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arable editor's bit Answers, solutions and Déjà vu? One of the most worrying effects of the decision to leave the EU has been the dramatic fall in workers coming into Scotland. Our health service, our tourist industry, our universities, our agricultural industry, and no doubt many other business sectors too, have all seen a huge drop in workers coming here to ply their profession, trade and skill. Even within the publishing industry we are feeling some negative effects, and ‘Real Brexit’ has not even happened yet! Our Scottish Fruit farmers are now very concerned, the NFU of Scotland is concerned, we all are! And what can Scotland do about it? After all, Scotland did not want to leave the EU! The NFUS is lobbying very hard on our farmers behalf, our Scottish Government is trying to get involved but is being closed out by Westminster – this alone is disgraceful. Scotland did not vote for any of this idiocy but we are stuck with it, however, being angry is not the solution here. At the very least, as the NFUS is pushing for, Scotland must retain full governance of our agricultural and fishing industries, and before they are negotiated away in some poor EU/UK deal that does not work in our favour – again! I am no Nostradamus, but I do have a feeling of Déjà vu. Slàinte, Athole. 6

Early PGRs help wheat beat disease and build yield Early application of plant growth regulators could have worthwhile benefits for disease control and rooting in wheat crops this spring, according to leading agronomy provider Farmacy. With crops at a range of growth stages coming out of winter and last season’s high lodging incidence in many areas still fresh in the mind, there may be clear benefits to both forward and more backward crops, says the firm’s David Howard. Lush, thick crops are often at greater disease risk, especially from Septoria, which is spread by rain splash within the canopy. However, any period of rapid growth can result in soft plant tissue that is more vulnerable to infection, he says. Growers should try to maintain steady growth throughout the season and avoid sudden surges as many experienced last spring when rain after a prolonged dry spell resulted in a flush of rapid growth, weak stems and lodging in some crops. “Because it was so dry and crops were stressed, a lot of growers quite rightly, either reduced the dose or did not apply later growth regulators. By the time rains came, growth response was extremely rapid and it was too late to do much about it with PGRs.” To avoid a repeat, he favours a “little and often” approach to PGRs from T0 onwards to keep growth under control, and promote other benefits, such as improved rooting. “An early PGR can have a big impact on root stimulation during the foundation phase up to GS30. It’s not just about canopy control. Improving rooting should enable all crops to access more water and nutrients, which means they are healthier, suffer less stress and are not as susceptible to disease.”

In my view

arable New Era for disease control as SDHI fungicide gains British acceptance on malting barley for brewing and distilling Era on crops this season, says its manufacturer Syngenta – after news that its SDHI active ingredient, benzovindiflupyr (Solatenol), has been accepted by the British Beer and Pub Association and Campden BRI for use on malting barley. “This is an important breakthrough for Elatus Era in barley, following on from its successful launch last season, which was mainly into wheat crops,” says Syngenta field technical manager, Iain Hamilton. “Around 1.9 million tonnes of British barley is grown for malting.” “Elatus Era combines the broad spectrum disease control of Solatenol, with the leading barley triazole, prothioconazole. During its extensive development, the standout benefits seen from using

First thoughts for the year

Elatus Era in cereals have included; its powerful disease control; its complete leaf protection; and the consistent yield performance that it has delivered. Elatus Era can simplify product use on farm, having one product which can be used on both wheat and barley.”

Feed wheat crops well to stay on top of disease

As the spring fungicide campaign approaches, leading agronomy firm Hutchinsons is reminding growers of the need to support chemistry with well balanced crop nutrition to maximise plant health.

By John Cameron Balbuthie, Kilconquhar, Fife

Disease control invariably focuses on fungicides, but while they are the primary tool for tackling existing disease and protecting crops from infection, nutrition has a big impact on plant health. As with human fitness, wellnourished crops will be healthier and less susceptible to infection, although excessive amounts can cause problems too. Fit, healthy crops can also better tolerate stress conditions, such as those caused by weather or spray applications, which reduces the likelihood of health problems developing, says Hutchinsons fertiliser manager Tim Kerr. All macro and micro nutrition should be well balanced, although certain nutrients are of particular importance earlier in the season.

Well the New Year certainly came in with a blast of ‘Climate Change’ weather. It must be many years since we had such a sharp blast of wintry weather with hundreds of people trapped in vehicles overnight. Perhaps it gives them an insight as to what our outdoor livestock men have to deal with at lambing and calving. Thankfully it appears there were no casualties in the overnight saga – but there were unfortunately some serious road accidents. I believe it does prove however that ‘Climate Change’ is a reality to be taken seriously! Trying – as always – to keep a balance between politics and practicality we had the annual Oxford Conference which was addresses by Secretary of State Michael Gove. I think Gove is a more able Minister than his predecessor and whilst I accept that there will be changes to the basis of our agricultural support – I worry that under Gove the pendulum will swing too far and we will end up with an environmental scheme with some agricultural benefits rather than an agricultural scheme with environmental benefits. As an industry we do need some assurance at the present time that the Government does recognise the vital importance of food production and the role that livestock plays in maintaining the rural social fabric as well as the environment.

On the Animal Health front I am pleased we are to make a start on tackling the iniquitous problem of Johnes Disease in our National Cattle Herds. It will not be easy for farmers but such are the recognised losses the industry suffers from Johnes Disease that we simply cannot afford to sit back just because we face a difficult task. Look at the enormous benefit we get as a nation from being officially TB free. That achievement was not easy either but we have the benefit of a number of factors here in Scotland which we should take advantage of. Firstly we have a proactive Animal Health department at the Scottish Office along with a Chief Vet who is both capable and sympathetic to the health of our herds. Along with the testing facilities and the expertise of our Scottish College, together with the ability of Moredun to come up with a more reliable blood test to avoid the present need for the more lengthy faeces test when an inconclusive occurs – all of which make it imperative that both Dairy and Beef herds give this scheme all the support it deserves. But perhaps most importantly of all we must tackle this disease because of its very nature and the suffering that it causes. Let all of us involved give this scheme full the support it richly deserves. 7

arable Root Rot on the move

Despite being identified in the UK, in Scotland, only around 30 years ago, the root rot fungus, Aphanomyces, is now endemic across most pea growing areas. Nearly 70% of fields tested when showing foot rot, had Aphanomyces present. Brian Ó Loinsigh of Nottingham University reported yield losses of pea crops on foot rot affected field patches were typically 40 to 85%, but could result in total crop failure. Focusing on field areas displaying foot rot problems, his PhD project found that 50% of them had infection levels indicating peas should not


realistically be grown in the rotation for the next 10 years. For a soil borne fungus that is not spread by wind or rain splash it’s a remarkable movement, possibly with infected soil carried on machinery between fields and farms, he believed. Aphanomyces euteiches appears capable of surviving as oospores for up to 10 years in the soil, aided by a wide number of weed species that will host and perpetuate infection. There is no evidence that the infection can be spread on seed, he pointed out. The impact can be further compounded in compacted soils, in part because they are

typically wetter and conducive to the fungus, but also because peas tend to put out more side roots in such conditions – which are particularly targeted by the pathogen. Infection also makes crops susceptible to nutrient and drought stresses, as well as other complex diseases such as Fusarium, for example. With no treatment or varietal resistance available, Mr Ó Loinsigh advised the current best option is to improve soil conditions and establishment

techniques, so that peas can quickly develop faster, bigger root structures, and longer rotation intervals. Healthy growing plants can withstand low to moderate infections of Aphanomyces, he pointed out. The Nottingham University project, supported by the PGRO, could also see the development of soil testing bioassay techniques to identify and quantify the level of soil infection, to enable better informed decisions on rotations and cropping options.

Sutherland’s Sandy wins Miskelly Award for services to the Union and Scottish crofting Scottish crofting stalwart Sandy Murray has been awarded one of the Union’s highest accolades – the John Miskelly Award. The Miskelly Award was established in memory of John Miskelly, an inspirational figure who served as Regional Manager with the Union and was presented by John’s family following his death in 2006.

Now in its twelfth year, the trophy recognises those who have shown, through outstanding dedication and commitment to NFU Scotland and Scottish farming and crofting. Sandy has been an active NFU Scotland member since the mid-70s, and since 2012, has been chair of the Union’s Crofting Highlands and Islands Committee (CHIC). He comes from Halladale, in Sutherland, where he is the tenant of four crofts, with six apportionments, and shares in two Common Grazings. The Murray family have been crofting in the area since the early 1800s. He is an Area Assessor for the Crofting Commission for the parish of Farr, a grazing clerk for the Halladale grazing and chairman for the Havaig grazing. Over the years Sandy, and his wife Debbie, have diversified the crofting enterprise. They have an old corn mill (built by Sandy’s ancestor in 1856), which has been converted into a 14-bed bunkhouse and is run along with clay pigeon shooting and laser combat activities. He has also pioneered the establishment of forestry on crofts as an alternative income stream, an approach he developed when involved in the North West Sutherland Crofting Development Programme in the early nineties.

arable Help us help them – New support welcomed By Paul Tinson

As well as driving the Union’s work on crofting, and helping the Union’s crofting membership to reach 800, Sandy has also been an ardent

supporter of the Union’s ‘Farming with Dyslexia’ campaign, addressing a Scottish Parliamentary reception on the subject in 2016.

Readers of the February edition will be aware of appeals made by RSABI over the winter months to increase the number of individuals and businesses currently supporting the charity. Farming Scotland Magazine is a long standing business supporter. This year alone 93 new people have come forward to become individual supporters, some 42 via the Christmas appeal, with 84 businesses across the wider agricultural industry, including solicitors, accountancy firms, land agents, insurance brokers etc - pledging their regular support as new members. This is up over 60% in a year. 8 farming businesses throughout the country joined the supporter scheme in January which was particularly pleasing with the plea ongoing for many more farming businesses to follow farmers like David Bell of Fairfield Farms in Fife.

RSABI provides emotional, practical and financial support to individuals and their families across the sector at an annual cost to the charity of around £500,000. Our fundraising, donations and trust activity remain key in these times of increased demand for services, so the funds pledged so far this year by supporters, which are in excess of £50,000, remain crucial to allow us to keep delivering help. RSABI also looks forward to two key fundraising events to be staged in May and August in the Southern Uplands and the Great Glen respectively. See the banners in this issue and visit www. to learn more.

To donate to the Supporter Scheme online as an individual or business visit or call RSABI on 0300 111 4166 Please sign up for a regular annual payment if you can Read about people RSABI is helping in farming at

arable AminoA Biostimulants launch new liquid products AminoA Biostimulants have now officially launched their new liquid range of biostimulant products. AminoA FLO is a highly concentrated l-isomer aminoacid complex developed for the large scale arable farmer. It contains synthetics and the latest crop penetrant technology to make it suitable for mixing with other agrochemicals. There are no restrictions on its use, apart from in organics, and it is competitively priced against comparable products such as Terrasorb. It is recommended for use in all fungicidal tank-mixes at a rate of 1 litre ha. In the case of severely stressed crops or to encourage protein synthesis in Wheat, pod fill in OSR or other key target

growth stages it is recommended to apply 2.5 litres ha. The Company have also launched AminoA GRO a liquid L-isomer amino-acid complex formulated from vegetal source material and fluvic acid to maximise plant uptake. AminoA GRO is fully approved for use in Organics. The recommended application rate is between 2-5 litres ha. ‘’Our products are deliberately designed to have broad spectrum activity as they contain every essential amino-acid that plants synthesise throughout their growth cycle. Therefore, if applied to the plant at any stage from sowing to maturity they can contribute positively to yield and quality if the plant is not already producing an optimal level of amino-acids itself.

We are satisfied that repeated use of our products in combination with other agrochemicals will enhance their effectiveness and produce a yield response in the crop. Most of our customers are conventional arable farmers who have realised that the judicious use of biostimulants can boost yields

and profits whilst at the same time sustaining the fragile ecosystem in our soils.’’ Richard Phillips Managing Director AminoA Ltd. AminoA Biostimulants are available direct or through selected distributors, for more information see call 01633894300 or email enquiries@


B. RAE CONTRACTING LTD. Chesters Brae, Southdean, Hawick TD9 8TQ Office: 01450 860672 Mobile: 07774 163665 / 07980 916297


potatoes Tong appoints new approved dealer for Scotland Leading vegetable handling equipment manufacturer, Tong Engineering is pleased to announce the appointment of ScanStone potato systems as the company’s new approved dealer for Scotland. As part of the company’s continued focus on providing the highest levels of customer service, sales and aftersales support, Tong Engineering has confirmed its partnership with ScanStone in order to strengthen its relationship with potato and vegetable growers throughout Scotland. Located just outside Forfar, Angus, ScanStone is a familyowned and operated business, designing and manufacturing a wide range of soil preparation equipment, built for UK and export markets. “ScanStone has an established reputation within the industry for quality, reliability and excellent service,” says Edward Tong, Managing Director at Tong Engineering. “Our customer base is very similar to ScanStone’s, both in the UK and overseas, and there are certainly some exciting opportunities for our two businesses to work together in Scotland; developing a complete offering from soil preparation through to crop handling and processing, whilst maximising our product and operational synergies.” “We have a very active existing customer-base in Scotland and we work closely

L to R: Nick Woodcock: Tong (Sales Manager), Edward Tong: Tong (Managing Director), William Skea: Scanstone (UK Sales and Service) and Alison Skea: Scanstone (Export Sales and Service)

with growers and fresh pack companies of all sizes from North to South,” explains Edward. “In appointing ScanStone as a Tong approved dealer, we are confident this can continue to grow. Their ongoing communication with our customers in Scotland will allow us to be even more responsive to any sales, service and spare parts requirements our customers have.” Of the new appointment, William Skea, UK Sales and Service Director at ScanStone said “We are very pleased to be chosen as Tong’s new approved dealer for Scotland. We have always respected Tong equipment for its renowned quality and

progressive design. Adding Tong’s post-harvest product range alongside the ScanStone range of in-field equipment will bring customers a complete solution, and we very much look forward to working together to make Tong and ScanStone potato systems the number one choice throughout the country.” “Our dedicated sales and service teams are experienced in understanding growers’ requirements, and as main Tong parts stockist for Scotland too, we aim to bring a very valuable service to Tong customers,” says William. The new Tong dealership at ScanStone will cover sales,

service and spares for Tong’s complete range of potato and vegetable handling equipment including advanced grading, cleaning, washing, polishing and box handling systems for seed and main crop potatoes and vegetables. “Scotland remains a very high priority region within our company’s growth strategy, and this latest addition to our approved dealer network represents our focus on ensuring the very best customer experience,” adds Edward. “We look forward to building upon our existing customer relations in Scotland and developing new connections through this new partnership.”


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potatoes Collaborative project to improve forecasting of UK’s most important potato pest A team of Harper Adams University researchers; Dr Matthew Back, Dr Ivan Grove and Bill Watts, are working in collaboration with Leeds University and Barworth Agriculture to improve the accuracy of the ‘AHDB Potatoes potato cyst nematode (PCN) pallida calculator’ which is currently used as an educational forecasting tool for UK potato growers. Potato cyst nematodes are microscopic worm-like pests that lie dormant inside mature cysts and then migrate into potato roots causing irreparable damage to the roots. Each mature cyst can hold up to 600 eggs (juveniles) so that infested soils can contain several hundreds of eggs per gram of soil. Unfortunately for potato growers, just five to ten eggs per gram of soil can lead to economic loss, overall estimated to be £26 million annually to the UK potato industry, and normal rotation lengths are too short to provide an adequate period for natural population decline in the absence of a host. To help growers to formulate control strategies, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) Potatoes created the ‘PCN Calculator’ for the most troublesome species, Globodera pallida. The calculator enables PCN population dynamics and potato yields to be forecast for different potato varieties grown under a range of conditions and control strategies. It’s therefore useful to help growers to investigate their options before growing a crop so that they can achieve sustainable economic returns. However, the current calculator needs modification and additional data sets to keep up to date with recent advancements in our 12

understanding of PCN biology, shifting varietal trends and new management practices. Reader in Nematology, Matthew Back said: “Our SARIC (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Innovation Club) research represents a real opportunity to streamline management choices made by potato growers through better outputs from the PCN calculator. “The calculator is a great educational tool for crop advisors and growers, but unfortunately, there are deficiencies. One area for improvement relates to the decline of PCN population density over time. We would like to build in a range of data that includes a wider diversity of soil types and rotations. For example, Brassica’s in a rotation may reduce PCN populations. Additionally, new work on the effect of summer temperatures on the reproductive performance of PCN needs to be taken into account. Finally, we need to include more data on the resistance and tolerance of potato varieties and preplanting mortality associated with crop protection inputs.” Senior Research Assistant Bill Watts, has been employed as part of the 20 month project, which will provide the extra data needed for the calculator. He’ll primarily be investigating the tolerance of different potato varieties to PCN over different soil types. He said: “The varieties under investigation include Estima, Lady Rosetta, Marfona, Maris Piper, Markies, Melody, Nectar, Pentland Dell, Royal and Taurus. They represent the ten most widely grown varieties in the UK today and are compared to two control varieties; Maris Peer which is intolerant to PCN, and Cara which is tolerant of PCN.”

potatoes Potato growers gain revolutionary blight fungicide Brand new chemistry to tackle foliar and stem blight in UK and Irish potato crops has been approved and will be available for the 2018 season. Zorvec Enicade from DowDuPont is much anticipated in the industry following many years of impressive performance in domestic trials and has proven to deliver robust control across three continents where it is already available to growers. It will push the boundaries of traditional spray programmes by delivering revolutionary 10-day persistence following application – three days more than current practice permits with other blight fungicides. Protective and curative, with demonstrable movement into new growth, Zorvec Enicade’s greatest benefit may be gained from targeting the crop’s rapid growth stage. Applications to stems and leaves results in unrivalled stem blight control providing the cleanest possible start to a blight programme Craig Chisholm, UK field technical manager for DowDuPont, said: “Growers and agronomists have seen demonstrations of Zorvec Enicade’s market-leading performance over several seasons and will be excited that it is now registered for use in the UK and Ireland. “Spray intervals of up to 10 days will be something new for growers to consider but we feel

they will immediately see the benefit of added flexibility, plus the opportunity to reduce one spray pass when this 10-day strength is utilised in a spray block. “I believe it is the most exciting product that we have had in 30 years. It’s the sort of product that you can only expect to see developed once in a career.” Zorvec Enicade is suitable for use in both ware and seed crops across all varieties but is expected to appeal most for use in crops with an indeterminate growth habit or destined for long-term storage. Sprayed at the start of the rapid growth phase, the molecule sticks to the wax layer of both stem and leaf offering 10-day persistence in control. It binds quickly and moves within the plant as it extends, protecting new leaves and stems. “By ensuring no infection is sporulating under your crop canopy – achieved with back-toback sprays at the rapid growth stage – blight pressure over the rest of the programme will be greatly reduced and you still have one or two Zorvec sprays in reserve,” Mr Chisholm added. Zorvec Enicade is supplied with a partner fungicide which has a different mode of action – an essential component in an antiresistance strategy developed to protect this revolutionary chemistry long term.

“There is concern about the aggressiveness of blight and there’s no doubt the challenges we face are increasing,” Mr Chisholm added. “We need new chemistry and Zorvec Enicade is effective

against all strains – including 37_A2 – with no cross resistance. “There is no other molecule that offers this level of protection, control of stem blight and movement in to new growth.”


potatoes Controlling potato store environments with polyurethane insulation Controlling a potato store environment can be a risky business – with farmers running the risk of ruined crops. During spells of cold, wintry weather the internal surfaces of agricultural buildings can become wet with condensation and severely damage the potato harvest. By insulating the building this risk can be substantially reduced. A closed-cell spray applied polyurethane foam insulant can be used directly onto the internal surfaces of the building façade. This will insulate the building and help to regulate the temperature so that sudden hot or cold temperature variations are not so likely. As the insulant is sprayed straight on to the building substrate this helps to seal the building and control internal temperatures.


Insulating the agricultural building allows the sugar levels of stored crops to be maintained for longer and lower temperatures can preserve potato quality. Sprayed polyurethane foam is a simple task for a professionally trained installer. The association representing spray foam installers for agriculture and other sectors is the British Urethane Foam Contractors Association. The association has a list of registered installers at Application is a speedy process as installers are adept at installing large areas very quickly. The insulant is sprayed on and cures to form a robust, rigid layer of highly efficient insulation. Closed cell polyurethane foam has been around for over 40 years. The polyurethane insulant is a twocomponent liquid system which

produces a highly-efficient blanket of insulation with an exceptional thermal conductivity figure.

Systems can be applied to various depths and have K-values in the range of 0.025 to 0.028W/mK.

potatoes GB potato stocks up 23 per cent on previous season AHDB recently announced that GB potato stock levels for the end of last November were estimated at 3.6M tonnes, the highest level for that point in the season since 2011/12. Amber Cottingham, Analyst for AHDB Potatoes, said: “Last December we estimated the GB production figures to be up by around 15 per cent, at 6.04M tonnes, so the increase in stocks held in store has been expected.” The high production in the 2017 growing season was the result of a five per cent increase in planted area to 122,779ha coupled with one of the highest average yields on record (49.3t/ ha). With much of the season still to come, high production figures suggest that it is unlikely that potato supply will be as tight as it was over the previous two seasons. Amber said: “We only measure the amount of crop in stores and not the quality, we are aware that there have been storage quality issues reported, which could impact volume of the marketable stocks later in the season. “If we compare data taken from our new Potato Data Centre we can see that production last reached the six million tonne

mark in the 2011/12 season. However, from this point there are two diverging routes depending on your viewpoint. If we take into account the advances that have been made to utilise crops more efficiently in recent years, coupled with improved storage capability, we may see a slowing down of crop use as the season progresses. “On the other hand, this is very dependent on crop quality and reports suggest there have been quality issues this season due to poor conditions at harvest. This could have affected quality as crops went into store, which could impact wastage in store, and actually lead to a faster drawdown in stocks.” The latest estimate derives from AHDB grower panel survey data looking at stocks for the end of November 2017. The survey covers grower held stocks only and does not include stocks held by purchasers. The full survey can be found here. For more information and a look at data on production figures, please see AHDB’s Potato Data Centre For storage advice please call AHDB’s Storage Advice Line free on: 0800 02 82 111 or email


crofting High-provenance meat By Patrick Krause, Chief Executive, Scottish Crofting Federation Scottish extensively reared meat is justifiably highly regarded and it is widely agreed that the niche, high provenance meat market is the way forward for Scottish localities and for Scotland, whatever happens regarding Europe. Yet high quality meat producers’ efforts are stymied by having a scarcity of local abattoirs and thus compromised traceability and provenance. Animal welfare suffers with vast transport distances and the added cost of travelling to and from the abattoir can make direct selling unprofitable for small producers. A crofter in the north of Skye will have to take stock for slaughter over 120 miles to Dingwall, then go home, then go back for the meat. So that animals have a 3-4 hour trailer ride and the crofter drives a total of 12 – 16 hours. After seven years of campaigning for a microabattoir on Skye, and a huge input of voluntary time and effort, the community group now have fully costed, detailed plans and a site with planning permission. There is public money available for just such a ‘Food Processing, Marketing and Cooperation’

initiative, but funding is restricted by the Scottish Government’s interpretation of EU State Aid Rules. Under EU rules a case can be argued for there being market failure and that the abattoir will operate as a not-for-profit service to the crofting and farming community in a fragile rural area. Furthermore, the objectives of ensuring the highest standards of animal welfare and traceability are in line with Scottish Government food policy. Other European countries use micro-abattoirs to great socioeconomic effect and have a much higher density of slaughter facilities. If Scotland’s quality meat industry is to thrive postBrexit, producers serving local, niche and high-quality markets must be enabled to do so. In the crofting areas that means having access to local abattoir services, derogations for local production and support from the Scottish Government. Without them, some of the country’s iconic designated food products will be at risk, as well as the culture, landscape and environment of extensive livestock production.

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FLAVOUR OF SCOTLAND Champion for Scottish produce takes NFUS Ambassador Award NFU Scotland and NFU Mutual’s prestigious Ambassador Award has been presented to Marion McCormick for her outstanding role in promoting Scottish farm produce. Established in 2009, the award was set up to recognise those individuals who, through their own efforts, have played an influential role in communicating the work, challenges and the value of Scottish food and farming to a wider audience. From 1998 until recently, Marion worked for ALDI (Scotland), taking responsibility for growing and developing a comprehensive Scottish fresh meat range and for developing the strategy for marketing the Aldi brand in Scotland. In less than a decade, Aldi’s support for Scottish farmers and crofters has soared, with more than 350 Scottish products in its Scottish stores and a 100 percent commitment to Scotch or Scottish on beef, lamb, pork, milk and eggs. At the Highland Show in 2017, Marion was announced as a member of Scottish Government’s National Council of Rural Advisers and she is Scottish Government’s Agricultural ‘champion’ for public value. Marion was announced as the winner of the NFUS/NFU Mutual Ambassador trophy at NFU Scotland’s annual dinner, attended by 450 guests and delegates, and held in Glasgow tonight (8 February). Fittingly, the starter at the feast was a mouth-watering mini-Scottish breakfast stack sourced from produce available in Aldi stores. In presenting the award, NFU Scotland President Andrew McCornick said: “Under Marion’s guidance, Aldi has clearly demonstrated to all other retailers that 100 percent commitment to Scottish produce is not only achievable, but great for business. 16

“Scotland’s farmers and crofters are justifiably proud of the hard work they put in, day in day out, to produce the very best in food. To see the results of that effort on shop shelves, clearly labelled as quality Scottish produce, is a great boost and a model all retailers could follow. “Although no longer with Aldi, she has left a legacy that the retailer is committed to building on and the number of Scottish suppliers and lines will increase again in 2018. “And it is fantastic for our industry that someone with such an appreciation of our food chain from farm gate to shop shelf is involved in Scottish Government’s think tank looking at the strategy for our sector as we move into uncertain times.” Scotland Food and Drink Chairman Elect Dennis Overton, who spoke at event, said: “We are delighted that Marion has received this award. We all work hard with our retailers to develop their Scottish supplier base, so it is really important that those

who make impact in that regard get well-deserved recognition. “Marion’s role in ensuring ALDI stores meet the clear and growing consumer demand for more Scottish products on shelves was hugely significant. It played an important role in the ongoing growth in our industry. Her work was not just

about supporting well-established Scottish suppliers, but her influence has meant that many producers were able to secure their first retail listing. Aldi has also forged a strong reputation for how it works in partnership with its Scottish suppliers and Marion should take a lot of credit for that too.”

Grouse takes pride of place as consumer demand for fine food grows The popularity of grouse as a delicious and healthy food has shown an unprecedented rise as consumers are choosing to eat the finest Scottish foods ‘from hill to plate’. More grouse has become available through local butchers, farm shops and game dealers selling ‘oven-ready’ grouse direct to the public, as well as shooting parties having the option of taking

away plucked and dressed birds. Some game dealers have noted a five-fold increase in demand for grouse and restauranteurs report that any grouse dishes on the menu will sell out. The Gift of Grouse campaign celebrated grouse at a reception held at the Scottish Parliament on Thursday 1 February. The event was hosted by Kate Forbes, MSP for Skye,


Chocolate Chip Cookies

Lochaber and Badenoch and was attended by over 60 guests including MSPs, gamekeepers, representatives from Scotland Food & Drink, (Scottish Natural Heritage, Scotland’s Natural Larder, Game to Eat, Taste of Game, the Scottish Country Sports Tourism Group and many artisan food producers, caterers, restaurants, farm shops and game dealers. Scotland’s top chefs have also been championing the use of grouse in their kitchens throughout the season including Brian Grigor, Mark Greenaway, Martin Wishart, Andrew Fairlie, Tom Kitchin and Nick Nairn. Many local restaurants and hoteliers throughout the country are now also making it a staple on their menus during the season. Jeremy Dixon of Ochil Foods in Perthshire, the familyrun food business, works with over thirty Scottish suppliers. Jeremy was also in attendance to highlight the success of Scotland’s home-grown produce and the importance of supporting rural food businesses. Jeremy Dixon said: “We supply grouse from estates in Deeside, Angus and East Lothian to restaurants, pubs and hotels throughout the country and we have noticed a fivefold increase in the demand for grouse this year compared to last year, consumers more than ever want to eat the very best produce Scotland has to offer. “Importunately, we have seen a large-portion of our sales growth come from establishments with lower price points, who hadn’t

necessary used grouse before, with chefs and consumers alike being more adventurous and wanting to see more Scottish produce on the menus.” Brian Grigor, head chef of Number One at The Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh, is passionate about cooking with grouse, having grown up with both his father and grandfather being gamekeepers. Guests at the event were treated to some grouse canapés created for the event by Brian Grigor. Speaking at the event, Brian Grigor said: “Grouse is a really delicious and healthy game meat and consumers are now eating far more thoughtfully, by choosing produce in season. It is fantastic to see a growing appreciation for grouse beyond fine dining restaurants as more local food retailers are stocking ‘oven-ready’ grouse available for the general public. I hope that events such as this help to spread the word about grouse as an affordable and tasty meat to a wider audience.” Andrew Hopetoun, chairman of the Scottish Moorland Group, said: “The owners of Scottish grouse moors invest in and manage these beautiful, heather-covered uplands creating rural employment and environmental benefits, and the surplus stocks of wild grouse give such a wonderful seasonal product that I’m delighted to see getting support. “Game offers a way of life to many rural communities and is an important part of many artisan food businesses. People today want produce with provenance and quality at heart and Scottish grouse has exactly that.”

120g salted butter, at room temperature 75g light brown sugar 75g granulated sugar ½ tsp vanilla extract 1 egg 240g plain flour ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda 170g dark chocolate, roughly chopped

1. Using a wooden spoon, or (even better) a food mixer, beat together the butter and sugars until just combined. Add the vanilla extract, then the egg, and beat in well. 2. Sift together the flour and bicarbonate of soda, then use a spoon to add to the mixture, stirring until it just comes together into a dough. Fold in the chocolate pieces, then chill overnight. This makes a big difference, but if short of time just bake and cook.. 3. Preheat the oven to 180C. Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper, and divide the mixture into golf-ball sized rounds, spacing them well apart. Bake for about 15 minutes, until golden, but not browned. Makes 15

Sarah Mellersh runs One Day, Two and Four Week Cookery Classes, just 10 minutes from Perth. To find out more : Tel : 07932 642605



Search on for Scotland’s Top “Scotch Brand” Product The search is on for the best product made with Scotch Beef PGI, Scotch Lamb PGI or Specially Selected Pork as part of the Scotland Food & Drink 2018 Excellence Awards. Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) is supporting the “Scotch Brand Product of the Year” which aims to recognise businesses in Scotland which are retailing Scotch Beef PGI, Scotch Lamb PGI or Specially Selected Pork in products of exceptional taste and quality. The Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards take place at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) on 7 June 2018. Attracting over 800 attendees and consisting of 22 categories, the awards showcase the skill, innovation and enterprise of Scotland’s producers. Growing year-on-year, the awards offer an invaluable platform on which businesses can showcase their quality produce to the nation. Alan Clarke, Chief Executive of QMS, said that the Scotch Brand Product of the Year Award offers an excellent opportunity to celebrate the innovation, enthusiasm and commitment of those retailing Scotch Beef PGI, Scotch Lamb PGI or Specially Selected Pork products which are a cut above the rest. “Last year Aldi was awarded Scotch Brand Product of the

Year for their fantastic Specially Selected Scotch 30 Day Matured Aberdeen Angus Sirloin Steak. This year we look forward to being able to recognise another exceptional product from a business which retails Scotch brand products with pride and commitment. “The award will be judged primarily on taste - something that Scotch Beef, Scotch Lamb and Specially Selected Pork are renowned for along with world-leading levels of traceability, assurance and welfare standards.” For products to qualify for the Scotch Brand Product of the Year they must be made from Scotch Beef PGI, Scotch Lamb PGI or Specially Selected Pork, be quality assured and, as part of his, have been sourced from cattle/lambs/pigs born, reared and processed in Scotland. Products can range from roasts, steaks and products which have a 100% meat content to products which use Scotch Beef PGI, Scotch Lamb PGI or Specially Selected Pork as ingredients. Products using Scotch Beef PGI, Scotch Beef PGI and Specially Selected Pork as an ingredient must contain a minimum meat content of 25%. More information about the awards is available here: www.

Order your FARMING SCOTLAND MAGAZINE Limited Edition Whisky See Page 123

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For your market to be listed

O U R FA R M SHOP Auchengree Farm Shop and Tea Room is run by the Beckett Family at Meikle Auchengree, Beith. The shop which has been open for 14 years, offers a wide range of products ranging from gifts, toiletries, greetings cards, local ice cream, fine wines and spirits, a selection of Scottish cheeses, fresh fruit & veg, freerange eggs, jam, chutneys etc to a fresh meat counter offering locally sourced beef & pork as well as our own Auchengree reared lamb, all butchered on the premises, including hand-made sausages and black pudding. We offer a large range of oven ready products produced instore, these include our Famous steak pies, Lasagne’s and cottage pies, and a new selection of gourmet pies including Steak & Ale, Venison & Mushroom, Beef and Red Wine with Oyster Sauce and Chicken & Chorizo and our

newest pastry products, individual Beef Wellington, Salmon en croute and Peppered chicken en croute. We aim to cater for all tastes, to this end we now stock Better Welfare Scottish Rose Veal, (Butchered on the premises) and a selection of more exotic meat from around the globe. We change stock to cater for Seasonal fluctuations which include Kelly Bronze Turkeys at Christmas and Hampers prepared by Ann or that can be selected by you from the wide range of products in store. Set with stunning views looking over the Garnock Valley our Tea Room opened in March last year and due to the increase footfall we have had to triple our staff who have become part of our family. We offer Barista brewed coffee from a blend of 100% Arabica beans which have been roasted to perfection in Glasgow, and a selection of traditional and

flavour infused teas from Scotland. Our chef produces home-made soup from fresh ingredients daily and everything is cooked to order from our menu, with the baking produced by our in-house baker, which covers a variety of dietary requirements, including a gluten free range. All of which are firm favourite with our customers. The tea room is fully licensed, and we offer afternoon teas with or without Prosecco. Every second Friday evening, our tea room is transformed into a bistro where we offer two or three course steak dinning at ts finest. Your choice of

steak is cut and cooked to order. Our Tea Room is also available for private functions on request. Situated between Beith, Dalry and Kilbirnie, located just off the A737 and B777. Open to the public seven days a week 10.00 -5.00 Monday –Friday, 9.30 –5.00 Saturday, 11.00 – 4.30 Sunday including bank holidays except Christmas & New Year. Telephone 01294 834625 or find us on Facebook @ Auchengree FarmShop


EU NEWS By Chris McCullough

Farm incomes rise and Scotland does more business overseas An increase in agri-food exports has helped Scotland boost its trade figures by £460m to £29.9bn in 2016. According to the latest figures, which excludes oil and gas, food and drink exports were up £275 million (5.3%) to £5.5 billion in 2016, predominantly driven by strong whisky exports (£4 billion in 2016). As for the most loyal customers, the United States remains the top international export destination with sales totalling £4.8bn.

The top five international export markets USA, Netherlands, France, Germany and Norway - accounted for £12.1 billion (41%) of international exports from Scotland. However, Scottish exports to EU countries decreased by £105 million (0.8%) to £12.7bn in 2016. The largest decrease was in professional, scientific and technical activities (down £130 million, 11.4%). Manufacturing exports decreased in 2016, down £60

million (0.8%), although exports of food and drink to the EU saw a 3.5% increase of £70million in 2016. Meanwhile, higher commodity prices have helped farmers’ incomes increase to a total of £917m for 2017, which shows an increase of £245m from 2016. The main changes show milk incomes are up by £117m, barley up £67m, payments and subsidies up £39m in 2017, but increases in labour cost £34m.

In terms of cereals, the value of wheat rose from £105m in 2016 to £128m in 2017, while oats fell slightly to £22m in 2017 from £23m in 2016. Livestock output, including finished stock, store sales and coupled support, rose by £60m in 2017 to £1.15bn. Although poultry is estimated to have fallen by £4m in 2017, egg sales increased by £6m. The vegetable sector income rose to an estimated £155m while fruit fells slightly to £134m.

