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Livestock farmers are being urged to consider opportunities to make the most of different options for bedding their animals this winter.

With straw prices escalating, Quality Meat Scotland has produced a booklet to help farmers optimise bedding use and consider the wide range of alternative products available to Scottish livestock producers.

An Aberdeenshire sheep producer told farmers attending a recent monitor farm meeting that EID can deter rustlers as well as offerin productivity and paperwork reduction benefits.

Aberdeenshire sheep farmer Roddy Scarborough from Huntly, has been successfully using EID in his flock of 1600 ewes and 300 hoggs for five years. At a recent meeting of the Moray and Nairn Monitor Farm, part of the programme run by Quality Meat Scotland, he encouraged the community group to think positively about sheep EID.

 

One of Scotland’s most iconic food brands, Scotch Lamb, is this year backing the Dundee Flower and Food Festival for the first time.

Around 23,000 visitors are expected to attend the three-day Festival, which also marks the beginning of Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight and heralds the start of Scotch Lamb’s main season.

Scotch Lamb is joining an impressive line-up of sponsors and top chefs supporting the Festival held at Dundee’s Camperdown Country Park from September 3rd – 5th.

The importance of soil analysis and benefits of GPS mapping was a hot topic at the recent meeting of the Cairngorms monitor farm, part of the programme lead by Quality Meat Scotland.

Speaking at Eastfield Farm, Ballater, run by brothers Allan and Jack Adams, George Duncan of Agri Solutions at Alford highlighted the benefits of GPS mapping, a management tool now regularly used by arable farmers.

A spokesman for Quality Meat Scotland reiterated the advice of the Food Standards Agency that there is no reason for consumer concern about the food safety of products from cloned animals or their offspring.

“It is very important that consumers completely understand there is no risk to human health. It is also important to remind consumers the beef produced by our Scottish red meat industry – renowned for its quality world-wide - is underpinned by rigorous quality, welfare and traceability standards.

A Caithness farm business remains totally committed to beef production despite figures indicating its annual income would be substantially boosted if it were to move out of cattle.

Johnnie Mackenzie and step-son, Gary Elder, who run Westfield, near Thurso, Scotland’s most northerly monitor farm, were aware their 249-cow suckler herd was making a loss before they received their subsidy pay-out.

But they were astounded to discover they would be £17,000 better off if they were to move out of cows while continuing to receive the subsidy cheque.

The search is on for 100 Scottish cattle, sheep and pig farmers to take part in a brand new advertising campaign for Scotch Beef, Scotch Lamb and Specially Selected Pork.

Farmers and members of their families who work on cattle, sheep or pig farms, as well as employees, are being urged to volunteer to be part of the new Quality Meat Scotland campaign.

Grazing cattle could be a contributor to the future survival of iconic but rapidly declining game bird, the black grouse.

New research by the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) has revealed that black grouse are breeding better in fields grazed by cattle, due to the abundance of the insects young chicks need to survive.

The research showed that fields grazed by cattle had twice as many sawfly larvae, a major constituent of the diet of newly hatched black grouse chicks.

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