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arable editor's bit An interesting year ahead Well, here we go, into another new year and so much going on. I guess the biggest topic for this year will be Brexit, and there will be no escaping from it I fear. In Scotland, we voted to stay in the EU, and this is going to be a major problem for everyone, regardless how we each individually voted. I am glad that I am not a politician, that’s for sure. Apart from the Brexit debacle, my concern is for businesses who trade with European nations, no one needs uncertainty, and this is the ‘mother of all uncertainties’ in my opinion. I believe that Scotland should take total control of our agricultural and fisheries industries as soon as is possible, regardless how this Brexit thing pans out. I am not making a political point here at all, merely stating my belief that we must take control and responsibility for our own farming industry. When I started my own business in 1991, I was warned about the difficulties of doing so. What a load of tosh! You know what? From day one of taking control, you work hard and grow without restraint from others, it was very liberating. Now in fairness, I have no idea if that ‘simplism’ would work for our farming industry here in Scotland, but there is no one I trust better to look after our own interests than ourselves. Oh yes, this is sure going to be an interesting year. Slàinte, Athole.


Bank of Scotland farming ambassador visits Kettle Produce Fife’s premier vegetable supplier, Kettle Produce, welcomed the Bank of Scotland’s farming ambassador Adam Henson to meet with staff and growers on a recent field and factory tour at their manufacturing facility near Freuchie. The popular TV farming personality was joined by the bank’s south and east Scotland area director for agriculture, Sandy Hay, as they enjoyed a break in the autumnal weather to inspect produce first hand. After a presentation from Kettle staff, the group made their way out to visit local grower, Andrew Howie who walked Adam and Sandy through the current crops and gave opportunity to sample the fresh carrots destined for UK supermarkets this winter. Kettle’s Head of Field Dept, Ian Morrison said: “It’s been fantastic to have the opportunity to showcase Kettle’s operations and to discuss ideas with an experienced farmer like Adam. “A lot of time, dedication and hard work goes into getting fresh produce from field to

market, requiring a consistently high level of attention to ensure delivery. Sharing ideas and support is vital to maintaining this essential process.” Sandy Hay said: “Bank of Scotland is incredibly supportive of the Scottish farming and agricultural industries. Kettle Produce, in its 40th year of business, is a well-established vegetable processer and packer. We are proud to have supported this successful business through many major milestones and we

continue to see it going from strength to strength, responding to new market trends and leading new innovative product development. “By introducing an industry champion like Adam to one of our key Mid Markets customers, which is intrinsically linked into the agriculture sector, as well as one of our farming customers, Andrew Howie, we are able to provide a platform with a sector specialist to help raise and discuss important issues for the industry.”

Elsoms celebrates outstanding wheat breeding success with four new varieties on the AHDB Recommended List Elsoms Seeds Ltd, the UK’s leading independent plant breeder, seed treater and seed supplier, is building on a very strong 2016 season by launching

their four newly recommended wheat varieties to the UK market. The promotion of all four of their candidate wheat varieties to the AHDB Winter Wheat Recommended List confirms Elsoms’ position as an influential supplier with an extensive portfolio of high performance, low risk arable seed introducing exciting new genetic variety. The success of Bennington, Dunston, Freiston and Moulton, Elsoms’ four new AHDB Recommended varieties, heralds an impressive debut for Elsoms Wheat Ltd, an organisation founded to breed better wheat

varieties specifically for UK growing conditions. Elsoms Wheat combines the excellence of Stephen Smith’s wheat breeding programme at Elsoms Seeds Ltd in Lincolnshire, UK, with the state of the art breeding techniques and resources of SU Biotech in Germany. This responsive, innovative and forward-thinking approach is showing its worth as the programme also has two further wheat candidate varieties and a strong development pipeline of promising new varieties that are already performing well in extensive trials.

In my view

arable The Latest New Grass Variety From AFBI

By John Cameron Balbuthie, Kilconquhar, Fife

Brexit and all that!

The Forage Grass Breeding Programme at AFBI Loughgall continues to play a vital role in increasing productivity from local grassland farms. In recent years AFBI has launched over 30 varieties which have been developed for local use. Glenarm, a new late diploid Perennial Ryegrass, is the latest development, was launched by AFBI’s commercial partner, Barenbrug, at the 2016 Royal Ulster Agricultural Society Winter Fair in December. David Johnston, Grass Breeder in AFBI reports “A particular strength of Glenarm is that it produces good grazing yields in spring, meaning that it provides valuable early grass for cattle and sheep. For over 10 years, Tyrella has been a valued constituent in grass seed mixtures throughout Ireland because of its good spring growth, and Glenarm is a very worthy successor, given that it can provide high yields of quality forage throughout the year.”

For over 25 years, Dutch seed specialist Barenbrug has provided vital funding and commercial marketing expertise through a partnership agreement with AFBI and this has ensured that the AFBI programme has thrived, allowing for the development of highly successful commercial varieties such as Drumbo, Dunluce, Navan and Seagoe. Today, varieties developed from the AFBI programme at Loughgall are marketed throughout the UK and Ireland, with additional sales in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and Denmark. Their impact on grassland farms throughout Northern Ireland has been very significant, contributing to greater pasture productivity. Trials consisting of 3,000 plots and covering 10 hectares of land are currently being undertaken at Loughgall, while other Barenbrugfunded trials in Continental Europe, the USA and New Zealand, as well as a major trial site at Evesham, England all contribute to the research on a global scale.