Juncker wants EU countries to pay more into bloc budget EUROPEAN Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has called on European countries to pay more into the bloc’s budget given that the UK’s departure will leave a €9billion hole. The budget coffers have been traditionally increased by a longterm benchmark of one per cent of a country’s economic output, but Junker wants to bring an end to that and demand more. Speaking at a conference on the bloc’s next Multiannual Financial Framework, which will run from 2020 to 2027, Junker said: “We need more than one percent of European GDP, quite clearly, if we are to pursue European policies and fund them quite adequately.” 20

According to the latest figures, the bloc’s total annual economic output is around 20 trillion, or about €17.5 trillion, if the UK is not included. The most recently agreed annual budget for the bloc was €160.1 billion. The president outlined his plans urging policymakers to voice their policy ambitions and sort out how to finance them rather than set a cap on spending and fit priorities into that. He said: “We need to agree first on objectives, what we want. From there, we will be able to see how to provide the financial means.” Farm lobby groups Copa and Cogeca say they support

Junker’s call for EU countries to fork out more. Copa and Cogeca SecretaryGeneral Pekka Pesonen said: “It is good news that EU Budget Commissioner Oettinger and President Juncker support the idea of having fresh money to fund the new challenges facing the EU and to offset the budget shortfall caused by Brexit. “Recognising the positive impact and added value of EU Cohesion Policy and the CAP must be matched with adequate financing. “We believe that the CAP is very good value for money since it not only provides quality food supplies but keeps rural areas alive by boosting growth

and jobs and maintaining the environment. “This was also recognised in a recent study by the World Bank which showed the positive impact of the CAP in tackling poverty and creation better jobs for farmers across the EU. “It is important to defend the benefits of the Single Market and to maintain common rules across the EU under the future CAP with common spending. “It is clear that the CAP is a better and more efficient way of spending money than a sum of national expenditure would be. “We consequently oppose any co-funding of farmers direct payments in the first pillar of the CAP,” he said.


Kenneth Mackay

Ownerless property – When is your property not your property? With the increase in numbers of Voluntary Registrations in the map-based Land Register, it has become apparent that some people, quite often unwittingly, occupy property that is outwith their title extent. In the majority of cases, the property in question can be purchased from the neighbouring proprietor who may hold legal title to the property being occupied. However, there are potential cases where the property is apparently “ownerless” from the title perspective. For example the property may have been held in the name of a company or limited liability partnership that has been dissolved or the last registered title holder may be someone long dead or missing. There are also still some instances where the owner is unascertainable. In these instances the possibility arises that the property has fallen to the Crown as bona vacantia (literally, ownerless goods). The Queen’s & Lord Treasurer’s Remembrancer (QLTR) is the Crown’s representative in Scotland responsible for dealing with bona vacantia. If it appears that property may have fallen to the Crown, an approach to the QLTR would be appropriate, asking the QLTR to consider the

information about the title and to agree to a transfer of the title to you. It should be noted however that the QLTR is under no obligation to deal with property in any particular way (or indeed at all) and has the discretion to disclaim the property in order to protect the Crown’s interests. One of the more common instances where assets fall to the Crown and an approach to the QLTR would be required is on the dissolution of a company. If part of your property has been owned in the name of a company in the past, it may be wise to review the titles to check that no part of your property remains in the name of a company which is now dissolved. Whatever the circumstance giving rise to the possibility that the Crown may have an interest, the QLTR will expect to be provided with as much title and other information as is possible and, in the case of property last owned by an individual, evidence of attempts to trace the last owner or the heirs or representative of the last owner. That will assist the QLTR in considering how he should respond to your approach. If the QLTR considers it appropriate to deal with property brought to his attention any disposal will be for professionally assessed value. The

cost of the valuation report (the valuation is usually carried out by the District Valuer) will have to be met by the interested party. In addition the fees and outlays of the QLTR in any disposal will have to be met. The QLTR may agree to forego any benefit to the public purse in respect of property when he is satisfied that a genuine error has arisen. For example, a buyer has bought and paid for property from a company but the company has then been dissolved without having transferred the property title to the buyer. It is therefore important to review historical files and papers to check for property transfers, what the intention was at the time of any property transfer and whether the transfer was completed properly at the time. The QLTR process can also be applied to leases. Where the landlord’s interest has fallen to the Crown (this happens most commonly when the landlord was a company which has dissolved) and the landlord was also the owner of the property being leased, the QLTR, without prejudice to all his other options, is likely to want to sell the landlord’s/owner’s interest for value. It is not the policy of the QLTR to assume the role of

landlord or to grant new leases. In respect of the tenant’s interest under a lease, particularly in the case of commercial leases, the QLTR is likely to opt to disclaim the tenant’s interest. However, in connection with land and rural matters where the interest is in a ground lease, the QLTR will consider his position on a case by case basis. If you are considering a voluntary registration of title and it becomes clear that there is an anomaly in your titles our advice would be to progress the voluntary registration for the title extent that is on a known recorded title. The anomaly area which is occupied without clear ownership can then be reviewed and the attempt to obtain a title can be progressed through title investigations and, if appropriate, an approach to the QLTR. After due process title to the anomaly can hopefully then be registered at a later date. If you have any queries in respect of property which you occupy but which you think may fall outwith your title extent, or any other aspect of ownerless property, please contact Robin Dunlop, Thorntons Land and Rural Business Senior Solicitor on 0131 225 8705. 21


SPRAYERS INNOVATIONS & UPDATED SYSTEMS We take a brief look at some of the top brands available for the season ahead

Chafer feature upgrades for its trailed sprayers Chafer has made a number of upgrades to its range of trailed sprayers to ensure they remain at the forefront of crop sprayer technology for 2018. Deliveries of these updated versions of the industry leading Sentry and Guardian trailed sprayers will begin in the spring. A new boom suspension assembly offers improved contour following, whilst also allowing the boom to run closer to the ground (below 50cm) on even the largest diameter wheels, to ensure

maximum spray efficacy. The new sliding frame is equipped with an additional set of rollers and can now pass the extremities at both the top and bottom of the mast, allowing for an increased range of travel whilst improving crop clearance under the mast itself. All rollers feature sealed bearings to ensure smooth, reliable vertical travel, isolating the boom from tramline undulations and ensuring spraying target heights are maintained. The reaction time of the lift and lower hydraulic

functions have been reduced, further improving boom control. The advanced ePlumbing system has been updated to use CANbus valves that offer operators

real time information of the valve’s status and position, which is essential during automatic filling, rinsing and general plumbing functions.

New generation from FarmGEM

A New Generation of sprayers from FarmGEM has been designed and developed and are now available. The range has also been extended and now includes amenity, orchard & vineyard, mounted, trailed and selfpropelled sprayers. The FMH amenity, FGA & MVF mounted vertical fold boom and some trailed models being completely new, but retaining many familiar FarmGEM features and options. Managing Director Terry Fixter said “It was time to refresh our offering of machines, so after listening to the needs of existing owners and operators we have designed new models incorporating new features and the very latest technology. 22

“We have also updated our logo and colour scheme to mark this New Generation of machines” The new Protector 1600 litre is a high specification tractor mounted machine fitted with the “3 Series” 18,20, 21 or 24 metre boom. It is fitted with electro hydraulic control of boom raise/lower, fold and tilt. Also fluid re-circulation system, an application rate control terminal with a 5.7” colour screen, 7 spray sections and triplet nozzle bodies. The new models in the trailed range are the Paragon, Innovator, Pioneer and Atlas. The Paragon has been designed for growers only requiring 18,20 or 21 metre boom widths. The new “2 series” single stage folding boom also has “3D” boom suspension and 3-year warranty.


The new Fendt crop spraying technology

AGCO/Fendt has taken another step on the road to becoming a full line manufacturer with its new range of trailed and self-propelled crop sprayers. Both model series have been developed in Europe and will be built at the AGCO Hohenmรถlsen plant from 2018, which is also the home of the Fendt Katana forage harvester. The self-propelled Rogator 600 series comprises 3 models with a nominal capacity of 4000, 5000 and 6000 litres, and operating widths of up to 36 metres. Target groups include large acreage farms and contractors. The revolutionary

chassis concept, the advanced boom control, and the extended technology and guidance system justify its premium tag. The trailed Fendt Rogator 300 series is a completely new line. Based on the successful selfpropelled Rogator 600, the new trailed sprayers with a nominal capacity of 3,300, 4,400, 5,500 and 6,600 litres have been developed with operating widths of 24 to 30 metres. The high-precision linkage control, the perfect handling, the optimal chassis concept, as well as the impressive reliability have been carried over to the new trailed sprayers.

All Rogator 600 and 300 models are equipped as standard with unbendable and yet lightweight aluminium

linkages. The sophisticated aluminium design protects the nozzles and makes them easy to change.

New Leeb GS trailed sprayer from Horsche

The new generation HORSCH Leeb GS builds on the proven formula of the previous models, with award-winning BoomControl Pro boom system and stainless tanks but adds a greater level of equipment and new configurations. Leeb GS is now available as ECO, CCS (Continuous Cleaning System) and CCS Pro variants. The sprayer is available with a

6,000, 7,000 or 8,000 litre stainless steel tank that allows for easy and quick cleaning. The new Leeb GS line is equipped with the innovative HORSCH software and easyto-handle ISOBUS compatible electronics. The ECO model has mechanical valves at the suction and the pressure side with an electronic display in the filling


SPRAYERS area and a mechanical pto-driven piston diaphragm pump. The CCS version is equipped with valves at the suction and the pressure side with an electric tank level indicator

in the suction area and a continuous internal cleaning system. The top-level CCS Pro model uses a modern electronic system with electrical valves for

suction and pressure side for easy handling. Additionally, there are several cleaning programs, e.g. boom rinsing, that can be operated comfortably from the tractor cabin.

Reduced hose lengths and rearrangement of the distribution system has improved performance and reduced residual quantities.

New nozzle check system from Knight Knight Farm Machinery is introducing an optional boommounted nozzle check and cleaning station that will enable operators to check, clean and replace nozzles quickly. The kit includes tool boxes mounted on the boom itself

containing essential items like nozzles, o-rings, caps and maintenance tools, as well as space for essential equipment like gloves. It also includes a pneumatic system which enables them to clean out blocked nozzles

quickly and effectively. To enable operators to check for blocked jets and test them after cleaning, it includes a ‘push button’ control for each boom section, so they can test all nozzles in that section while standing beside it: “That will save operators a considerable amount of time and make what can be an irksome, time consuming task much simpler and quicker”,

says David Main, Knight’s Sales Manager. “As well as saving time, avoiding multiple trips to the tractor/sprayer cab and back to turn systems on and off will cut the volume of liquid discharged in the yard or on the headland during the checking process”. The full kit is being offered across all Knight sprayers and is expected to cost from £495 depending on boom width.

Kuhn’s trailed sprayer range KUHN’s range of trailed sprayers consists of the following models: the 3,000 litre LEXIS, the 3,200 and 4,100 litre METRIS 2S, and four new OCEANIS 2 machines.


All KUHN trailed sprayers are now fully ISOBUS compatible, enabling them to be controlled from a single in-cab terminal. KUHN’s separate ISOCLICK

SPRAYERS operations compared to many competitor machines. KUHN’s DILUSET+ electronic valve

system is available as an option. The LEXIS 3000 has a starting price of £33,574.

Lemken mounted Sirius 12 sprayers with ISOBUS control control box provides additional operator comfort by placing the key sprayer controls (such as section control, boom height and angle) within finger-tip reach. The LEXIS 3000 is KUHN’s entry-level trailed sprayer, but one which offers the same efficiency and ease of use as the high-end METRIS and OCEANIS models. Fro example, the LEXIS features a 3,000 litre polyethylene tank (actual capacity is 3,150 litres) and a 320 litre rinsing tank. It is available with steel and

aluminium booms ranging from 18 to 28 metres in width. TRAPEZIA or EQUILIBRA suspension systems maintain a stable spraying height on rough terrain while an independent anti-whiplash system on the EQUILIBRA protects the boom from damage during sudden braking and acceleration. The LEXIS uses KUHN’s MANUSET valve system which uses two ‘steering wheel’ type valves to control the machine’s spraying and flushing circuits and requires 30-50% fewer valve

The LEMKEN Sirius 12 mounted field sprayer, is available with tank sizes of 900, 1300, 1600 and 1900 litres. Add to this the Gemini Front tank with an 1100 litre capacity provides a high capacity, high output machine. Boom

widths are available with the Aluminium SEH boom from 12 – 18m and the RA boom from 20 – 30m. The Sirius 12 features a circulation line and electric single-nozzle valves to ensure precise, individually controllable application.


SPRAYERS The optional electric fourway valve on the suction side makes switching between spraying, suction from an external tank, suction from the front tank and clean water as easy as pressing a button with no need for the operator to dismount. Combined with the Eltec Pro electric single-nozzle control, the single nozzle valves of the SEH booms can be operated individually or in up to 13 freely definable nozzle groups.

The Megaspray control system can be operated from any ISOBUS Universal terminal such as the tractor terminal or CCI 200 or the newly launched CCI 1200, using a standard ISOBUS interface. The display layout of operating elements can be flexibly configured to ensure that farmers are always able to access the most important parameters at a glance and take any action as needed, for example by switching off individual nozzles or adjusting the application rate.

Team Sprayers Launch Müller Auto Rate Control for Fertiliser application

Team Sprayers have announced that the Müller SPRAYLIGHT Auto-rate control system will feature as a standard option on their Front Mounted Sprayer. SPRAYLIGHT is an operating and control unit, so combining a display, operating system and control computer in a single housing. SPRAYLIGHT has the ability to accurately calculate the remaining distance and remaining area that can be sprayed with the current tank content and crucially the Müller system automatically adjusts the amount of applied fertiliser according to the forward speed of the tractor and planter/drill, therefore optimising efficiencies


and product usage. Managing Director Danny Hubbard said: “We have seen a rise in demand for precision application as growers are realising the benefits that placement accuracy brings in cost savings and yields. Accurate set up is absolutely key to getting good results, I would always advocate getting the applicator set up and calibrated on farm to ensure the maximum efficiencies and results, we only work with dealers who we trust will do this for the customer. We have been trialling Müller SPRAYLIGHT Auto-rate control system technology for almost two years to ensure its success and we have had excellent results.

UK launch of McMonnel’s Agribuggy sprayer

McConnel has given UK customers a first look at the new Agribuggy A280 self-propelled sprayer at LAMMA 2018 where the machine was officially launched to the UK market. The low-ground pressure Agribuggy A280 was presented on McConnel’s dedicated sprayer division stand and will serve as a perfect complement to McConnel’s expanding arable division enabling the company to offer a complete cultivation, seeding, consolidation and spraying solution for farmers and contractors. The McConnel Agribuggy is already proven in the field as the ultimate low ground pressure sprayer and is now available through McConnel’s extensive UK dealer network – ensuring widespread local service support whilst also opening up new opportunities with a wider international customer base

through McConnels worldwide distribution network. Precision-engineered in the UK, the Agribuggy offers the highest power-to-weight ratio and lowest fuel consumption in its class, and can reach places other machines can’t thanks to the outstanding traction delivered by its low-ground pressure design and positive mechanical drive. A small number of the key features of the machine include: A high-performance Cummins diesel engine delivers greater power and higher torque at low revs and ensures the Agribuggy A280 still offers the best fuel-economy and power-to-weight ratio on the market. By dispensing with a cambelt the engine also delivers lower servicing and maintenance costs. Low centre of gravity and perfect 50/50 weight distribution for maximum stability and traction.

Vicon reveals high-tech iXtrack T3 trailed sprayer iXtrack T3 is the first of a new generation of high-tech trailed sprayers from Vicon. Revealed at the recent Lamma show in Peterborough, the T3 is available with 2,600 and 3,200-litre tank capacities. Vicon says this allnew range has been engineered to deliver a low, short and highly manoeuvrable trailed sprayer. Key to the design is a central frame produced from high strength, low alloyed heavy-duty steel. This affords a low centre of gravity with higher flexibility and durability than previous designs, making it more suited to the stresses of field work, and high-speed road transport.

Specification includes a suspended parallelogram rear frame that also remains active on the road, in addition to the field. This innovative design combines stability with soft boom balancing to minimise spray height deviation above the crop canopy and improve application accuracy. A revised tank design, new chassis and rear frame all combine to deliver an overall width of 2.55m and an overall height of 3.2m. The steering axle provides adjustable track width in 5cm increments from 1.5-2.25m. Tyre choices extend up to 1.9m in diameter, giving a longer footprint for reduced compaction.

environment Union successful in influencing amendments to water environment regulations Following pressure from NFU Scotland, the Scottish Government has made changes to the Controlled Activities Regulations (CAR) related to activities that could affect the water environment Initial proposals had suggested that farmers could not apply fertiliser if heavy rain was forecast within 48 hours. However, lobbying from NFU Scotland has seen that timescale reduced to 24 hours. With many members also concerned about flooding and riverbank erosion, NFU Scotland has also welcomed changes to

General Binding Rules which will allow farmers to use trees, parts of trees and stone to protect banks without necessarily requiring prior permission from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) provided they follow certain conditions. Angus MacFadyen, NFU Scotland Environment and Land Use Chairman, said: “Given the changeable weather we experience in Scotland, the original 48-hour timeframe for spreading fertiliser before heavy rain was to too difficult for our members to adhere to whilst

still managing to effectively improve the fertility of their ground. The amendment to just a day’s lay time is a sensible compromise. “We are encouraged by the introduction of the General Binding Rule (GBR) 25, which will allow members looking to use trees (or parts of trees) to avoid flooding from rivers, burns or ditches on their land. “The new GBR means that farmers, crofters, and land managers no longer need to apply to SEPA before implementing these flood prevention measures. It is also useful that there is

scope to use stones to shore up such river bank engineering. The changes to CAR will also see a tightening up of the regulations around the storage and handling of liquid digestate, liquid sewage sludge and inorganic liquid fertiliser as well as regulations around the storage of dewatered digestate or dewatered sewage sludge. “These are small, detailed changes but they could make a big difference to our members, so I urge them to visit www. or go to the members area of our website and download Business Guide 03/18”

New funding round for Agri-Environment Climate Scheme – comment from Scottish Natural Heritage Chair of Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), Mike Cantlay, has welcomed the announcement today from Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham, that the Agri-Environment Climate Scheme is now open for applications. Mike Cantlay said: “It’s

great that more farmers, crofters and land managers have the opportunity to apply for funding to carry out projects that will help our environment. We particularly welcome the support it offers them to help manage their land for wildlife, as well as helping to manage the risk of flooding.

“This scheme continues to support initiatives across Scotland. From improving public access to protecting the habitat for our wildlife including the capercaille, corncrake and chough. There are also opportunities around restoration of lowland raised bogs, and supporting the management of protected sites,

including machair and coastal habitats - the opportunities are both diverse and plentiful. “If you’ve got a proposal for a protected site, such as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, come and talk to us and we will provide advice before you submit your application.”

AFBI Secures £11 million Funding to Enhance the Natural Environment of Scotland, N. Ireland and the Republic of Ireland Research scientists from the AgriFood and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) are playing a key role in researching and developing new methods of managing the natural environment across Northern Ireland, the border counties of the 28

Republic of Ireland (ROI) and Western Scotland. Over the past year, AFBI has successfully secured over £11 million of funding from the European Union’s INTERREG VA Programme, managed by the

Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB), to fund a series of innovative cross border projects. Many of the environmental challenges that Northern Ireland faces are shared with our neighbours in ROI and Scotland.

AFBI’s specialist expertise is being used to advise on the management of seas, loughs, river catchments, peatlands and wetland habitats, and sustainable energy, bringing direct benefits to farmers, coastal communities

environment and wider society. Across all the projects, AFBI is collaborating with a wide range of organisations including private commercial companies, local councils and nongovernmental organisations. In particular, AFBI leads on a large marine-based project, COMPASS (Collaborative Oceanography and Monitoring for Protected Areas and Species) which is working with partners across Ireland and Scotland and which will create a state-of-the-art network of buoys to effectively track, model and monitor aquatic life and oceanographic processes, on a cross-border basis. Another marine based project, SWIM (System for Bathing Water Quality Modelling), will see AFBI leading the development of a system to predict bathing water quality on beaches and install real time signage to keep the public informed about bathing quality. Within the SWELL project (Shared Waters Enhancement and Loughs Legacy), AFBI experts, in collaboration with water companies in Northern Ireland and ROI, will carry out research on water quality in Carlingford Lough and Lough Foyle. This research will inform investment in appropriate waste water treatment strategies that will contribute to the improved water quality of these important shared loughs. Working closely with farmers in Co Fermanagh, AFBI scientists are also involved in researching and proposing management solutions to improve drinking water quality in cross border river catchments around Lough Derg and Lough Erne through the Source to Tap project. This project will undertake peat habitat restorations, mitigate against the effects of forestry operations and promote on-farm actions to reduce pesticide runoff. Farmers will also be supported in the Finn, Blackwater and Arney river catchments, through the Catchment Care project (Catchment Actions for Resilient Eco-systems), to monitor and

improve nutrient management and water quality. This project will also develop sustainable land management actions to mitigate point and diffuse source of pollution. The Collaborative Action for Natura Network (CANN) project will see AFBI working in partnership with local councils, charities and research institutions along the border to protect endangered species and restore natural habitats. AFBI researchers will map designated nature conservation sites and carry out scientific monitoring over the course of the project, including the application of new remote sensing technologies. The project will help Northern Ireland meet its obligations under the EU Birds and Habitats Directives, in addition to realising important benefits from the natural ecosystem, such as carbon storage, alleviating flooding and improved visual and cultural landscapes. In the Bryden Centre project (Advanced Marine and Bioenergy Research Centre), AFBI scientists will contribute their leading expertise in bio-fuels to a cross border university partnership developing bio-energy and marine renewable energy. AFBI’s expertise in environmental management is recognised internationally and in further EU INTERREG funded projects, AFBI will work with partners in Finland, Sweden, Iceland, ROI and the Faroe Islands to develop tools and models to manage agricultural and extractive industry runoff through the Northern Runoffs into Profits (Waterpro) project. In the ALICE project, (Atlantic Landscapes: developing tools to characterise biodiversity and ecosystem services) economists at AFBI are working with partners in Spain, Portugal, ROI and France to develop improved models to value the economic impact of the natural environment.

Benefits of a carbon audit

Gillian Inman, SAC Consulting

At the farm level, Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions arise from burning fossil fuels, animal digestion, application of fertiliser and manure, storage of manure, soil cultivations and changes in land use. Reducing emissions from these sources will also improve farm efficiency and profitability. Before potential improvements can be identified, you need to establish a baseline for the production of emissions; this can be done using a carbon calculator. Benchmarking the results against similar enterprises will highlight areas where technical improvements can be made that, when implemented, will reduce emissions and costs. Using AgRE Calc©, SAC Consulting’s Agricultural Resource Efficiency Calculator, the following are examples of savings made by farm businesses: Fertiliser: Nutrient budgeting - optimising P and K levels in

grass/clover swards, resulted in 1kg/ha of N being fixed reducing N fertiliser use by 13t, saving £3,000 and 59.2t of CO2e. Feed use: Reduced age of calving from 36 to 24 months - 20 fewer beef replacements were carried by the business resulting in a lower feed requirement of 19.90t, saving £7,000 and 19.9t of CO2e. Fuel: Matching tractor size to task - using a smaller hp tractor on the feeder wagon reduced red diesel use by 4,400l, saving £2,330 and 11.7kg of CO2e. %LECTRICITY Installation of a biomass boiler - using the biomass boiler to heat water instead of electricity, resulted in savings of 29,500kWh of electricity, saving £3,680 and 11.3t of CO2e. Interested in having a carbon audit prepared? Farmers can use AgRE Calc© for free by registering at www.

For more ideas on improving farm efficiency which can in turn reduce the farm carbon footprint, see www. and find us on Facebook and Twitter @SACFarm4Climate. Farming for a Better Climate is funded by the Scottish Government as part of Scotland’s Farm Advisory Service



East London to East Kilbride – how Beauty Bhowmik realised her farming dream with the help of the Farm Advisory Service In 2015, Beauty Bhowmik took a leap of faith and moved her family from their East London house to East Kilbride to pursue her dream of owning a farm. Now, a subsidised Integrated Land Management Plan (ILMP) from the Farm Advisory Service (FAS) is helping Beauty and her family to turn this dream into reality and grow a profitable farming business. Beauty and her husband Devproteek, first experienced farming life while growing up in Bangladesh, where their grandparents owned farms growing fresh produce. As young adults, Beauty and Devproteek moved to the UK to work and study, before finally setting up home in London. Devproteek, a qualified graphic designer, found work as an artist. Meanwhile, Beauty took on various jobs, including working in the retail and the food manufacturing industries. The couple often discussed the possibility of quitting the ‘rat-race’ and running their own farming

business. However, it wasn’t until their sons were born that they began to think more seriously about turning this dream into a reality. Beauty and Devproteek’s growing family needed more space, and their city jobs weren’t providing the level of financial security the couple sought. So, after many years of planning and diligent saving, the family took the plunge and purchased farmland near East Kilbride. ‘When we first arrived, we were like fish out of water. We didn’t know the area or anyone we could ask for advice. I spent a lot of time scouring the internet looking for as much information on farming as I could. That’s where I came across the FAS website,’ said Beauty. ‘I was looking for information on soil management and called the FAS advice line for help. That’s when they suggested that I apply for an ILMP.’ ILMPs help farmers to identify potential business

In 2015, Beauty Bhowmik took a leap of faith and moved her family from their East London house to East Kilbride to pursue her dream of owning a farm


strengths, weaknesses and opportunities, and areas where cost savings could be made. They are developed with the support of an accredited technical specialist who performs an indepth assessment of the business to identify opportunities for sustainable business development. ILMPs are available to all farmers and crofters in Scotland. ILMPs are highly flexible and can include the natural

resources upon which the business relies (that is, soil and nutrient management, biodiversity and conservation), a financial review and a cross compliance assessment to highlight any potential risk areas for the business. Recalling the application process, Beauty commented ‘It all happened within a few days. I applied for funding for an ILMP and within 2 weeks, I received approval for funding.’

With the help of the Farm Advisory Service, the Bhowmiks applied for subsidised funding worth £1,200 to commission a professional integrated land management plan (ILMP) for their business


Not long after Beauty’s application was approved, Christine Beaton, a qualified farm advisor visited the farm. She met with the Bhowmiks to talk through their business plan and undertake a full assessment of the farm. Beauty continued ‘Christine spent lots of time talking to us about what we wanted and what we needed to do. She spent a whole day sitting with my husband and I chatting about what support and options were available to us. She also sent me lots of information, like links to resources online and useful books to read. She was very knowledgeable and helpful.’ With the help of FAS, the Bhowmiks successfully applied for subsidised funding worth £1,200 to commission a professional ILMP assessment of their business. On completion of the farm assessment, Christine then produced a report that identified key opportunities for the business. The report identified the best market in which to sell livestock based on the location of the

business and the breed of the animals reared there (Scottish Blackface sheep). It also identified the main soil type of the farmland, the propensity for leaching and what crops would be best suited to the land (short arable breaks of forage crops and cereals). The ILMP provided guidance on the pH level of the soil and the correct balance of fertiliser (nitrogen, phosphate and potash) mixtures to use when planting. Other recommendations included advice on pollution prevention and minimising risk concerning guttering, storing farmyard manure and preventive measures that can be taken to avoid diffuse pollution. In addition, the report highlighted priorities for restructuring the business, identified practical training needs for Beauty and Devproteek, and detailed an action plan for the couple to work through to achieve their business goals. Armed with a plan on how to grow their business and safeguard against potential risk, Beauty is hopeful for the future ‘We’ve

just completed the ILMP and I plan to follow all the advice in it. Hopefully, it will help us to achieve our goals and help our business to be profitable.’ Beauty is enthusiastic in her response when asked if she would recommend the ILMP to other new farmers in her position ‘Of course! If I know someone who is new to farming and doesn’t know where to start, I would recommend doing an ILMP. ‘It gives you structure and objectives to work towards. When we first started, we didn’t have a plan, we didn’t know where to start. The ILMP helps you organise information and make sense of things.’ Coming from a retail background with no practical experience in livestock farming, what advice would Beauty give to other new farmers or those interested in getting into the industry? ‘I would advise them to do what I did. Go on the FAS website or call them up for information

on how to get started. FAS can provide advice on any kind of farming. They can provide you with guidance or refer you to a specialist adviser in the area you’re interested in. ‘We’re not local to this area, so when we first moved, we didn’t know anyone or who to ask for help. FAS can tell you what help is available and what support you can expect from the Government.’ Beauty has now applied for further funding support through FAS to produce a more specialist advice report focusing specifically on soil and nutrient management, and to carry out a carbon audit of the business. The couple also plan to apply for the FAS Young Farmer Mentoring Scheme to benefit from one-to-one time with a peer farmer who can provide ongoing practical advice and guidance. For information on the support available through FAS, please contact, call 0300 323 0161 or visit

ILMPs provide subsidised support to help farmers and crofters in Scotland to identify business strengths, weaknesses and opportunities, and areas where cost savings could be made

Scotland’s Farm Advisory Service (FAS) is part of the Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP) which is co-funded by the EU and Scottish Government. This £20 million programme provides information and resources aimed at increasing the profitability and sustainability of farms and crofts. Grant support, a full programme of events, a subscription service for crofts and small farms, and a range of articles and publications form the core of this service which is designed to provide integrated advice for farmers and crofters across Scotland. The Farm Advisory Service is being delivered by SAC Consulting (part of Scotland’s Rural College) and Ricardo Energy & Environment. For more information about the service, phone the advice line on 0300 323 0161, or visit https://www.


Investing in


Lanark pupils sold on careers at livestock auction mart A member of staff at one of Scotland’s major livestock auctioneering firms, Lawrie & Symington, has been selling the exciting career opportunities in the sector to pupils from two Lanark schools. Auctioneer and event manager, Willie McCulloch, visited Lanark Grammar School and Robert Owen Memorial Primary School to provide an insight into life working at an auction mart and the employment pathways youngsters may want to consider. Willie, who first joined the company as an office junior and


progressed up the ladder, took part in Lanark Grammar School’s S3 skills workshop (24th and 25th Jan) and gave a presentation to P6 pupils at Robert Owen Memorial Primary School (2nd Feb). He said: “Auctioneering is a specialist profession and good auctioneers are very hard to come by. We’re keen to raise awareness of our work, particularly amongst local people, and let them know what it is we do. The industry needs to inspire more youngsters to consider this as a career path. “The pupils were taking in what was being said and given

the chance to auction an item. We typically look for people who are keen to learn and can adapt to various situations, qualifying as an auctioneer would require completing a four-year course at Harper Adams University in Shropshire.” SQA National Five passes in English and Maths are required for entry on the university course. Located nearby Lanark Grammar School, Lawrie & Symington was one of several local businesses as well as larger national firms to attend the workshop.

Graeme Blackwood, Developing the Young Workforce lead and teacher of technical at Lanark Grammar School, said: “This event is massively valuable in the Developing the Young Workforce initiative and the involvement of local employers in this is hugely important. The workshop helps inform the kids on routes they might want to take in their careers and the skills they will require.” Lawrie & Symington employs 68 staff across its two sites and has an annual turnover of £3.25m. Last year, the business marked its 150th year of livestock auctioneering.

IN THE BEGINNING Q1) Where were you born? Dubai. We moved to Scotland when I was a toddler so I have no real memories of those early years in the UAE. Q2) What is your earliest memory? Unwrapping a piece of newspaper to reveal a beautiful, white ceramic budgerigar inside. I remember being delighted that the ugly paper contained such wondrous contents. We’d just moved house, and I was ‘helping’ unpack. I must have been about two and a half, it’s a very fleeting memory, but I still have the wee bird. Q3) How would you describe your childhood upbringing? Rural and remote. A lot of time outside working with my dad. I spent my youth wearing polo necks, dungarees and wellies. I think that’s why I have such an extensive wardrobe now!

can try to forge your own way, and if you can’t have it all you can at least attempt to cherry-pick the best bits. Life keeps changing, you just have to write your own story and try not to let others write it for you.

THE INTERVIEW up close & personal Your Name: Janice Hopper Your job title: Freelance Food and Travel Writer Company name: Janice Hopper Freelance Writer & What you do for the company? Everything

Q4) How was school for you? I loved learning and I adored school projects. Unusually I found being a teenager easier than being a child, and a lot more fun. I found a good group of friends and loved life from 15 years old onwards. MOVING ON Q5) What were you into during your teenage years? People. Living so remotely the minute I got some independence I indulged in people and sociability. I had a job from the age of 13 and my own money. It’s so true that in your teenage years you start discovering who you actually are. Q6) Who was the first influence in your life? My mother, naturally. Q7) College, University or straight into work? University. I did an MA Hons in ‘English Literature’ and ‘Film and Television Studies’ at Glasgow University. I wanted to become a documentary maker, and I did. I spent three years at STV, followed by eleven years at the BBC directing arts and history programmes for the factual department.

Q8) Any unusual working experiences from those early years? I think that declaring you’d like a career in television, securing a job at 22, then directing your first programme at 25 is pretty unusual. I was told it would never happen. I’ve been very lucky that, throughout my life, key individuals could see potential in me and let me get on with the work. GROWING UP Q9) What was your first car? A Vauxhall Corsa. I have no passionate interest in cars. I want to get from A to B, I want to be safe, but that’s about it. Q10) Be honest now, did you pass your test first time? Nope. Second time. Q11) Can you remember your first love or passion? Reading. It took me places. Enid

Blyton’s ‘The Magic Faraway Tree’ was my favourite book as a young child.. LIFE & LEISURE Q12) Do you have a talent that you would like to share with us? Physically I’m sporty with good coordination and reflexes, but it’s not often called for in my day to day life or at work.

Q15) What is the best advice you have given and would like to pass on to our readers? Keep going, every step takes you forwards. Ironically, my other advice is to stop, savour things, wake up and smell the coffee. INTO BUSINESS Q16) Your current job, can you tell us a little more about what you do? I’m a freelance food and travel writer, writing for international, national and Scottish publications ( jhtravelwriter). I also run the family travel blog, recommending family friendly attractions and short breaks around Scotland and beyond. It’s hugely rewarding and varied work. Q17) Is there a ‘dream job’ out there waiting for you? I’m actually hoping that by the time I’m officially ‘old’ I’ll get a decent retirement. That’s my dream, a fulfilling retirement with good health, good company and some carefree adventures before my time is done.

Q13) Away from work, how do you like to relax? I love travelling and I love being at home, both ends of the spectrum. I enjoy sunshine and beach-life, equally I like winter, log fires and hot chocolate - contrasts definitely appeal to me.

LAST THOUGHTS Q18) Is there was a single person (Alive or dead) you would love to meet? It may sound unexpected, but if I got an opportunity to spend a few hours in someone’s company, perhaps a nice meal and uninterrupted chat, I’d probably opt for my husband. We’re usually chasing after two young children so, you can forget Albert Einstein or Marilyn Monroe, just send me to the Chester, Douneside House or the Marcliffe in Aberdeen to have a slap up meal with my other half!

Q14) How is life today for you? I’m the happiest I’ve been. I’m the head of a family and I run my own business. I don’t think that British society or the workplace is set up for women to have it all, but you

Q19) And finally, is there one thing in the world you would like to change? If I could magically alter man’s propensity to violence and destruction, then I would.



