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Angus Monitor Farm Planning for Year Ahead

The upcoming meeting at Angus Monitor Farm could inspire changes to the Stodart family’s approach to arable cropping and fodder grazing.

The event at Mill of Inverarity Farm on 1 March will review the previous season’s arable yields, as well as the outline plan for this season, but the Stodarts are open to ideas from the community group as to how they might do things differently.

Monitor Farmer Rob Stodart says: “Now the community group know the farm a bit better we want to ask them what they would do if they were managing the land. What treatments and timings would they use? What cultivation techniques would they recommend? How would they reduce inputs and maximise outputs?”

Agronomist Sam Riddell will be on hand to explain more about the farm’s current approach to fungicide and fertiliser management and there will also be a chance to look at the yield maps from the 2017 season.

One area of interest will no doubt be how the spring barley under sown with grass for winter grazing performed, previously the grass growth led to a decreased spring barley yield but the family tried some different techniques this year and they will reveal how successful they were at the meeting.

There will also be a discussion, facilitated by Kirstin Williams from SAC Consulting, on using cover crops and fodder beet as part of the EFA requirement. Fodder beet is of particular interest to the Stodarts as while it’s not yet a popular fodder crop locally they have heard positive reports of in terms of yield, nutrition and its potential to improve soil structure.

Mill of Inverarity is part of the Monitor Farm Scotland initiative, managed by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds.

The aim of the programme, which is funded by the Scottish Government, is to help improve the productivity, profitability and sustainability of Scottish farm businesses through practical demonstrations, the sharing of best practice and the discussion of up-to-date issues.

The meeting will begin at Mill of Inverarity Farm, Forfar, Angus, DD8 2JN at 10am, before moving to Forfar Auction Mart for lunch before closing at 2.30pm.

The event is free to attend but to assist with catering attendees should book a place by contacting Stacey Hamilton by phone (01569 762305) or email (frbsstonehaven@sac.co.uk).

For more information about the monitor farm programme visit www.monitorfarms.co.uk.