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Farms to help turn green to gold

Two new projects, launching next month, are aiming to show that the path to profitability is paved not with gold, but with grass.

Quality Meat Scotland are funding a new project to establish two Grassland Development Farm projects in Fife and Dumfriesshire. Aimed at improving grassland management and utilisation on beef and sheep farms in Scotland, the work is being led by SAC adviser Rhidian Jones.

The project will run for up to three years and kicks off on Thursday 2 July at 1.30 in South Mains farm, Sanquhar. South Mains, farmed by the Greenshields family, is a 1,600 acre farm in Nithsdale. There are 600 acres of rough grazing with the remainder being permanent pasture.

The next open day is on Tuesday 7 July at 1.30pm at Hilltarvit Mains farm, Cupar, Fife. Owned by the Whiteford family, Hilltarvit Mains is a 1,400 acre mixed farm with 1,000 acres of arable crops and 400 acres of grassland which includes 100 acres of short term grass in the arable rotation.

Andy McGowan, Industry Development Manager for QMS, said: “We’ve chosen two very different types of managed grassland and hopefully most farmers will find something familiar in them that they can use on their own farms.

“QMS wants to promote the effective use of grassland and forage and have recently launched a Grassland Management DVD and information on cattle outwintering systems, full of ideas on how to improve production off grass.

“These Grassland Development Farms will give opportunities for farmers to view some of the ideas in practice, look at the figures involved in grassland production and suggest ways to improve grassland management on the two farms.”

“The route to improving profitability could be right under farmers’ feet, and now is the time to really work on bringing as much efficiency into your systems as possible.”

The work will be facilitated by Rhidian Jones and other staff from SAC. Contact Rhidian at Rhidian.Jones@sac.co.uk, on 01387 261 172 or 0791 969 1841