BALERS A look at some of the baler models for the 2018 season

Case IH RB 500 fixed chamber and RB400 variable chamber round balerst Updates for 2018 to the Case IH standalone RB 545 and combination RB 545 Silage Pack fixed chamber round balers include improved front hood access when changing net and film, stronger rotor cutter knives, a configurable blank knife option, an improved bale quarter turn option and longer wrapper table belts. There is also a new high-resolution monitor option for the camera available on both models. Meanwhile, Case IH RB455 and RB465 variable chamber round balers also benefit from 2018 upgrades. These include a dual density option for the standard RB 455 and RB 465 ‘overshot’ models, a system that is standard on Rotor Feeder and Rotor Cutter variants. On Rotor

Cutter models a new rotor design is said to improve durability, with tine thickness increased from 6mm to 8mm and inter-tine spacing up from 8mm to 10mm. A new net wrapper design features a new net knife to improve cut quality. Bale shape fill sensor sensitivity has been improved, as has the associated display. The biggest change to the RB variable chamber models is a new integrated wrapper option - previously this was only available on Case IH fixed chamber balers. Machines leave the factory wrapper-ready and are then transferred to wrapper manufacturer Goweil for fitment. This option is available for RB 455 and RB 465 models in Rotor Cutter specification.

New VARIANT 400 baler range from Claas

Compared to previous models, the latest VARIANT 400 variable chamber baler range 34

introduced in 2017 provide an increased crop flow and feature a new netting system and a heavier

BALERS duty bale chamber, making the balers more reliable and easier to use. The VARIANT 400 range comprises four models and two bale sizes. With the VARIANT 460RF and 465RC, the bale size is variable from 0.90m up to 1.55m, while bales up to 1.8m can be created using the VARIANT 480RF and 485RC.

Standard on all models is a 2.35m wide pick-up, fitted with a dual Roller Crop Press. This has four height settings so that it can be quickly and easily adjusted for a more uniform and even crop flow, so allowing the VARIANT 400 to be operated at a higher forward speed. Also standard on all models is the PRO hydraulic drop down

floor, which allows blockages to be quickly and easily cleared from the cab. The floor will also lower 30mm automatically to allow large lumps to pass through and be drawn into the baler. In the event of a blockage, the operator simply lowers the floor so that the blockage can be forced into the baling chamber and the floor raised again to commence baling.

The VARIANT 480/460RF is fitted with the ROTO FEED rotor system while VARIANT 485/465RC models also feature an updated ROTO CUT system. Feed into the baler is via a new design of star rotor for an improved feed, especially in wetter crops, into the ROTO CUT unit, which is fitted with 14 knives that achieve 6,000 cuts a minute.

The Fendt Squadra 1290 UD square baler The new Fendt Squadra 1290 UD generates a unique press force of 760 kN, which produces straw densities of up to 245 kg/ m . The key to producing such high densities is the new ultra main gearbox with drive train, which makes power transmission even more efficient. The tractor’s PTO speed is increased to 1,500 rpm via an intermediate gearbox on the baler. This 50% increase produces 130% more flywheel

energy compared with the existing Fendt 1290 XD square baler, and reduces the maximum power requirement whilst running much quieter. In the ultra main gearbox itself, the driving torque is distributed in an intermediate step to two gears of equal speed, and then combined again in the large drive gear of the plunger. This torque distribution in the main gearbox allows double the power to be transmitted at a virtually






D-K-R AGRICULTURAL SERVICES LTD. Westfield, Coulter, Biggar, Lanarkshire ML12 6HN 4ELs&!8 E-Mail: dkrcoulter@hotmail-com


BALERS constant main gearbox weight and dimension in comparison to the 1290 XD. The increased piston speed of 50 strokes/min, together with

the redesigned pick-up with five controlled tine bars, 80 tines and a driven feed rake across the full width, also produces a 20% increase in output.

The hydraulic cylinders which are 55% (total diameter 178 mm) larger than those on the current Fendt XD square baler, generate enough force to achieve the maximum

possible bale weight. Further to this, the OptiForm Ultra compression chamber, which has been extended by 0.7 m, produces a perfect bale shape throughout its life.

New variable chamber round balers from John Deere John Deere is introducing a complete range of new V400 Series variable chamber round balers for the 2018 season, replacing the previous 800 and 900 Series models. These high capacity balers have been designed to work more efficiently and productively in all crop conditions from wet grass to dry, brittle straw, offering farmers and contractors increased versatility and ease of operation. Key features include a durable, extra heavy duty welded frame and a proven feeding system with a larger diameter pick-up and onepiece in-line auger rotor for


improved intake and crop flow. Heavier duty components such as bigger drive chains, oversize roller bearings, a new bale density tension system and Hardox steel rotor tines have also been incorporated in the new designs. The V451G is a basic specification, entry level baler primarily for use in hay and straw, while the midspecification V451M and V461M multi-crop balers are ideal for medium to high volume use where the focus is on producing uniform bales as quickly and consistently as possible. The V451G has a four tine bar pick-up with 5mm

tines, while the two M model balers also offer the option of a heavier duty, higher capacity

five tine bar pick-up with 6mm tines, which is standard on the R models.


Krone celebrate 40 years of round baler production

Krone is celebrating 40 years of round baler production with its standard range of Comprima round balers receiving a number of upgrades. A modern fresh look has been achieved using a new design of cover and panel as well as a new robust lighting system, including LED work lights, for giving better visibility. Comprima balers are available as a single or tandem axle with a choice of brakes and tyres and all models are ISOBus compatible. The Comprima Combi Wrappers now have a new design of bale turner encompassing a jockey wheel, which helps to protect the sward. The bale turner turns the round bale on to its flat end for easier handling and transport. For a more reliable operation mechanical switches have been replaced with ultrasonic ones, which indicate when the bale is safely

on the wrapping table, allowing the twin satellite wrapper to start the wrapping cycle. All Comprima models have the option of a peripheral film wrap instead of net wrap. This can increase silage quality as the film helps hold the bale in shape, eliminating air pockets, thus reducing mould and spoilage. Disposing of the crop packaging is easier too as only one recycling container is needed for film, as opposed to one for film and one for net. New Comprima balers retain many of the recognised features that put this model ahead of the competition, including the EasyFlow - W camless pick-up, 2150mm working width (DIN) and five rows of tines. The staggered W arrangement of the tines mean a more uniform and even feed of crop into the baler, resulting in more uniform and dense bales.


Kuhn round FB series balers KUHN’s range of round balers includes the FB series of fixed chamber machines and the VB series of variable chamber machines. The FB 3130 and FB 3135 fixed chamber round balers both use a 2.30m wide pickup and bale chamber equipped with 18 POWERTRACK rollers to produce 1.22 by 1.25 metre bales. The FB 3130 is available with KUHN’s OPTIFEED intake rotor, which uses double feeding tines and integrated augers to provide an even and consistent flow of crop into the bale chamber, or the OPTICUT 14 intake rotor which is fitted with 14 knives to provide a cutting length of 70 mm. The FB 3135 is available with either KUHN’s OPTICUT 14 intake rotor or OPTICUT 23 intake rotor which uses 23

knives to provide a cutting length of 45mm. The FB 3135 has recently been upgraded to include automatic functions, including a fully automated tailgate which opens and closes without the need for any operator input. As well as this, an overload protection clutch, which is activated when the baler’s intake is too high, automatically unblocks the chamber by retracting the baler’s cutting knives and lowering the baler’s DROPFLOOR system. After the blockage has been cleared and the PTO is re-engaged, the baler’s rotor restarts and the crop is guided back into the bale chamber. Finally, an automatic knife cleaning system keeps the knife slots free of debris by cleaning the intake rotor after a pre-defined number of bales. This new system can be

operated in a fully automatic or semi-automatic (press button to commence the baling cycle) mode.

Alternatively, a manual override can be selected (press and hold buttons to active the baling sequence).







New advanced technology MF Round Balers from Massey Ferguson Massey Ferguson has announced the addition of a new line up of high quality, advanced technology MF Round Balers to its fast expanding green and gold harvesting range. With a superb, consistent bale shape, superior design and high quality engineering, the new MF RB Series round balers further strengthen Massey Ferguson’s fast-growing fleet of efficient and dependable equipment. Five models provide a wide choice of fixed- and variable chamber balers to exactly match the requirements of all users, including smaller stock farms, larger mixed grass and arable enterprises through to professional contractors. The MF RB range will be recognised for its strength and reliability, with patented and

unique features that will set the benchmark for producing consistent, superior hay, silage and straw bales. “The MF RB Series joins the recently introduced mower, rakes and tedders, which quickly proved popular,” says Adam Sherriff, Market Development Manager, Massey Ferguson Harvesting, EME. “Customers are now able to buy a well-proven, quality baler from their local Massey Ferguson Dealer with the confidence of knowing they will receive superb service and back-up. “The addition of these balers enables Massey Ferguson to expand its world-class range of hay and forage equipment, as well as provide arable operators with the industry’s most respected variable chamber round baler,” he adds.

Constructed from the highest quality components, the straightforward design

combines ease of operation and dependable performance with low maintenance.



McHale V660 Variable Chamber Round Baler As with all McHale machines, the V6 variable chamber round baler range has been designed with the demands of today’s farmer and contractor in mind. This common sense approach to design ensures that theV660 variable chamber round balers operation is kept simple and user friendly. Features like, the three belt variable bale chamber with double drive and the drop floor unblocking system, when combined with high specification components, ensures long life, reliability and a variable chamber round baler that is rugged enough to handle the toughest of crops and ground conditions. The V660 variable chamber baler features include: On the V660 Variable Chamber Round Baler the left hand side of the gearbox drives the belts and rollers in the bale chamber, while the pick-up and chopper unit are driven from the right hand side of the machine. This system ensures evenly distributed power to both the bale chamber and the pick-up and chopper unit. The McHale V660 variable chamber round baler is equipped with a 2.1 metre galvanised

pick-up which lifts even the shortest of crop. Accurate height control can be achieved through a spring balanced hydraulic lifting system. The V660 variable chamber round baler comes standard with pneumatic guide wheels, which contact the ground on exactly the same line as the tines and guide the

pick-up perfectly over uneven ground. The pick-up on the V660 variable chamber round baler is fitted with lateral feed augers that smoothly guide the crop into the chopping unit. The pick-up features: Four rows of tines, Double raced cam bearings, Slip clutch protection

and Cam side inspection port for checking/ changing pick up bearings. A crop compression roller is also available as an optional extra on the McHale V660 variable chamber round baler. This roller evens out lumps in the swarth and minimises the risk of blockages, when working in heavy swarths.

New Holland upgrades Roll-Belt variable chamber balers New Holland Agriculture upgrades its Roll-Belt variable chamber balers with silage functional improvements and the new IntelliBale™ system. These improvements to the latest generation of this market leading baler range further raise the bar on performance and efficiency. “New Holland has been an innovator in the Roll-Belt baler segment for over 25 years, introducing pioneering firsts that have changed the way variable chambers operate today,” said Simon Nichol, Head of Hay & Forage and Crop Production Product Management. “This is such a successful baler that there are more than 235,000 of them at 40

BALERS work in fields around the world. The latest generation redefined round baling with its outstanding capacity, bale density, easy servicing and ease of use. But at New Holland we are never satisfied and we are already reaching higher introducing new features

to improve this outstanding range even further.” The silage improvements to the Roll-Belt baler ensure it delivers a consistent top-notch performance in all crops and moisture levels as well as improving productivity by maximising uptime.

An innovative new dual follower roll sledge assembly replaces the single looped follower roll with scraper of the previous models. The smooth front roll and looped rear roll rotate together, preventing the crop that accumulates on top of the scraper and behind the belts in the follower

roll area from wrapping on the rolls, which can lead to belt slippage or stalling in difficult silage conditions. This improvement eliminates the need to stop and clean crop from the roll and scraper, increasing the baler’s uptime – with consequent benefits to productivity.

Vicon variable chamber balers With fast and effective clearance of any blockage, the drop floor gives operators of Vicon’s RV5200-series extra confidence to push for output. The RV5216 and RV5220 produce bales with diameters of up to 1.65m and 2.0m respectively. Both benefit from five endless belts and a closed chamber system that affords immediate bale starting. Both are equipped with a drop floor mechanism that is cleverly suspended on a parallelogram linkage. It means the RV now offers shorter unblocking times from improved clearance at the front of the baler – which is the area most at risk of blockage. This same system is available on the fixed chamber RF4325, which shares many of the variable chamber’s technology, but in a fixed chamber format. It uses 17 heavy duty reinforced rollers to produce a bale measuring 1.25m in diameter, and a 14-knife Supercut crop chopping system is available. Regardless of the model, it is the Vicon baler’s ability to produce top quality bales with impressive density and shape in all conditions, that sets the RV and RF models apart from all others. Vicon round balers are also equipped with PowerBind - the very latest in net-wrap technology. It uses fewer components than before and eliminates the need for feed-in rollers. It has been cleverly engineered to avoid interference from external factors such as wind and crop. Net is injected directly into the bale chamber using the PowerBind arm, which maintains net tension at all times and delivers repeatable accuracy with consistent net injection.


ECUADOR WORLD FARMING With Valentine’s Day just past and your roses beginning to wilt in their vase, have you ever wondered where those roses came from or just glad that they arrived at all? They may well have travelled half way around the world to put a smile on your face. After oil, bananas and shrimp, roses are Ecuador’s fourth biggest export and while not the main producer of roses in the world, the country is renowned for growing roses of the finest quality. With mountains and valleys stretching right across the country, micro climates are created, which are ideal for the production of various fruits and vegetables. The roses “region” of the country is confined to an area in the north, about 60 kms south of the capital Quito and lying at around 2,700 metres, which creates the prefect growing conditions. These really are roses with altitude! Working and living within close proximity to one another, the rose growers of Ecuador are all well connected. While they regularly meet and share information, sharing secrets is less likely. The value in 25 years of royalties for a new variety is significant and technicians in the industry, are well sought after and well rewarded for their expertise. The current fashion world-wide is for unscented varieties but should that alter, there is no 42

Where roses are red, yellow, pink and blue!

doubt, that production would quickly change to accommodate the market. Decoflor, are one of the main growers of roses in Ecuador and normally produce around 200,000 blooms a week from their six hectare site, which is surrounded by tight security. In the three weeks leading up to 7th February, the week before Valentine’s Day, production is targeted for the event and increases to 1.2 million roses a week. Roses are to Valentine’s Day, as turkeys are to Christmas! The 400 employees, are dedicated to the task in which they are involved and obviously take considerable pride and care in their work. Like most of the Ecuadorian population, they earn the minimum wage of around $370 per month, plus bonuses but they are each part of a chain striving to produce the perfect rose. From growing to transport, the roses are checked individually at every stage, from the moment that they are chosen for each market, until they arrive at their destination. Some countries, like the USA, prefer short stemmed large headed roses, Europe likes short stemmed, small headed roses and Russia go for the large headed long-stemmed varieties. Roses chosen for the Russian market, for example, will arrive at the Russian florists, only five days after they are cut.

By Fiona Sloan Government licensing and regulations are tight, to ensure that the country is only producing the best quality blooms for export and those which don’t quite make the grade are sold in local markets. Each rose is checked by hand, for bloom quality and separated into 20 different lengths of stem. These are then collected by the packers and 12 roses are carefully laid in four layers of three, with paper between and surrounded by a corrugated cardboard protector, before being encased in the usual cellophane

presentation we all recognise. The cardboard protects them in transport and is removed by the florists on arrival, where they still have a guaranteed two-week life span. Stems are cut to size and again checked before being packed in the boxes for transport all over the world. The fashion for roses has changed over the years and new floral varieties have come and gone but the rose remains, the most popular flower in the world, for special occasions. Happy Valentines Day.

Ready to go

Packaging for the long haul


Strong yields for GB potato seed sent to Kenya for trials GB potato seed sent out to Kenya has performed strongly on three Kenyan trial sites. AHDB and SASA have been working together to open the Kenyan market to GB seed since a bilateral agreement was signed by the Scottish and Kenyan governments late in 2016. This resulted in well-known British varieties being exported to Kenya and planted in three different farms to assess the yield and quality, and the results speak for themselves. While all four named varieties sent out to Kenya have grown well, Cara has been the standout performer with average yields across all three farms of over 50 tonnes per hectare. Hermes and Russet Burbank also grew well with an average yield of 41 tonnes per hectare, while

Atlantic brought up the rear with 35 tonnes per hectare. The yields achieved in Kenya closely mirror average yields in Britain which tend to be around 46 tonnes per hectare, however most farmers in Kenya are used to yields of around 10 tonnes a hectare as 95% use poor quality home saved seed rather than high quality imported seed. The seed is blamed for endemic spread of diseases and the Kenyan Government is keen to approve new high health seed varieties which will not only limit the spread of such diseases but also improve yield. The four varieties have now been planted for a second season and if they perform well once more they could be approved for export to Kenya. Rob Burns, AHDB Head of Crop Trade Market Development,

says: “We are really pleased to see our seed performing so well in Kenya, although not surprised, as all these free varieties grow well in hotter, drier climates. “It’s particularly positive to see that three of our four varieties are performing at a similar standard or better than what’s called the ‘check variety’, which in this case is a high quality variety called Dutch Robyjin. Even Atlantic, which is not quite yielding as well, is not far behind. “We are also now looking into other African markets, such as Rwanda, which we will be visiting later this month on a trade mission with the Department for International Development (DFID).” Jackie Gibson, Exports Coordinator at SASA, believes that another strong season could

open up significant opportunities for exporters. She says: “I think we are likely to see the strong results we have seen in the first season replicated in the second and if we get good yields, combined with other positive characteristics, such a better dry matter and disease resistance, we will definitely see GB varieties added to the national list. “After that it will be vital to translate this success in gaining market access to commercial success for British exporters through promoting the approved varieties to potential customers.” The AHDB Export team and SASA will continue their work to explore new markets at this week’s international trade show Fruit Logistica where they will be showcasing potato and horticulture products with British exporters.

Proagrica Announces Definitive Agreement to Acquire US Farm Solutions Company SST Software Proagrica, part of RELX Group, a world-leading provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers, announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the entire issued share capital of US based precision agriculture solutions company, SST Software. The transaction is subject to customary conditions and is expected to close during the first quarter of 2018. Proagrica serves the agriculture industry by providing independent connectivity and datadriven decision support solutions, creating actionable intelligence to drive business growth across the value chain. SST Software is a leading US independent precision farming solutions company and delivers insight and decision support to agronomic advisors and growers. “This is an important commitment to Proagrica’s

development, particularly in North America”, said Graeme McCracken, Managing Director of Proagrica, “We are delighted that our two businesses will come together to combine our solutions, customer focus and vision to deliver what I believe will be a unique solution that will provide insight into the fragmented agricultural supply chain. The combination of Proagrica’s key competencies of data connectivity and data analytics, and SST’s focus on the agriculture retail and agronomy services segment means we can better serve those who advise and sell to farmers. Agriculture has huge opportunities to benefit from sharing data. Proagrica has both the track record and technological expertise to facilitate this transformation acting as an independent broker, protecting and nurturing trust and demonstrating the gains to

be had, throughout the supply chain.” SST will continue to trade under the SST brands alongside Proagrica’s current product portfolio. SST’s Chief Executive Officer, Matt Waits will continue to lead the organization from its headquarters in Stillwater, Oklahoma. “Today, farmers are collecting more data than ever”, said Waits,” but the value of those data assets are not being fully realized due to the lack of digital compatibility in the market. Retailers, seed companies, pesticide manufacturers, and equipment companies all provide valuable services to growers, but growers cannot freely participate with these offerings due to data incompatibility. Proagrica represents a truly independent offering to the market that is focused on unlocking the value of data through seamless and trusted integration of the agricultural supply chain. Our two companies

coming together will bring opportunities to all participants in agriculture and I am looking forward to working with the Proagrica team and our customers to bring this to reality”. SST Software has been serving the growers and agronomists in the US for more than 20 years. With well-established products such as SST Summit, FarmRite and Sirrus, SST has been a driving force in the development of digital agriculture. Proagrica will continue the development of these SST solutions and particularly of SST’s agX Platform, a geospatial farm data platform that transfers data from system to system, so allowing efficient data transfer with benefits of transparency and insight. The development of platforms which integrate, standardize and synchronize across multiple data sources while protecting these data assets is Proagrica’s global expertise. 43

organics UK Organic Market worth £2.2 billion, with sales in Scotland rising 19.4% The Soil Association’s 2018 Organic Market Report published recently reveals the UK organic market is now worth more than ever at £2.2 billion, growing 6% in 2017. The market has now had six years of steady growth, with organic accounting for 1.5% of the total UK food and drink market. Sales of organic in Scotland were growing at a rate of 19.4% in 2017 [1], and account for 6.5% of all UK sales. Scotlandbased Soil Association licensees reported even bigger growth at 28%, with interest in organic buoyed by strong government support through the Organic Ambitions plan, which is helping to raise public awareness. This strong growth looks set to continue, with 100% of Scottish


independent retailers expecting organic sales to maintain or increase in 2018. Isla McCulloch, Business Development Manager for Soil Association Scotland, said: “Consumer research we carried out last year showed very clearly that people want to see organic become more available, both when shopping and eating out, with half of the people we spoke to saying they would choose a restaurant with organic and sustainable credentials over one without. This reflects a growing understanding of what organic really means – for health and for the environment – and is also influencing shopping habits as people put increasing importance on provenance and trust, values that organic delivers on. It’s also

increasingly seen as the healthy choice, so it ticks a lot of boxes for the customer.”

* Sales in foodservice, including through the Organic Served Here scheme, grew by 10.2%

Key trends highlighted in the report, for the whole of the UK, include:

* The organic and natural beauty market was worth £75.9million in 2017, up 24%

* Supermarket sales of organic grew by 4.2% in 2017, while non-organic supermarket sales increased by just over 2%

* Sales of organic textiles grew by 25%

* Independent retailers increased sales of organic by 9.7% * Sales of organic for home delivery, including box schemes, grew by 9.5% and now account for almost 13% of the organic market

This year has seen booming sales in independent retail and home delivery: expanding online ranges, and growing interest in box schemes, means these areas are now growing at a faster rate than supermarket, and between them account for almost 30% of the organic market. For producers, more interest in home delivery is a valuable opportunity to grow their

organics business and to make the most of the increasing public interest in buying British and buying local. Locavore run three small farms, a veg box scheme and a farm shop in Glasgow. Owner Reuben Chesters said: “Our box scheme has grown an awful lot in 2017, actually we’ve seen the fastest growth to date. I think this growth comes from our message: by being organic and local, and a social enterprise we tick quite a few boxes for environmentally conscious shoppers.”

The future for organic is looking bright. With the AgriEnvironment Climate Scheme now open for applications, more farmers can apply for support to convert their land to organic. David Michie, Head of Farming and Land Use at Soil Association Scotland, said “the AECS scheme has some really attractive payment rates for farmers – and with a 5 year contract they provide some income certainty for Scottish farmers in these uncertain times.”

With the window for organic conversion payments now open in Scotland, how can Soil Association Certification support farmers in organic conversion? Applications are open for the Scottish government’s AgriEnvironment Climate Scheme, offering financial support for farmers and landowners converting to organic farming. The funding window closes on Friday 13 April 2018. Soil Association Certification certifies organic farmers and, through its Scotland office, offers a comprehensive and competitive support package that can assist farmers in Scotland through their conversion period. David Michie, Head of Farming and Land Use at Soil Association Scotland, said: “Protecting and enhancing Scotland’s wonderful natural environment is right at the heart of the Agri-Environment Climate Scheme and farming, in particular environmentallyfriendly systems like organic, are going to have to play a vital role in areas such as boosting

biodiversity and protecting our soils. “Now is a particularly good time to look at converting to organic, because we’re seeing an ever-growing organic market and real demand from the public for traceable produce.” Cairn Hill Farm is a 700 hectare sheep and cattle farm that converted to organic three years ago. Discussing the decision to go organic, owner Andrew Williamson said: “We liked the ethos of organic; we have a lot of extensive grazing land, which is rich habitat for waders, so being organic merged well with a lot of the environmental schemes that we also wanted to be part of. The Soil Association doesn’t just certify products; the charity does a lot to promote organic food to a much wider audience.” The Soil Association Certification business support package includes:

Organic Sales Report Positive for Scottish Producers

It’s positive news once again for organic producers in Scotland as organic food and drink sales rise to record levels in the UK. For the sixth year in a row, organic sales have risen, continuing to bounce back after the recession. Last year, organic sales rose by 6% to a record £2.2 billion, beating the pre-recession high of 2.1 billion in 2008. The Scottish Organic Producers Association (SOPA) have been predicting a potential increase in sales of organic produce based on the increased area of in-conversion land in Scotland (a process which takes two years), as well as an increase in demand for organic crops. The organic market now accounts for 1.5% of the total UK food and drink market. With 70% of Scotland’s organic farmers being SOPA members, it’s a positive time for producers north of the border. Debs Roberts, SOPA’s Policy Manager, had the following to say about the latest report:

“It’s fantastic to see that sales of organic food and drink are continuing to rise in the UK. We’re continuing to see an increase in demand, particularly for organic cereals, in Scotland, so it’s positive to see that this is translating right through to consumer purchasing.” Prospective organic farmers are being warned not to miss out on vital organic funding payments as the application window is now open and closes on Friday 13th April 2018. This is a crucial period for anyone looking to take advantage of the funding options for organic maintenance and conversion. It’s important to discuss conversion planning, and to decide on the best start date for individual conversion before going ahead, and anyone interested is advised to contact SOPA Member Services. The SOPA membership support team is contactable on 0131 335 6606 or email uk. 45

organics * A dedicated Certification Officer, Abi Catt, based in Scotland, offering practical and proficient support throughout the life of your certification

* Use of the UK’s most widely recognised organic symbol, used on more than 70% of UK organic products * Supply chain support from a dedicated Business Development

Manager, Isla McCulloch, including access to the Food for Life supplier scheme * Free marketing support for key organic campaigns, such as Organic September

If you’re thinking about converting to organic, find out more about organic certification and conversion at www.soilassociationscotland. org

Aerostar-Exact and Aerostar-Rotation

You have special crops? Your soils are encrusted? You want to fight weed mechanically? You want to weed in mulch tillage? Terrington Machinery has the right Einböck for you, the AEROSTAR-EXACT Tined Weeder and the AEROSTARROTATION Rotative Weeder! The AEROSTAR-EXACT does not only convince by the exact functionality but by the precise adjustment possibilities too. It is very simple: for the AEROSTAR-EXACT the tines of 7mm x 600mm long are always set in light “on hold”. This can be done hydraulically from the tractor seat. A notice on one of the outer cylinders 46

helps to find the desired tine position. The support wheels are adjusted, that way the weeding elements run absolutely parallel to the soil during operation. The pin of the top linkage should be about in the middle of the long hole. The AEROSTAR-ROTATION is a rotative weeder with high flexibility in use. Rotating working tools uproot the weeds, encourage tillering and crack even hard soil crusts without any problems. The star wheels are mounted on an incline, therefore the efficiency of weed control is more thorough. Furthermore, the wheels are very insensitive to organic residues. That’s

why this machine is perfectly suited for mulch-tillage. Even at low working speed as often required for sensitive crops, the AEROSTAR-ROTATION does very effective work. 6.5 mm thick steel tines, casted into an inclined plastic disc do the job. Each of these 50cm big star wheels are suspended separately. Therefore, they adapt perfectly to any surface irregularities. The discs are mounted at a line distance of 15cm on sections of 1.50 m. The inverted arrangement of these inclined mounted discs from the middle of the machine prevents a possible side pull.

Visit to see the complete range of available machinery for the organic farmer.

Order your FARMING SCOTLAND MAGAZINE Limited Edition Whisky See Page 123

21st century farming Sustainable farming systems the focus of EcoAgri Tech event at Knock Farm

The Royal Northern Agricultural Society’s on-farm technical event in 2018 will focus on sustainable agricultural techniques on the beef and sheep farm of Knock, Huntly, Aberdeenshire, where farmers, Roger and Beth Polson, have been farming organically since 2006. The event, EcoAgri Tech, will be held on the afternoon of Wednesday, July 18, and will take the form of a farm tour followed by a barbecue and panel discussion. It will replace the society’s StockTech event at Dunscroft, Huntly, in June which has had to be cancelled because of the effect on the farm of recent wet weather. “We don’t have enough time to set up another major open day like the one planned for Dunscroft and we are grateful to Roger and Beth for kindly agreeing to host a smaller specialist event which will be of interest to all mainstream farmers as well as those seeking to adopt a more ecological approach to their farming,” said RNAS president, Robbie Newlands, Cluny, Forres.

“The theme of the event very much chimes with current thinking in agriculture and recognition of the need to develop agro ecological solutions leading to increasingly sustainable systems of agricultural production.” Organisation of the event is in the hands of an RNAS committee under the chairmanship of John Gordon, Wellheads, Huntly. The event will provide a platform for research institutes and other organisations to promote and discuss some of the current developments in agroecology and its application to mainstream farming. Although Knock is managed organically, the event will look at the broader application of sustainable principals and their possible place in the future of Scottish agricultural production and land management in general. “The drive to change our approach from striving for physical output to a more holistic appreciation

of agricultural production is gathering momentum and there is a growing recognition of the place for an agroecological approach as the way forward for a sustainable agricultural industry,” Mr Polson says. Reducing the industry’s dependence on quick-fix solutions such as processed fertilisers, synthetic pesticides and antibiotics, will, he suggests, allow producers to improve their ability to exploit in a sustainable way the natural resources of soils, climate, microbes, plant and animal life. “It will require a real mind-set change but research is showing that output is not necessarily compromised by this approach, ecosystems costs are significantly reduced and overall productivity - which is not the same as production - can be significantly improved,” he says. And he adds: “The challenge which farmers face is to produce output from this environment without unduly compromising

the many other forms of life that exist there and thus degrading the balanced environment in which we live.” Knock is a 434ha mixed farm lying between Huntly and Keith. The farming enterprise comprises a herd of 75 Simmental and AberdeenAngus cross suckler cows and 400 Blackface and Scotch Mule breeding ewes, with all progeny finished on the farm. Both herds have been closed since 1996 except for breeding bulls, rams and 45 replacement Blackface ewe lambs purchased annually from one source. Cropping includes 140 acres of spring crop and about a quarter of the farm is now committed to commercial forestry and permaculture such as grazed woodlands and conservation areas. The business also operates a livery and provides cross country training facilities as well as hosting occasional equine competitions. 47

Farm buildings & livestock security Advise on tacking this growing problem from SpyCameraCCTV

With reports of theft of livestock and equipment from farms on the rise, it has never been more important to consider security in and around farm buildings. SpyCameraCCTV has been designing and selling bespoke camera systems for farming applications for almost a decade. In this time, we have used our experience to put together a wide range of ready-made farm camera kits, all using long-range wireless transmitters, perfect for sending video across large properties and fields. These unique products let you monitor livestock and equipment across your property, all from one central location, saving you time and stress in some of the toughest times of the year. With our range of kits expanding over the years, we now have solutions for a vast range of potential scenarios. We have taken our expertise in CCTV to create solutions to make farmers’ lives easier. Our farming kits range from basic single camera systems to multi-camera packs

suitable for watching over multiple areas. Whatever the size of your buildings we have a farm security solution to suit. How do our camera systems work? Our camera kits are great for watching over your livestock during the breeding season and protecting your equipment and buildings the rest of the year. They all use professional quality CCTV cameras, which are then wired into powerful wireless transmitters to send the video back to your house. You can then watch live images of the animals from the comfort of your sofa, saving the need to run out into the cold every half hour! Some of these kits will also have audio, letting you listen out for animals in distress or anything suspicious. Watch on your smartphone or tablet Some of our systems feature cutting-edge HD IP technology. This is a newer technology, with

digital cameras that send data down the same type of network cable that your internet uses. They can record in much higher resolutions and use transmitters that can send the signal much, much further than analogue equipment – up to 3km in direct line of sight! Crucially, you can monitor your cameras on your smartphone, tablet and PC – even when you are away from the farm! This gives you great peace-of-mind knowing that at any time you can check in on your buildings. If you have a camera kit with a recorder you can record hours of footage from the cameras and you can also remotely playback past footage,

which is all time-stamped for security purposes. Add extra flexibility with PanTilt-Zoom Cameras Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) cameras allow you to remotely control the camera in your barn, rotating and zooming the lens to focus on specific areas. This can all be controlled by a PC, phone or dedicated joystick. Clever positioning of these cameras enables you to monitor wide areas with just one camera. Some of our PTZ cameras even feature ‘smart tracking’ where the camera detects and locks onto moving objects, perfect if you want to see who is entering and leaving your site.

Our expert sales team are available to design bespoke camera kits based on your requirements.

Visit our website or call us on 0117 325 2470 today for a quote. 48

GADGETS Farmplan launches the next product in its range of web-based crop recording solutions Gatekeeper Express Plus is now available following its launch at LAMMA 18. The solution offers users enhanced functionality which builds on the success of Gatekeeper Express, first seen early last year, offering farmers with less complex requirements a wider range of tools and features to better manage their business. Sarah Alexander, Arable Product Manager at Farmplan says, “For Farmplan, Gatekeeper Express marked the beginning of a shift to not only modernise its crop recording offerings by going fully web-based, but to work more closely with customers and the market as a whole, to produce a solution that

can offer real flexibility, mobility and time-saving benefits. Of course Gatekeeper Express was the first step towards this goal helping users meet simple record keeping requirements but now Farmplan are delighted to announce that Gatekeeper Express Plus is also available.” The Farmplan team based here in the UK have drawn on their combined technical and agricultural knowledge to create Gatekeeper Express Plus with the support of farmers who have helped in every step of its development. Users can expect enhanced features including stock, average pricing and trading tools to

help them manage sales and purchases plus more detailed job management. In this version the team have also added in a wealth of additional reporting tools including crop gross margin,

crop growing valuation and stock valuation. For more information visit or call 01594 545000 for more details.

Introducing the revolutionary Q-Companion™ to nine more countries Ålö AB, one of the world´s leading suppliers in the agricultural machinery industry is now continuing the launch of the unique and revolutionizing


Q-companion to even more countries. So far it’s been a success story. The Q-Companion is a fully integrated load handling support

system with an integrated scale system, a position control and adaptive service reminders. This unique system improves the utilization of the new generation of loaders, using state of the art sensor technology, and will be the platform for the future development that will take Ålö´s products even further. The unique driver support system has already been launched in eight countries and now Ålö is introducing it to nine more; Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Hungary, Luxembourg, Poland, Netherlands, Switzerland and Spain, thus making it available in seventeen countries in total, with many more to come. With the help from Q-Companion the user can monitor every loader position,

angle and movement from the Q-Companion™ display that’s mounted inside the tractor cab. They’ll know how much lift power remains and how much weight they have loaded just from looking at the display. This new smart digital system will also be able to tell the customers when it’s time for maintenance or time to lubricate their loader. Our goal is to provide our customers with solutions and innovative tools that makes their daily work easier and enables them to save time. The Q-Companion™ is a huge leap towards fulfilling that vision, and we’re glad that farmers like it and also very proud to be able to offer it to more and more countries, says Fredrik Haldammen, Product Manager at Ålö.

science & technology Harper Adams University signs up to new European partnership The Vice Chancellor of Harper Adams University and the President of HAS University of Applied Science in Den Bosch signed a new strategic partnership agreement on 30 January 2018, confirming the close relationship between the two institutions. The signing took place during an official visit to Den Bosch by the Harper Adams Vice-Chancellor, Dr David Llewellyn, during which he had the opportunity to see the unique HAS Food Experience event held annually at HAS and to meet senior colleagues from the University. Harper Adams University’s links with this key European partner have strengthened and expanded over the last eighteen months with many activities and mutually beneficial visits between the two leading land-based specialist institutions. Dr Llewellyn met students on exchange from Harper Adams participating in the Food Experience, which introduces a wide range of final year student projects on food product development, innovation and marketing to leading industry figures and the wider public. Commenting on the partnership, Dr Llewellyn said:

“HAS University is similar in mission and size to Harper Adams University, and the opportunity to nurture close links is significant as we head towards the UK’s departure from the EU. Groups of students and staff from the HAS departments of Agri-Business and Animal Sciences and Welfare have undertaken study tours at Harper Adams and we are very pleased to have become a key destination for Masters study for HAS graduates. Similarly, groups of Harper Adams students and staff from the departments of Land, Farm and Agri-Business Management and Food Sciences and Agri-Food Supply Chain Management have also benefitted in recent months from spending time at HAS and by visiting Dutch businesses. “We look forward to continuing our joint activities to help support the agri-food sectors in the Netherlands and in the UK. We have a lot to learn from each

other, which is why our partnership with such a highly regarded university on mainland Europe will be an important feature of our future international activities.” Dick Pouwels, President of HAS, added: “HAS University of Applied Science’s strengths very much complement Harper Adams University. This collaboration is really about synergy in the areas of exchange, education and research and it will benefit students, staff and the development of applied solutions for the international agrifood industry.” Professor Wim de Koning, the main academic link at HAS, was appointed by Harper Adams as a Visiting Professor in Business and Enterprise, and has worked closely with key staff to develop collaborative research and business projects and to provide guest lectures and research supervision. Professor Wim de Koning commented: “The real

importance of this partnership is that both Harper Adams and HAS students will benefit even more from learning from each other, in exchange, internship and master program opportunities.” Harper Adams welcomed Dick Pouwels as a guest for its Graduation Ceremonies in 2017, when discussions led to agreement on further collaborative activities. Mr Pouwels also delivered a guest lecture at the University’s annual Learning and Teaching Conference, attended an annual International Dinner and met with several key staff to progress research, departmental management and e-learning developments. The agreement cements the multi-faceted relationship between the two institutions and will enable links in teaching, research, staff and student exchanges and business developments to flourish.