I make no apology for returning to the Brexit discussions – although I promise not to devote the whole of the article to that topic. It is becoming increasingly likely that our present financial support in the form of Basic Farm Payments – and various other schemes – is going to change with the possibility of the introduction of – amongst others – some form of environmental criteria. It is also likely that the volume of direct support may eventually reduce. Now whilst I and many others would support the theory that the industry would be more sustainable if we got our income from ‘the market’ – that pre supposes that the market will pay an adequate price and clearly that will not happen overnight. My worry is that there is a suggestion coming from some parts of the industry – perhaps those least dependent on support – that we should ‘dump’ subsidies forthwith. That is a dangerous suggestion but one that will be seized upon by certain political factions. What we really need is a gradual change with flexibility and above all time to adjust. Otherwise there will be severe repercussions both on an industry and on a social basis. It was interesting to note that the New Zealand Trade Commissioner who was in London recently was asked about the effect on agriculture in New Zealand when they withdrew the subsidies overnight some years ago. His reply was frank when he admitted that there had been hardships but that it had been necessary in the long

term. However he did say that – and this is the lesson to be learned – that if they were doing it again they would do it ‘differently’. On another topic – it’s good to see there are to be elections for all the senior positions in the NFU. In any healthy democratic organisation it is a sign of efficiency to have a choice of Office Bearers although I well appreciate that for them the run up to the AGM can be trying to say the least. I know that one should not personalise – but I can’t help remembering facing an NFU election many years ago. Having just joined the EU the Council had introduced the concept of a new five year tenure of Presidency. However some members of Council – quite understandably – were concerned about how to get rid of a ‘long term’ President if necessary! Accordingly the constitution of the day stated that if the President were challenged he would require a very substantial majority to continue in office. Some of the older readers will remember that after my first year in office I was challenged under these new rules! Feeling pretty miserable I approached an elderly member of council – whom I greatly respected and asked him what I should do? He replied that farmers are a very genuine bunch of people and that ‘I should keep doing what I was doing – keep my head down and keep my mouth shut!’ I took his advice and the rest is history! So I would warmly thank all the candidates for what they have done for our industry and wish them every success. 7

arable The future of targeted weed control ‘eyeSpot’, a research project partfunded by AHDB Horticulture, is driving innovation in weed control and aims to reduce herbicide inputs for field vegetables by up to 95%. Experts at University of Reading, Precision Farming Robotics Ltd., Concurrent Solutions llc and Knight Farm Machinery Ltd. are developing the use of a cutting-edge automated spot herbicide ejector, which will ‘point and shoot’ metered droplets to individual leaves of unwanted plants in row crops. The ejector will use an innovative imaging system to distinguish weeds in field vegetable crops and will evaluate the dose of droplets required to kill weeds at different growth stages. Herbicide droplets will then be accurately targeted to the leaves of the unwanted plants. The concept is “no herbicide

applied to the crop; none to the soil; only to the weeds”. The project has been developed in response to concerns about the loss of herbicides and pressure to target pesticides better and in lower doses. The technology will precisely apply herbicide only to the weeds in such a way as to eliminate drift and spatter, while minimising the likelihood of run-off to soil and nontarget organisms, including the crop. By applying droplets of a systemic, non-selective herbicide to individual leaves, it represents a paradigm shift in weed technology, achieving selective weed control by engineering rather than chemistry. Once commercialised, the system could reduce, by up to 95%, herbicide inputs per unit land area. Benefits to growers are expected to be much greater than just economic, as labour

and energy requirements are expected to be significantly lower than for mechanical weed control. Additionally, the approach aims to address environmental issues by cutting energy inputs and soil moisture loss by reducing need for mechanical weed control. Field trials with savoy cabbages took place in summer 2016. For proof of concept, manually applied droplets of glyphosate achieved 92% weed

control and significantly higher yields than the conventionally applied pre-emergence herbicide, pendimethalin. Most importantly, yields were not significantly lower than those in hand-weeded trial areas and amounts of herbicide applied per unit land area (equivalent to 83g glyphosate per hectare) were 94% lower than for the pendimethalin. An automated vision-guided droplet application system should be ready for preliminary field trials in 2018.

Great result for new SDHI fungicide

Independent 2016 field trials have once again proven Syngenta’s powerful, new, SDHI fungicide, SOLATENOL™, to deliver consistent yield results and exceptional disease control. In extensive trial work carried out by ADAS, Prime 8

Ag and Teagasc, this year, the independents have all confirmed the performance of SOLATENOL™ as an effective T2 fungicide. Jason Tatnell, Syngenta’s technical indication expert, explains the results.

arable “Being a new active, SOLATENOL™ has been through vigorous trial work over several years, in which it has consistently proven itself in both high and low disease pressure years, across numerous field situations. The independent results this year have once again confirmed this. “The intrinsic characteristic SOLATENOL™ has of providing complete leaf protection has really shone through this year, particularly with the high disease pressures we’ve seen,” adds Mr Tatnell. “For example, in trial work ADAS has carried out this year, the direct correlation between green leaf area duration and yield response has clearly been seen. “SOLATENOL™ outperformed competitor SDHIs in both the percentage green leaf area maintained on leaf one over a four week period, and delivered a 0.28t/ ha yield average increase when compared to fluxapyroxad plus metconazole.”

