theme for the coming Morayshire Monitor Farm meeting on Tuesday 30 May. Discussions on the day will range from barley varieties to grass mixtures and pelvic measuring of heifers.

Corskie Farm is one of nine recently selected to host the three year Monitor Farm Scotland programme, a joint initiative between Quality Meat Scotland and AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds and funded by the Scottish Government.

Monitor Farmer Iain Green says that finding crops which can thrive in dry conditions in Morayshire is vital.

“Up here, whether you are a livestock or arable farmer, you need to tailor your decision making to the potential for drought conditions for much of the year. At the moment we have a number of spring and winter barleys being trialled on farm including Laureate, Fairing and Bazooka, none of which have been irrigated, so I’m sure seeing how they are faring will be of great interest to those attending on the day.

“We are also looking at grass mixtures which should do better in drier soils with Paddy Jack from DLF Seeds, he’ll be able to discuss options with the livestock farmers on what will be of most benefit both in terms of making silage and grazing.”

Andrew Linscott from Alltech will tell attendees more about the UK-wide biostimulants trial which Corskie farm is taking part in, while Brian Mathieson and Mark McCallum from the Black Isle Monitor Farm will be on hand to talk about their experience of business groups and benchmarking. 

Iain himself will take on the topic of pelvic measuring of heifers, a process he has just been through to help him decide which heifers should stay in the herd. As well as 380 commercial Simmental crosses, the farm has 200 pedigree Simmental cows.

“Basically we have tried to keep on more heifers with larger pelvises, as that should make calving less risky for the calves and stress free for both. On the day I will talk about how the procedure works and then next spring we will be able to judge how successful it has been.” Iain says.

The Monitor Farm meeting will take place on Corskie Farm, Garmouth, IV32 7NN, on Tuesday 30 May from 1.30pm until 5pm.  The event is free of charge but to assist with catering it would be appreciated if you can book a place by contacting Samantha Stewart by phone (01343 548 787) or email (samantha.stewart@sac.co.uk).

For more information about the monitor farm programme click here or visit, www.cereals.ahdb.org.uk.