Breeding for High Production with Low Use of Antibiotics is Possible Lars Nielsen, Breeding Manager VikingGenetics The dairy farmers in the Nordic countries clearly understand that breeding is a crucial part of ensuring a successful dairy business and just as important as finance, feeding and management. A natural defence against diseases in the genes is at the heart of our Scandinavian philosophy, driven by the fact that Nordic countries have very strict veterinary regulations regarding the use of antibiotics. With limited access to antibiotics, the dairy industry has been compelled to find other ways of keeping cows healthy. The Nordic tradition in breeding for healthy cows is reflected in the latest report from the European Medicines Agency (EMA), from 2016: “Sales of veterinary antimicrobial agents in 29 European countries in 2014”. According to this report, Sweden, Finland and Denmark are the EU member states with the lowest use of ant§12ibiotics in livestock, with an outstanding leading position.

UK are aiming for a reduction of 20% of mg/PCU (Population correction unit) by 2020, based on a plan dating from 2015. According to The Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics in the UK, only 40% of infra mammary antibiotics are used for sick cows, meaning that 60% of such use is on healthy cows (as prevention and growth promotion). In addition, 85% of none organic farms use routine nonselective dry-cow therapy and there are at least two antibiotic treatments per cow, per year. High Milk Yield On the other hand, Scandinavian farmers not only have the lowest use of antibiotics but also the highest milk yield per cow in 305 days, in kg all recorded cows and all breeds together, according to the International Committee for Animal Recording (ICAR). See Table 2. Sweden has an average of kg milk of 9,740 kg, Denmark 9,705 kg and Finland 9,542 kg.

Table 2

Strict veterinary rules in the Nordic countries with restricted use of antibiotics have forced the farmers to find other

Source: Adapted from the report by European Medicines Agency, European Surveillance of Veterinary Antimicrobial Consumption, 2016. ‘Sales of veterinary antimicrobial agents in 29 European countries in 2014’. (EMA/61769/2016).

The situation regarding the use of antibiotics in cattle breeding in the UK is of particular concern. The Agricultural Authorities in the 52

Meanwhile, the aver-age in the United Kingdom (England + Wales) is 8,430 kg, Norway 7,377 kg, Ireland 7,074 kg and Spain 8,405 kg.

ways of keeping their cows healthy. Good management and breeding for better health ensure success.


Added value from beef genetics clear-cut Speaking at the 70th British Cattle Breeders Conference in Telford, the British Limousin Cattle Society’s (BLCS) Technical Manager Alison Glasgow demonstrated how the breed is delivering opportunities for UK producers to trap additional income from the genetics of their cattle. Her presentation ‘Adding Value to the Supply Chain’ clearly set out how the exploitation of added value from genetic difference has the potential to impact on all parts of the supply chain. In delivering her presentation Alison said, “Across all breeds our most easily available resource – genetics- has not been exploited by the industry to the same degree as other areas of animal breeding, feeding and management. The consequence of this is it presents an essential and critical resource to exploit at a time when positive margins are becoming increasingly difficult to achieve through good practice alone, and at a time when market instability demands rapid response to change” In 2014, the BLCS adopted a long range Breed Improvement Plan which identifies a range of key areas where investment in genetic improvement will result in a population of marketrelevant genetics that deliver key income opportunities across the entire supply chain. The presentation revealed how the plan is taking shape, delivering real £ value to those willingly engaging. Limousin commercial producers and breeders can now use breeding values to select high performance genetics for a range of abattoir traits including Age to Slaughter, Carcase Weight and for six prime cuts; fillet, striploin, rump, topside, silverside and knuckle. The research undertaken with SRUC and ABP food Group in delivering these GEBV’s uncovered that for carcases weighing the same, and allocated the same EUROP grade for conformation, the difference in weight of striploin alone varied by around 2kg. 54

When the combined difference between all six cuts was examined the difference in retail value between the top and bottom third of animals, again with the same weight and EUROP grade, was in the region of £150 per head. This is an income opportunity where the genetics that produce it can now be identified and captured. In addition, and on a level arguably leaving more pounds directly in producer’s pockets, the research demonstrated that animals with top 1% genetics for Age to Slaughter have the potential to finish around six weeks faster than those in the bottom 1% simply by dint of the fact they have inherited faster finishing genetics. At a modest £1.80 per day finishing cost this suggests that the faster finished animals could be worth £80 more than their slower contemporaries. The wide use of Limousin as a suckler dam in the UK

challenges the breed to deliver genetics that produce what it takes to be a productive, efficient, cost effective cow. In conjunction with SRUC the research undertaken to develop the GEBV’s for Female Fertility and Calf Survival Traits, launched last year, also revealed the opportunity to harness some added value. SRUC work has identified cost savings in the region of £42 per annum per cow mated from successful annual calving’s. Limousin is the primary breed in the current Beef Feed Efficiency Scheme co-funded by DEFRA and AHDB. Work on feed intake and efficiency carried out to date in the UK is suggesting cost saving advantages from feed efficient cattle in the region of £30-40 over a 180-day feeding period, around 20 per cent of the total feed costs. Commenting on Alison’s presentation British Cattle

Breeders Club Chairman Andy Dodd said “It’s great to see the Limousin Society developing and now using genomics within the beef industry. We have already seen the benefits in genetic gain within the Holstein breed since the introduction of genomics in 2012. This new approach will enable UK farmers to accurately and efficiently supply cattle that are suited to the market and therefore maximise their financial opportunities” For over 20 years, the Limousin breed has been the single most dominant breed in the UK. The breed has critical mass within the sector and, as such, change at genetic level will undoubtedly make its mark. Alison said “While it is unrealistic to anticipate that any sector player can capture and exploit all available benefits, the advantage of harnessing even a small part is clear; adding value from genetics is clear-cut”.


Keeping the water flowing Providing crop care and many other logistical solutions for farmers, sports grounds and gardeners etc

April 2018 Irrigation Investments Vegetable growers are reviewing their investments in irrigation, due to potential changes in water legislation and efficiency in irrigating. As growers are renting more land to grow vegetables and root crops, keeping land in rotation and disease free. Greencrop manufacture a range of engine pump sets to run one or more hose reel irrigators for rain gun and booms. These can be fitted with a remote control for start, stop, with line fill protection to avoid blowing underground mains on start-up and high flow pipe burst protection. These pumps can also be monitored via iPad, iPhone or laptop. The units are normally enclosed in an acoustic lockable cabinet with a DB rating of 72db at one metre. The water flow can be checked through the pump as well so as not to over rev the engine. Engine pump sets are also very useful for moving water in winter to fill reservoirs from different water supplies. Hose reel irrigators will work on any type of soil and land contour. The new Irrimec Elite range with the new Dosicontrol Pro computer with built in GSM will record the amount of water used per run and total amount used. It can be used to start/stop, speed up or slow down the winding speed.

The Elite 730, 735 and 800 offer a range of hose diameters, from 100mm to 160mm, and hose length options, up to 770m long. The Elite range of machines are designed with the professional grower in mind who demand reliable and easy-to-operate irrigation systems that require simple maintenance. For more durability during long demanding irrigation periods, the chassis’ are constructed of large steel frames using up to 8mm thick box section. The Elite is supplied with a full hydraulic system, control levers now mounted on its own adjustable stand at the front of the machine. The machines are available with either a single or tandem axle chassis, with a large range of tyres. Greencrop still supply the well proven ST (standard) range of hose reel irrigators, from 50 to 850m hose lengths. These machine have proven themselves over many years as a reliable entry level machine. For further information on the Sepcom or any other Greencrop products, please visit our website www.greencrop. Alternatively, please contact Howard Chantry on 07881 787997 or email howard@greencrop.

Raindrop Watering – providing your irrigation solutions ‘on line’ is the newest webshop on the block. Designed to cater for three specific areas; Sport, Agriculture and your very own back garden.

Raindrop Watering is the online element of a successful, well established family run business that has been serving all aspects of the irrigation industry for more than 25 years.


IRRIGATION It is opening with a vast range of products designed specifically at the concerning individual who needs a reliable supply of everyday and specialist irrigation products. Farmers, sports managers, golf course managers and the amateur gardener will find something inside Raindrop Watering to wet their appetite. Top Brands like TORO, RAIN BIRD, HUNTER, NETAFIM and many others are available on a 24/48 or 72 hour delivery, direct to your door. Purchases can be made either by opening an account or completing your purchase as a guest. Payment is made online with any Major Credit or Debit Card.

Blowing blocked drains away by Fentons of Bourne The Hurricane drain cleaner has been part of the Homburg product range since early in 2013, points out UK importer Fentons of Bourne, which offers a range of drain cleaners that includes Junior, Delta and the Senior models. The main difference with the Hurricane, compared with


other models, is its entirely hydraulic operation, says the dealership. The operation of the drain cleaner is via a control box (standard) or a remote control (optional). Hydraulic functions were previously controlled via three joysticks however these

have now been replaced with programmable touch buttons. The main functions on the Hurricane are carried out automatically. For instance, the machine has an electronic counter and the operator can enter the endpoint which will stop the hose automatically,

prior to starting its way back along the drain. The HDD system (Homburg Dynamic Drive) is a sensor which detects the oil pressure on the manifold block. Pressure over 60bar could indicate a blockage and therefore, after a short delay, the machine will retract the hose and make a new attempt to progress along the length of the drain. The Hurricane repeats this cycle three times and, if the problem remains unresolved, the machine will automatically turn off and give an audible alarm, adds the Lincolnshire based firm. Another “smart� feature of the Hurricane is slip detection, says Fentons. Two sensors detect the speed of the drive wheel and the measuring wheel. If the percentage of slippage becomes too high, the machine will automatically turn off. The Hurricane can be fitted with several extras such as road and work lights, a toolbox and a reel for the suction hose. The hose guide is a standard feature however the machine can hold up to 500m of HPE hose in one piece, or up to 900m in all.


Traditional Scottish Fencing Maintains Strong Demand Says Jock Bryce, Bryce Suma, commenting on two very satisfied customers. Both of these companies have one thing in common - they use quality materials and erect fencing to the highest of standards using traditional techniques with modern day quality equipment. James Smith Fencing, South West Scotland JSF Ltd are Scotland’s largest fencing supply company established in 1950 by Ian Smith’s father. The fencing contract side has 12 employees. JSF took delivery of 3 Bryce Profi XL’s, one of which was for Swinton Fencing in the East of Scotland who does all their business through JSFLtd. JSF offer a complete service selling quality fencing material, cow cubicle mats and barriers, shed timber and cladding throughout Scotland and Northern England. Their fleet

of lorries comprises a 6 wheeler and drag, 2 x 4 wheelers and a 7.5 tonner. Another artic in JSF livery is drafted in for full loads outwith their normal 200 mile delivery radius. “It is good to deal with someone who knows the job and I liked the way the enquiry was handled -very professionally. We were very taken with the build quality and all the Bryce features, and the men love the rock spike system. We are now seriously considering a Bryce 180 Pro Tracked Machine later in the year” Ian Smith, JSF Ltd

L to R. Ian Smith CEO of JSF Ltd, Roger Burgess and Michael Hughes with one of their Profi XLs

Swinton Fencing, Innerleithen, Peebles, S.E. Scotland Joe Swinton in his early years worked on farms and then worked for a very traditional Scottish fencing contract company. Joe recalls “the men I worked for were sticklers for doing things right. For example all strainers were hand dug to an absolute minimum of 4ft deep and we had a marker stick for every post we dug. Although things are mechanised now we still retain these core skills to leave a top class job.” Swinton Fencing purchase all their materials through JSF “ Ian wants our business, always 58

tries to cut a deal and the service is faultless”. They work within a 50 mile radius of Innerleithen but they have done work at Cape Wrath in the far North West of Scotland and at Bamburgh in North Northumberland. Joe is supported by his son Brian, Jeff Lees their business partner, grandson Ross Swinton and two other professional fencers. They work two teams and erect all types of agricultural and deer fencing. Their post drivers and pickups are supplemented by 2 wheel and 6 wheel Gators. “Needing to renew our post drivers we looked around and

FENCING like it very much and it is a big step up from the Kinghitters and Vectors we owned. You definitely know your stuff about post drivers and we would definitely back you 100%.

We fully intend to replace our other Vector with another Profi XL or possibly your tracked machine later this year depending on finances”. Brian Swinton& Jeff Lees, Swinton Fencing

Ever wondered how electric fences actually work? By Andrew Fitzjohn, Agri-Supply UK Ltd. Ross Swinton and Jeff Lees with their Profi XL

seriously considered the swing round type, however we were really impressed with the quality and different design features that the Bryce offered and went with the Profi XL. The quadshift

is really good - I never thought I would like it so much and we use it a lot. The whole machine is second to noneand therockspike system is flawless. We really

Electric fences are becoming increasingly popular throughout our rural landscape. They serve a number of different functions. From protecting livestock to safeguarding crops these fences provide an essential service for farmers. If you’re considering erecting electric fencing then you need to know how such fences work. Below is a guide to the principals of electric fencing.

Electrical Fencing and Livestock If you’re concerned that you’ll harm your livestock then let us re-iterate that the electrical charge felt will not harm the animal. Unlike us animals are well insulated. Fur, feathers and hide, quell the impact of the shock sufficiently. However the muscle cramping is remembered by the animal and they learn from the experience.

The Energiser All electrical fences have an energiser. This device generates high voltage impulses between two separate output terminals. Whenever the animal comes into contact with the fencing they receive an electrical shock that causes their muscles to contract. This mild charge acts as a deterrent, and keeps the animal safely contained within the environment.

Voltage Specifics In general, we feel an electrical charge if our skin is exposed to just a hundred volts. On the other hand most animals require a larger charge to feel a sufficient shock. High voltages produce long distance sparks that jump the air gap over the animals insulating surface. Typical lengths of such a jump are around a millimetre for two thousand volts. Some fences are charged with as many as twelve thousand volts. This charge is effective for animals with a thick fur or hide and sufficiently protects them. To sum up, electrical fences provide an effective deterrent and safeguarding for livestock and us. If you are sitting on the fence, wondering whether or not to erect such fencing then perhaps it’s time to hop off and give them a try!

What does it feel like? For those of you that haven’t experienced an electrical shock the most accurate way to describe the feeling are that anyone exposed to such fencing will experience muscle cramping, for just a brief moment. The feeling isn’t pleasant, but it’s not painful. This way an electrical fence proves to be effective in safeguarding livestock.



Peter & WE Crambe Based by the picturesque village of Gargunnock in the heart of Scotland, Peter & W E Cramb offer an efficient, friendly timber supply service to all business customers and private individuals alike. Their family business has been supplying timber and related products country-wide for three generations, while avoiding overexpanding, meaning they are able to maintain a policy of providing tailor-made product sizing rather than being limited to producing “mass market� products with little flexibility. Peter & WE Cramb can cut from sizes 0.5 m x 38mm x 19mm to 6.1 m x 300mm x 300mm in various types of timber, and also stock a regular supply of spruce, douglas fir, pine, larch and noble fir. They also take environmental and social responsibility extremely seriously and are committed to developing a business towards ecological, social and economic

sustainability. That commitment to the environment in business operations broadly falls under the following areas: * Sourcing Supplies of Sustainably Grown Timber * Making it their business to ensure that the majority of timber is sourced from Agents utilising sustainably grown UK forests. Their hauliers work closely with the Forestry Commission to comply with all current legislation in regard to working hours and practices. Recycling is another pivital point. With practically no waste, using the central portion of the log for fencing with the outer portion being chipped and distributed for use in floorboard manufacture, gardening mulch etc. The sawdust is then collected and distributed for use in wood fuel pellets, animal bedding, etc, a wide ranging product and service orientated business indeed.

Rutland Electric Fencing The market leaders in electric fencing in the UK. Their products, expertise and distribution network will ensure you obtain the best electric fence for your animal control, whether it is for farm animals, horses, wildlife, vermin or pets. Electric fencing can provide safe and secure boundaries for permanent, semi-permanent or temporary applications at a cost


lower then conventional fences. Their extensive web site has been designed to assist you in designing your fence and selecting products from our range of Electric Shepherd energisers, posts, insulators, wire, tape and accessories. They also offer several tips and advice for installation and maintenance of your electric fence. See for yourself at www.

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The Biggest Technical Beef Event Returns The National Beef Association (NBA) renowned Beef Expo event will be heading to the Welsh Borders for this year’s celebration of British Beef. This technical beef industry event will take place on Friday the 25th of May 2018 at Halls Shrewsbury Livestock Auction Market with the organisers looking to build upon the success of last year’s event at Stoneleigh. This key industry event which celebrates the British Beef industry and all who work within it, will once again be displaying the very best of British pedigree and commercial cattle under one roof. Over 20 breed society displays will showcase the pedigree sectors advances in genetics and the National Commercial Cattle Show (NCCS)



will, as always, be kicking of the showing season with the ultimate podium for breeders from across the UK to showcase their stock and compete for their share of over £6,000 of prize money. As always, the championships will be sponsored by Caltech Crystalx. Judging the Native and Continental classes and the Supreme championships will be Neil Slack, previous supreme champion winner at Hexham Beef Expo. Michael Alford of Foxhill pedigree Limousins, a renowned exhibitor and judge of commercial cattle across the UK, will be judging the Baby Beef classes, Baby Championship and Young Handlers classes . Commenting on the show Julie Sedgwick, cattle show organiser “We look forward to

bringing the NCCS to Shrewsbury this year. Both judges are very well respected and have won major championships at national commercial cattle shows in Great Britain a great asset to the show” In line with the event theme ‘Beef Up Our Future’ the show will encompass the entirety of the beef industry and its ancillary industries with over 120 indoor and outdoor trade stands and demonstrations, covering nutrition, genetics, machinery and technologies, highlighting the strength and progression of the industry. An array of technical seminars and debates will continue this theme investigating how we, as an industry can work together to make our farms and supply chains more economically


viable, integrated and transparent as we prepare to leave the EU. Covering Brexit, Genetics, Health and the future government policy regarding animal ID and traceability. The South Devons’ will once again be holding their Technical Performance Championships after the success of its debut at Stoneleigh last year. The competition judges cattle on both performance figures and inspection with entries from herds that are Breedplan Performance recorded. Speaking about the Championships, Caroline Poultney said, “We were delighted to have run such as successful event at the Beef Expo last year. It was an excellent opportunity to show

BEEF EXPO off the virtues of the breed and their excellent ability to perform. Performance figures are a vital tool for pedigree beef farmers to improve the genetic merit of their animals and we look forward to showcasing this again at the Beef Expo in May.â€? The newly energized Midlands NBA committee will be running a Beef Farmer competition. A one-hour challenge putting beef farmers knowledge to the test with the chance to win a ÂŁ200 cash prize. The challenge will test farmers on carcass evaluation, health, genetics, conformation and much more. Speaking on the competition Development Manager Rosie McGowan said, “We have had a great increase in membership and support from the Midlands Region this year, with several farm walks and passionate new committee members. We look forward to running the competition and welcoming more farmers to the NBA team at the Beef Expo.â€? Visitors will be invited to join the NBA for a day of Beef Expo farm tours on Thursday the 24th of May, giving guests the opportunity to view three exceptional beef farms hand-picked from across Shropshire and the Welsh Borders. The farms will include a calf rearing unit designed to feed into an integrated supply chain run in partnership with gold sponsor Meadow Quality as well as two exceptional beef farms, the details of which are to be announced in due course. This forum for knowledge exchange has sold out for three years running and is not to be missed - early booking is highly recommended! Farm tour tickets are ÂŁ24 for members and ÂŁ30 for non-members and are inclusive of all transport and a hot lunch on farm. The farm tours will be followed by the prestigious Beef Expo Industry Dinner, held at the beautiful Netley Hall, the dinner is the ultimate networking event for all those with the beef and supporting industries. The dinner will include a welcome drinks

reception, three course dinner, guest speaker and after dinner entertainment. A night not to be missed! Ticket prices are ÂŁ48 for members and ÂŁ54 for nonmembers. Chris Mallon, Chief Executive of the NBA commented on plans for the Beef Expo, “We are delighted to be taking our two-day Beef Expo event to the Welsh borders this Spring, an area producing great quantities of quality store cattle from some of the best suckler herds in the country. It is fantastic to be returning to a mart, particularly one of such quality. Livestock marts act as an integral part of the UK livestock trade, in 2016 Auction marts sold 15% of finished cattle, and the vast majority of store cattle and we at the NBA are proud to support them at every opportunityâ€? Commenting on hosting the event, Jonny Dymond of Halls, Shrewsbury Livestock Auction Mart stated “We are very pleased to be hosting this prestigious event and feel that Shrewsbury Auction Centre is ideally placed in the centre of the country, being very accessible by road and other transport links. We also hope to have a large number of visitors from Wales and the border area, as again Shrewsbury is convenient to get to from this these parts. The facilities on site and in the surrounding area are great for an event like this. We look forward to working closely with the NBA to ensure the event is an enormous successâ€? Online applications for both trade and admission tickets are now open. Please visit, www.beefexpo. to make your booking or call NBA Head office on 01434 601005 for more information. The NBA is a member led charitable organisation with a key focus on representing beef farmers in policy. There couldn’t be a more crucial time than NOW to join the National Beef Association, the true voice of British beef Farmers. For less than ÂŁ1.50 a week know someone is fighting your corner in policy.

Visit and click ‘JOIN NOW’ today!

LEAF Open Farm Sunday calls for more Scottish farmers to help bridge the gap between farmers and the public

It is that time of year again when Spring is around the corner and farmers start to think about how to engage people out on farm. The annual event, now firmly established as the farming industry’s annual open day, takes place on 10 June when farmers throughout Britain welcome visitors onto their farm for LEAF Open Farm Sunday. To date over 110,000 visitors have attended LEAF Open Farm Sunday events across Scotland. The staggering national statistic highlights that 1 in 5 visitors had never visited a farm before, and with a growing interest in the farming community, we need more farmers to take part in Scotland. So, if you are not sure where to start, here are my top five tips for a first-time host farmer: 3TARTSMALL Start with something small like a farm walk for a limited number of people. A visit to see the hens and pick up the eggs, a chance to watch you feed the sheep or milk the cows or a walk through the crops/vegetable plots offers your visitors a unique experience. 0RE BOOKINGTICKETING service Consider using the LEAF Open

Farm Sunday booking system so you can manage your visitor numbers. This gives you some added control and confidence when planning your day. +EEPITSHORT You don’t need to run the event for a whole day, a few hours is fine - just make sure you clearly advertise this on all your promotional materials. 2EGISTERYOUREVENT As soon as you have decided to take part, register your event at Once registered we will send you a handbook that will provide lots of tips and recommendations to help you plan your day including activity ideas, promotion, how to order your free resources (gate banners, leaflets, posters, information sheets, giveaways, etc), risk assessment templates and health and safety guidance. 3TARTTHEPLANNING Give yourself enough time to plan the day and invite other local farmers and friends to support you. Even if you are hosting a farm walk, writing down some short notes will help ensure you don’t miss anything.

LEAF Open Farm Sunday is all about giving the public an opportunity to see for themselves the great work we do as farmers. We don’t get many opportunities to tell our story direct to the public - so let’s make the most of it!

beef Crucial step forward for beef exports to China An agreement to progress lifting the BSE ban on British beef exports to China is a vital first step in unlocking this major market, which could be worth £250 million in the first five years, according to AHDB. New measures to improve market access to China were announced by Prime Minister

Theresa May this week – in a move which could see beef from the UK exported to the country for the first time in over 20 years. It is anticipated the BSE ban could be lifted within six months if a visit from Chinese inspectors this spring is successful, clearing the way for detailed discussions and the completion of a five-

AHDB keeps pushing on the importance of the health benefits of red meat More beef, lamb and dairy products would be sold if a brighter spotlight was shone on their health benefits, a research conducted by AHDB has showed. The consumer research, on Health and Nutritional Messaging, examined how aware consumers are of the health messaging around beef, lamb and dairy, and investigated the reactions of buyers to specific health claims. In particular, the research confirmed consumers’ growing appetite and attention for the health benefits of red meat, concluding that the behaviours at the moment of purchase can be influenced with appropriate and effective nutritional communication.

Findings show that communicating the health benefits of: • beef is likely to increase consumption for half of consumers (50% nat rep. 69% younger consumers vs 50% older consumers) • lamb is likely to increase consumption for half of consumers (48% nat rep) • dairy is likely to increase consumption amongst around half of consumers (51% nat rep). It was discovered that health has different meanings for different people. For older people, it is generally associated with a balanced diet, whereas for younger age groups it is related to different lifestyle factors, like exercise and methods of food preparation.

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step process to open the Chinese market to British beef. The news has been welcomed by AHDB, which has been working on the market access in the region for a number of years, and is good news for exporters keen to look to new, non-EU markets. AHDB Head of Exports Peter Hardwick said: “The announcement is a vital first step in unlocking this major market for beef without which we could not progress to the substantive approval process. “This agreement comes after an intensive programme of inspections and visits by the Chinese authorities over the last two years, led by AHDB in collaboration with government and industry organisation. “It is still an ongoing process but we will continue to play a key role in helping to steer discussions to ensure we unlock

the full potential of the Chinese market for beef producers here in the UK.” The announcement came on the first day of the Prime Minister’s three-day trade mission to Beijing, where she was joined by senior business leaders and industry representatives including AHDB Chief Executive Officer Jane King. During her visit she held meetings with members of the Chinese government and other industry leaders where products ranging from pork to malting barley were discussed. Jane raised the urgency of lifting the beef ban with both the Prime Minister Teresa May and Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox. Both indicated it was a government priority. AHDB has previously helped secure access to China for pork and for barley.

Approval for export of manufacturing beef to Canada Manufacturing beef from the UK can now be exported to the lucrative Canadian market after approval was given by inspectors. Work involving the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), Defra, the FSA, UK Export Certification Partnership (UKECP), Quality Meat Scotland and HCC Meat Promotion Wales, had been ongoing for a number of years before initial agreement was reached in 2015. The agreement covered both primal cuts and manufacturing beef, but since then UK officials have been working to ensure manufacturing beef could be tested to the required microbiological standards required by the Canadian authorities. This regime is now in place and has been robustly evaluated

to UKAS standards, allowing shipments to begin immediately. Dr Phil Hadley, AHDB International Market Development Director, said: “This is fantastic news and comes after a lot of hard work by all parties involved. “We already have market access for sheepmeat into Canada and beef primals have been going over since 2015. To have reached a stage where we have all the testing in place to satisfy inspectors with regards to ecoli is brilliant. “This is a great opportunity for processors and producers in the UK and is another outlet for our product, which in turn helps underpin farmgate prices.” In 2016, Canada imported 147,000 tonnes of fresh and frozen beef. Of this, 55 per cent came from the US. The UK sent 412 tonnes of primal cuts.

beef New suckler beef production book provides ‘a guide to profitability’

Sisters plan to Improve their Cattle Performance

L to R, Aimee and Kirsty Budge

Building a sustainable UK suckler beef industry is the primary focus of a new textbook to be published in early 2018. Compiled from a lifetime of practical experience and astute observations by renowned beef expert Richard Fuller, ‘Suckler Beef: A Guide to Profitability’ contains practical advice aimed at suckler beef herds based on in-field experience and research. Available through Context Publications from the third week in January, the book can be ordered online via www. Covering everything from the principles of production to genetic evaluation and beef eating quality, the book will be a vital asset to every beef farmer, vet, or student’s bookshelf. The focus of the book is simple: What is the most profitable model for beef production in the UK and how do

you build it? Offering knowledge, best practice information, tips and management guidelines, ‘Suckler Beef: A Guide to Profitability’ supplies everything the new entrant or experienced farmer needs to know to streamline their system and continue to be profitable in an uncertain industry. The book also looks at how the UK beef industry can become a more competitive player in international markets. Specifically, it explores the role of composite breeds in rectifying the damaging effects of relying on dairy-bred dams to produce a beef animal. With scientific research and performance recording driving its development, and beef eating quality high on the agenda, does the concept of a composite breed hold the key to sustainability and profitability in the UK suckler beef sector?

Shetland monitor farmers Kirsty and Aimee Budge plan to increase herd size, optimise use of winter feed by weighing cattle regularly and further explore the potential of rotational grazing in 2018. The sisters, who are the fifth generation of the family to farm the 300-hectare Bigton Farm, are one of the nine farming families taking part in the three-year Monitor Farm Scotland programme, which is jointly managed by Quality Meat Scotland and AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds with funding from the Scottish Government. Before joining the programme, the pair thought that the performance of the cattle side of the farm enterprise was strong. However, their eyes have now been opened to the potential and they are now striving for better performance in their 70 suckler cows. “Up until this year, our calves have usually been sold at Lerwick auction market at a year old and a target weight of 500 kgs. However, last summer, we were encouraged by our monitor farm community group to finish 15 of our calves, which were sold to our local butcher at an approximate deadweight of 350 kgs,” said Aimee. The financial benefits of doing this were clear, so

the sisters plan to continue to finish a number of their youngstock in the coming year and have also been looking closely at how they monitor and measure the performance of their calves. “We have always weighed our calves through the winter housing period, but what we haven’t been good at is acting on that information,” said Kirsty. “Last winter we split our calves into three groups. If, when weighing, we discovered there were calves that were underperforming, we shifted them into a small group which meant they had less competition for feed. This seemed to work well and we’ll be looking to do the same again this winter,” she added. The sisters also introduced rotational grazing on their farm in 2017 to help improve grass utilisation, which worked pretty well overall in our first year, despite a few problems with heifers escaping! The Budge sisters are very much looking forward to moving into the second crucial year as host monitor farmers. “We’re really looking forward to identifying more solutions to our problem areas on the farm this year and hopefully finding solutions that will benefit both our farm and other farms and crofts on Shetland,” said Kirsty. 65

futurefarmer Research into rural youth launched to coincide with the Year of Young People

SAYFC Careers Videos By Clare Sturla

An initiative designed to research and better understand rural young people, aged 18-28, is being launched today. The Rural Youth Project coincides with the 2018 Year of Young People and will combine an online survey, yearlong in-depth video logs (vlogs) of 15-20 rural young people and a Rural Youth Ideas Festival. The target countries for the research are: England, Scotland, Wales and, internationally, Austria, Australia and the USA. The initiative is a social enterprise venture and is the brainchild of Jane Craigie and Rebecca Dawes. The Rural Youth Project has the support of partners interested and engaged in the rural youth ‘space’, they are LANTRA Scotland, the Scottish Association of Young Farmers (SAYFC), Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Rural Action, Scottish Rural Network and YouthLink Scotland, and will be managed by Jane Craigie Marketing. Inspired by their participation in leadership initiatives, including the Scottish Enterprise Rural Leadership Programme and the Windsor Leadership Programme, Jane and Rebecca aim to identify and engage young rural leaders to help them drive positive change within their local rural communities. “Rural young people are fundamental to the vibrancy, 66

energy and economic outlook of rural places,” explains Jane Craigie. “We wanted to better understand what young people perceive their challenges and opportunities to be, as well as gaining a better understanding of their degree of optimism for the future.” Rebecca Dawes, with her background in the SAYFC, added that there is a real lack of insight into this important group within our rural communities, hence the decision to run this project. She said: “the research to date amongst rural young people, both nationally and internationally, has been fragmented, but what we do know is that rural areas have a lower percentage of 16-34 year olds and evidence suggests that migration of young people away from rural areas hinges on education, employment opportunities, housing and public transport availability – some of the many research areas that we are surveying. “With so much emphasis on youth this year, we want to make sure that rural young people have a voice that will be heard, what better way is there to share their outlook?” The survey can be reached via the Project website www.

Highlighting careers within the agricultural sector is becoming ever more important and one which must be showcased, not only to ensure the next generation of young farmers but to also allow the generation to experience the rewards that can be gained from such a diverse and exciting industry. To address this, SAYFC has recently completed sixteen motivational videos, made possible from £20,000 additional funding by the Scottish Government in October 2016. The launch of the career videos come at a crucial time when there is a real need to encourage the next generation of farmers into the industry. Children and young people need to be made aware of the many careers that can be pursued within the agricultural industry and to highlight the various routes that can be taken to get there. Choosing a career in farming and food production is hugely rewarding as well as providing much needed support for the rural economy. The collection, available on the SAYFC webpage

and YouTube channel, highlights a wide variety of careers by interviewing people active in the industry. The videos offer insight into some of the careers available, providing insight into their specific job, personal journey into the role and the many benefits that are gained from being in their chosen career. Agri and Rural Affairs Chair, Duncan Morrison commented; ‘As we all know, agriculture is hugely important to Scotland and its rural communities. It’s vitally important that we continue to encourage young people to pursue a career in agriculture. As the industry evolves there will be more and more opportunities for exciting careers in the industry on top of what we have already. SAYFC are very grateful to the Scottish Government for their support in this initiative, which we hope will highlight what a diverse industry it is to work in.’ SAYFC continues to look for ways to bring young people into the sector and to draw upon the enthusiasm and dedication evident in an industry that has so much to offer.