Mr Tatnell also explains that trials carried out by Prime Ag, led by Tom McCabe, which looked specifically at Septoria tritici and brown rust control, found that SOLATENOL™, when mixed with BRAVO, had much better control of both diseases when compared to other fungicides. “By the middle of July, this trial was showing that plots treated with SOLATENOL™ saw, on average, control of Septoria tritici at 75%, with brown rust up to 85% control, which was substantially above the control achieved by other fungicides trialled. This is really promising to see considering the season we’ve had,” he explains. He also adds how the findings of the Irish field trials are a really valuable resource to prove the efficacy of SOLATENOL™. “The variation in climate, and increased rainfall in Ireland compared to the UK, means the conditions often lead to much higher disease pressures than we experience, even in bad years.

Bauer to expand irrigation equipment range

The World’s leading crop irrigation equipment manufacturer – Bauer – will introduce its centrepivot irrigation system to UK growers at LAMMA 2017. A 12m section of Bauer’s Centerstar 9000 pivot irrigator will feature on a larger stand in a new, more prominent location at the event as Bauer aims to raise its profile and extend the product

range available to growers in the UK and Ireland. “We are a leading supplier of mobile reel irrigators to growers with our ProRain and Rainstar systems,” says Adrian Tindall, Bauer sales manager. “But we believe there is a market for a modern centrepivot system with automated controls that keep the

The National Basic Payment Support Scheme

Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity Last month the first direct loan payments for 2016 arrived in farmers’ bank accounts, injecting over a quarter of a billion pounds into Scotland’s rural economy. From the time I spent at AgriScot last November talking to farmers and stakeholders from the wider rural economy, it is clear that this injection has been warmly welcomed. The payments have provided security and certainty our rural communities need to plan for the year ahead. When I set out the arrangements for the 2016 National Basic Payment Support Scheme earlier this year, I advised it could potentially provide around £300 million for up to 18,000 eligible famers and crofters. While I am aware that there has been a problem regarding overpayments to a very small number of businesses, I am delighted that we have had a great response from farmers to the 2016 scheme. Over 12,500 farmers have now received 80% of the 2016 Basic Payment Support and Greening payments up to the maximum of 150,000 euros, totalling just under £256 million. This injection, which is essentially an advance payment on 2016 entitlement,

is helping to safeguard jobs and local agricultural businesses right down the supply chain and through to the consumer, in communities all across Scotland. Loan recipients will not pay any interest on these loans. EU state aid rules require us to calculate a notional amount of interest, but provided farmers and crofters adhere to the loans’ terms and conditions, they will not pay any interest. We have offered these loans to provide financial security during these uncertain times and they will also help to build growth in the rural economy. That will continue to be my focus in the year ahead, doing all I can as Cabinet Secretary to protect and create jobs, opportunities and investment in rural and coastal communities, while also pressing the UK Government to provide immediate clarity on a number of key farming and food issues which impact on our key rural sectors. While many of us prepare to enjoy a restful festive period, for farmers and crofters, their work will continue, even in the most inclement weather. But I hope you all get some time too to recharge the batteries and to socialise with friends and family. The very best greetings of the festive season to you all.

arable manpower and management time needed to operate it to an absolute minimum.” While hose-reel irrigators like the ProRain and heavier duty, bigger capacity Rainstar have the advantage of flexibility in that they can be set up and operated anywhere, a centre-pivot system is an attractive option in fields

repeatedly growing crops that need irrigating. “Covering a large area from a fixed point eliminates having to keep moving the irrigation equipment, so the savings in manpower are enormous,” points out Adrian Tindall. “Also, moving the irrigation boom by electric motors rather than a

water-driven turbine takes less energy and applying water by low pressure sprinklers rather than a high pressure gun makes more efficient use of water through reduced evaporation.” The Bauer Centerstar 9000 irrigator operates with fixed or wheeled pivot towers (the latter enabling the system to be

relocated) that are constructed from galvanised steel and scaled to suit a number of span sections covering up to 220ha in one go. In Britain, the systems for up to 60ha and 150ha are most relevant, with a choice of nozzles for the droppers providing appropriate distribution and droplet sizes for different crops.

AHDB publishes most comprehensive review of nutrient management for seven years AHDB has published findings of an extensive review of the Fertiliser Manual RB209, which will form the basis of a new edition of the guide to be released in May. The £98,000 project was overseen by the AHDB-led UK Partnership for Crop Nutrient Management and delivered by an ADAS-led consortium of experts from across the UK research


community. It was supported by £200,000-worth of in-kind funding by industry. Farmers, growers, agronomists, breeders, researchers, fertiliser companies and other industry experts were among those consulted on how existing RB209 recommendations could be improved to incorporate the latest scientific advances.

George Lawrie, AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds Research and Knowledge Transfer Committee Chair, who grows spring barley for seed in partnership with his brother on their family farm in Kinross, chairs the UK Partnership for Crop Nutrient Management steering group. He says: “We’ve left no stone unturned during the review, every aspect of nutrient

management has been revisited and scrutinised. “Advances in nutrient management have been incorporated and the new guide will provide evidencebased nutrient management recommendations that growers can trust.” The review, which took account of the latest research developments since 2009, was

arable split into six distinct themed work packages: principles of crop nutrient management; organic materials; grass and forage; cereals and oilseeds; potatoes and horticulture.

The process has generated a number of proposed changes, including updated recommendations for additional crops and information on the nutrient

content of additional organic materials. “Updates can be made on a section-by-section basis and produced at a lower cost than previous editions,

meaning we can revise guidance more regularly so users can be assured their nutrient management plans are based on the most up-to-date information and data possible.”

