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Morayshire Monitor Farm Open to Ideas for 2018

The Green family will be on the hunt for bright ideas for 2018 at the next Morayshire Monitor Farm meeting on 12 December.

At the event the group will review the various activities which have taken place over 2017, as well as discussing the possibilities Corskie farm should explore in 2018.

The event will begin on farm with a demonstration of different sheep handling facilities at Corskie as the family is considering investing in a new system. The group will look at a fully automatic system, as well as more standard set ups and discuss the costs and benefits of upgrading the facilities on farm.

Monitor farmer Iain Green says: “It’ll be really useful to evaluate different systems as handling sheep always takes a fair amount of time and labour and if we can find a system which makes us more efficient that would be ideal. I’m also interested in looking at how the recording technology differs in different systems to see what data we could gather and how that could then be used to improve management of the flock.”

The meeting will continue at the nearby Fochabers Public Institute with discussions on calving indicators and detectors, particularly focusing on the Moocall calving sensor which they have been trying out at Corskie. This device, which was launched in 2014, uses the movement of the cow’s tail to predict when calving may be imminent to try and reduce calf mortality.

Project facilitators Derek Hanton and Samantha Stewart from SAC Consulting will then take the group though some of the highlights of 2017 including soil health and compaction, biostimulants and heifer pelvic measuring, as well as a session on how the spring and winter barley trials have fared this year,.

Corskie has been trialling a number of varieties including Laureate, Fairing and Bazooka, and Iain will share the full yield results of all the trials, as well as the results of the biostimulants project.

The day will end with a discussion on what the next year has in store for Corskie, both on the arable and the livestock side and the group will be encouraged to think outside of the box when it comes to pitching in ideas.

Iain says: “I’m looking forward to hearing everyone’s suggestions on the day.  I’m particularly interested in seeing how the heifers calve compared to their pelvic measurements and I’d like to do some weight recording and growth figures for our lambs next summer. On the arable side I’d like to carry out more barley trials.”

The Morayshire Monitor is one of nine monitor farms established in Scotland as part of a joint initiative by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds with funding from the Scottish Government. The aim of the monitor farm programme is to help improve the productivity, profitability and sustainability of Scottish farm businesses.

The Monitor Farm meeting will take place on Corskie Farm, Garmouth, IV32 7NN, on Tuesday 12 December from 11am until 3pm.  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.monitorfarms.co.uk.