Picture the scene.... a bright cold frosty morning. Humble farmer sets of on his feeding round, which includes the much prized Zwartble sheep. Arriving at the field I immediately noticed the recently bought Reserve Male Champion tup was missing from his ladies.... First thoughts OH NO!!! He has got in with the neighbours ewes, after a couple recent incidents of escaped Hebridean tups that were found with her ewes, she will kill me this time! Then I heard a faint bleat. So he is just over that rise. Perhaps he is stuck on the wrong side of the fence, maybe he is couped, perhaps he is lame and not managed down for his breakfast, there could be hundreds of reasons for his not being with the girls but never in a 1000 years would I have guessed where he was..... Semi submerged in the middle of the small duck pond. What what!! Why are you there, it is freezing. Why are you there I kept asking myself....Obviously I couldn’t leave him there and he didn’t look like he was going to move by his own choice. So the first plan; chuck some stones and sticks to try and get my water loving dogs to swim out and encourage him to head to the bank. This plan failed, too cold for dogs to even put a paw in, lots of barking and woofing but no chance they were going in! So to myself I said don’t be a wimp and toughen up, walk out and get him. So thinking I would start from the side nearest him. First step through the ice and up to the knee, ok not too bad, second step was into an abyss! Straight up to the waist and my foot stuck in 30 years of silt and duck poop, mild panic attack occurred as my breath was knocked out by the cold shock. Genuine fear I was stuck and thinking how stupid it was to leave my phone on the bank so it didn’t get wet if I fell in. Gee it was so cold and too deep to approach from that side


Sheep don’t swim good! By Ken Headspeath Highland Drovers & Borland Farm without swimming, and that was not going to happen by choice! Next plan get some long sticks and follow the broken ice that the tup had made on his way to the centre of the pond. 10 feet or so from the edge a repeat of the earlier dunking and genuinely thought I’m stuck and going

to die. I am not going to die rescuing a sheep, how embarrassing. Plan 3 find a boat, with hindsight a better plan. I knew there was an old up turned one at the loch below the big house. So chittering and squelching I headed off and dragged the boat up using the quad bike. No oars,

so made do with a beater for heather burning. Eventually I paddled and punted my way out to tup. He was water logged and so heavy, every time I tried to pull him in the edge of the boat neared the water line and images of capsizing flooded my mind. Eventually after a huge pull with my bum stuck inwards to the centre of the boat to try and solve the problem of the side going under I managed to haul him aboard. In a rather stern voice I told him stand ******* there and do not move. I went to the stern to paddle/punt back to the bank. Next thing I knew was the bloody sheep joined me, near knocking me in and the bow was pointing skywards. We eventually got the boat levelled out and headed back to the bank. I jumped ashore and secured boat by now I was not actually cold, just numb. I stood and looked at the scene and began to ponder what has just happened. The tup spent a couple of minutes drip drying and then hopped over the boat edge and wandered off to see his girls. What was that all about, really weird behaviour? I hauled the boat out and became aware of a presence; I turned round to find he had returned. To share a moment of thanks with me chance he wanted his breakfast, the girls had long since scoffed his feed. You ungrateful ****. I still can’t think what possessed him to think that entering the pond to wade/swim out to the centre was a good idea and something he wanted to do. There was no sign of any stress from the others that something had chased them, no signs of walkers, dogs or shooters. Absolutely nothing to make him go into the water, he must have decided this all by himself. If it ever happens again l will call the Mountain Rescue, sure they would appreciate the practice. I’m glad no one saw or filmed the scene, it was ridiculous. 67

livestock Strong year for UK meat exports Exports of red meat products from the UK surpassed the £1.2 billion mark in 2017, according to the latest figures from HMRC. The data shows shipments of beef, lamb and pork topped £1bn from January to December last year. And a 2 per cent rise in red meat offal exports pushed the total for all three sectors well above £1.2 billion in value. Figures show that exports to non-EU countries have remained strong, with beef exports to third countries increasing by almost a fifth to just over 14,300 tonnes. This has resulted in an 11 per cent rise in the total value for UK beef exports, to £409 million. The Asian market continues to be a key focus for meat exports with a 230 per cent increase in the volume of high-value, chilled beef exported to Hong Kong in the last year, more than triple the value of the market just two years ago.

Total pork exports have remained strong in 2017 – up 4.8 per cent on the previous year to 216,000 tonnes with a value of £293 million. Both EU and nonEU shipments increased last year – building on a record-breaking year for pork exports in 2016. AHDB’s Senior Export Manager for Livestock Jonathan Eckley said: “This latest data shows that the UK meat export industry is in a strong position globally and able to build on the incredible figures we reported in 2016. “AHDB is continuously working to ensure UK farmers and processors are fit for the future as we look to leave the EU. While Europe is still a vital market for our exports, it is important that we look at opportunities and gaining access to an increasing number of new markets further afield.” Last year was more of a challenging year for Chinese

pork imports due to increased production both in China and the rest of the world. However, the UK has continued to hold levels with pork volumes sitting just above 40,000 tonnes. Pork to the United States has increased in value, rising 2.7 per cent to more than £23 million, with the UK’s reputation for producing high-welfare pork providing a gateway into the high-value food service sector. Lamb exports to both European and non-EU countries performed well in 2017, with total volumes up 14 per cent and valued at more than £384 million. Non-EU volumes have grown to 5,400 tonnes - up two thirds on the previous year. The AHDB export team is looking to build on 2017’s figures by attending events and trade shows throughout 2018 to showcase high-quality beef, lamb and pork to global

importers in existing and new markets. In April, the team will be showcasing UK beef, lamb and dairy products at the Food Hotel Asia event in Singapore, followed by the National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago in May where high-welfare pork will be promoted to the high-value food service sector. In May, AHDB will also attend SIAL in Shanghai – China’s most important meat show. This show is related to SIAL Paris, where beef, lamb, pork and dairy products from the UK will take centre stage in October, at what is the largest food show in the world this year. Mr Eckley added: “These trade shows play an important role in boosting exports of red meat and dairy to new and existing markets by ensuring that quality products from the UK are top of mind for buyers around the world.”

Robotic feed pusher uses ‘invisible’ transponder technology to move rations closer to cows, freeing up labour and machinery A new type of robotic feed pusher – the Joz Moov - has been launched into the UK by Stamford Agricultural Services. The Moov’s path is determined by tiny transponders sunken into the ground ensuring the machine stays in line to move rations up to the barrier so that cows have access to feed at all times, and thereby freeing up labour time and machinery. Developed by Dutch manufacturer Joz, the path of the Moov is governed by transponders, the size of a small rawl plug; these are placed just below ground surface so they are ‘invisible’ and can remain reliably in situ. The Moov rotates round slowly and will travel along at 6m per minute for 19 hours before a 5-hour recharge is required. Multiple routes can 68

be programmed. Where cattle sheds have Wi-Fi, farmers can also monitor the Moov remotely on their phone or tablet. Not only does the Moov free up a tractor and a person’s time, but by ensuring cows always have feed in reach, farmers have reported increased milk yields and calmer cows with less dominant animals especially benefitting from the continuous availability of feed. The Moov retails at £12,950+VAT with set-up costs dependent on the individual site. Grant funding is available in some areas of the UK. Farmers interested in a site survey for a Moov should contact Stamford Agricultural Services on 01829 771509 or email dawn@stamfordagricultural.

livestock Levy Bodies Announce £2 million Programme of Joint Activity The red meat levy bodies in England, Scotland and Wales have announced a major programme of joint activities to be paid for by a ring-fenced fund of £2 million of AHDB red meat levies. An agreement by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), Hybu Cig Cymru, (HCC) and Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) will see a range of activity delivered in a three-way collaboration starting in 2018. This has been developed as an interim arrangement while a long-term solution is sought on the issue of levies being collected at point of slaughter in England for animals which have been reared in Scotland or Wales.


The three organisations share an immediate joint commitment to collaborating to ensure levy payers across Great Britain benefit from the activities delivered using the £2 million ring-fenced fund. The agreement announced today (06 February 2018) follows 12 months of talks between the three bodies after the parameters of the fund were set out by Ministers early in 2017. This established that AHDB would set aside a ring-fenced sum of £2 million to support a programme of activities benefitting cattle, sheep and pig levy payers in Scotland, Wales and England. Jane King, Chief Executive of AHDB, says: “The three

Alan Clarke, Chief Executive, Quality Meat Scotland

livestock GB levy bodies share many challenges and the simple fact is we can more effectively address them through working together. “Though we already work closely with our colleagues in HCC and QMS on various projects, this new arrangement will take our collaboration to a whole new level with all three organisations deciding jointly how we will invest this fund to make the biggest impact for the red meat sectors.” Gwyn Howells, Chief Executive of HCC, said: “Addressing the issue of the loss of levy income to the Welsh red meat industry has been long awaited. While a permanent solution will require legislation, this interim arrangement will allow greater value for money and accountability for Welsh levy-payers.” “We look forward to working together with our colleagues in Scotland and England on

important programmes of joint activity in areas such as overseas market access, research, and communicating the health benefits of red meat within a balanced diet.” Alan Clarke, Chief Executive of QMS, said: “It is encouraging that progress has been made and that recognition has been given to the movement of livestock around GB and the impact this has on each of the levy bodies. “The priority now is to ensure we maximise the benefit to levy payers of the activities delivered from the ring-fenced fund. This collaboration gives us the opportunity to take a joined-up approach to issues that affect the industry, regardless of geography.” The levy bodies have agreed that effective from the financial year 2018/19 the new joint fund will focus on five priority areas: International shows and export events, Market access, Brexit preparation, Meat and health,

animal health and environment Research. The ring-fenced fund will boost the international presence and access for meat from Britain in key overseas markets with particular focus on preparing the red meat sector for the potential challenges and opportunities that are likely to follow Brexit.

In the meat and health, animal health and environment category the three organisations will concentrate on collaborating on positive messaging to counteract negative messages, while work on antimicrobial resistance is expected to dominate the research investment.

New silage additive bottle aims to improve ease of use As farms push to make better silage, leading forage preservation and animal nutrition company, Volac, is launching a robust new range of user-friendly packaging for its Ecosyl 100 and Ecocool silage additives for 2018. The new, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) two-

litre bottles offer rugged construction for ease of handling during busy fill-ups and when transporting onfarm, says Ecosyl product manager, Jackie Bradley, as well as improved resilience to factors such as temperature and humidity during storage.


livestock Importantly, they also remain compatible with the increasingly popular method of ultra-low volume (ULV) application, she says, in which the standard dose of Ecosyl 100 and Ecocool additives can be applied in ultralow volumes of water, as a way of reducing the amount of water that needs to be transported and reducing the number of fill-ups. “With silage-making such a busy time, farmers understandably want an additive that’s reliable, but also easy-to-use,” says Mrs Bradley. “The new, rigidsided bottles are robust during transport and sturdy to handle when measuring and mixing. “Equally suited to use with conventional or ULV application, the new packaging also features handy indicator arrows near the neck to show the two-litre fill-level for those contractors and farmers who are using the ULV method. Diluting

Ecosyl 100 or Ecocool in the new packs to the two-litre mark will treat 100 tonnes of forage when applied through a ULV applicator at a rate of 20 ml per tonne.” While the packaging is new, Mrs Bradley stresses that the content inside the bottles remains the same proven bacteria in the case of both products. “Ecosyl 100 contains the beneficial bacteria Lactobacillus plantarum MTD/1 for improving fermentation in clamped grass silage and legumes, while Ecocool combines Lactobacillus plantarum MTD/1 with a second bacterium, Lactobacillus buchneri PJB/1, for reduced heating and spoilage in drier silages such as maize, wholecrop cereals, and higher dry matter grass. “With the industry looking to produce more from forage, an additive is often the final piece

of the jigsaw to help produce better silage. With both products used around the world, the new

packaging aims to provide something that is farm-proof across a range of conditions.”

Engagement with small-scale egg and poultry producers on disease must be improved New research conducted by Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and commissioned by the Scottish Government has revealed a gap in knowledge about disease control practices in many of Scotland’s small-scale poultry keepers and egg producers. In a survey of nearly 200 backyard poultry keepers, almost 80 per cent did not consider themselves to be part


of the Scottish poultry industry. Furthermore, their levels of understanding about biosecurity and disease risk highlight the need for better and proactive engagement on this topic. These findings may also warrant specific consideration in the event of Avian Influenza outbreaks because, in the event of a backyard flock becoming infected with bird flu, the wider

industry would be affected by import/export restrictions and potentially UK movement restrictions. In the UK, poultry keepers with fewer than 50 birds are not required to register with official authorities and may therefore be less aware of legislation, rules and biosecurity best practices typically implemented in the commercial sector.

In a parallel survey of 79 small to medium-sized egg producers (between 50 and 32,000 laying hens), around a quarter of respondents said their poultry had never been seen by a vet, while over 80 per cent said they kept other livestock alongside their hens – a factor which can increase the likelihood of disease transmission, and is almost double the percentage of

livestock backyard poultry keepers who confirmed they also keep other livestock. Around 38 per cent of respondents did not consider themselves to be part of the Scottish poultry industry which, as in the case with backyard poultry keepers, could be seen as a barrier to the uptake of best practice, health advice and disease control measures. Carla Gomes, who led the project, said: “These results reinforce just how important it is to promote engagement with backyard and small poultry keepers. Better communication across the industry will increase the uptake of relevant information, such as awareness of disease control programmes, and therefore reduce the risk of diseases being spread.” The research was carried out as part of the Scottish Government Rural Affairs, Food and Environment Portfolio Strategic Research Programme 2016-21.


UK Government fails to protect Food chain from power of Big Business The NBA were disappointed on hearing the Governments decision this morning not to extend the remit of the Grocery Code Adjudicator (GCA) into UK law. Had it been extended it would have protected the primary producer, instead the Government has decided to maintain the status quo and protect large retailers. Chris Mallon CEO of the National Beef Association (NBA) commenting on the decision said “Understandably large retailers opposed the move to protect primary producers as their business model depends on controlling the market. However, the rest of the farming industry which represent farmers and small food businesses, had

welcomed the opportunity to extend the GCA, a move which would have ensured transparency and given confidence to those producing food for British consumers. It was a chance to put UK farmers ahead of the EU yet now EU farmers to be better protected than their British counterparts.” The announcements of legislation around milk contracts is not revolutionary. Legislation on milk contracts was introduced by the EU in 2013 and has been available to be delivered by the Government since then and as such are not new tool. Voluntary codes are proven not to work for either side, and the NBA welcome the Governments

support of a move towards statutory codes of conduct. The Collaboration Fund, the consolation prize handed down for not getting the protection of the GCA, appears to be only the amalgamation of existing programs. Time will tell if there are any significant benefits from this for primary producers. Its announcement includes wellworn phrases, such as, the need for economies of scale and sharing of market information, producer groups already do this, but they remain price takers. The Government has missed an opportunity to give the agricultural industry a muchneeded confidence boost at a time of great uncertainty.

livestock New Presidential at the AberdeenAngus Cattle Society


VET Playing a Game of Consequences

By Andy Cant, Northvet Veterinary Group

Angela McGregor of Whiterashes in Aberdeen has stepped in to the role of President at the Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society, replacing outgoing President Alex Sanger of Rosemount Farms in Montrose. Having held the position of Senior Vice President, Ms McGregor makes the natural progression to her current position which she will hold for a 12-month tenure. Paul Jeenes of Grandon Manor Farm in Somerset will take up the role of Senior Vice President, with his former position of Junior Vice President being filled by Alan Cheney of Co. Tyrone in Northern Ireland. Angela is the first female President at the Society since Marion Tilson in 2004, and in reaction to taking on the role has said: ‘’I feel very privileged to become president, following some great breeders whom I have grown up admiring incredibly. As a President we are in an honoured position, but it’s those around you that make being on Council worthwhile. It’s the work that happens every day in the office and on the farm, plus at the sales and shows that helps develop the business and breed. You meet many interesting people, learn a huge amount about what is going on in the industry and the world of science, and can see that the future is very exciting.’’

Did you ever play this? Remember – A bit of paper where you write down phrases that are part of a story, then you fold over the paper pass it to the next person who writes the next phrase, you end up with a disjointed story the last phrase of which is the consequence and when the whole story is read out it is often very funny. So lets try it out: 1. Difficult , slow calving 2. Calf slow to start breathing and shallow breaths 3. Doesn’t sit up quickly and cant stand 4. Doesn’t suck the cow 5. No transfer of immunoglobulins 6. The consequence? Probably a dead calf – if not immediately sometime soon Ah … not so funny The above scenario is probably caused by acidosis.

Too much CO2 in the blood makes it acid and causes the calf to be weak and stupid. A mild form of it is common to all calving and indeed is the stimulus for the calf to take its first breath, this then blows off the CO2 and self cures the acidosis. Where a calving is slow or the breathing is compromised the acidosis wont self-cure and some help will be required. So first recognise what’s normal: 1. First breath in 30 seconds following birth 2. Sitting up within the first 5 minutes 3. Standing up within the first hour If that doesn’t happen you could have a calf with acidosis. Fluids containing bicarbonate help to reverse acidosis in the blood – all oral rehydration

fluids contain this and can do the trick in mild cases. Your vet can also give an intravenous injection of bicarbonate in more severe cases. So lets re-run the game of consequences 1. Slow, difficult calving 2. Calf encouraged / stimulated to breath/ airways cleared 3. Progress of calf monitored – action taken if slow 4. Oral hydration with high bicarb replacement 5. Ensure adequate colostrum consumed 6. The consequence? – not off to the best start in life, but has a fighting chance Now that’s a better outcome! So lets play the game!


exotic farming scotland Trekking with Gentle Giants:

Alpaca Farming in Edinburgh By Janice Hopper You don’t see many farmers taking their pigs, sheep or cattle for a wee stroll, but when it comes to alpaca farmers ‘trekking’ is a key activity. Bob Crosbie and his partner Cath set up BobCat Alpacas, in south Edinburgh, two and a half years ago. They, too, offer Alpaca Trekking to visitors keen to get close to the notably fluffy and appealing herd, but this wasn’t their aim when they started out. “Alpacas always figured in my retirement plan’, explains Bob, ‘Initially we planned to get a small-holding with chickens, and use alpacas as flock guards to keep predators at bay. But the more research I undertook, the more breeders I met, the more my plans changed. The chickens never materialised but we now have 24 alpacas on our twelve acre site. I aim to grow the herd to forty animals, which I hope to reach by 2021 with the current breeding programme.”

Bob and Cath

Initially Bob and Cath bought five pregnant alpacas from herds across the country. Three animals from two herds in Northumberland, and two animals from Yorkshire. Bob, like many alpaca farmers, utilises these exotic animals

in different ways, tapping into various income streams. The first is breeding them for sought after fleeces. Each animal can produce around twenty fleeces in its lifetime, being shorn every year, creating roughly 2.5 kilos of spinnable fabric per alpaca

The boys at BobCat Alpacas


from the back/saddle area. An additional 1.5kg comes from the neck and leg fleece. He currently sells the premium yarn to established hand-knitting groups and experts. Other potential wool customers are visitors to the herd, which is where the ‘trekking’ comes in. At BobCat Alpacas it’s possible to book 1.5 hour walks, leading an individual alpaca by reins in Pentland Regional Park. After this hands-on experience many visitors are tempted to buy wool from the animal they’ve spent quality time with. As each fleece can be traced back to an individual alpaca it’s straightforward for customers to walk away with a tangible memory of their day out in the Lothian countryside. Many alpaca breeders in Scotland now offer ‘trekking’ as part of their portfolio, but it’s curious why this animal in particular has been singled out for such treatment? “It’s partly down to appearances’, says Bob, ‘The alpacas get enough exercise without trekking but the public is besotted with these gorgeous, fluffy creatures. They want to get close to them. Add to this that an alpaca’s temperament is placid, calm and laid back, so they are ideal animals for public engagement.” Trekking is a novel outdoor activity for both tourists and locals, and provides an unusual income for farmers. The charge per ‘alpaca walked’ is £20: all are welcome but young children generally share a lead rope with an adult. Trekkers are also warned that they may have their photograph taken whilst

exotic farming scotland

Appealing alpacas

out walking in the park, as the animals are local celebrities. “Initially the local people were surprised by what they saw’, says Bob, ‘Much eyerubbing in disbelief as we encountered them on walks. Now we are part of the routine and invited to local events and functions.” Once the trekkers have returned to the farm there’s the opportunity to hand-feed the alpacas and, over the summer months, perhaps meet some alpaca babies. For young children, large groups, or those with limited mobility, Farm Visits are another way BobCat let the public get close to the herd. These last an hour and include feeding and stroking the alpacas, learning more about them and asking questions of the farmers. Due to the animals’ tactile qualities and gentle temperament BobCat Alpacas are also used in therapy roles. BobCat work with universities in the run up to exams to assist students with their mental

wellbeing, they go into schools, and regularly engage with those on the autistic spectrum.

“Children, and adults, just take to the animals. They go straight in there to give them a hug. Alpacas simply have a very calming and warming effect on people,” says Bob. Ownership of alpacas is on the rise. The British Alpaca Society currently has 58 registered herds in Scotland, with 820 registered breeding animals. The total estimated population of alpacas in Scotland is 1400, but owning them isn’t a never ending whirl of cute fluffiness. “One hurdle we’ve come across’, says Bob, ‘is the fact that, despite alpacas being hardy animals (they seem to rarely get ill), we find that when alpaca owners do need a vet there’s generally a shortage of professionals with camel experience to tap into. Luckily we’re located near The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies so, whenever a vet does visit us, he or she brings 4-5 students along so the next generation of vets is familiar with alpacas and learning all the time. Most country vets will develop skills the more they work and come into contact with breeders.”

Another slightly different aspect of farming alpacas is the approach to breeding. In many farming scenarios a quality male is put amongst the females to impregnate as many of them as possible. With alpacas each mating is a considered exercise, as the aim with each union is to improve the fleece quality. “We assess the fleeces of both the male and the female’, explains Bob, ‘looking at five main attributes: lustre; fineness; density; crimp style; and uniformity of colour and style. For example, if a female is strong in two areas, we’ll look for a male with strengths in the other three, and put the pair together. It’s a timeconsuming process but we’re ultimately aiming for fleeces that excel in all five quality areas.” Throughout their journey Bob and Cath gleaned support and information from the British Alpaca Society, so for those wishing to find out more visit, or see the beasts in person at the Scottish Alpaca Championships on the 28th April 2018 in Lanark.

Alpaca Trekking at BobCat Alpacas


dairy Lifetime parasite control plans increase dairy profitability says Boehringer Ingelheim Taking a ‘whole life’ approach to parasite control can optimise dairy cow health and lifetime profitability according to Boehringer Ingelheim, the makers of IVOMEC®Classic Pour On and EPRINEX® Pour On. A farm health plan should consider the role of parasites throughout the life of a dairy cow and how and when they will be managed. Regular measurement of weight gain and loss, fertility parameters and behaviour observations can identify productivity-limiting parasite burdens at an early stage, and prevent avoidable losses. Key phases in a cow’s productive life include early life, heifer growth, transition to the milking herd, and lactation. Nicky Bowden, ruminant veterinary advisor at Boehringer Ingelheim, says: “Losses in potential liveweight gain due to poor parasite control during a heifer’s first grazing season will not be recouped during the second year at grass1. Affected animals will not catch up, and

this will impact on their ability to meet important growth milestones, which could result in an increased age at first calving. “Efficient and cost-effective heifer rearing can make a big difference to lifetime profitability. It can support herd expansion without the need to buy in replacements and also

increase the rate of genetic improvement.” The cost benefits of producing heifers that calve at 24 months are significant, and include reduced culling and increased lifetime profitability. Lifetime production can increase by an extra quarter to half a lactation, which could amount to

£529* in extra milk yield alone. Effective worming of first and second season grazing animals can reduce the impact of parasites on growth and fertility levels in growing cattle, while still allowing them to build the necessary immunity required to prevent clinical disease in adulthood.

New calf milk formula range from Volac Dairy-Tech 2018 saw British young animal nutrition specialist Volac unveil a new range of calf milk replacers that have been performance-formulated to give dairy calves the best possible start in life.


Volac says its new Lifeguard milk formula range has been specifically designed to meet the rapidly evolving demands of modern calf rearers. Based on concentrated whey protein, which makes up the

majority of the protein fraction of natural cow colostrum, the new milk formulas incorporate only the highest quality ingredients. Whey protein represents 65% of the protein content of colostrum, whereas the other 35% is casein protein. The whey protein content of whole milk is only 20%. “What we are now able to do is to filter and concentrate up the liquid whey protein fraction of milk and collect the important proteins, fats, sugars and other bioactive components so important for calf programming. The resultant important ingredient, now integral to all our calf milk formulas, is Imunopro – a concentrated whey protein base material packed with the vital amino acids and

immunoglobulins so necessary for healthy youngstock growth and development,” explained Volac nutritionist Ian Watson. “Production of this concentrated whey protein also means we can now ‘precisionformulate’ our milk replacers based on true protein, which involves looking at the crucial limiting amino acids for calves – such as lysine and leucine – just as pig and poultry sector nutritionists have done so effectively in recent years for monogastric species,” he added. Volac makes Imunopro from liquid whey and then formulates in a balanced range of high quality nutrition and health ingredients to meet modern calf development requirements.

dairy Scottish membership of Dairy Pro doubles Professional development programme Dairy Pro has seen its Scottish membership more than double in three months. The growth in members is due to Scottish Government and AHDB funding which has seen the membership fee waived for 2018 for all existing and new Scottish members. Scottish farmers can register for free now by visiting Current members will all be eligible for free membership when membership is renewed this month. AHDB Dairy Knowledge Exchange Manager Helen Brookes says: “While we are really pleased to have doubled Scottish membership of DairyPro we really want to build on that and get at least one person per farm business in Scotland signed up. Schemes like this help farmers demonstrate they are continuing to learn and develop their skills, which we think is vital to the health of dairy businesses.” For Ayrshire dairy farmer Andrew Taylor, who also works part-time as an agricultural consultant with SAC Consulting,

the scheme has allowed him develop a useful record of development, one which will help him prove his professionalism to those he works with in the future. Dairy Pro is a professional development scheme; members establish an online profile where they record activities eligible for points and build up to becoming Dairy Pro Endorsed. Eligible activities include entrepreneurship classes, dairy discussion groups, technical workshops and meetings, as well as large scale events such as Dairy Tech and AgriScot. Once a member has reached 20 Dairy Pro points in any one year they become Dairy Pro Endorsed, which demonstrates their professionalism to their colleagues and peers. Members can then use the Dairy Pro Endorsed logo for the year they are endorsed on their website, marketing material, CVs, etc. Scottish farmers can sign up for free membership of Dairy Pro now by visiting www.dairypro.

Cow comfort survey findings helpful to dairy farming’s good image Evidence that dairy farmers really care and prioritise cow comfort has been generated by a new survey. Organisers have given the findings to farming unions, Dairy UK and AHDB Dairy to help promote a caring image of farming. The Envirobed cubicle bedding study found that cow comfort is farmers’ number one priority, rated ‘very important’ by 89% and ‘quite important’ by 9%. Following closely were reducing mastitis bugs, then high absorbency bedding. Farmers taking part used a variety of different bedding materials. From the study sponsor, Sally Russell says keeping cows clean and comfortable needn’t be 80

compromised by the shortage of bedding straw. “Although this is driving up the cost of sawdust and other materials, there are exceptions,” she says. “Some farmers with loose housed cattle are using a deep bed of Envirobed Original, made from 100% dried recycled paper. Others place a 15cm layer on the floor, topped with straw. “For cubicles, the usual material of choice is EnviroBed Premium, a blend of dried paper and kiln dried sawdust. Per cubicle, the recommended daily quantity and cost are 1kg at less than 10p.” Sally Russell says prices remain where they were set in early July, long before the straw shortage came about.

The Less Favoured Area Support Scheme

By Rural Affairs Secretary Fergus Ewing

I understand how important Less Favoured Area Support Scheme (LFASS) payments are our farmers and crofters in our most remote and marginalised areas. Some 80% of Scotland’s farmland is classified as ‘less favoured’ incorporating more than 11,000 farmers and crofters from Shetland to Stranraer. I ensured that LFASS is being paid in full at 100%, not 80%, as proposed. That is why I am establishing a loan scheme for 2017 LFASS payments. I said last year that I would consider this if I judged it to be the best way to provide financial certainty and security for hill and upland farmers and crofters. The scheme will inject up to £55 million into some of our most remote and rural communities, safeguarding jobs and local agricultural businesses. Eligible farmers and crofters will be offered a loan of up to 90% of their LFASS entitlement, with the first batch of offer letters to be

sent from the end of February. Offers will continue to be issued as claim eligibility is confirmed, with initial payments beginning in April. If you are concerned about not receiving an offer, please contact your local RPID Area Office. In offering this loan, I want to reassure eligible farmers that no interest will be charged on the offer. I also want to be clear that this offer does not take away funding from the NHS or any other public service. It is the individual farmer and crofters money, they deserve it, and they should have it. While we are making good progress in our handling of LFASS 2017 scheme payments, and are on track to commence payments earlier than we have done in previous years, I am determined to offer as much certainty as I can right now. I would therefore encourage all eligible hill farmers and crofters to strongly consider taking up this offer.

pigs UK first for Indiana pig farmers Precision pig farming is the way ahead for sustainable, green, resource-light systems which are kind to both pigs and people. That is the vision of a group of influential visitors from Indiana. A high-level delegation – representing housing manufacturers, engineers, livestock specialists and pig farmers – travelled to the UK to visit Farmex and Dicam Technology Ltd, in Berkshire and Suffolk respectively, to gain more information on the possibilities offered by the companies’ control and monitoring technology and how it can help them achieve their aims. In 2016 members of the group set up an organisation called Precision Livestock Systems to “pursue innovation in animal agriculture”. This includes implementing “transformative technologies to increase visibility, employee satisfaction, pig performance,

food safety and environmental sustainability”. Farmex systems are already widely used in Nebraska and, following acquisitions, interest has been created in Indiana

which, with over four million pigs, is the fifth largest pigproducing state in the USA. “US farmers and farming companies have been quicker

than the British to seize the financial and management benefits that this technology offers,” said Hugh Crabtree, Farmex managing director.

Stay ahead at the British Pig & Poultry Fair 2018 Pig and poultry producers are well known for embracing new technology and business tools, and many are planning further investment to ensure a bright future in the years ahead. With each respective industry anticipating changes, whether regarding labour or import and export regulations, keeping upto-date is vital for any successful business – and the British Pig & Poultry Fair will help them do just that. “Technology is moving at a fast pace and it is vital that producers remain at the forefront of change,” says Fair organiser, Alice Bell. “Meeting the suppliers of that technology and networking with industry leaders is a perfect opportunity for producers to source what they need to improve.” In a recent straw poll carried out by the Royal Agricultural Society of England, the vast majority of pig and poultry producers were positive about the future, with 100% planning to

invest in their business this year. “There are clearly some challenges ahead, but it’s encouraging that so many farmers are optimistic and embracing the latest technology and advice on offer.” According to an exit poll at the 2016 Fair, 79% of visitors planned to make changes to their business as a result of their visit – and one farmer who made a truly life changing decision in a previous year is Richard Knox, partner at Tor Pigs, Devon. “When I was looking to move from an outdoor unit to indoors, I met an experienced manager at the Fair who told me to focus on profitability and put in the tried and tested slatted system so I could closely predict performance. If I had not had that conversation, I probably would not be in pigs now – it was a key turning point for me and a worthwhile investment.” To find out more and register for free entry to the Fair visit



Nematodirosis This editorial is provided by Bimeda- makers of Endospec SC 2.5%* Unpredictable weather patterns could result in a high Nematodirosis risk in 2018. This is why it’s vital this year, more than ever, to keep checking the Nematodirus forecast Nematodirosis is caused by the parasite Nematodirus battus and causes intestinal damage leading to profuse, watery diarrhoea. Nematodirus battus is a type of nematode (roundworm) and causes disease in young lambs which have never been exposed previously and so have no acquired immunity.

which can produce eggs. This takes as little as 14-21 days. These eggs then pass out in the faeces resulting in greater pasture contamination. Depending on the weather conditions these eggs will either go on to develop into infective larvae which can infect lambs immediately or they will lie dormant until the following Spring when they can infect the new crop of lambs which have never been exposed to them and so have no natural immunity.

significant factors to consider: 1) Environmental conditions. If the weather suddenly changes from cold frosty mornings to mild, warmer spring weather a mass hatching of parasites on the pasture occurs 2) Lamb age/weaning. If this mass hatching occurs around the same time that lambs are beginning to consume significant amounts of grass (6-12 weeks) then the risk will be very high What other risks are there? In addition to the two critical factors above there are other factors which will increase the challenge faced by lambs: - Grazing lambs on the same pasture which they were grazed on last Spring - Presence of other parasites e.g. coccidiosis - Other stress, triplets, fostered lambs etc.

Life cycle

Clinical Signs • Sudden onset profuse diarrhoea • Faecal staining of tail and perineum • Dull/depressed lambs • Lambs which stop sucking • Gaunt condition • Dehydration • Rapid loss of body condition • Lambs congregating around water to rehydrate

Sheep often become infected by roundworms passed from animal to animal, via the pasture, in the same grazing season. Nematodirus battus is different because it is transmitted from the lambs grazing the pasture in the previous season to those grazing in the current season. This makes it particularly difficult to control. Following ingestion of infective larvae on the pasture they go on to develop into adult worms 82

Thankfully once lambs have been exposed they begin to develop natural immunity however matodirus is capable of causing a great deal of damage, and even death, before this immunity develops. When is the risk? Frustratingly the highest risk period will vary slightly from year to year making it difficult to counteract. There are two

Why should I be worried? First and foremost nematodirus will impact on the welfare of the lambs. Nematodirosis also comes with a significant cost. If all of the risk factors come together and present a high challenge then up to 5% of the lamb crop may die. Even if you are able to avoid deaths in a nematodirus outbreak the lambs will lose condition and will take longer and cost more to finish. Diagnosis • Once worms are ingested they takes 2-4 weeks to begin producing eggs so faecal egg counts are not helpful for acute disease however they should

• •

be used to monitor response to treatment. Presentation/clinical signs Post Mortem

Treatment SCOPS recommend that, if treatment is required, a group 1 (white/1-BZ) wormer should be used. When treating lambs weigh them and dose accurately to ensure that treatment is effective and to help protect anthelmintics from resistance. Faecal worm egg counts 7-10 days after treatment are vital for determining efficacy of the treatment. Prevention Monitor the parasite forecast for your region so you are ready to act at the right time and prevent acute disease. This can be accessed on the SCOPS and NADIS websites and should be checked daily during periods of high risk. Local knowledge on risk is invaluable and so you should keep in contact with your local vets and SQPs. Where possible avoid grazing lambs on the same pasture on consecutive years. About the Author Rachel Mallet is a Veterinary Surgeon, who now works as a Professional Services Vet providing technical support to vets, SQPs and farmers in the UK. Rachel is passionate about animal health and about promoting best practice and preventative medicine amongst farmers. *Endospec 2.5% contains albendazole 25 mg, selenium (as sodium selenite) 0.27mg, cobalt (as cobalt sulphate) 0.624mg per ml. The following active ingredients have indications for nematodirus in sheep. Please consult your SQP or vet to determine which is most appropriate and consult the SPC data sheet for further information: Albendazole, ricobendazole, oxfendazole, Fenbendazole, levamisole, moxidectin, doramectin, monepantel, derquantel/abamectin.

sheep Trade stand bookings rolling in for NSA Scotsheep 18 – don’t miss out Bookings for trade stand space and breed exhibits, from both breed societies and individual breeders, are rolling in for Scotland’s national sheep event, NSA Scotsheep 2018, which takes place on Wednesday, May 30. The event, held every two years, is organised by NSA Scotland, and the venue is Kings Arms Farm at Ballantrae in South Ayrshire where host farmers, Robert and Caroline Dalrymple, along with long-time farm manager, Andrew McLean, run a flock of 1400 ewes with all lambs, except replacement ewe lambs, finished on the farm. “Plans for NSA Scotsheep 2018 are well advanced and the organising committee is hard at work putting together an exciting programme of events on the day,” reports organiser, Euan Emslie, secretariat of NSA Scotland. “I would urge prospective exhibitors to get in touch with me right away to book space and ensure a good site. Closing date for applications is February 28.” Organisation is in the hands of a local committee under the chairmanship of George Allan, secretary of the Scotch Mule Association, and Mr Emslie will be happy to provide further information and application forms for trade stands and breed society exhibits. Euan can be contacted on 01430 441870 / 07718 908523 or

The reputation of the sheep flock at Kings Arms Farm, which comprises 1000 Texel x Mule ewes and 400 Scotch Mule ewes, is sure to prove a big draw for the thousands of sheep farmers from throughout Scotland and the North of England expected to attend. The farm tour is always a highlight of Scotsheep for most farmers and this year will be no exception with the spectacular views towards Iona and the Mull of Kintyre adding to the opportunity of viewing a wellmanaged commercial sheep flock. Efficient grassland management is the key to the high output of the 700 acre farm which is all grass and takes advantage of a favourable climate to finish the February-born lambs on grass to catch the early market. The farm also supports a suckler herd of 185 Limousin and Aberdeen-Angus x Friesian cows which are crossed with home-bred Charolais bulls from the farm’s 15-cow pedigree herd. Features of the event will include a huge array of trade stands and breed society exhibits, stockjudging, NSA Next Generation Shepherd of the Year competition, invitational sheepdog trial and sheep shearing competitions, comprehensive seminar programme, grassland demonstration and a show and sale of pairs of ewe hoggs.