New Crimper Roller to cut through Cover Crops New to the HE-VA range of machines at LAMMA is the ‘Crimper Roller’, a knife roller designed to roll, cut and bruise cover crops in front of a direct drill. Rolling down the canopy, the Crimper Roller makes it easier to drill through a heavy cover crop and bruises the foliage to speed up degradation allowing successful establishment of the following crop. ‘The advent of large-scale cover cropping has led to increased interest in how to destroy and drill through the canopy,’ commented James Woolway, OPICO Managing

Director. ‘This new Crimper Roller has angled edges set at 140mm spacing to cut or bruise the cover crop every 140mm along its length. This allows effective drilling, whilst also ensuring quicker decomposition of the cover crop encouraging the following crop to emerge through residues more quickly. In some cover crop mixes the Crimper Roller can cause sufficient damage to kill off the crop without the need to use glyphosate, saving both time and input costs.’ Each section of the roller has stepped edges which spread

the weight of the whole section, preventing any soil disturbance and avoiding weed seeds being

brought to the surface, fitting into a zero-till cultivation system.


arable Scottish Farmers – now is the time to stand up and be proud! ‘Open your gates for next year’s Open Farm Sunday on 11th June and proudly show the public all that you achieve and the breadth of goods and services you deliver.’ That’s the message to farmers in Scotland from Open Farm Sunday organisers LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming), as registrations for Open Farm Sunday 2017 open. As the sector is working to determine what a postreferendum farming industry is going to look like, there has never been a more critical time for farmers to demonstrate the vital role they play in delivering a wide range of public goods, beyond food production. This includes managing the countryside, its wildlife, our


natural resources such as water, air and soil, and contributing to a stable climate and resilience to flooding. With Scotland continuing to see an increase in interest and support from the general public for Open Farm Sunday, Scottish Co-ordinator Rebecca Dawes is keen that more farmers in Scotland stand up and be proud of the work they do. “Last year more than 20,500 visitors stepped foot on a farm in Scotland to hear directly from those at the heart of our agricultural industry. The 21 host farmers who took part covered a wide area of Scotland but with a greater interest from the general public we are looking for more host farmers

to come on board and join those who are already passionate about Open Farm Sunday.” Rebecca, a farmer’s daughter whose family have hosted nine Open Farm Sunday events continued, “Open Farm Sunday is fully flexible so that farms of every size and type get involved whether you host a private farm tour for an invited audience or an open event for 100+ visitors. Some hosts require visitors to pre-book so they can control the numbers. For those with farm diversifications it is a great way to boost the profile of a business and help increase sales. So if it is your first Open Farm Sunday you can keep it as small and simple as you want.”

88% of visitors in 2016 reported they learnt something new and 22% had never visited a farm before. With over 75% of Scotland’s land mass under agricultural production, it is the single biggest determinant of the landscape and one that LEAF is encouraging farmers and public alike to be proud of. For more information on how to get involved or to register a LEAF Open Farm Sunday event visit www. or contact Rebecca Dawes on 07792 467730, ofsrc.scotland@ To keep up to date on Twitter follow @OpenFarmSunday, @ LEAF_Farming

potatoes Haith Group launches Tri-Wash Recently delivered to its first customer, the new Haith TriWash is a high-performance process washer for root vegetables, specifically designed for growers wanting increased efficiency where crops are lifted on soils with high stone contents. Featuring a Direct Drive Brush Washer, formatted as a bed of transverse brushes, the Tri-Wash system also includes a Supaflume destoner, an Immersion Tank with Jacuzzi, a Sludge Removal System and a Floating Debris Remover. Typically mounted on a step frame lorry trailer for easy transport between sites, Tri-Wash can alternatively be mounted on an agricultural chassis for static use. The TriWash is equipped with a fully insulated GRP inspection cabin, remote control panel with HMI, CCTV system and cabin heating. The Haith Tri-Wash is aimed at

growers looking for high output, high-quality crop washing and handling. Haith manufactures a range of root process washers with outputs of 5-50 tonnes per hour, focussing on producing best quality with low energy,

low maintenance, and low water inputs. Haith designs develops and manufactures machines for crop grading, washing and polishing. Box and bag tipping and filling. Packhouse equipment, elevators

and conveyors, processing and peeling equipment, bulk feeders, inspection and sorting systems, brassica handling, waste water treatment and AD Feed Systems are also part of the Haith product range.

Timely transformation for Potato Late Blight risk criteria New risk criteria which will transform the performance of Potato Late Blight alert systems was revealed at AHDB’s Agronomists’ Conference in Peterborough. Arising from research undertaken by the James Hutton Institute and funded by AHDB Potatoes, the ‘Hutton Criteria’ is a

significant advancement on current methodology for predicting blight pressure, known as Smith Periods, now 60 years old this year. “Smith Periods have been immensely valuable in assessing blight risk to date. Originally developed by L.P. Smith in 1956, Smith Periods were an improvement on the previously

used system – the Beaumont Criteria,” said Claire Hodge, Knowledge Exchange Manager for AHDB Potatoes. “But we need to continue to optimise in response to changes in climate and developments in technology and the Hutton Criteria provides that timely enhancement.

