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Malting Potential of New Barley Varieties a Focus at Morayshire Monitor Farm Meeting

The malting potential of new barley varieties will be a key theme for the coming Morayshire Monitor Farm meeting on Tuesday 11 July at Corskie Farm. There will also be discussions on cattle creep feeding and weaning, biostimulants and grain markets.

Monitor Farmer Iain Green and his team farm 1,416 hectares of cereals, sheep, cattle and pigs. The majority of the arable lands goes for spring barley for distilling, although they also grow winter barley, winter wheat and spring oats. On the livestock side they have 380 commercial Simmental crosses, 200 pedigree Simmentals, 600 Mule and Mule cross Texel sheep, and an indoor breeding herd of 380 sows.

The group will take a walk through Corskie’s winter and spring barley trials and for Iain, the chance of discovering potentially high yielding new varieties is very exciting.

He says: “The farm is trialling some of the very newest varieties on the market, like Dioptic which is currently under trial for distilling and Laureate, which is high yielding and was recently approved for distilling, as well as some of the usual suspects such as Concerto.

“We will have a good look at how the various varieties are performing, the winter barley should be especially interesting as the grain will be filling out, and for the spring we should be able to assess the young heads and flag leaves. I want to see good healthy plants, brimming with potential.”

Hugh Thomson, a farmer and vet who also sits on Corskie’s Management Team, will cover cattle creep feeding, looking at whether it is beneficial to production and less stressful for the calf.

Iain says: “At Corskie we currently creep feed using home grown cereals and ready mixed creep feed, but there are other options, different types of feed, and it will also be useful to know whether the practice is good value for money.”

Hugh will also discuss weaning and mastitis control, giving guidance on best practice, as well as asking the community group to share their experiences.

Gavin Will from GrainCo will outline how things are looking on the local and global grain markets as well as advising attendees on getting the best out of grain contracts.

The group also will get the chance to look more closely at barley plants dug up from the ongoing Alltech biostimulants trial. These products should stimulate plant growth and so the group will expect to see better root growth on the treated plants compared to those untreated.

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.

The Monitor Farm meeting will take place on Corskie Farm, Garmouth, IV32 7NN, on Tuesday 11 July from 1.30pm until 5pm, with all welcome to stay on for a BBQ at the close of the meeting.  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 visit www.qmscotland.co.uk or cereals.ahdb.org.uk.