Order your FARMING SCOTLAND MAGAZINE Limited Edition Whisky See Page 123

And so the Brexit saga continues! By George Milne As we kick off for the start of 2018 it is no surprise that meetings feature around Brexit. Having attended the NFU Brexit round table meeting in London in early January and the UK livestock Brexit group meeting at the end of the month in Birmingham the common theme of where we will be in 14 months’ time and how will we get to that stage crops up around every discussion. With so many uncertainties It becomes very difficult to plan ahead yet that is what we have to focus on, it’s not just difficult for the agricultural sector and the sheep sector it is a mind field for every business and everyone. Dominating the discussions are the need to keep trade for the sheep sector, with over 96% of all the lamb the UK exports going into Europe then the consequences of not having a transition period could be devastating. However NSA has worked hard over the last year to make sure that all the political representatives across the whole of the UK fully understand the position clearly. Mr Gove announced that any future funding would require delivering public goods for public money. Obviously every sheep farmer would want to see more of their income come from the market place, however the reality is that sheep farmers will require support, and in particular hill sheep farmers. Whilst we

have asked the question that actually providing food is in fact a public good this is not received by all as being the case. However sheep farming definitely does deliver many environmental benefits and the sheep industry is well placed to justify its important role delivering environmental benefit purely by the way sheep are managed and grazed across our hills and uplands. Mr Gove has also suggested that improved productivity and higher welfare standards should be on the agenda for the future. Regarding productivity every farmer strives to be as efficient and productive as possible, however with such a diverse environment of hills and uplands across the country it is not a case of one improvement scheme suits all farmers. However I’m sure a variety of improvement options could be put to good use for the sheep industry. Finally when it comes to improved welfare standards this will be delivered purely as a result of improved health within the sheep flock, and this can be achieved by targeting some of the sheep diseases for eradication or reduction. Whatever the future holds farmers can be assured that the NSA is at the forefront of the talks and we will be doing our best to make sure we have a vibrant successful sheep industry during and after Brexit.

sheep European TSE Regulation Amended To Flexibility In Identifying Sheep Age UK Representatives in Europe vote in favour of amendment following NFU Scotland requests Yesterday, the European Commission Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (PAFF) voted in favour of adopting an amendment to the regulation governing controls for TSEs (transmissible spongiform encephalopathies). Under the existing regulation, domestic regulators had to assume that sheep were over 12 months old if their permanent incisors had erupted, this is a time-consuming process with questionable accuracy. The new amendment will allow domestic regulators in the UK to adopt alternative methods of identifying sheep age which are better suited to the needs of the sector.

NFU Scotland has consistently argued for increased flexibility on the method of identifying age, to take in to account the variances in sheep production across the European Union. Last month NFU Scotland President Andrew McCornick wrote to DEFRA Secretary Michael Gove to request that the UK Government vote in favour of this amendment. Commenting on the result NFU Scotland President Andrew McCornick said “This positive development strengthens the overarching European regulation by allowing flexibility within EU member states, and follows direct representations being made by NFU Scotland to the UK Government. “The UK sheep industry has previously agreed proposals to

implement an alternative method of using a cut-off date each year after which sheep are considered to be over 12 months old, it’s important that industry resumes discussions with regulators on this sensible proposal.

“If we can move away from having to check for permanent incisor eruption then this has the potential to save the sheep sector time and money, potentially enhancing the profitability of the sector.”

Free sheep scab testing for Scottish flocks Scottish farmers are being reminded that free laboratory testing for sheep scab is available from SAC Consulting Veterinary Services. Resistance to moxidectin in the mite which causes sheep scab has been confirmed in England and Wales, prompting SAC Consulting, part of Scotland’s


Rural College (SRUC), to review its sheep scab diagnostic data. The notifiable disease significantly impacts on the welfare and productivity of the animals during winter, with investigation of itchy sheep results showing a peak in sheep scab during January and February (see below graph).

If left untreated, the disease can cause intense irritation to the sheep, lead to reduced quality of sheepskins and wool and also affect the growth rate of lambs. An early diagnosis is particularly relevant in the runup to lambing, when it is easier to treat the flock prior to the birth of any lambs.

Sheep scab is caused by Psoroptes ovis mites and confirmation of infection requires microscopic examination of skin samples from affected animals. The disease has been notifiable in Scotland since 2010, with annual notifications ranging from a high of 150 in 2011 to a low of 81 in 2014. The first three months of 2017 saw 34 notifications. Over the last five years, SAC Consulting has examined more than 300 samples with scab mites detected in almost a third (32 per cent) of these samples and lice in 17 per cent. George Caldow, Head of SAC Consulting Veterinary Services, said: “The resistance the sheep scab mite has shown to moxidectin makes an accurate diagnosis essential. It will allow vets and farmers to select the correct treatment and avoid the overuse of macrocyclic lactone injections. I would encourage farmers to work with their vets to promptly investigate the cause of itchy sheep, and to take advantage of the free testing available.”

sheep Industry Event Sees Key Opinion Leaders Join Forces To Promote Best Practice For Sheep Scab Control, As Concerns Grow Regarding Resistance To 3ML Wormers In what is thought to be the first event of its kind, key opinion leaders and representatives from industry bodies, academia, vets, SQPs and veterinary medicine manufacturers joined forces with mobile sheep plunge dippers to discuss the issue of scab in sheep, and to promote best practice for scab control. The event took place in Haydock and drew attendees from Scotland, England, Wales and the Republic of Ireland, who came together to discuss the issue of ethical and effective scab control. This is an issue of ever-increasing prominence following on from recent reports confirming the detection of resistance of the sheep scab mite to 3ML


wormers1, which are widely used to treat scab. It is also estimated that since the elimination of compulsory dipping 26 years ago, there has been a 60fold increase in sheep scab on UK farms2, making it imperative that farmers and animal health professionals plan appropriately for the control of scab (Source 1: Endemic sheep scab: risk factors and the behaviour of upland sheep flocks: Rose and Wall). The event saw presentations from three leading voices in the area of sheep ecto-parasite control; Dr Peter Bates: Veterinary Entomologist and sheep scab expert, Lesley Stubbings OBE: Independent sheep consultant/SCOPS and Rebecca Mearns: Senior Veterinary Advisor of Biobest.

Dr Peter Bates refreshed attendees’ knowledge on the life cycle of the sheep scab mite and discussed dipping as an option for control. Peter’s key message was that in the sub-clinical stages of disease, even though sheep are infected, there may be no visible clinical signs. This is why sheep scab can be so easily introduced into the flock when buying animals in, and adequate quarantine procedures are vital. Correct dipping technique is necessary to ensure the success of treatment. Diazinon should be used via plunge dip- never a shower or jetter and animals must be immersed for 60 seconds with their head dipped under twice. Rebecca Mearns of Biobest took the opportunity to discuss their collaboration with Moredun to make the sheep scab ELISA available to UK farmers, supported by a Bimeda subsidy. This test allows an opportunity to detect sheep scab infection earlier than any other means- often as soon as 2 weeks post-infection and before any clinical signs appear. We must integrate this diagnostic tool into flock health plans, particularly in high risk situations to fulfil our responsibility to use medicines sustainably and ensure that a

diagnosis is obtained for itchy sheep to allow targeted treatment. Lesley Stubbings discussed issues around resistance of gastrointestinal roundworms to MLs and how inappropriate use of these products to treat sheep scab will increase the rate of development of resistance. A recent ‘Sustainable Control of Parasites in Sheep’ scab workshop was recently coordinated by Lesley following reports of resistance of the sheep scab mite to ML injections. The SCOPS plan of action to deliver responsible sheep scab control strategies was conveyed including utilisation of testing, mobile dipping services, education and the role of markets/ abbatoirs. A key part of the day was a discussion around how the use of contract plunge dippers can make dipping both accessible and affordable for farmers. Animal health company Bimeda hosted the event and their Professional Services Vet, Rachel Mallet, commented, ‘there are a lot of misconceptions about dipping and the barriers to having sheep dipped. In reality, there is no reason preventing sheep farmers from accessing this method of scab and ecto-parasite control.’

Food for thought!

By Political Affairs Manager Clare Slipper

She added, ‘For farmers who do not have a licence to dip or dispose of used dip, there are a number of mobile sheep dippers around the country, who provide a way for farmers to avail of dipping, without having to carry it out themselves. In light of potential increases in the cost of dip disposal permits it is useful to be aware that sheep dipping contractors can even arrange to responsibly dispose of used dip. Any farmer who is having trouble finding a local mobile dipper can contact Bimeda for a list of dippers in their area.’ Rachel added, ‘Dipping gives immediate scab and ecto-parasite control and in fact, dipping is the most broad spectrum method of parasite control for sheep as it offers the only way to control scab, ticks, lice, blowfly and keds with one product.’ Throughout the day, speakers discussed the benefits of dipping sheep for the control of scab and other ecto-parasites and attendees were reminded that; • Dipping targets external parasites only • Dipping does not give rise to anthelmintic resistance • Dipping kills scab mites quickly and helps to reduce the presence of mite antigens present on the skin surface causing inflammation. • The scab mite prefers to spend its entire life cycle on the animal, but can survive offfleece in clumps of wool for up to 17 days. Dipping gives protection against scab for longer than the 17 days that the mite can survive in the

environment, thus allowing for complete elimination in closed flocks • Dipping offers the only way to control scab, ticks, lice, blowfly and keds with one product. Bimeda are dedicated to promoting the responsible use of veterinary medicines and all attendees were asked to pledge their commitment to responsible sheep scab control on the day. Commitments included: “I commit to encourage farmers to consult their private vets for proper diagnosis” “Talk to farmers about the importance of scab control and educate them with a farmer meeting” “Encouraging NSA Young Ambassadors to take local leadership” “My commitment is to raise awareness to our sheep advisors in our farmer meetings and events” One attendee even pledged to set up their own mobile dipping business to help tackle sheep scab. For farmers interested in targeted scab control via dipping, in the UK Bimeda offers Goldfleece OP Dip, which is the UK’s number one sheep dip. Goldfleece has a short and convenient 49 day meat withdrawal and offers excellent value to the farmer, with 5L treating over 800 sheep. For more information on how to find your local contract sheep dipper or for more information on Goldfleece, call Bimeda on 01248 725 400 .

There is a phrase often used in Brussels that goes: “If you’re not at the table, then you are on the menu.” And if you believe the press reports since the referendum outcome, EU negotiators have not just put David Davis and his Brexit negotiating team on the menu; they have devoured them. The UK Government’s unwavering position for the last 12 months has been that the UK will inevitably leave the European Single Market and the jurisdiction of the EU – give or take a ‘time limited implementation period’ where the UK and the EU adjust to a new Free Trade Agreement. What will that Free Trade Agreement consist of? The wish of NFU Scotland and of the UK farming unions is that trade can continue without any friction, tariffs or nontariff barriers. The UK Government thankfully shares that aim but, to arrive at this, the Brexit negotiators must make progress on ensuring regulatory alignment over a vast range of hugely technical issues such as sanitary and photo-sanitary measures; pesticides and plant breeding techniques; and veterinarian issues – to name only a few. Those issues will take time to work through. The irony that this seems like an awful amount of work in order keep something that pretty much resembles the status quo is not lost.

NFU Scotland


But the reality is that the UK is not “on the menu” as far as this goal is concerned. In fact, the EU27 have put their cards on the table and made clear their mutual wish to ensure this new trading arrangement is as mutually beneficial, and as seamless, as possible. Whilst the EU and the UK clearly have mutual interests here, it remains the case that the goodwill of the EU negotiators will remain paramount if any meaningful progress is to be made on the future relationship. And with the Article 50 clock ticking loudly towards March 2019, progress is desperately needed. The UK has been a member of the EU for more than 40 years, during which time it has built a fantastic network of friends within the other 27-member states, but also with third countries who have interests in the EU trading bloc. In the future, the UK must become more global in its approach, building alliances with new partners who previously we might not have worked with. But we will also need to keep our old friends close. In fact, these relationships will become more important than ever. Because if we are not at the table – or even in the room – the UK’s network will be its only lobbying tool. Perhaps David Davis and his negotiating team may need to add humble pie to their menu of Brexit asks.

Farming travel guide Scotland

Vibrant Glasgow and East Kilbride With Janice Hopper For those who live in the big city, escaping to the country may be the ideal holiday, but for those of us who live and work on the land, the temptation of a slick city break makes its own sense. Glasgow and East Kilbride combine a

mix of the sophisticated and the on-trend, with rural attractions and country experiences of the highest order. Scotland has four national museums; covering the nation, war and flight, but one of them is

specifically dedicated to life in the country. The National Museum of Rural Life is located a short drive from Glasgow in East Kilbride. This gem of a museum tells the story of Scotland’s rural people, the countryside,

Copyright Sean Bell

Tractors Galore - National Museum of Rural Life

The National Museum of Rural Life


the tools and the machines. Home to combine harvesters, tractors, threshers and ploughs, it cleverly demonstrates how machines have taken the strain over the years. One of its earliest exhibits is the Glasgow Tractor. Produced by John Wallace & Sons, Agricultural Engineers and Implement Makers, it was manufactured between 1919 and 1924 and, at the time, was Scotland’s only indigenous tractor. A relatively bare green tractor frame with bright red wheels naturally draws the eye. But it wasn’t long before American competition was undercutting Scottish production. Another key display is the vibrant, yellow Fordson Standard F Series, DSP 920, dating back to the 1920s. This American design was one of the first lightweight, mass-produced tractors, making it possible for the smaller farmer to invest in his own tractor for the first time. Other curiosities include a 1930’s Ferguson Brown, a 1940’s Ford Ferguson, a David Brown Sectioned Cropmaster, and a 1950’s TE20 Ferguson SY 8626. Alongside an extensive mix of artefacts it’s possible to walk through centuries of farm machinery. For children, the Garden Detectives room engages kids with the great outdoors through a range of interactive toys. Inspired by the work of Charles Darwin, youngsters are invited to split animals into mammals, invertebrates, amphibians and fish, discover more about the food chain and who’s eating who, and create reliefs of paw prints using crayons. From there it’s time to leave the main museum and hop aboard the colourful ‘Farm Explorer’, a Deutz tractor and trailer used to transport guests up to the farm. Here the lives, breeding

Farming travel guide Scotland patterns and traits of AberdeenAngus cattle, Tamworth pigs (and adorable piglets), Ayrshire cows, Blackface sheep and Clydesdale horses are explained by informative museum guides. Inside the 1950’s byre there’s the opportunity to milk ‘Clover the Cow’ for those who wish to get hands-on. Next to the farm is a traditional period farmhouse, a welcoming example of rural domestic life. Visitors can catch the free Farm Explorer tractor and trailer back to the museum, or it’s possible to follow a clearly sign-posted ten minute pedestrian route through the fields and countryside. Back in the main building, the Shielings Café offers panoramic views of the scenery alongside a simple range of soups and sandwiches, bagels, burgers, coffee and cake. There’s also a separate children’s menu for the little ones. An outdoor playground allows kids to run off energy after lunch. Returning to the city, there’s the opportunity to shop or become a culture vulture at multiple galleries and museums, but Glasgow’s known for its green spaces too. The Botanic Gardens are located in the trendy West End, Kelvingrove Park is right next to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, and Glasgow Green is the oldest “public park” in Britain, home to the People’s Palace and the stunning Winter Gardens. In Glasgow, not only is it relatively easy to find tracts of open space, it’s also possible to get a taste of local produce, fresh from the countryside, in the heart of the city. The Westend Farmers Market runs every second and fourth Saturday of the month, at Mansfield Park in Partick, from 10.00am-2.00pm. Stall holders include Tay Valley fruit, Bellfield Organics, MacMillan Foods, and meats from the Carmichael Estate, Gartmorn Farm Poultry and Puddledub. Food and drink from different sectors and parts of the country converge in Glasgow for a morning of retail therapy and delectation. In terms of food and drink, whilst it’s possible to wine and

dine in quite exemplary restaurants and stylish surroundings, city dwellers are increasingly looking for simple, wholesome cuisine, homely, nurturing dishes and a taste of the countryside. VisitScotland’s new porridge trail, taking in the whole of Scotland, highlights Eusebi Deli on Park Road for its organic oatmeal with rhubarb compote and a pistachio crumble. Although it’s an Italian deli (with their cured meat sourced from Norcia in Umbria), the free range eggs are straight from Corrie Mains Farm in Mauchline, the oats are Hamlyns’, and the Italian sausages are made to a family recipe by Peelham Farm in Berwickshire. Another new curiosity on the Glasgow scene is ‘Pie & Brew’ on Bath Street. The pie, an unassuming, hearty dish, is undergoing something of a revival. Having an entire restaurant dedicated to the humble pie in the city centre of Glasgow proves that good meat, vegetables and pastry are back on the trendiest tables. Those looking for warming fare in the heart of the city can select from an extensive menu of handmade pies. A range of draught craft beers and regular live music complete the scene. For a vibrant mix of food and drink choices the

Merchant Quarter is always a draw. Admittedly this is where Glasgow’s links with the land gets interesting. Many merchants in the city made vast sums of money working their estates and plantations overseas with crops of cotton, tobacco and sugar. With modern farming comes concerns over ethics, responsibility, land usage and welfare, but today we’re usually talking about the environment or the treatment, breeding and slaughter of animals. Back in the 18th century it was far closer to home: human slavery. The profits of slavery reached many corners of Scotland but Glasgow’s links are particularly strong. Magnificent buildings funded by the profits of slavery, street names with links to the plantations (consider Glassford Street, Tobago Street, Jamaica Street and Virginia Street) and grand buildings that were once the personal homes of wealthy merchants. Even the MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) was originally the Cunninghame Mansion, the townhouse of tobacco baron William Cunninghame. The Tobacco Merchant’s House on Miller Street was once the home of merchant Robert Findlay. In the People’s Palace visitors may stumble across a grand portrait

of merchant John Glassford and his family. There are traces of this legacy peppered right around town. Heading to the south of the city, the floral oasis that is Greenbank Garden and its house were built for Robert Allason in the 1760s. He made his money as a tobacco merchant and slave trader, but today the site is cherished for its impressive garden featuring more than 3,600 named species of plants and a national collection of Bergenia. On the other side of the coin it’s certainly worth noting that Glaswegians were leading proponents of the Scottish abolition movement, a timely reminder that land ownership, labour and the ethics of production are never forgotten.

On the Porridge Trail - Eusebi Deli

Farm Produce at the West End Farmers Market.tif



Looking for the Campbells When she befriended a man who’d been one of the last Hebridean drovers, Terry J Williams wanted to find out more about his former colleagues. In the second part of our exclusive serialisation of her book, she explains how she did so

I had spent a day at the North Uist Show with a smaller version of the Highland Drover exhibition at Dingwall hoping to meet people interested enough to share memories of the cattle sales of the 1950s and 1960s when my friend Ian Munro used to go across to work on the island as a drover. Local people expressed enthusiasm for my project, invited me into their homes, plied me with food and cups of tea and were usually still sharing stories when I left, often several hours later. In the family croft on South Uist, John Macmillan soon had us surrounded by photographs and papers as he generously shared his wealth of local knowledge. He told me his great-great-greatgrandfather used to keep 600 cattle on the rugged east side of the island. I brought out an archive photograph of a sale in progress and he picked out his grandfather in the crowd. Had I noticed a big stone enclosure as I left the main road? That was Milton Fank where the sale used to be held, though it had been much altered and added to over the years and was still in use for handling the crofters’ livestock. The voice recorder caught story after story. Back in the van I spent the evening typing up my notes. Two names caught my attention: Neil and Simon Campbell. Back in Dingwall, Ian Munro had told me to look them up. Their family croft, he remembered, was near Lochboisdale. Neil Campbell’s wife answered my phone call. Yes, I could come to see him any time at all for wasn’t he retired now? Just come, any time. 90

The sale at Milton Fank in South Uist in the 1950s (with George McCallum auctioneering)

Mainland buyers Ian Oswald, Andrew Hendryand Andrew Binnie compare notes at a 1957 sale as (far left) Skye haulier Ewen MacKinnon looks on

BOOK SERIALISATION Looking two decades younger than his 82 years, Neil welcomed me with a firm handshake. He was not impressed to hear of his unsought fame. There was a pride in him nonetheless when he began telling me about droving cattle, recalling the exhaustion of long days in difficult conditions and frequently poor weather, with insufficient helpers and uncooperative animals. The drovers’ skill had been vital to the sale and transfer of island cattle to the mainland and he assured me that, whatever information I might get from other people, only those who had actually walked with the cattle knew the full story. I heard about the cold and the beasts running off and no fences and the dogs and the pay of £8 or so for the week’s work and the long days out in the weather ... ‘Some of the cattle were easy enough,’ said Neil, ‘but you would get the awkward ones, oh yes, trying to get away all the time. They didn’t have time for grazing ... There’s something else as well. You were without food all day. Well, later on in years there were vans going round but that time, when I started out, nothing ... I must be the oldest at this end of the island that was involved with it. There used to be another five of us.’ His brother Charlie was no longer with us, he said, but Simon still lived in the family home near Lochboisdale. Was I going to see him? Yes – and I’d been given instructions for finding the house. Simon Campbell was waiting for me as my van bumped gently along a grassy track towards a plain grey house with smoke streaming from the chimney. Once again, I was made me to feel like a special guest. There was a clear family likeness between the two brothers but each cast a different light on their droving days. Neil’s tales of hardship and misadventure turned to comedy in Simon’s telling of them. Hardly had I set up the recorder than we were out walking the roads with the cattle. Gesticulating, eyes flashing, he brought each scene to vivid life. At several points, he jumped up from his chair, miming the effect of island hospitality on a mainland

cattle dealer or a beast leaping over a fence with men and dogs in pursuit. His voice rose and fell to suit the drama of the occasion, the rhythms of his native Gaelic underpinning his answers to my English questions. The result was almost musical. Gaelic was the first language of nearly everyone who helped me. An occasional slight pause between my question and the response hinted at the moment it took to shift their instinctive answer into English for my benefit. I brought out my file of photographs and we were soon putting names to faces among the dealers. ‘That’s Andrew Hendry from Stirling there,’ said Simon. ‘And then there was a Mr Binnie – the one on the right, I think. Then the one on the left is Ian Oswald . . . Some of them were staying here – was Neil telling you? ... They were sleeping down in the room. Bob Love and Tom Adams and Willie Hendry and Andrew Hendry. Two double beds down there, just two in each bed. They were staying here until my mother got old.’ A tingle ran up my spine. I was sitting by the fire next to the room where the cattle buyers had slept and a tea tray was waiting for me in the kitchen where they had eaten their meals. It all suddenly felt very real. I mentioned that

the Dingwall team had stayed at the Lochboisdale Hotel. Oh yes, Simon remembered, and the Oban folk stayed ‘at our neighbours down here. They would phone to say they would be home at eight or nine o’clock. Maybe the sale was finished at six o’clock but there was a couple of jars going after that and sorting the cattle . . .’ His mother, wanting to have the dinner ready as soon as her lodgers got in, would put the potatoes on to boil at eight o’clock, but ‘they would be nine o’clock and after nine,’ said Simon. ‘She was worrying about the potatoes getting cold.’ Her neighbour, wiser to the ways of these cattlemen, waited until they came through the door before putting the potato pan on the stove. ‘And then there was drams going in the house down there,’ said Simon. ‘They were getting good feeds and they were happy.’ I thought there must have been a lot of fun as well as a great deal of hard work. ‘Oh yes,’ said Simon, ‘down at the pier and watching them going on the boat and this hullabaloo going on. There was never a dull moment. You would get a wee dram now and again. That was keeping morale going. There was no such a thing as tiredness, no.’ The Campbell brothers had both been eager to share their

memories and, as I played back the recordings, I realised that each of the three drovers had spun me a different colour of the same yarn. Ian, the son of a mainland farmer, found wonder in sights and sounds that Neil and Simon had known all their days. For them, the adventure began with the arrival of the twice-yearly cavalcade of strangers in their midst and the welcome break in routine that the sales provided. Their talk was of the characters, the disasters and funny incidents along the way that enlivened the journey. They were on familiar ground, they knew the cattle and the people and of course they were at ease in their own language. ‘At every second croft you would hear the weavers at work,’ Ian had said and I could almost hear the soft thud of cattle hooves, the clack-clacking of the looms as crofts came and went, the constant booming presence of the Atlantic. By the time I reached the islands, only the last of these was unchanged. Ian’s was the thread that had led me here and now I held two more. My task was that of the weaver. This is an edited extract from Walking With Cattle: In Search of the Last Drovers of Uist by Terry J Williams, which is published by Birlinn, price £7.99 91

estate Prime River Dee salmon beat for sale

The Inverness office of Galbraith has launched the sale of the Ardoe and Murtle beat on the world famous River Dee. Purchased in 1990, this lower Dee beat extends to about 1.5 miles and has 11 named pools. It was successfully timeshared by Salar Management Services Ltd, the current Trustee in the early 90’s but it is now being offered for sale as a whole with the exception of a small number of rod weeks. Along with the majority of salmon rivers, the Dee has

experienced a reduction in salmon numbers returning to the river and the current five year average catch is now 100 fish. In the recent past however, catches exceeded 250 fish with 364 being caught in 1989. If the situation with the wild Atlantic salmon improves, this beat, which has great fly fishing in different heights of water, offers huge potential and the competitively set guide price reflects the current position.

The Ardoe and Murtle beat is readily accessible, being only four miles from Aberdeen and opposite Cults. It has a comfortable fishing hut on the south bank and a currently disused stone hut on the north side which could be readily converted into a second fishing hut if required. John Bound of Galbraith, who is handling the sale on behalf of Salar Management Services Ltd, comments: “Although in recent years salmon fishing on the River

Dee has, in common with many UK salmon rivers, been less productive, this is a very attractive beat with great potential and if things improve, this sale offers a fantastic opportunity for somebody to take advantage of the current situation.” The Ardoe and Murtle Beat is being offered for sale at a guide price of £350,000. To find out more visit www.

LEADER to Boost Sustainable Shire Tourism Biodiversity and eco tourism in Aberdeenshire are to be given a major boost by the EU and Scottish Government’s LEADER Programme. It aims to enhance and promote the enduring appeal of the countryside, marine and wildlife. The funding programme will help local communities develop projects in tourism, biodiversity and farm diversification. There is currently over £130,000 available to invest in projects that restore, manage, or enhance habitats, wild spaces and boost opportunities for wildlife. 92

Duncan Leece is the Chairman of the North Aberdeenshire LEADER Programme. He is keen to support the natural environment and sustainable rural tourism as a way to both maintain and protect our natural heritage assets and enhance employment opportunities in the area. “Rural eco tourism is a way for local businesses to attract visitors to the area, and showcasing our incredible coastline and inland environment, including the array of species of birds, animals

and plants. The LEADER programme is designed to support projects in rural areas that are innovative, sustainable, good for communities and likely to bring employment opportunities.” Funding has been set aside for a number of projects that will create or enhance wild spaces, or attract visitors to the North East of Scotland to enjoy nature. From bird watching, to photography, camping and walking, the programme is looking for projects to assist.

Mr Leece said: “The programme is designed to support projects that will further develop biodiversity in the area and use our natural resources in a way that protects them. Many of these projects will attract people to the area and provide community and economic benefits too, as visitors will need places to stay, to eat and drink and shop.” Visit Aberdeenshire has been at the forefront of the resurgence in North East tourism and members of their team are on the LEADER programme area committee.


There have already been notable successes with the LEADER Programme. Glamping pods have been established in Aden Country Park, as part of a community enterprise, while Macduff Scout Hut has been redeveloped to provide a venue for community groups to meet.

Mr Leece: “We hope to encourage investment from projects that are innovative and will help employment prospects in the area. We would encourage businesses or community groups who intends to invest in biodiversity projects to contact us as we can give help and advice.”

Land Market Retrospective & Outlook From Aberdeen & Northern Estates

With the holiday season a distant memory, we at Aberdeen & Northern Estates are very much back in the thick of it and looking forward to another busy year. However, we’ve taken a moment to look back at 2017, which was a year during which the resolve of the rural sector was tested in the face of growing uncertainties. We’ve spoken about these uncertainties before – namely a series of significant parliamentary elections and referenda, in combination with mounting industry pressures in recent years. These factors were a constant backdrop to the rural property market last year and tempered the enthusiasm of those looking to buy and sell. Nevertheless, it was a successful year in which we sold 40 rural properties extending to just under 4,000 acres. These figures are an increase on the year and could point to the increasing optimism of both buyers and

sellers. It also highlights the resilience of the rural sector in the North East, which is at odds with the picture often painted by agents reporting at a national level. The North East buyers’ outlook certainly seems to look ahead, past the relatively shortterm uncertainties of Brexit etc., and take the view that the combination of the right property and favourable borrowing rates is a unique opportunity that will stand the future of their enterprise in good stead. Furthermore, the rural property market in the North East continues to represent good value for money to those outwith the area and South of the border. Whilst there is now a persistent mood of caution in the market, we are still able to hold closing dates for attractive properties where a level of competition has emerged. Last year, the top premium we saw offered at a closing date was over

Environment Secretary Michael Gove has once again set out his post-Brexit stall, this time at the Oxford Farming Conference. Since his ‘Green Brexit’ speech in July last year, Mr Gove has been consistent and clear about how he sees the future of farming. His key messages are of improvements to productivity, UK agriculture marketed on the basis of quality and of public money for public goods, particularly to enhance the natural environment. Whilst farmers may or may not like the Environment Secretary’s comments, at least it provides some clarity on the future - if you are farming in England. The situation is much less clear in Scotland. What Mr Gove proposes may be relevant to Scottish farming but it all depends on how the Withdrawal Bill, currently being debated in Westminster, eventually takes shape. The UK Government has said that it would like those decision-making powers currently taken in Brussels to return to Westminster, at least initially, and then take a view from there. But this raises complex constitutional questions and the Scottish Government is extremely concerned about Westminster taking back control of devolved policy areas. Yet, even in this fraught political context

there has been recent agreement between the constituent parts of the UK that common frameworks may be required in some areas. Unfortunately, until we know how these frameworks will be negotiated and operated, it will remain unclear as to how much importance we in Scotland should give to Mr Gove’s vision. That is not to say there is no activity in Scotland in terms of a vision for Scottish agriculture. Fergus Ewing appointed four agricultural champions last year as well as a Council of Rural Advisers. Both groups are due to provide the Cabinet Secretary with final reports this Spring and we might then expect the Scottish Government, acting upon this advice, to work towards setting out their clear goals for agriculture and the broader rural economy north of the Border. Even with a clear vision for Scotland, however, how possible it will be for the Scottish Government to deliver that vision still depends on the Withdrawal Bill, and how much power it will give Scotland to set its own agenda. These discussions no doubt seem very distant for most Scottish farmers, but their future is very definitely tied up with these decisions – especially with the Brexit date of March 29, 2019, looming ever closer on the horizon.

For more information Telephone : 0131 653 5400


50% above the asking price for a large equipped farm property. This type of property, as well as good quality, unequipped arable land, continue to be met with relatively strong demand. However, we also saw a good trade for smaller rural properties develop during 2017, which is a property type that had been met with suppressed demand in recent years. One particular property, which appealed mainly to the smallholder and equestrian market, went to a competitive closing date producing a top offer at 25% over the asking price. We are delighted to have been able to conclude a good number of sales in the past 12 months in this manner, but we cannot escape the fact that we are partly reliant on strong local demand and neighbouring interest in driving premiums. This has the potential for all property types, across the region, to lead to low demand where that local interest does not materialise. This is most pronounced in more remote 94

locations and/or for equipped land of a more marginal nature. We are witnessing a growing trend of owners, who are considering selling, attempting to hedge their bets by entering directly into negotiations with neighbours and land owners in their vicinity. Superficially, this may appear to save the time and cost involved in marketing the property, but our advice is always that the benefits wrought out by a public marketing campaign will outweigh any perceived savings. And so, our trusty mantra continues to apply – price realistically and sensitively, market effectively and the interest generated will let the property find its real value in the marketplace. It is this approach that differentiates

us from our competitors, and we take great caution to avoid overpricing, which is something that can stall a marketing campaign from the outset. Looking ahead to 2018, we anticipate that the status quo will remain. Brexit still looms large, and things are not generally getting any easier for rural businesses. However, we expect a degree of optimism to remain and the resilience of both buyers and sellers to be undiminished. We’ve already held two closing dates during January, despite what is traditionally a quiet period. Furthermore, we’ve several properties that we are preparing to bring to the market shortly, comprising a range of property types.

We anticipate values to remain steady, broadly reflecting the rates achieved last year (see table below). The investment qualities and flexibility of the best arable land in the region may well strengthen this part of the market, leading to a widening gap between the best and most marginal of land types. Looking specifically at equipped properties, we expect the trend to continue, whereby purchasers generally place more emphasis on the land element of the holding, over and above the buildings and residential elements. Ultimately, targeted advice is key, and we are more than willing to discuss the market in more depth with anyone who is thinking of buying or selling in 2018.

GWCT mountain hare survey returns By Richard Playfair After a ten-year absence, the Game and & Wildlife Conservation Trust’s (GWCT) Mountain Hare Survey is making a return. The only native hare species in Britain, the Mountain Hare is an integral part of Scotland’s moorland heritage and the Scottish government has a legal obligation to ensure the sustainable management of this species. However, in order to make informed decisions on the future management of mountain hare, it is important to understand their current distribution, how they are managed and why. The last comprehensive study in 2006/07 received nearly 1,000 responses and highlighted the key role moorland management for grouse plays in supporting the mountain hare. This year, the GWCT will be working in partnership with the Scottish Gamekeepers Association (SGA) and Scottish Land & Estates (SLE) to update this study. Dr Adam Smith, Director Scotland for GWCT, said: “Scotland’s indigenous hare species is a remarkable animal, one of only three in the UK that change colour into white winter dress. Our range survey ten years ago showed the species was increasingly dependent on grouse management, probably benefiting from heather habitat conservation and predator control.

“Increasing or shrinking range is often a sign of a species thriving or in distress. For this reason, ten years on is the correct time to re-survey the mountain hare range in Scotland. We will use this knowledge to inform land managers about the impact of woodland expansion and shooting on mountain hares in Scotland, and underpin research into the species’

conservation requirements in the future.” In the coming weeks, the G W C T, Scottish Gamekeepers Association and Scottish Land Estates will be asking their Scottish members to take part in a questionnaire-based survey which will ask where they have seen mountain hare between spring 2016 and spring 2017. Alongside a

survey of their members, they will be appealing to members of the public to submit sightings of mountain hares, together with a grid reference, to: uk. If you own or manage land in Scotland and want to get involved in the study, but are not a member of any of the organisations taking part, please email mountainhares@ . If you want to get involved or for more information about this important project, visit mountainharesurvey How do you identify the mountain hare? The mountain hare is sometimes known as the ‘blue hare’ because of its blue-grey summer coat, in contrast to the rich-brown fur of the brown hare. The mountain hare’s winter coat is white, while the brown hare’s coat remains brown. Only the brown hare has a black upper surface to the tail. The mountain hare is smaller than the brown hare, having a body length of around 50-60 cm, with a more rounded shape. Mountain hares also have shorter ears and legs than the brown hare, although both types of hare have much longer ears and hind legs than rabbits, which are sometimes confused with hares. Rabbits are smaller, and do not have black tips to the ears. Please see our website mountainharesurvey 95

The Northern Shooting Show 2018

Get your tickets now for a great weekend in May

It’s not long now until the shooting community descend on Harrogate in North Yorkshire to make it the UK shooting capital for the weekend of 12th and 13th of May for the Northern Shooting Show at the Great Yorkshire Showground. In it’s third year it now boasts even more top exhibitors in the exhibition halls with the added bonus of outside demonstration areas to try optics, airguns, and other accessories. There is also a huge 500m clayline allowing you to try shotguns from many of the top manufacturers as well as a game shooting workshop from BASC and clay shooting instruction from CPSA. Hazel Bank Shooting Ground will be running the competitions if you fancy having a go. You can even try muzzleloaders for the thrill of black powder guns. It really is a one stop shop for anyone looking to buy a shotgun, rifle or airgun or indeed any shooting accessory or item of specialist clothing rather than spending days visiting multiple shops. Most shooting organisations are attending with free advice for members and non members alike. 96

If deer stalking is your thing then a visit to the Deer Focus Area with everything deer related including hunting, stalking and deer management is a must. The area also aims to educate visitors, and associations will be there offering best advice clinics and answering questions. For gundog enthusiasts there’s the huge Gundog Field with great competitions whatever your skill level and with generous prizes, together with Stoneycairn Gundogs offering their full popular gundog clinic and demonstrations and also a seminar area with dog first aid, eye clinic and much more. There’s also everything from feeds, dog beds, training aids, to quads and 4x4 vehicles and a multitude of game products in the Gamekeeping Area. Kids are not excluded with airgun and archery ranges as well so you can make it a family day out. Early bird ADULT Tickets are still on sale at £12 so book now before they go up in price. Go to www.northernshootinghsow.