“Late Blight, caused by the pathogen Phytophthora infestans, remains the single most important disease for the British potato trade. “Spreading quickly in the foliage, a typical blight pressure season can be costly to the industry.” John Sarup, Agronomist and specialist potato adviser for


potatoes SPUD Agronomy, said: “It’s a concern for potato growers every single year and a tool for identifying high risk periods of disease development is crucial to help us protect our crops

and give us the confidence to schedule control activities at the right time, to the right level. “However in recent seasons, blight has been found on crops

even before any conventional Smith Periods had been recorded, meaning the current tools and systems just weren’t reliable enough to support precision decision-making.”

“Past records revealed that the Smith Period was not performing equally well in all parts of the country, and the Hutton Criteria has eliminated this issue,” added Ms Dancey.

Grimme launch new field loader Grimme has launched a new field loader designed to reduce trash content in the sample, saving growers both time and money by limiting the amount of trash returned to the static grading line during harvest. CleanLoader is fully road legal, and features four large wheels on a tandem axle designed to keep ground pressure to a minimum while ensuring a smooth ride during road transport. It is fully independent, requiring no external power source to operate due to an on-board 46KW, 4cylinder diesel engine. This efficient unit provides exceptional fuel economy, using as little as 50 litres of fuel over a 12 hour period. The concept is built around Grimme’s proven RH24-60 selfemptying receiving hopper, with a generous volume of 21m3. The hopper automatically feeds onto twin coil units to ensure even and constant crop flow through the machine. The first set of coils provides intense soil separation, while the second coil unit can be used either for additional separation or pregrading of the crop depending upon conditions.

The standard, double sided picking table following these coils have built in trash conveyors allowing for simple and convenient crop inspection. Two hedgehog belts gently transfer the crop from the picking table onto the 120cm wide cart elevator that can be specified with an OptiBag web if additional cleaning is desirable. The elevator has a 250C (or 6.5m) pivot range, removing the need to constantly reposition

trailers during filling, and with an impressive seven metre overloading length it is possible to leave the trailer out of the field completely, discharging over any small hedges and ditches. The swan neck design of the cart elevator also allows for gently positioning the crop deep inside the trailer minimising bruising potential, while maintaining a generous loading height of 6.5m. The CleanLoader has an impressive output of 120t/hr


D. . LT 2QD ON 7 TI ld S 71 A R ffie 99 GE he 236 I FR d, S 14 81 RE oa D 01 686 R Y 3 LE ale FIEL 4 2 D d F 1 y A 1 WITH OPTIONAL BR bbe SHE ax: 0 A l: F 9 ‘AUTO SWIVEL-HEAD AIR DISTRIBUTION e 92 T WILL FIT MOST EXISTING SYSTEMS Patent Application No 9320628.2


depending upon soil type, crop and conditions. Further advantages include the integration of Grimme’s popular VC50 control unit, that provides full touch screen control of all major hydraulic and electric functions, the integrated cross conveyors that are extendable from both sides eliminating the need for additional conveyors and the speed of preparation for road transport (approximately 15 minutes).

potatoes Scientists, industry and retailers to tackle potato greening problem A research consortium including the James Hutton Institute and the University of Southampton is to tackle the problem of greening in potato, the world’s fourth most important food crop, in a drive to reduce field and supply chain losses whilst strengthening global food security. Exposure of potato tubers to light either in the field, in storage, on store shelves or at home induces the formation of a green pigmentation on the surface of the potato. The phenomenon, called ‘greening’, is directly linked to 116,000 tonnes of potato waste each year, according to a report by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), and associated estimated annual losses of £60m to UK retailers. The green pigment indicates the formation of chlorophyll, a compound responsible for a plant’s ability to make food and carry out photosynthesis. It remains a significantly negative factor in consumer purchases, where a 1% increase in sales is worth £3m per annum to producers. In-field losses due to greening also cost the industry £37m each year. Dr Mark Taylor, senior researcher at the James Hutton

Institute and project lead investigator, said the project will bring together partners spanning the entire food chain, from production and packaging to major retailers. “We aim to identify conditions for light-induced tuber greening, which in turn will inform the design of prototype packaging film to reduce greening during storage and in store. Furthermore these experiments will, with recently developed potato breeding approaches, be used to identify markers for genes associated with reduced greening providing the foundation of a longer term strategy to produce new non-greening potato varieties.” Dr Haruko Okamoto, who is leading the University of Southampton part of the programme, commented: “The opportunity to work closely with the users of our research is exciting and we hope will lead to some rapid progress in solving this food waste problem.” The 18-month research project is partly funded by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, and features the participation of commercial partners such as Amcor Flexibles UK Ltd, Branston Ltd, Tesco PLC and Waitrose Ltd.

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crofting Convener Crisis enters absurdity By Patrick Krause, Chief Executive, Scottish Crofting Federation In his latest statements to the media, Colin Kennedy, the Convener of the Crofting Commission, has said that he has no intention to stand down, despite widespread calls for his resignation. He refutes any wrong doing and claims to have operated within the law, notwithstanding the fact that lawyers and the Cabinet Secretary for crofting, Fergus Ewing, who is himself from a legal background, have said he is wrong. Kennedy has launched a counter-attack, accusing the Scottish Government of legal wrongdoing and has suggested that the Cabinet Secretary should resign. Kennedy has no legal background, but an astonishing amount of arrogance, matched only by his shamelessness. As expected Kennedy appears to be trying to pass the blame for the whole fiasco to the staff. In his latest outbursts to the media he is accusing everyone in the Commission of misconduct, even though he is responsible for how the Commission operates. Papers obtained under a Freedom of Information request show that he was given advice by senior officials in the CEO’s report to board, that imposing

