How livestock farmers can best profit from a pasture-based system and the benefits technology can bring to rural businesses will be examined at the next Sutherland monitor farm meeting on Tuesday 4 June.
At the meeting, which is being held at Clynelish Farm in Brora, Trevor Cook, a respected vet and sheep and beef production consultant from New Zealand, will share his knowledge on all aspects of livestock production from grass-based systems.
As well as discussing how farmers can make the most from their grass, Mr Cook will share suggestions for those interested in growing and feeding fodder beet. This crop is something that Vic and Jason Ballantyne are keen to establish at Clynelish to help feed their ewes over the winter months. Along with other farmers from the Monitor Farm Scotland network, they have sown a series of trial plots on their farm. This project started this year to investigate and test methods of collecting and sharing knowledge and experience of managing fodder beet in Scotland.
Trevor Cook will also lead a session on the practical control of parasitic gut worms in grazing livestock and will explain how farmers can manage their grazing land and stock to minimise the development of anthelmintic (wormer) resistance.
As well as a farm tour, the Ballantynes will demonstrate some of the technology they have invested in recently through Monitor Farm innovation funding to help them improve the performance of their livestock, as well as save them time and money.
The first of these is a newly installed sheep weighing and handling system, that used in conjunction with EID technology will allow the Ballantynes to manage the performance of both their sheep and growing lambs.
Victoria Ballantyne will also demonstrate the drone that she used to monitor stock remotely during lambing and calving this year. The Ballantynes have also purchased a ‘’Vetmarker’’ lamb docking chute. This piece of equipment can be used to make routine tasks like ear tagging, castrating, tail docking and treating lambs quicker and easier. The Ballantynes are keen to share the benefit of this kit and it will be available free of charge to other sheep farmers in the area to use on their own farms.
For further information and to book your place (and lunch!), please contact facilitators Willie Budge or Cat MacGregor on 01847 892602 or email email@example.com