2018 is a vibrant year, and full of lots of activity. In January, I spent a few days at Meikleour for the opening of the Tay Salmon Fishing season. On 15th January, Anglers arrived early, followed by a crosssection of the media. Angler, and Orvis Ambassador Marina Gibson, was the guest of honour. Marina was taught to fish by her mother and spent most of her childhood fishing for salmon and trout in the Highlands and has pursued a vast array of species all over the world. Marina presented the Malloch Trophy (largest salmon caught on the fly and returned to the water) to Tom Bonniwell, who caught a 44lb salmon last season on the River Awe. The Provost, Dennis Melloy blessed the river with a Quaich of Glenturret single malt, then Marina joined him and Meikleour owner, and fellow angler, Claire Mercer Nairne, in the boat to toast the river with Pol Roger champagne. Claire said, “We are proud of our Franco Scottish heritage of 300 hundred odd years. Meikleour Estate had some French lairds and some of the Scottish ones are buried in France where they went in exile, and we like to celebrate the Auld Alliance and toast the River with a bottle of Champagne. It brings a fun and festive element and it is great to watch. Pol Roger from Épernay kindly send us a magnum to toast the river. Meikleour Estate and Pol Roger built a friendship during WWII in occupied France. Family members were actively taking part in the Resistance movement especially during the Normandy Landings. After the war, the late Odette Pol Roger, a passionate

by Linda Mellor

SCOTTISH COUNTRY LIFE angler, was often a guest at Meikleour as she enjoyed fishing there. Whenever the bottle pops I always think about the ordeals and the great achievements of our grandparents, and I am sure they would be delighted that their beloved salmon fishing tradition is passed to the next generation, and that the money raised on Opening Day will be helping young local people.” After Marina popped the champagne, and made the first cast, anglers took to the riverbank to fish. Marina said, “It was an honour to be part of such a wonderfully atmospheric event on the Meikleour Beat, River Tay and incredibly moving to see how much the first day of the season meant to that many people. Isn’t it brilliant when a fantastic sport like fishing brings a community together with great force and passion.

My favourite part was being led by the pipers with the 55 anglers with their rods held high, hoping to be the first to catch a springer that day. It was my first visit to the Mighty Tay and I can’t wait to visit again, maybe lady luck will be on my side next time!” I have been out for more Roe deer stalking with Venator Pro’s Kenneth Larsen. A few weeks ago, we were stalking across new ground in Perthshire, it was a cold, wintry morning as we set off and stalked along a track through the clear fell. The temperature dropped a degree or two further at sunrise, and in the distance, amongst the gorse, two Roe watched us before disappearing. We heard owls hooting in the trees, and watched a red squirrel climb up the bark of a fir tree. And, we saw a cat! At first sighting, it looked like a

fox because it moved fast, kept itself low to the ground, and it was a reddish colour, but looking through the binoculars confirmed it was a cat. We watched it disappear, its movement was that of a wild animal, but it had the colouring of a domestic pet. I have never seen a gingerycoloured feral cat out in the hills, and we were miles from anywhere, and there were no farms close-by. We walked up hill through woodland, hoping to get another sighting of the Roe we’d seen earlier, we followed the animal paths through the old trees then across a patch of clear-fell and downhill. As we reached the edge of the forest, we looked out across the clearing and saw the Venator truck. Each outing is different, and there are no guarantees. Walking outdoors at sunrise with fresh air filling your lungs, there is much to be happy about. Claire confirmed £1160 was raised on the Opening day, and this will be enough to run Angling for Youth Development (AFYD) East Perthshire branch for 1 year (insurance and training, permits, life jackets maintenance or purchase, fly tying material). Everyone involved in the local AFYD branch are volunteers and all the monies raised go to the benefits of the local school children.” 97

topic outdoor eduction

Get Up and Get Out By John Gilmour, Headmaster, Craigclowan Prep School Most children love mud. It’s just one of life’s undeniable truths. And most of them are delighted to spend a couple of hours out of the classroom each week, perhaps in the woods, on the playing fields, in the kitchen garden, up the trees or just generally playing with mud. And sticks. What is it about mud and sticks that brings a smile to so many young faces? Couldn’t, or shouldn’t, they be keeping that kind of thing for the weekends, or for those long summer evenings? We don’t think so at Craigclowan, which is why we find every possible opportunity to send our children outside. John Swinney, Scottish Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, has been preoccupied recently with pupil performance in the core areas of Maths, Reading and Science since Scotland’s international ranking dropped from 11th to 23rd for Reading, from 11th to 24th for Maths and from 10th to 19th for Science. Although pupils at Craigclowan Prep School do not sit the PISA tests, they do, voluntarily, sit nationally standardised progress tests in Maths and English each year and, year on year, our entirely non-selective intake of pupils significantly outperforms the UK national average. Curiously, the Deputy First Minister hasn’t beaten a path to my door to discover how we do this but, in the interests of sharing best practices and collaborating between sectors, I’m happy to share how we achieve this. Perhaps the most surprising thing is that we don’t achieve this by focussing more on Maths and English. Indeed, we give a broadly similar amount of curriculum time to these subjects as would be the case in any state primary 98

John Gilmour, Headmaster

school. Neither is it necessarily to do with small classes as many rural primaries in Scotland will have equally small class sizes. So, what is the secret? Well this will be music to John Swinney’s ears as it is the most freely available commodity known to mankind... fresh air! A recent academic study found that three-quarters of all children in the United Kingdom spend less time out of doors than prison inmates. Add to this a growing body of evidence suggesting that outdoor learning can boost children’s welfare and their performance at school, along with research which suggests that

spending time interacting with nature can reduce stress among young people while also boosting their creativity and developing their problem-solving skills, and there is a pretty compelling case for getting pupils out of the classroom and into the great outdoors. However, with a jam-packed curriculum and limited access to nature, finding the time or space for outdoor learning can be a challenge for schools. But here at Craigclowan, we passionately believe that it is not an insurmountable challenge and we have seen at first hand that the compromises required reap a definite benefit in terms of performance in the classroom.

Each three year old in our nursery will arrive for their first day equipped with a waterproof suit and welly boots. They will quickly become accustomed to spending much of their time outside of the classroom in one of our many outdoor areas - sometimes collecting things for use in the classroom, sometimes running, hopping and skipping, sometimes hiding in bushes and often simply making mud pies or squelching in a puddle! As they move up into the prep school, they will begin to learn more formally under the tutelage of one of our qualified Forest School practitioners or in the outdoor classroom, camping in our secluded campsite, digging in the garden or dipping in the pond. Do we really see the benefits of this in the classroom? Absolutely. We see improvements in motivation, focus and cooperation, in resilience and attitudes to problem solving. We see increased self confidence and a willingness to ‘have a go’. We see a more understanding and respectful approach to peers who are struggling or see things a little differently. And we aren’t the only ones. When we ask parents what they think of the learning that we do outside of the classroom, the answers are overwhelmingly positive. “We feel the addition of Forest School to the curriculum at Craigclowan has introduced a good method of applying team building, problem solving and practical tasks into their learning”. “Forest School has enabled him to gain confidence outside the classroom”. “He has become more confident in his academic ability... I believe that outdoor learning will have had a positive impact on his overall learning”.

outdoor education

The programme has been running for two years now and parents remain convinced, despite the muddy clothes and wellington boots that go home each week.

As for the children? Well, they can have the final say ... “You can explore and learn new skills” “It makes me feel adventurous”

“I feel very calm” “...You sometimes even help nature” “It makes me feel brilliant inside”

So Mr Swinney, if you are reading this, please come and have a chat, I’d love to show you round Craigclowan and share what we do.

Craigclowan Prep School, a non-selective but academically ambitious, independent prep school and nursery on the outskirts of Perth for children aged 3 - 13.

01738 626 310


forestry £3 million for central belt tree planting Funding for tree planting schemes in the Central Scotland Green Network (CSGN) area has been trebled as woodland creation activity reaches unprecedented levels. Currently, around 2,500ha of woodland creation activity, about the same size as East Kilbride, is being planned for this year. If all the projects come to fruition as expected, it will be the highest tree planting level in the area since 1999. The increase in tree planting activity is largely due to Forestry Commission Scotland promoting the benefits of integrating woodlands into farming and landowning businesses. The Central Scotland Green Network area stretches from Ayrshire and Inverclyde in the west, to Fife and the Lothians in the east. Announcing the increased budget, Rural Affairs Secretary, Fergus Ewing said: “The CSGN is a key Scottish Government National Development and is regarded as an essential element for Scotland’s longterm economic recovery. The aim is to restore and transform the area’s landscape, making it a better place to live and do business in. “I am very pleased to see woodland creation activity at such high levels – it is very encouraging news and I congratulate all for the hard work in achieving this. I am


especially pleased to note the high level of applications from farmers and landowners wishing to integrate more woodland into their existing businesses to improve their viability. “We need to keep up this impetus. I have therefore trebled the funding available for the CSGN contribution and adjusted the grant rates so we can support more applications and up to 1,000 additional hectares per year.” Grant support is through the Central Scotland Green Network Contribution, which can be accessed by applicants in the central belt applying to the Forestry Grant Scheme.

New grant rates for the CSGN area have now been set for this year – full details are

available http://scotland.forestry.

Blight on Scottish forests Overseas pine threat to native species Exotic pine tree species planted next to native Scots Pine forests should be removed to limit the risk of disease to native trees, new research suggests. Scientists from Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and the University of Edinburgh have completed an in-depth study to show how increased numbers of Corsican Pine from Europe and Lodgepole Pine from North America are heightening the risk of disease when planted next to native Scottish Pine species.

Plant researcher Peter Hoebe (SRUC) and Honorary Fellow Richard Ennos (University of Edinburgh) have found the widespread planting of exotic species in dense forests has introduced new races of fungi and raised the threat posed to native Scots pine. The scientists studied genes in fungi attacking pine needles from a number of locations, including forests around Aviemore, to determine the diversity and spread of the fungus Dothistroma septosporum. This disease is responsible for the current outbreak of Dothistroma needle blight (DNB) in native Caledonian Scots pine populations, as well as other species. Having found that the widespread planting of Corsican Pine and Lodgepole Pine can place native species at greater risk of disease, they have said that the removal of exotic species from the vicinity of Caledonian pine populations and the restriction of movement of planting material are necessary to minimise its impact. Dr Hoebe said: “This extensive study involved

collecting hundreds of needles from forests around Scotland. In many cases, needle blight itself doesn’t necessarily kill the trees, but the loss of needles affects the growth of mainly young pines. While introducing exotic species to Scotland can sound very appealing, there are distinct risks involved. Planting exotic species related to native species reduces rather than enhances the resilience of forests to pathogens.” Prof Ennos said: “Our extensive study sheds new light on the risks associated with the introduction of exotic species in general, and valuable insight into how the current needle blight outbreak might be better managed.” The project was funded jointly by a grant from BBSRC, Defra, ESRC, the Forestry Commission, NERC and the Scottish Government, PROTREE, under the Tree Health and Plant Biosecurity Initiative. To read the full report, visit: doi/10.1111/eva.12562/full

machinery Siromer compact tractors Siromer are the compact tractor and equipment company. Established in 1999 Siromer have been offering affordable compact tractors and equipment for eighteen years; building a tractor owners club of over 4000 members across the UK, meaning if you’re on the mainland you’re less than 10 miles from a Siromer tractor owner. By making compact tractors affordable, Siromer have muscled their way into the compact tractor market, giving buyers previously restricted to the second hand market a brand new alternative. To make their tractors affordable Siromer “flatpack” their tractors for shipping from their overseas factories. Once in the UK Siromer’s expert engineers ensure the tractors are to standard and prepare them for the end user. If you opt for one of Siromer’s sub 35HP models you can even buy your tractor flatpacked and build your own. The build is a little like adult Meccano, usually

taking two adults a good day to assemble their new tractor. All Siromer tractors feature selectable 4WD, differential lock and power steering, most models also feature two double acting spools, giving four quick release connectors at the rear. The range features ten models fitted with high torque diesel engines available with the following power outputs; 16HP (3Cyl), 20HP (3Cyl), 24HP(3Cyl), 25HP (3Cyl), 30HP(3Cyl),

35HP(4Cyl), 40HP(4Cyl), 45HP (4Cyl) and 50HP (4Cyl). Prices start at £4,450 + vat for the gutsy Siromer 164E (16HP) and peak at £14,450 + vat for the top of the range 504CH with fully air conditioned cab (50HP), which is capable of lifting over 1500kg on the rear linkage. There’s a front end loader available for every model too, each with independent control valves. Siromer’s compact tractor equipment range is the highest

spec Chinese manufactured compact equipment available on the market. Engineered for industry standard CAT One linkage the range features everything available for industrial tractors, only in compact form. The majority of equipment is available in a range of sizes to suit varying PTO outputs. For more information contact Siromer on 01253 799 029 or visit


machinery New AD-P 01 Special seed drill with QuickLink from Amazone

Amazone now offers the new AD-P 01 Special pneumatic seed drill in a 3 m working width for use in combination with the new KE 01 rotary harrow or the new

KG/KX 01 rotary cultivators. In exactly the same way as is used on the Cataya and Centaya harrow-mounted seed drills, the AD-P 01 Special is mounted

machinery onto the relevant soil tillage implement via the QuickLink interface. The level of specification of the AD-P 01 Special includes, from choice, either an 850 l or a 1,250 l seed hopper; both of which can be optionally increased by a 250 l hopper extension. For coulter systems, either the WS suffolk coulters or RoTeC Control coulters in row spacings of 12.5 or 15 cm are available. For optimum seed embedment, the Exact following harrow or, alternatively, the Roller harrow can specified from choice. The seed drill’s efficient blower fan and the electric metering drive ensure consistent seed rates. The coulter pressure can be adjusted both mechanically with the aid of the universal operating tool, or hydraulically from the tractor cab. The control of the machine can be carried out either via the

AMADRILL+ in-cab terminal or an ISOBUS terminal. The new segmented distributor head on the AD-P 01 Special provides, depending on the row spacing, the possibility to switch 2 x 5 or 2 x 6 tramline segments. The tramlining is controlled directly in the segmented distributor head and can be matched very flexibly and easily to the track width and tyre size. When switching tramlines, the seed rate is reduced via the electric metering, in relation to the number of rows closed. As a special option, and available for the segmented distributor head, is the electric half-side shut off, which, for asymmetrical tramline systems, enables the operator to start at the field’s edge using just half the machine width. In addition, automated half-side switching via GPS-Switch and AutoPoint in diagonal headlands and wedge shaped fields is also possible.

Silver Leaf for MF 3700 specialist tractors Massey Ferguson has added further to its trophy cabinet with the award of a Silver Leaf for its new MF 3700 tractors in the Innovation Awards presented at Italy’s Fieragricola Show for agricultural technologies. These brand-new MF 3700 specialist tractors are aimed at vineyard, fruit, orchard and hill farmers. The prize was awarded by the expert jury for the machine’s front-axle suspension and new multi-function hydraulic joystick which groups the clutch, transmission and implement functions into one easy control. The Fieragricola Innovation Awards 2018 (Premio Innovazione 2018) are staged by Veronafiere, the show’s organisers, in collaboration with L’Edizioni L’Informatore

Agrario, a key publisher of agricultural magazines. In selecting the award- winners, the expert jury considers innovation and originality, the impact on environmental and economic sustainability, product quality improvement and product functionality. “We are thrilled to receive a Silver Leaf award,� says Gianluca Gherardi, Massey Ferguson National Sales Manager, Italy. “With models dedicated to each specialist farming category, the new MF 3700 Series features top quality, straightforward machines, providing high performance, superb fuel efficiency, extreme comfort and versatility.� With widths extending across the line-up from 1.0m



machinery Test rates the Case IH Maxxum 145 Multicontroller the world’s most fuelefficient four-cylinder tractor for field work

to 2.2m, the new 75-105hp MF 3700 Series features five ranges: V (Vineyard), S (Special), F (Fruit), GE (Ground Effect low profile) and the WF (Wide Fruit). The Wide Fruit version is a brand-new model with a wider


chassis for greater stability, making it also ideal for hillside vineyards and livestock farms with sloping fields The MF 3700 Series was also a Finalist in the Tractor of the Year 2018 Awards.

Case IH Maxxum 145 Multicontroller with ActiveDrive 8 transmission sets a record low specific fuel consumption for a four-cylinder tractor in DLG’s latest Powermix Test / Test figure is almost 9.5% below nearest competitor. A Case IH Maxxum 145 Multicontroller equipped with the company’s new 8-speed 24-speed ActiveDrive 8 transmission has achieved the lowest specific fuel consumption ever recorded for a fourcylinder tractor in the PowerMix

test conducted by Deutsche Landwirtschafts-Gesellschaft (DLG), the German Agricultural Society Named ‘Machine Of The Year 2018’ at Agritechnica, the new model achieved an average specific fuel consumption of 258 g/kWh in the Field Work section of the test, almost 9.5% lower than the 282 g/kWh recorded by its nearest competitor. The test was carried out at the DLG Test Center near Frankfurt using the DLG PowerMix Roller stand. The facility is the world’s

machinery most efficient for measuring the complete tractor system, because engineers can replicate real field work conditions. On the basis of typical tractor workloads, DLG has defined 14 load cycles, under which the overall vehicle’s fuel and AdBlue consumption, performance and ultimately energy efficiency are determined. The cycles reflect typical field and transport work under partial and full loads. Tests cover pure pulling work, for example with a plough or cultivator, as well as mixed work with the PTO shaft and hydraulic system, as with a rotary manure spreader or baler. Heavy and light transport tasks are also reproduced to obtain an overall picture of the tractor’s energy efficiency in use. The results are summarised in the respected Powermix figure, providing an accurate assessment of the fuel efficiency of different makes and models of tractor under practical conditions.

The Maxxum 145 Multicontroller is powered by a 4.5-litre, four-cylinder, turbocharged and intercooled FPT engine which meets Stage

IV emissions regulations using the Hi-eSCR selective catalytic reduction system. This has a rated power output of 107kW (145hp) at 2200rpm and produces up

to 118kW (160hp) with Power Management, the maximum power of 114kW (155hp) being produced at 1800rpm, and 129kW (175hp) with Power Management.

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machinery It’s Gordon Agri Scotland for Honda ATV’s in Stirlingshire and West Central Scotland “Gordon Agri Scotland Ltd, based in Drymen are now your local official and authorised HONDA ATV dealers for Stirlingshire and West Central Scotland. Steven and David Gordon commented “As an established ATV dealer the area we look forward to securing the continued custom of the Honda ATV users�. “It’s an exciting time for our company, as the Honda brand is universally regarded as No. 1 in the industry so it’s a real honour to represent them.� The Honda ATV range adds to and compliments the extensive range of agricultural equipment they offer from leading manufacturers that include; Logic, Wessex, Arctic Cat, C-Dax and Fleming.

The expert ATV duo further stated, “We have had a great summer season exhibiting at several local shows and Livestock markets and have had a really positive response from the local farming communityâ€? With that in mind they have rolled out 2 ATV fantastic offers. A massive ÂŁ555 discount on selected Honda ATV’s and for present Honda ATV owners a fixed price ATV service for only ÂŁ95. In addition to the comprehensive range of ATV’s Honda have added the new Pioneer side by side vehicle to their inventory. Steven Gordon commented “The Honda Pioneer is the ultimate workmate, offering you unrivalled performance and complete reliability synonymous

with Honda�. Plus, for a limited time, you can make your Pioneer even more versatile and comfortable, by adding a half price Genuine Honda half cab when

purchasing a new Pioneer SxS – saving up to £939.The Genuine Honda half cab, includes:¡ Glass Front Screen¡ Hard Roof ¡ Rear Panel¡ Wiper Washer Kit.

So, for sales, service and parts contact Gordon Agri Scotland today!� OFFICIAL & AUTHORISED ATV DEALERS FOR WEST CENTRAL SCOTLAND Gordon Agri Scotland Ltd, Drymen, Loch Lomond, G63 0EX 4ELs-OBILEs3ALES 7ORKSHOP 0ARTS


Honda Foreman & Fourtrax, Brand New, Full range in stock with excellent prices and 0% Finance, from ÂŁ6150

Honda Foreman 500cc FM2 with Logic Off-road Trailer, ÂŁ7895

Honda Foreman 500cc FM2 with Cdax Spray rider tank, 3m boom and Weed Wiper ÂŁ10,495

Honda Pioneer 700cc Utility Vehicle, ex demo machine, save ÂŁ1000, now only ÂŁ10,500

Massey Ferguson 5455 4WD, 2006, c/w Mailleux loader / 7ft muck grab, power shuttle, 40k, ÂŁ20,995

Massey Ferguson 5455 4WD, 2007, c/w MF loader, power shuttle, 40k, ÂŁ20,995

Kubota M9540, 2010, c/w Kubota loader / bucket, hyd shuttle, 40k, ÂŁ20,995

Zetor Proxima 95 4WD, 2010, 1100 hours, 90HP, 80% tyres, ÂŁ19,495

New Holland TL100 4WD, 2003, c/w Trima loader, 95HP, ex local authority, ÂŁ179955

Zetor 7341 4WD, 2004, c/w Traclift loader, 1 owner from new, ÂŁ15495

Renault Ceres 95, 1995, c/w Mailleux loader, 90% tyres, manual shuttle, very clean tractor, ÂŁ13495

Case 895 XL Duo 4WD, c/w Quicke loader, 85HP, synchro, ÂŁ10995

Bobcat E08 Mini Excavator, Brand New, c/w 3 buckets, Rubber tracks, expanding undercarriage, ÂŁ12,595

Neuson 3001 3 Ton Swivel Skip Dumper, 2013, AWD, Hydrostatic, ÂŁ11995

Twaites 1 Ton Hi Tip Dumper, 2014, AWD, Hydrostatic, only 550 hours, ÂŁ10795


machinery New mid-range McCormick X6 Series tractors unveiled New mid-range additions to the McCormick tractor range have been unveiled. The 110hp (max output) McCormick X6.35, 119hp X6.45 and the range-topping 126hp X6.55 being exhibited at the event, slot neatly into the range between the slightly smaller 85113hp McCormick X5 Series and the larger 111-140hp X6.4 Series tractors. “These new models provide an attractive option for operators wanting extra power and performance over our X5 Series tractors – or similar models from other manufacturers – but who are not ready for the jump to the X6.4 range,” explains Ray Spinks, sales director and general manager at McCormick distributor AgriArgo UK & Ireland. “With up to 126hp, a choice of transmission and pto packages, and a spacious but relatively


low profile cab, the new models make an especially interesting proposition for small to medium size livestock farms.” A power shuttle transmission is standard, with simple 12x12 and 16x16 creep manually selected gears, or 36x12 and 48x16 creep with three-speed powershift providing quick speed changes under load. An Eco option, which delivers 40kph at lower engine revs, and four-speed pto with Economy gearing for both 540 and 1000rpm, help optimise fuel economy on tractors engaged in a lot of road work or powering pto-driven equipment. A 66-litre/min gear pump for hydraulic services is complemented by a 30-litre/min pump dedicated to steering and control functions such as the hydraulic pto and fourwheel drive clutches. The rear lift is rated at a very generous 6000kg.

6000 reasons to like Abbey Machinery in 2018 As Global populations continue to expand, farmers are responding by scaling up to meet demands. Part of this

journey is increasing animal numbers. Animals’ only digest 15-20% of what they eat, the remainder has to be stored

machinery and applied in an ecologically friendly manner. Abbey has developed new technologies to handle large volumes of slurry rapidly, whilst caring for the environment. Application New Technology Abbey recently launched their new DM Band Spreader. A retro-fittable Applicator that can fit on to the rear door of the tanker, opening up a whole new world for farmers looking to capture more fertiliser value from their slurry and do it in an economical way.

Now Abbey launches new class-leading 6000g Tanker. This new model is built on a tri-axle bogey system (for maximum support of the large barrel) with front and rear steering (for optimum manoeuvrability and minimal tear on the ground). The cylinder is supported internally for additional strength and baffled to reduce slurry movement internally while in transit. The parabolic weight sensing draw bar makes towing a machine of this magnitude so much easier – making it more comfortable to tow on the road and in the field.

Doosan Dealer Area Changes in Scotland Central Belt Doosan Construction Equipment has announced that the Central Belt region of Scotland will now be handled jointly by the company’s dealers, James Gordon Ltd (Gordons) and Balgownie Ltd.

Based at Castle Douglas in Dumfries and Galloway, Gordons was appointed last year as the Authorised Dealer for the Doosan Heavy range in the South West and Borders regions

of Scotland and for the county of Cumbria in Northern England. According to Doosan, Gordons and Balgownie have been awarded the extended areas purely on merit, despite

very strong interest from other parties. The company is looking forward to working closely with both companies to continue its success in the Scottish market.












finance Buccleuch announces opportunity for secure tenants to purchase farms Buccleuch has announced that it is in discussions with tenant farmers interested in buying the farms they occupy on secure tenancy agreements. Buccleuch has initiated discussions with 11 tenants who have officially registered an interest in buying their farms, or indicated an interest to do so, on the Eskdale and Liddesdale Estate. Letters have been sent today to the remaining 13 tenants on secure tenancies offering the opportunity to meet with the Estate Manager so that we may understand future aspirations. John Glen, Chief Executive of Buccleuch, said: “Buccleuch keeps its in-hand and tenant farming operations constantly under review. Since 2000, Buccleuch has sold 22 farms to tenants across the South of Scotland. Such sales enable

the tenants to make positive choices for their future, and the Estate to reinvest the capital released into new projects, such as Glenmuckloch pump storage hydro and Dalkeith Country Park, strengthening the rural economy. We are excited by the opportunity that this affords both parties. “When making land use decisions, Buccleuch use their Whole Estate Development model to balance the economic, environmental and community impacts to specific catchment areas. The completion of this assessment on the Eskdale and Liddesdale Estate identified that the farms let on traditional tenancies can be sold. “Tenants who do not wish to consider purchasing their farms will continue to enjoy the security of tenure of their 1991 Act agreements.

SAAVA offers reassurance on rent review considerations Following the recent Report on Rent Review procedures, SAAVA (the Scottish Agricultural Arbiters and Valuers Association) has urged landlords and tenants to be aware that the legislation states that rents need to be fair and to seek advice if necessary. SAAVA, the membership organisation that represents professional arbiters and valuers, is keen to clarify this position and reassure the parties involved that they are protected by the law and entitled to a fair rent. “Legislation clearly states the rent that is to be payable in respect of a holding is the rent that the Land Court, taking account of all the circumstances, considers is the fair rent for the holding,� explains SAAVA President, Rob Forrest.

“This is determined by a number of factors, with particular attention to be paid to the productive capacity of the holding, the open market rent of any surplus residential accommodation on the holding provided by the landlord, the open market rent of any fixed equipment on the holding provided by the landlord, or any land forming part of the holding used for a purpose that is not an agricultural purpose. Parties should, however, be aware that this is not an exhaustive list, and the Land Court may look at other factors in order to come to a fair rent for the holding. In addition, no one factor has primacy over the rest. “It is important that tenants and landowners are aware productivity is a factor for rent

“These discussions follow those already held to convert Limited Partnership tenancies into sales to tenants, conversion to appropriate modern Limited

Duration Tenancies and minor pockets of land use change. “We remain a very active farmer ourselves and that will not change�, said Mr Glen.




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Since 1982






Celebrating a decade of success valuation, but a number of other variables play a part. Once that is recognised, the process for rent review should be straight forward and an agreeable, and timely, conclusion made.” See for further details.

Clarendon Planning & Development are delighted to be celebrating their 10th Anniversary. Since the setting up of the business and despite an unprecedented recession hitting, the company has grown to a core team of professionals from wide ranging planning

and development backgrounds, including both private, commercial and public sectors, into a multi-disciplinary consultancy providing services throughout the UK. This has been a significant achievement and the team are proud to be celebrating this milestone. At Clarendon we are only too aware of the challenges currently being experienced by landowners in the current economic climate and the Scottish Government and EU Reforms relating to Land Reform and Common Agricultural Policy. We are passionate about advising on ways in which value can be added to land which can assure ongoing

viability of agri-businesses. Whether through diversification projects or strategic housing development, expert advice can make the difference in turning visions into reality. As part of our celebration, we are launching a new service, Clarendon Land, which gives landowners the opportunity to promote their land through the planning system without the any up-front costs with no payment until the successful granting of planning permission. Please get in touch to discuss further how we can help you to unearth the dormant value of your land. Tel: 0131 297 2320

Save on a new Polaris with 0% finance As part of a new range of special offers with the promise of great savings in 2018, Polaris is extending its 0% finance offer. Interest-free finance on new Polaris Sportsman ATVs, Ranger 4 4 Utility Vehicles, RZRs and Scramblers (excluding Youth) is now available until 31st March 2018 so it is an excellent time to consider updating an existing model with one of the latest Polaris Ranger UTVs or Sportsman ATVs. “Polaris 4 x 4 vehicles are used for work and leisure around the world,” says Ben Murray, Polaris’ National Sales Manager. “With a Polaris you can take on 116

the challenge of the roughest terrain knowing you have one of the toughest, most durable vehicles available. Now is a very good time to take advantage of the interestfree finance offer, and there are additional offers such as a free roof and rear panel when you buy a new Polaris Ranger Diesel. Polaris also has one of the widest ranges of accessories available and the 0% finance can include up to £1,000 ex VAT on genuine Polaris ATV and UTV accessories.” . It’s available for new Polaris utility ATVs, UTVs, Sport and Leisure (excluding Youth). Each new Polaris comes with a two year-

finance warranty and CESAR security as standard for peace of mind. A visit to a Polaris dealer is recommended for full details, any special deals, and to see the extent of the Polaris range and accessories. The availability of the 0% finance through Rural Finance

THEMONEYMAN is subject to status; the offers and warranty are subject to terms and conditions. Available in the UK, excluding the Republic of Ireland. The finance offer ends on 31st March 2018. Polaris Britain 0800 915 6720

BVA launches seven principles to help inform choice of farm assurance schemes To assist members of the veterinary profession and public to better understand farm assurance schemes on the basis of animal health and welfare, the British Veterinary Association (BVA) has developed a farm assurance schemes policy position setting out seven guiding principles. Farm assurance schemes enable customers to make sustainable and ethically informed choices about the food they buy, and allow producers to demonstrate their food products have met independently certified standards at each stage of the supply chain from farm to fork. The breadth of UK farm assurance schemes is testament to the UK’s leadership in animal health and welfare standards. However, this variety could create a confusing customer experience when food shoppers are navigating both ethical and budgetary considerations as well as the shopping aisles. BVA’s policy position has been developed as part of BVA’s Animal Welfare Strategy and sets out that the veterinary profession has a key role to play in helping inform the public about the animal health and welfare credentials of animal derived food. Based on the five welfare needs set out in the UK Animal Welfare Acts and highlighting the importance of welfare outcomes, through the new position’s seven principles BVA is encouraging consumers to consider schemes that include: 1 Lifetime assurance – from farm to fork, ensuring that health and welfare is assured throughout the animal’s life from birth to slaughter.

2 Welfare at slaughter – animals should be stunned before slaughter or, if permitted, meat or fish products are labelled as such. Animals should be transported the least possible distance to slaughter. 3 Veterinary involvement – schemes that are underpinned by veterinary expertise and committed to continuous improvement of animal management and husbandry practices. These are crucial to the value of schemes in terms of animal health and welfare, public confidence and producer/ farmer buy-in. 4 Behavioural opportunity – schemes that strike the right balance between allowing animals to perform important behaviours and ensuring good health outcomes. 5 Responsible use of antimicrobials and other medicines – consider whether schemes support responsible use of antimicrobials and what animal health and welfare requirements, such as disease prevention strategies, improved animal husbandry and management, are incorporated to help prevent the need for prescribing. 6 Animal health and biosecurity – schemes that can evidence effective biosecurity plans, developed in collaboration with a veterinary surgeon, to prevent the spread of disease amongst animals, humans and their surroundings. 7 Sustainability and the environment – incorporate environmental stewardship, such as the reduction of carbon emissions and the conservation of biodiversity.

Brexit and seasonal workers By Charlie Carnegie With a Brexit deal at the time of writing still to be fully thrashed out and full details of the impact of the fall out still to be clarified, one aspect of uncertainty of great concern to the Agriculture sector just now with the new growing season not far away is the impact on the availability of seasonal workers from outside the UK. Over the years the Agriculture sector has come to rely quite heavily on overseas workers with 80,000 seasonal workers required each year to harvest fruit and vegetables in the UK and 13,000 seasonal workers required on farms for Christmas poultry production and the vast majority of those workers come from overseas. It is estimated that 75% of seasonal workers in the horticultural sector is recruited from Romania and Bulgaria and 58% of workers in the seasonal poultry production are from outside the UK. As regards permanent employees then in 2016 per the Office for National Statistics 11% of total employment in the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector was from outside the UK but within those figures certain sectors relied more heavily on overseas labour with around 35 – 40% of the permanent workforce on farms involved in the integrated egg industry being EU nationals. Furthermore a survey by the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers in 2016 showed that 56% of dairy farms employed labour from outside the UK during the previous 5 years. The impact of the Brexit negotiations are already having an impact on the

flow of overseas labour into the UK as a report produced by the NFU has revealed that the number of seasonal workers coming to work on British farms from outside the UK fell by 17% in the first 6 months of 2017 and it has to be anticipated that drop will rise significantly over the next 2 seasons and beyond Brexit. It is clear from this that alternatives to be considered as soon as possible in order to safeguard farming’s ability to produce a safe and affordable supply of food here in the UK. The perception of the industry has to be made more appealing to local labour as it has traditionally been seen unfairly as poorly paid, low skilled and lacking in career prospects, which combined with long hours in remote locations and involving heavy physical work means that people tend to look for work elsewhere. Further investment in technology and machinery will have to be considered in order to maximise efficiency and reduce reliance on labour wherever possible. Farmers cannot wait until a Brexit deal has been made as this is about to have an impact for this

Charlie Carnegie is a partner in the Perth office of Campbell Dallas and can be contacted on 01738 441888 for any further information


Equine Angle

Photo courtesy of Equiscot Photography

Aberdeenshire’s Charley Hamilton & Nicole Lockhead Anderson jump to victory By Melanie Scott

A vaccine against equine strangles could be on the market within two years Charley Hamilton & Novella II

Morris Equestrian Centre in Fenwick, Ayrshire played host to the most recent of the 2018 Charles Britton Equestrian Construction Winter JA Classic Qualifiers and the classes ran during their 148cm Pony Premier Show at the weekend. The qualifiers saw the field of starters vying for the top three qualifying places for the prestigious Charles Britton Equestrian Construction Winter JA Classic Championship, which will be held during the British Masters International Horse Show, at SouthView Equestrian Centre (29th June – 1st July 2018). Fifteen year-old Charley Hamilton from Milltimber, Aberdeen took the top spot in Saturday’s qualifier on board Sarah Hamilton’s Novella II. The 11 year-old bay mare jumped with consistency delivering a hat trick of clears. There were eight through to the first jump off and a reduced number of five through to the final jump off. Charley guided the mare with accuracy to deliver one of just two clears in the all-important final round. Charles Britton Equestrian Construction Winter JA Classic Qualifier – Saturday 10th February 2018 Results: 1st Charley Hamilton & Novella II – 0/0 – 51.11 seconds 118

2nd Hannah Barker & Ammanvalley Santino – 0/0 – 50.69 seconds 3rd Faye Sutton & Robe Ruadh – 0/4 – 43.26 seconds Fifteen year old Nicole Lockhead Anderson from Banchory, Aberdeenshire claimed victory on Sunday on board Claire Anderson’s 9 year-old bay gelding Gangnam Style II. The combination looked to be on unstoppable form storming through all three rounds with speed and precision. With four through to the first jump off the final round saw just two combinations contesting for the top spot. Nicole did not disappoint as she and Gangnam Style II galloped home to victory in the fastest time. Charles Britton Equestrian Construction Winter JA Classic Qualifier - Sunday 11th February 2018 Results: 1st Nicole Lockhead Anderson & Gangnam Style II– 0/0 – 41.54 seconds 2nd Billy Luther & Crème de la Crème – 0/0 – 46.15 seconds 3rd Nicole Lockhead Anderson & Wildwood Silver – 0/4 – 47.52 seconds NB: Qualifications will be updated pending official grading of results.