constables on the grazings shareholders was not legally competent. But he went ahead and did it anyway. He has been found out and trying to put it on the Commission staff is not going to wash. Kennedy claims to have no knowledge of the fact that his fellow Commissioners have no confidence in him. He must be the only person in Scotland who hasn’t heard that the Commissioners unanimously agreed that Mr Kennedy should stand down. This came immediately following his petulant abandonment of their September board meeting in Brora, the meeting at which he was due to issue an apology to crofters affected by his recent actions. I hope that by the time you read this Mr Ewing, will have removed Kennedy from office. This dreadful humiliation of crofting regulation and complete waste of public money has got to stop. It is understandable that Mr Ewing has not jumped in earlier – it is clear that Kennedy will attempt to wreak as must damage to crofting as he can, whether in post or removed. I guess Scottish Government are attempting to limit that damage as much as possible.


potatoes Tong showcases the latest Caretaker and Pro-Series controls at Lamma

Leading vegetable handling equipment manufacturer, Tong Engineering, is once again exhibiting at the UK’s largest farm machinery show LAMMA, to present its latest range of equipment for 2017, on stand R37. Further to advancements in the company’s Auto-Touch HMI controls, which have seen the introduction of Pro-Series control features including safety, diagnostics and maintenance features for more efficient running and minimal downtime, Tong is set to showcase the latest model of its market-leading Caretaker mobile grader, featuring the new advanced HMI control system. Available as an option on all its latest equipment, Tong’s ProSeries controls can be specified as part of the Auto-Touch HMI control system, adding a level of control and system intelligence that brings users advanced system monitoring and reporting. And to make it even easier for visitors to see how the new controls can make a difference when specified as an option on the latest Caretaker, Tong will be offering demonstrations of the Pro-Series 16

HMI control features on stand at Lamma, with an interactive control panel, which will simulate typical operating situations, and show how these can be quickly controlled, adjusted and rectified directly from the touch-screen “Our Caretaker grader is continuously developing to ensure it offers efficient and advanced handling to meet the demands of progressive potato and vegetable growers,” says Nick Woodcock, Sales Manager at Tong Engineering. “We are proud to offer our Caretaker in a range of models to suit a wide range of handling needs, from smaller growers looking for effective cleaning and grading at lower throughputs, to larger growers and processors who have throughput needs in excess of 50 tons per hour. Having said that, one thing that all our customers have in common, no matter what their throughput requirements, is that they need a reliable machine that not only offers quality cleaning and grading results, but also saves time, and requires minimal maintenance,” explains Nick.

FLAVOUR OF SCOTLAND Meaty New Websites On Course To Inspire Consumers Two meaty new websites, packed with recipe inspiration and ideas to suit all levels of cooking ability, have been launched by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS). The Scotch Kitchen website,, and Specially Selected Pork website have been completely redesigned to provide a very high level of user functionality and experience. The innovative design of the websites will provide consumers with exceptional content via a powerful search function. As well as recipes and tips on cooking Scotch Beef PGI, Scotch Lamb PGI and Specially Selected Pork, the sites will host practical “how to” video content for family meals and feature easier navigation options and a seamless experience across multiple devices. The Scotch Kitchen website will be a one-stop-shop for all Scotch Beef PGI and Scotch Lamb PGI recipes as well as hosting an inspiration hub providing culinary articles, seasonal recipes and top cooking tips.

Over 400 recipes and articles can be found on the site as well as contributions from popular foodie bloggers including Cygnet Kitchen and On the Plate. The range of searchable sections include “Meal Type”, “Dish Type” and “Preparation Time”. Visitors can also search for meals suitable for special occasions such as “Family Get Together”, “Tasty Family

Meals”, “Impressive Dinners” and “Weeknight Winners”. When visiting the site, consumers will also have the opportunity to learn more about the Scotch Beef PGI and Scotch Lamb PGI brands which are underpinned by world-leading levels of quality assurance and traceability. The Perfect Roasts and Steaks App which is available in six languages, was launched earlier this year and complements the

website. To date, the app has been downloaded by 50,000 users. The Specially Selected Pork website has also been refreshed to make the site easier to navigate with a focus towards recipe inspiration and encouraging consumers to try pork. There are currently over 70 recipes featuring on the website which are regularly updated. Commenting on the new websites Suzie Carlaw, Marketing Controller at QMS said: “The redesigns of The Scotch Kitchen and the Specially Selected Pork websites come after a full strategic review of our consumer-facing digital communications. The newly re-designed websites are now live and can be accessed through the following links: and www.speciallyselectedpork. Fans of the Scotch Kitchen and Specially Selected Pork can also share their latest culinary delights with others via Facebook and Twitter @ScotchKitchen @ EnjoyQualPork