Scientists from the Animal Health Trust (AHT), the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, the Karolinska Institute and Intervacc AB, have developed a proteinbased vaccine Strangvac, to prevent equines contracting the highly contagious disease. Strangles is caused by a bacteria called streptococcus equi, which causes horses to suffer from large pus-filled abscesses in their throat and neck. Strangles is highly contagious to other equines and once they have been infected may become a carrier showing no outward symptoms which is why rogue outbreaks occur each year. With an estimated 600 outbreaks of strangles each year in the UK alone, the development of the vaccine is hoped to have benefits to the health of horses around the world. The group trialled the vaccine on 16 horses and its findings were published in scientific journal Vaccine. Strangvac protected 13 of the equines from strangles. They were exposed to the infection and then monitored twice daily for the onset of clinical signs of disease and

temperatures were recorded daily as the primary indicator of infection. None of the animals developed adverse reactions to the vaccination. “We are delighted to have shown that our Strangvac vaccine protected over 80% of horses from this disease,” said Professor Jan-Ingmar Flock, chief executive of Intervacc AB, the company that produced the vaccine. “Strangles is a scourge of the equine world and the development of Strangvac has the potential to prevent many thousands of horses from falling ill each year. The vaccine was designed using information from sequencing the DNA of streptococcus equi and highlights the potential that the genome-era heralds for improving the health of animals and people. “Improving the health of horses is a core aim of the AHT and we are proud to have helped make this vaccine a reality towards finally breaking the hold this disease currently has on our horses added Dr Andrew Waller, head of bacteriology at the AHT, who anticipates the vaccine will be available for use within two years.

Handicrafts prove to be a stitch in time for hooking in young members A CAITHNESS Institute appears to have addressed the problem of how introduce younger people to the joys of the SWI – by launching a junior division with its own syllabus and meeting night. Girls as young as eight are queueing up to join the junior group of Latheron SWI and although in its infancy, the youngsters are already making their mark in the community. Supported by parents, the girls have been involved in a community project to provide a goat playground of their own design at the Puffin Croft Petting Farm at John O Groats and some have won prizes at the county show. With their own meeting night and a tailor-made programme, the juniors have the benefit of help and guidance from their senior counterparts. This practical support is helping the girls become confident in crochet and machine knitting and they have made cushion covers and knitted granny squares. Three juniors who competed in the county show gained first, second and third prizes in craft and baking competitions. Crochet and machine knitting are going down a storm and as well as handicrafts, the girls are encouraged to try other hands-on activities to encourage their personal development and creativity. Once the girls build up their confidence, it’s hoped to introduce junior office bearers, and they have already started to take it in turns to offer a vote of thanks. Jess Sutherland, vicepresident at Latheron SWI, said

that forming a junior group under the wing of the established Institute was a great way of supporting inter generational links while giving the girls a sense of ownership and their own identity. Jess explained: “They meet separately to the seniors, they do work on handicrafts and we also work on activities that encourage their personal development and creativity. “They really enjoyed designing and making the goat climbing frame at Puffin Croft Petting Farm - it was amazing to see a larger scale project come together from them dreaming up ideas to the build itself. They also particularly enjoy any creative based activities and seniors have helped run machine sewing and crochet sessions. “It’s definitely helped us boost membership - we have

around 10 junior members and younger girls that would like to join when they are old enough. “Our senior members appreciate seeing the young ones develop their skills, but they appreciate separate nights where the juniors can use their excess energy! “Children seem to get locked into hobbies at an early age, so we had that in mind in setting up the junior group. The age of eight years is the starting point and they must be 10 years old to take part in the competitions. “The girls absolutely love it and one or two of them have told me that when they are 18 they will be taking over from me. Our older members really enjoy having young ones around too.” The junior members are friends who attend Lybster School and include Rhian

McGuire, Erin Norris, Saffiya Amin, Caity Crowe, Shannon Campbell, Elidh McPhee, Blythe Bullen, Freya Fox and Kirsty Ross. Sue Steven, president of Caithness Federation, applauded the efforts of Latheron SWI in recruiting young and enthusiastic new blood into the organisation. She added: “I was interested and pleased to hear of the various exciting activities that Latheron is involving these primary aged children in. These include designing and building a playground for goats at Puffin Croft, Boogie Bounce exercise classes and learning from the Caithness Broch Project. “It’s a very positive step forward in getting and encouraging junior members to be a part of our organisation and one which may give inspiration to other Institutes.” 119

country woman

Emma Christie By Linda Mellor

Emma Christie works in the shooting industry, and each day she handles guns, cartridges and clays at Auchterhouse Country Sports (ACS), Burnhead Farm, Auchterhouse, just outside Dundee. It is a popular clay target shooting ground, and offers a range of activities including falconry, archery, off-road driving, and quad-biking. The venue is also favourite for corporate days, and stag and hen parties. The clubhouse has a clay shop, run by Emma, selling gents, ladies, and children’s country clothing, and shooting accessories, and the adjoining Pear Tree Restaurant. ACS is a family business, started in 1989, by Emma’s mum and dad, Evelyn and Gavin. Drew, Emma’s younger brother, won a Commonwealth Games Silver Medal at the Men’s Olympic Skeet, in 2014, and is an ISSF qualified coach, and is a clay shooting instructor at the ground. 120

“Every day is different, and I meet so many interesting people but that is one of things I love about the shooting, it is very sociable, and everyone is friendly. I have friends from all over the world, and we all have shooting in common. It great how things have changed as people used to perceive shooting as a rich man’s sport but now-a-days it is open to people from all walks of life.” Emma, 39, has had a life around guns. Burnhead Farm was originally a working farm, but after a tough year the family decided to diversify. Shooting clays was Gavin’s hobby, he had a clay shooting trap and invited friends to join in, and so began ACS. In 1989 they opened up 2 days per week, and mum, Evelyn did the catering from a caravan. Emma used to shoot for fun when she was growing up but working life took over. She returned

to the sport a couple of years ago, as a way of getting out of the office and giving her a break from work, and to make new friends. Her role as Events Manager at ACS is busy, and varied, shooters visit the ground each day to practice on the Skeet, Down the Line (DTL), Automatic Ball Trap, Compact and Sporting stands, and the famous Hightower. They also host local, national, and international shooting events, charity, and fun shoot days. The shoot ground has events throughout the year, and with the adjoining Pear Tree Restaurant, people can enjoy a meal or lunch at the ground. “It really is nonstop, we have so many people use the ground, from shooters who come in on a Saturday to shoot with their friends to the big international shooting events with hundreds of clay shooters travelling from all over to compete. We get involved with lots of charity work, and with

hundreds of people turning up at events there is a lot of background work to do and pulling people together to help. We also are the venue of the original Prince’s Trust Shoot, now called ‘The Shoot’, which has raised over £2.5million to date.” In 2017, Emma had a different involvement with clay shooting and became the Scotland Manager for DTL Home International, which was held at the National Shooting Centre, Falkirk. Although an experienced event organiser, this role brought new challenges, with many tasks and responsibilities to juggle, and, as she said, “it gave me a different aspect of a clay shooting competition.” Keen to push herself, Emma also tried to qualify for the Ladies DTL team, she said, “Looking back, I do not think I was ready last year, but it is different this year because I am more focussed, and goal orientated.

country woman I want to make the Scottish DTL Ladies team, and shoot the Home International in Wales, all before I turn 40 in September this year!” Determined to do more shooting, Emma shot game for the first-time last year, and this year, she has her sights on shooting more. “I took up shooting DTL a couple of years ago. Working in the family business can mean it is hard to get out to shoot but I try to get out once or twice a week to shoot 100 cartridges. As a family, we are all involved in the business, and pull together. I am always busy, but I try to set aside time to get out with my gun. We have someone to come in and help cover the Saturday’s when I am away shooting. Now, I not only work in the shooting business, but it is also my hobby, and one of my personal goals for this year!” said Emma, laughing. Emma shot game for the first time in October, at the Brewlands Estate, Glenisla, “It was a special day with great friends, all who I shoot DTL with. On the first drive,

I shot a pheasant, I was pleased with that! By the end of my first game day, I had shot two ducks, three pheasants & two partridges.” For game, Emma uses her 12 bore Miroku, and for clays, a 12 bore Krieghoff K80. “My second day out game shooting was with the Scottish Ladies Shooting Club at Hallyburton, where I shot 13 pheasants, and the only duck of the day!” ACS have won many accolades as the top shooting ground in Scotland and the UK. Emma said, “we are honoured to hold Home International events on a regular basis, and also proud that we can work together as a family.” Having a brother win a medal at the Commonwealth games people expect her to be a good shot. Emma is focussed, she has set her goals, and is doing it her way, and at her own pace. I have no doubt we will be seeing Emma in the Scotland team, shooting in Wales later this year! h t t p : / / w w w .

Southern Belle IT PAYS TO BE NICE…. With Christmas and New Year, a distant memory, TV screens are now full of adverts for summer holidays. Whether you are going on a cruise, safari or beach holiday, there are always some wee tips, which can come in handy for travellers. Having been lucky enough to travel a bit I’ve picked up a few over the years and you may remember the many uses of dry shampoo from a previous column, so make sure it is packed. If you are travelling long haul, flight socks are a must. Unsexy and unflattering as they are, they could save your life, by reducing the risk if deep vein thrombosis or DVT. When checking in, always order food with a special dietary requirement. I usually go for low fat as I’m allergic to vegetarians. This ensures you get fed first, which is important in a plane of 200 people, if you’re stuck at the back. Always be nice to the girl at check in, as you

may well find that she is in fact one of the crew and will be feeding you later. It also helps if you need to ask for an extra blanket or pillow. When waiting boarding the plane…DO NOT CUE! Wait till the very end. They aren’t going to leave without you. Smile and chat again to the girl who has now moved from check-in to boarding so she remember you. This allows you to have a good look around and spot the adjoining empty seats, which you can move, generally as soon as the fasten your seat belt sign goes off after takeoff. Good to smile and ask the crew member if it is ok, then don’t forget to mention where you’re moving to, as you have a dietary requirement remember and you don’t want to miss it. Learn “stop kicking my seat” in as many languages as possible or better still get the lovely crew member you’ve been smiling at since boarding to do it for you. Have a nice flight…..


Beatha an eilean MAR A THÀINIG MI GU BEATHA AIR EILEAN Andy Holt, Coimiseanair Coimisean na Croitearachd

Thàinig mi a dh’Alba an toiseach tràth san t-samhradh 1970. Dhràibh mi fhìn is triùir charaidean suas an A9 ann an seann Ford Popular uaine. ’S e nì as motha as cuimhne leam, stad ann am meadhan Mòinteach Ranaich. Bha an sneachd fhathast na laighe ann an sriopan deàlrach geala. Bha an èadhar misgeach; soilleir, fìorghlan is cruaidh. Dhràibh sinn air adhart don Ghàidhealtachd agus ràinig sinn ar ceann-uidhe, coimhearsnachd bheag sna beanntan air taobh siar Loch Nis shìos fo Meall Fuar-mhonaidh. An dèidh seachdain thill mo chompanaich air ais gu Deas às m’ aonais. As t-earrach 1973, cho-dhùin mi fhìn agus mo bhean Sabina coimhead airson àite dhuinn fhìn agus thòisich sinn a’ sireadh àite air feadh na Gàidhealtachd ’s nan Eilean, gus mu dheireadh chaidh ar glacadh ann an stoirm ann an Ciorcabhal air ar slighe gu Eilean Shanndaigh. An sin, choinnich sinn ri neach a thabhaich tobhta oirnn agus acair no dhà de dh’fhearann air Eilean Papa Stour ann an Sealtainn. Rè a’ 122

chiad samhraidh againn air Papa, ghiùlain sinn ar seada fiodha, ar n-innealan gàirnealachd agus na dh’fheumadh sinn de bhiadh, thog sinn an t-seada ann am fasgadh na tobtaidh agus thòisich sinn ag ullachadh airson breith ar ciad mic aig an taigh, a thàinig don t-saoghal gu fallain sàbhailte san t-Sultain. As t-earrach às dèidh sin, chladhaich mi a-mach taobh a-staigh na tobhtaidh a bha gu bhith nar dachaigh. Bha ballachan cloiche an taighe, nach robh air duine fhaicinn an taobh a-staigh dhiubh bho eadar an dà chogadh, nan seasamh aig àirde chuibheasach de shia troighean. Bha am mullach air tuiteam a-steach agus cha robh ach caoraich air a bhith na bhroinn airson còrr air 40 bliadhna. Bha measgachadh torrach de thalamh bhon mhullach de chip air a mheasgachadh le

fiodh lobhte, buachair chaorach, diofar sheòrsaichean de dh’obairmeatailt agus lìon iasgaich, a’ còmhdach nan leacan cloiche san làr gu doimhneachd de mu dhà throigh. Chuir mi a-mach an todhar le bara chun a’ chiad àite a bha sinn air a ghlanadh, an dèidh na cip a chladhach an toiseach le spaidean. Thugcupalsachoimhearsnachd dhuinn 5 beathaichean caorach Sealtainneach agus b’ e sin toiseach ar treud a leasaich sinn thar ùine ann an càileachd agus ann an àireamhan. Fhad ’s a bha a’ chlann a’ fàs suas, bha sinn a’ cumail dà bhò bainne, Ayrshire agus Aberdeen Angus, bainne dhan taigh agus laoigh airson na margaid. Ghlan sinn a-mach agus chladhaich sinn an iodhlainn agus raointean eile timcheall an taighe agus bhonnaich sinn sreath de liosan glasraich is mheasan.

A’ coimhead air ais, tha mi mothachail don chothrom a chaidh a thoirt dhuinn air ais ann an 1973. A’ coimhead thairis air na suidheachaidhean ris a bheil daoine òga a’ cothachadh a tha an dùil a dhol a-steach gu croitearachd san latha an-diugh, tha iongnadh orm càite am bi na cothroman rin lorg anns an eaconamaidh dhùthchail a tha air a stiùireadh leis na margaidean, le fiù gabhaltasan beaga gan reic airson deichean de mhìltean notaichean. A-nis, an dèidh mo thaghadh mar Choimiseanair do Choimisean na Croitearachd, tha mi fiù nas mothachail do mar a tha fòrsaichean margaideil a’ putadh suas luach chroitean. Chan eil mòran ann as urrainn dhuinn a dhèanamh mu dheidhinn sin, ach tha cùram mòr air Bòrd Choimiseanairean Coimisean na Croitearachd mu chroitearan òga agus mar a tha croitearachd na dhòigh-beatha mhath dhaibh. Gun teagamh sam bith, tha feum air daoine òga ma tha croitearachd a’ dol a shoirbheachadh.

The perfect gift for farmers, whisky lovers & collectors We are delighted to announce our very own Special Limited Edition Highland Malt Scotch Whisky.

Tuathanachas Alba (Gaelic: Farming Scotland)

16 year old Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky Specially selected for

Farming Scotland Magazine. £75.00* (P+P is included, UK only)

Only 76 bottles available. Each bottle is individually hand numbered within in its own silk lined presentation box. Hand numbered tasting notes are included to enhance your whisky experience.

*We are delighted to support the RSABI Charity. We will donate £5 to the RSABI from every bottle sold.


1) Order by phone on 01738 639747. (To reserve your order and arrange payment). 2) Or fill in the form below (enclosing your payment) 0LEASESENDMEBOTTLESOF4UATHANACHAS!LBA



(Payable to Athole Design & Publishing Ltd)








lifestyle Rupert Tweed Jacket in Linseed Ltd Edition

Rupert Tweed Jacket in Heston

This Rupert Jacket looks fabulous in our light/mid weight Linseed Tweed which incorporates a brown, royal blue and baby blue check woven on a light sandy brown base which is bespoke to Timothy Foxx. This jacket is a beautifully tailored single breasted jacket with a two button fastenings and contains some exceptional detailing: The collar is lined with a blue melton fabric, which can be shown off when worn up. At the back of the jacket a double vent creates a flattering shape and we have included some shaping darts at the front. The lining of the breast pocket is designed to pull out for the illusion of a pocket square and to show off the funky spotted cotton inside. The sleeve has a functional cuff with a light blue stripe sandwiched in between the buttons which can be unfastened and also includes a contrast blue button hole. The button hole angle and detailing looks striking and it features two front pockets, 2 inside pockets, inside pen and ticket pockets and is lined with a light blue Viscose lining with royal blue top stitch detailing. This jacket looks very smart teamed with the matching Hector Waistcoat in Linseed Tweed Waistcoat and chinos or even casually with jeans as it is designed to be worn in the field and in town.

The Rupert Jacket looks fabulous in our mid weight Heston Tweed which incorporates a scarlet red and baby blue check woven on a navy grey base which is bespoke to Timothy Foxx. This jacket is a beautifully tailored single breasted jacket with a two button fastenings and contains some exceptional detailing: The collar is lined with a bright baby blue melton fabric, which can be shown off when worn up. At the back of the jacket a double vent creates a flattering shape and we have included some shaping darts at the front. The lining of the breast pocket is designed to pull out for the illusion of a pocket square and to show off the luxurious paisley cotton inside. The sleeve has a true cuff with a bright blue stripe sandwiched in between the buttons which can be unfastened and also includes a contrast blue button hole. The button hole angle and detailing looks striking and it features two front pockets, 2 inside pockets, inside pen and ticket pockets and is lined with a bright red Viscose lining with baby blue top stitch detailing. This jacket looks very smart teamed with the matching Heston Tweed Waistcoat and chinos or even casually with jeans as it is designed to be worn in the field and in town.

Made from 100% British Teflon coated Tweed. Dry Clean only. Retail Price: ÂŁ350.00

Made from 100% British Tweed. Retail Price: ÂŁ350.00



RS rural

I do….tweed! For the country bride, how about a tweed wedding dress? This stunning dress has just been launched by purveyors of stylish tweed, the British fashion brand, Timothy Foxx and is the perfect dress to say ‘I do’ to a quintessentially British look. The Timothy Foxx Perdie Wedding Dress features a sweetheart neckline with sweeping off the shoulder straps, fitted bodice and a full skirt. Made to Measure, the Perdie can be customised to incorporate your favourite tweed or given a twist.

STYLE By Helen Burness

Spring Sports Luxe

Prices Start From: RRP: £3,700

Tech on the move! Equetech, delivering style to your saddle this season! This season, technical fabrics really do reign supreme with these gorgeous additions from Equetech. The Equetech Isabella Training Shirt is new for spring and is styled in a technical wicking fabric with a pretty stretch lace panel on the underside of the sleeves for full ventilation. Combining mesh with beauty, this is the ideal shirt for everyday training, schooling and even cross-country. RRP: £39.50 Colours: Purple & Navy Sizes: XS - XXL The Equetech Performance Riding Tights take riding tights to a whole new stylish level. Styled in a super 4 –way stretch with excellent shape retention, they feature a silicone horizontal grip to inner legs and zip smartphone-sized pocket to thigh RRP: £46.95 Colours: Black Sizes: XS – XXL

Looking for a spring basic that will add a touch of glamour to your riding wardrobe without compromising on performance? The Paragon Equestrian Luxe Technical Baselayer is styled in a highly technical four-way stretch fabric which offers the ultimate in freedom of movement and temperature control on the move. Lined with a beautifully soft lightweight fleece, the fabric has excellent moisture wicking properties, and a stretch mesh detail to the back and side inserts to allow for further airflow. Created to bridge the gap between the coming season and your ‘go to’ piece you’ll wear coming into the autumn and all winter. Featuring a crystal zip for added ‘bling’ and reflective strip at the base of the collar. Paragon Equestrian - Defining your look, the way you like to wear it. Sizing Guide: XS - L RRP: £39.99 125

@home Why thermal mass heaters should be in your plans The masonry heater is an age old concept going back hundreds of years in Scandinavia and Europe as well as the USA and Canada. The concept is simple, create a high combustion temperature for maximum efficiency then channel the waste gases through heat absorbent material to reduce wasted heat loss to the atmosphere. The heat is then stored in the material and then slowly released over a time period dependent on the retention properties of the material (The Silicon Carbide Ecco Stove ® E678 will still release 25% of its charged heat 12 hours after the fire has gone out). One problem with the traditional stove is that to run it efficiently you can easily overwhelm the room that is situated in. Also once the fire has gone out the metal becomes cold in about an hour so it is necessary to keep a continual fire burning with a lower rate of oxygen, which also reduces the efficiency. Using thermal

mass the stove can be fired hard storing a large portion of the heat into the mass rather than immediately releasing it. This method of firing hard and slowly distributing through the mass can achieve very high efficiency rates. Our own EC645 model recently underwent EN15250 testing at 85.4% and although the average combustion chamber would be 900-1100°c the flue gas temperature leaving the stove was 110°c on average due to passing the gases through contraflow channels. The benefits of this type of heating are high. • Lower chimney maintenance requirements due to low emissions and reduced heat loss and condensation which can cause the chimney lining to break down give a longer life span to the flue system. • As stone, Silicon Carbide, ceramics and similar heat retaining products release the heat over a longer period of time without overwhelming the room by the sudden and

rapid change in temperature of the living space. A safer environment is created for pets and children due to the surface temperature of the heater being much lower than that of a steel or cast iron stove. High efficiency due to the concentrated, reflected heat within the combustion chamber. With much higher temperatures than conventional steel or cast iron stoves gasification is achieved faster for potentially carbon neutral emissions and more environmentally friendly operation. Reduced loading times due to stored heat. As the heat is gradually distributed from the thermal mass the fire does not need to be in constant operation ensuring the user can enjoy the heat without constant supervision. Having a stone / ceramic fire in your living space creates a more natural feel and becomes more of a part of

the room and home. Often a masonry heater will become the heart of the home due to these characteristics and those who have used them are much less likely to revert to conventional products. The Ecco Stove ® is celebrating its 10th year in 2018 and is rising fast as an alternative solution to the traditional stove by those looking to get more out of their fire. Manufactured in the UK and exported to Belgium, France, Germany, Japan, USA & Canada with certification for both EN13240 and EN15250 in Europe along with EPA exemption and the Washington and Colorado EPA parallel in America and also satisfying Din Plus in Germany (further testing listed on the website). If you would like to find out more about thermal mass heating and further benefits they can provide you can go to the Ecco Stove ® website email or phone +44 1527 857814.

Fresh ideas for this spring… A wall full of Daisy’s? Wallpapers inspired by the awakening nature is the best way to welcome spring. On this occasion, at Pixers they have arranged compositions, which are characterized by floral patterns and leaf motifs as well as delicate, refreshing colours. The spring palette is primarily all about green. Pastels and subdued colours dominate, broken with a juicy shade of young leaves and fresh blades of grass. Of course, the accents in other colorus cannot be omitted. Finally, the spring meadow shimmers with colourful petals of flowers. Green is best complemented by white backgrounds or patterns and all shades of yellow and pink.Pattern presented in the picture is Vinyl Wall Mural their matte, durable and ecological wall mural. Perfectly reproduced colours will provide a feast for the eyes, while the interfacing will allow the walls to breathe. The wall mural presented in the photograph is 350 x 250 cm. Price: £254.00 For more information:


@home Stunning Verona Garden Lounging Set

Daisies Salt and Pepper pots Inspired by the beautiful fields surrounding the artists studio. During the summer months the walk to Laura’s studio is a mass of daisies which she has captured perfectly in this sunny design. Created in 2010, this design has become a favourite of Laura’s designs. Popular with all, this cruet set is great for those looking for something unique.

This salt and pepper set is part of a growing range of tea set pieces which include teapots in various sizes, sugar bowls, jugs, tea cups, mugs and other useful storage items for your home. Using traditional on glaze enamels gives all her china pieces a charming vintage appeal. Beautifully packaged in tissue with hand finished tags these pieces are a delight to unwrap and enjoy.

Price: £18.00

With Spring just around the corner, it’s time to get ready to enjoy the outdoors. Well, it’s better than thinking about weeding and cutting the lawn isn’t it? If you have a patio area and you are looking for garden furniture a little different from what is on offer in your local DIY type store? Why not relax in style with friends and family with Bridgman’s incredible selection of garden furniture and accessories. Price: £3799.00 Stockist information:


cars The new Audi A7 Sportback The familiarly rakish silhouette of the A7 Sportback is ready to reappear in the UK Audi model portfolio, and it is virtually the only feature of the second generation five-door coupé that is carried over. Priced from £54,940 OTR, and due with its first UK customers in April, the all-new A7 Sportback has been carefully but comprehensively updated visually with reference to the latest Audi design language, and brings on board the most contemporary and transformational technology

to upgrade every facet of the driving experience. With its large surfaces, sharp edges and taut, athletic lines, the latest A7 Sportback draws inspiration from the Audi prologue concept study that spearheaded the introduction of the new Audi design language. In common with the A8 which was the first to take the new direction into series production, one of its key defining features is a flat light strip which creates a continuous light pattern across the rear – a distinction that will mark out all

models in the upper echelons of the Audi range in future. When the doors are unlocked and again when they are locked, fast-moving light animations play in the rear lights and in

the headlights, highlighting the Sportback’s imposing dynamics while standing still. The cabin projects the new A7 Sportback even further into the future

Renault ZOE retains its ‘Best Ultra-Low Emission Car’ crown The Renault ZOE has reaffirmed its ever-increasing popularity with business users after being named the ‘Best Ultra-Low Emission Car’ for the second consecutive year at the Fleet World Honours 2018. Hosted by Fleet World magazine, the annual awards, held today at the Royal Automobile Club in London, recognise vehicles, individuals and service providers that demonstrate excellence in the fleet sector in terms of innovation, quality and sustainability. The all-electric Renault ZOE took home the highly-coveted

award after impressing Fleet World magazine’s industry experts with its ‘real world’ range, style and competitive pricing. The win underlines its status as an unrivalled choice for business users who require an exceptionally efficient compact vehicle that is incredibly easy to live with. On the judges’ decision, Alex Grant, Editor, Fleet World, said: “ULEVs have come a long way since the ZOE launched in 2013, but so has Renault’s chic electric supermini. The largercapacity battery only widens

its appeal, offering a real-world range of almost 200 miles in a segment that’s perfectly suited to electrification, with quick

charging for longer trips. It’s a well-rounded, good-value reason to make the switch to electric power.”

Volvo XC60 wins Best Large SUV at Fleet World Honours Volvo’s new XC60 has scooped the coveted Best Large SUV award at this year’s Fleet World Honours. The Volvo XC60 beat allcomers in this competitive market sector based on its blend of refinement, safety and technology. Alex Grant, editor of Fleet World commented: “Volvo’s XC60 is a reflection of how far the brand has come in recent years. A distinctly non-German take on the premium SUV, inside and out, the XC60 is quiet and luxurious over long distances and packed full of 128

the latest connectivity, safety and plug-in technology for fleets.” Steve Beattie, Head of Business Sales, Volvo Car UK, said:” The Fleet World Honours are influential with fleet managers so we are delighted the XC60 has won this award. It is further testament to Volvo’s status as a premium brand and comes on the back of our secondhighest UK sales performance in 25 years in 2017”. The Volvo XC60 offers classleading technology, connectivity and safety. Luxuriously equipped, even the entry-level Momentum

variants enjoys leather-faced upholstery, a 9-inch touch screen control system, LED headlights with active high beam, two-zone

climate control with ‘CleanZone’ air-filtration system, heated front seats, a powered tailgate and 18inch alloy wheels.

cars Peugeot makes luxury affordable on 3008 and all-new 5008 SUVs PEUGEOT’s 3008 SUV and allnew 5008 SUV are set to boast even greater appeal with the introduction of a new ‘GT Line Premium’ trim on both models. Combining the versatility of the ‘GT Line’ trim and the luxury of its range-topping ‘GT’ specification, PEUGEOT’S allnew ‘GT Line Premium’ represents another tempting proposition for customers looking to make the most of the feature-rich 3008 and all-new 5008 SUVs. With diversity of engine choice at the forefront of the ‘GT Line Premium’, the all-new

specification will boast a total of five engines available to spec on the two models. Ranging from the entry-level 1.2L PureTech 130 S&S engine, available OTR at £28,590 for the 3008 and £30,565 for the 5008, to the 2.0L BlueHDi 150 S&S, customers will be able to tailor their PEUGEOT SUV to their exacting needs. Flaunting the most luxurious touches found on the ‘GT’, the enhanced ‘GT Line Premium’ specification offers a tranche of advanced technology features, including PEUGEOT Open and

Go, its keyless entry and push button start functionality, and its foot-operated smart electric tailgate. Designed to enhance comfort, the ‘GT Line Premium’

also boasts a driver seat multipoint massage function, driver and front passenger seat heating and a breath-taking panoramic opening glass roof.

Alfa Romeo GiuliettaSsport added to line-up The Alfa Romeo Giulietta is now available in a new Sport trim level, with athletic styling cues and enhanced equipment levels as standard. Externally, this new trim level features 17-inch five-hole alloy wheels, side skirts, front splitter and rear diffuser with red trims, rear privacy glass and is finished with an extra-large exhaust and fog lights to give a more purposeful look. The interior continues this theme adding dark headlining, as seen on the Veloce trim level. The Giulietta Sport also sees the addition of Misano Blue, an

exterior shade that is currently reserved for the flagship Veloce, to highlight the hatchback’s athletic styling. These stylish touches are complemented by a host of technology as standard. A technoleather steering wheel, climate control, cruise control and 5-inch UconnectTM multimedia system with UconnectTM LIVE services, keep drivers comfortable and connected throughout their journey. In terms of safety, the Giulietta Sport comes with six airbags, the Alfa DNA selector with Q2 electronic differential

and Dynamic Steering Torque (DST), as well as the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system with Antislip Regulation (ASR) and Hill Holder.

The new Sport version marks the entry to the Alfa Giulietta ‘Performance DNA’ range, along with the Speciale and Veloce models.

TVR to showcase their stunning new Griffith sports The London Motor Show is delighted to announce that iconic British sports car manufacturer TVR will be showcasing its newest creation – the Griffith – at the 2018 event. The Griffith is the first car launched by TVR since the company’s relaunch in 2013, and it caused a big stir upon its initial reveal back in September 2017. Going on display at The London Motor Show, it’s sure to be a hit with thousands of automotive enthusiasts at the ExCeL.

The new sports car will take pride of place on the show’s allnew ‘Built in Britain’ feature, which displays a whole host of vehicles designed and built on UK shores. TVR joins several other brands to be announced in due course. TVR is a company proud of its British heritage, and the name ‘Griffith’ is definitive for the marque. It first appeared in 1963, then again in 1990 – and now in 2018. The new car is sure to turn heads at the London Motor Show thanks to its typical TVR swooping body,

side-exit exhausts and sculpted wheelarches. It packs a real punch under its stunning body, too, with its

5.0-litre V8 engine capable and sending it from 0-60mph in less than four seconds and on to a top speed of 200mph. 129


"ARRIE4URNER Barrie Turner has been appointed as the new Chief Executive of the Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society. Barrie, who’s most recent role was International Sales Manager for the snacks division at Pasta Foods Ltd., has joined the Society to work alongside the Council and will look to bring his vast experience in the worlds of both business and agriculture to the table to help guide the Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society forward, working closely with members and staff alike. 2OBIN)RVINE Mr Robin Irvine, Graceland Herefords, Co. Armagh, Northern Ireland has been duly elected as Chairman of the Hereford Society Council for the ensuing three years 2018-20. Robin has served on Council for a number of years including a term as President in 2007 and as Chairman in 2009-11.

Angus Steven OPICO has promoted Angus Steven to a new role as After-Sales Director, focussing on customer care and making sure that all purchasers of OPICO’s expanding and extensive range of brands experience the follow-up, technical support and high quality service that they demand and deserve. Angus has over 23 years of experience working for OPICO, starting in the technical support department. -ARK/RMOND Manitou has announced the appointment of Mark Ormond as Managing Director of Manitou UK Ltd. Mark brings significant experience in the management of capital equipment suppliers in the UK and ROI, specifically within the agricultural sector.

7ILLIAM&LEMING Forage specialist Germinal has extended its agricultural sales team with the appointment of William Fleming to cover Scotland and the north-east of England. Reporting to Germinal GB National Agricultural Sales Manager Ben Wixey, William’s primary role will be to provide essential technical assistance to merchant customers in these regions, supporting the company’s extensive grass and forage crop ranges. 130

Page Turner’s

BOOK REVIEW The Drowned and the Saved: When War Came to the Hebrides Les Wilson Foreword by George Robertson of Port Ellen In The Drowned and the Saved: When War Came to the Hebrides, Les Wilson relates the impact of the First World War on the small, island communities that lie to the West and North of Scotland. His detailed, dramatic and well-researched book, takes as its focus two troopships lost off the coast of Islay ¬– the southernmost island of the Inner Hebrides – the heroic and selfless response from the islanders to the tragedies as they unfolded, and the lasting and devastating impact on those who lived there. Skilfully, he weaves his knowledge with the news reports of the day and with the words of survivors and those who tended to the needs of the living and the dead. The first of these two tragic events happened in the depth of winter, with the waters at their coldest and the skies at their darkest. At 6.10pm on the evening on 6 February 1918, the Troopship Tuscania was hit by a torpedo, fired by a German U-boat, the UB-77. The soldiers on board – 2500 American and British soldiers, the first of the American troops heading for Europe – along with crew faced great peril. Lifeboats were launched but many were lost to the sea. Three destroyers picked up some of those clinging in icy waters to upturned boats and over many hours lifted the remaining survivors from the decks of the Tuscania. The lifeboats that survived the launch were perilously overcrowded and adrift in hostile waters. In the end only one of the lifeboats made it to shore intact, the others crashed by tide and wave onto rocks. Some survivors were plucked from the waters by brave islanders – farmers, fishermen and teenagers – and fed and

found shelter. 123 souls were washed ashore and it fell to the islanders to face the scenes of horror that met them the following morning, to gather the bodies and lay them to rest. Only eight months later, in the brutal hurricane of Sunday the 6th of October (and only some 36 days before the Armistice was signed), a second disaster hit the islanders. The Kashmir and the Otranto were sailing in convoy with 12 other ships, each battered by gigantic waves and without navigation equipment nor sight of stars nor sun. A series of wrong decisions put the Kashmir and the Otranto on collision course. The sea was wild and the Otranto was in a deep trough as the Kashmir was lifted by waves and flung forward, kniving below the Otranto’s water line. In turn, the wounded Otranto was picked up and dashed against rocks, hitting a reef that broke her back. 500 were thrown or jumped into the waters. Only 19 survived. 383 bodies washed up on Islay. Again, locals worked every hour of daylight to recover survivors and bodies from the shore. Those who survived were transported to the school; the bodies were taken to the church. Five days later a mass funeral was held in a newly created cemetery. The women of Islay stitched a US flag to honour the American loss, finishing their work at 2.00am on the morning of the first burial. This little book says much about war. It also says a great deal about the strength and generosity, bravery and open heartedness of the Ileachs. The Drowned and the Saved: When War Came to the Hebrides by Les Wilson (Birlinn Ltd, £9.99 pbk)

Farming Scotland Magazine (March - April 2018)  
Farming Scotland Magazine (March - April 2018)