Wholly Scottish beer launched by St Andrews Brewery and James Hutton Institute St Andrews Brewing Company, a locally-owned Scottish brewery producing craft beer in Fife, has partnered with the James Hutton Institute to develop Harvest Beer, a wholly Scottish beer featuring hops grown at the Institute’s Mylnefield Farm near Dundee. The beer, a 4.5% fresh hop pale ale, includes Pioneer, Cascade and First Gold hops grown by the Institute as part of an experiment which looks into the commercial viability of cultivating hops in Scotland. Simon Tardivel, St Andrews Brewing Co., said: “It is exceptionally difficult to grow hops in Scotland’s typically

dreich climate, however the James Hutton Institute have produced a fresh crop of Scottish hops. “Grown in specially cultivated conditions at their farm near Dundee, these hops have allowed us to create a fresh wet hopped beer made with purely Scottish ingredients. This beer is not only exciting news for us, but for the sustainability of Scottish craft beer as a whole.” According to Dr Rex Brennan, leader of the soft fruit breeding group at the James Hutton Institute, hops are vigorous, climbing perennial plants that usually grow in warm

temperate regions, and although they have been grown as far north as Aberdeen they remain a rare crop in Scotland. “From an idea by Professor Robbie Waugh from our Cell and Molecular Sciences group, we decided to try to create a particular environment to investigate the feasibility of growing hops including the development of special polytunnel infrastructure by our Farms, Field and Glasshouses team. “This has led to a successful experiment for the second year running, and we are now actively considering further work to look

into different aspects of hops, such as increased quality and yield, and options for mechanical harvesting.” The hops experiment, funded by the Scottish Government Strategic Research Programme, is further evidence of the James Hutton Institute’s economic impact: for each £1 obtained in Scottish Government funding, it generates £12.75 in economic benefit across the UK. Harvest Beer is available from St Andrews Brewery brewpub, 177 South Street, St Andrews, KY16 9EE, 01334 471111, and other stockists across Scotland. 17


Scottish Butcher Scoops Two Top Industry Awards Chocolate Hazelnut Torte A brilliant, feed a crowd pudding, and gluten free. Can be made in advanced. One or two days ahead.

A Glasgow-based butcher’s shop has scooped two top industry accolades at the prestigious Butcher’s Shop of the Year 2016 Awards, run by Meat Trades Journal. S Collins & Son won the title of “Scottish Butcher’s Shop of the Year” at the annual event held this month, as well as being recognised for its innovation efforts following the release of its new customer app. The annual Butcher’s Shop of the Year Awards reward excellence and innovation in butchery, farm shops, food halls and online retailers across the UK. S Collins & Son, based at Lindsaybeg Road, Muirhead, employs 26 staff and is run by brothers Stewart and Fraser Collins, the third generation of the family to run the business which was established in 1955. The business is a member of the Scotch Butchers Club, run by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), which has butcher members throughout the UK. Members of the club are committed to sourcing and clearly identifying top quality Scotch Beef PGI, Scotch Lamb PGI and Specially Selected Pork from approved suppliers.

The business offers over 600 products and sources Scotch Beef and Scotch Lamb from Lanark auction market. The family-run business is very highly regarded in the local community and, among its innovative initiatives, it offers a blue light discount for members of the emergency services and armed forces as well as its very own “Gold Card” loyalty programme. Stewart Collins, joint-owner of award-winning S Collins & Son, commented: “This year’s awards mean so much to us and I am incredibly proud of our staff for all their hard work. “With a strong team driving the business, we welcome input from those old and new, and particularly appreciate the dedication of our long-standing employees, namely John Mackie, who has worked in the shop for over 30 years. “We are always working to develop the business, and this year’s accomplishments included the launch of our app which allows customers to keep up-to-date with what’s happening in-store, quickly look up delicious Scotch Beef and Scotch Lamb recipes and browse our extensive gourmet range.

250g of whole blanched hazelnuts 250g of unsalted butter 250g of good dark chocolate 6 large eggs, separate 175g of golden caster sugar Preheat the oven to 170°C/Gas mark 3 for about 15 mins until golden. Place nuts in a food processor and whizz until resembles breadcrumbs. Melt the butter and chocolate in pan and stir well. Cool. Beat egg yolks, with sugar until thick and creamy. Beat egg whites until stiff. Fold egg yolks into the chocolate mixture and then the hazelnuts. Finally carefully fold in the egg whites. Now pour the mixture into a 23-24 cm buttered and lined spring form cake. Bake for 32- 40 mins. Keep checking. It should have a wee wobble in the middle. Remove from the oven and cook for 10 mins and then take out of the tin and place on the cooling rack. Serve with cream and raspberries if in season.

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

O U R FA R M SHOP Knowes Farm Shop is located just outside East Linton in East Lothian and has been a thriving farm shop for the last 25 years. We aim to make the very best local produce affordable and available throughout the seasons and are constantly looking at new ways to achieve this.

On a couple of acres of land adjacent to the shop we grow as much of our own vegetables, salads and herbs as we can. What we can’t grow ourselves, we source from elsewhere, selecting local growers and producers wherever possible. We produce our own soups, pates, jams, chutneys and jellies in the kitchen using fresh, local produce (Knowes grown where possible) as well as a range of readymade meals, again made out of the best locally available, fresh ingredients. The deli counter stocks a wide range of cheeses alongside homemade sausage rolls, scotch eggs, quiches and salads; and beef, lamb, pork and even buffalo, all sourced from Scottish farms, are available to buy. Knowes Farm Shop has recently joined forces with Growing Forth a social enterprise that aims to revive the market gardening heritage of East Lothian and at the same time create workplace opportunities for

youngsters and for individuals who suffer from physical and mental disabilities. Key to our ethos is to reconnect people with where their food comes from, to operate in an environmentally sensitive way, and to promote a more sustainable way of living. Growing Forth also operates a food waste collection service turning food waste into green electricity and a natural fertiliser - reinforcing the connection between food production, consumption and waste and the impact on the way we live. The link with Growing Forth is resulting in some exciting new developments for the shop all based on the principle of making locally grown food more accessible and affordable. Key to this is the creation of a hub for local food producers in East Lothian that will provide an outlet for small scale local producers. To make good quality, fresh local food more accessible we intend to launch a local produce box

scheme this year and to run regular pop up shops in the neighbouring towns and villages for those who are unable to come to the shop. To make locally grown produce more affordable we encourage people to come and help us with the growing in exchange for a box of Knowesgrown produce. Regular Graft for Grub sessions lasting a couple of hours ran through the autumn and in February we had up to 70 people helping us over the space of a couple of weeks harvest the remains of our vegetables before we ploughed up the field for spring sowing. In return they took home a large box of wonderful, freshly grown produce that they had picked themselves and a genuine sense of having enjoyed themselves in the process. We deliberately hope that shopping at Knowes provides shoppers with a very different experience to the supermarket. What we lack in terms of convenience we more than make

up for in selling the best, locally sourced food with information on provenance and individual producers. Customers can see where their food has come from and be reassured that the environmental impact of its production is low. They can feed the hens that produce the eggs sold in the shop and can walk round the fields to see what is growing and where their food comes from. If they wish they can physically go and pick their own or join a Graft for Grub session. And finally they know that by shopping at Knowes they are supporting Growing Forth and the creation of workplace and volunteering opportunities. To find out more about Knowes Farm Shop and Growing Forth visit us at Knowes Farm Shop, near East Linton, East Lothian EH42 1XJ (opening hours 9.30-5pm every day), email Or visit www.knowesfarmshop. or our facebook page 19

EU NEWS By Chris McCullough

Post-Brexit protection on Horizon for iconic Scottish produce Scotch beef, Orkney Scottish Island Cheddar and Scottish Wild Salmon may still get EU protection from imitations – provided we do the same for European products. That’s according to the latest Horizon publication, which examines the impact Brexit may have on the industry in terms of products of Geographical Indication (GI) It analyses how leaving the EU will impact on the UK’s ability to designate foodstuffs under the three existing EU GI schemes, which were set up so producers could differentiate their products and improve their competitiveness and profitability.

At present, the UK has 61 registered Geographical Indication products* and 17 applications in progress, with the majority of these registrations relating to the meat and cheese sectors. Among those is Orkney Scottish Island Cheddar which must be produced with locallysourced milk using a traditional recipe and process. Kathy Roussel, head of AHDB Brussels Office and coauthor of the Horizon report, said: “Defra recognises the benefits of protecting traditional and geographical food products and has confirmed that this protection will remain while

the UK is a member of the EU. A team is also in place to look at how best to protect these products post-Brexit. “When the UK leaves the EU, registered protected food names should be able to benefit from EU protection against imitation, provided there is a reciprocal agreement between the UK and the EU. “It will also no longer be possible for UK protected food names to be promoted in the EU or abroad, with the financial support of the EU. However, UK agricultural producers might still see some potential in using EU protected food names as

a valuable marketing tool to differentiate their products on EU and international markets to improve their competitiveness and profitability. “Geographical indications have been shown to deliver added value for some products such as Welsh lamb but the registration of a GI on its own does not guarantee success and it needs to be combined with other factors such as market development and regional cooperation.” To read the full Horizon – The Impact of Brexit on Protected Food Names report, click here - uk/brexit/default.aspx

Scottish food producers join in calls for access to tariff-free market and workforce post Brexit Scottish companies have joined the largest coalition of food producers in the UK’s history to come together for the first time to call for tariff-free access to the Single Market and continued access to a competent and reliable workforce to allow British food and farming to flourish post Brexit. In a letter, sent to the Prime Minister, Scotland’s First Minister, and other key ministers, 75 organisations pledge to a positive, bold and ambitious vision for the sector post Brexit. And they also signal that food security, food safety and hygiene, stewardship of the countryside 20

and affordable food is at risk if Ministers fail to deliver continued access to labour and the best possible Single Market access. The organisations represent some of the UK’s best known companies, are worth more than £92 billion and employ almost a million people. Signatories include Sainsbury’s, Marks and Spencer’s, Graham’s the Family Dairy, Morrisons, Müller and ScotBeef, and scores of organisations representing food production from farm to fork. Food production is the UK’s largest manufacturing sector, bigger than the automotive and

aerospace sectors combined. The letter argues that a Brexit settlement which recognises the critical role of the UK food chain will demonstrate how Brexit can be beneficial for the UK economy as well as UK food production. The letter makes clear that Britain’s farmers and food producers stand ready to work with the Government and calls on the Prime Minister to put Britain’s food at the centre of Brexit negotiations. NFU Scotland President Allan Bowie said: “Brexit creates an enormous opportunity for farming, food production and

for Britain. But to deliver this new future, we must secure the best possible access to the Single Market and continued access to a competent and reliable workforce. Getting this right will set the foundations for a successful new British agricultural policy. “Agriculture is a litmus-test for the Government’s Brexit negotiations. As the sector most heavily impacted by the referendum outcome, if the Government can make British farming a success post-Brexit then it will be the clearest indication that the country can succeed outside Europe.”

organics Future Farming Scotland project wins Nature of Scotland award The Soil Association Scotland’s ‘Future Farming Scotland’ programme recently won the ‘Food and Farming’ category of the RSPB’s prestigious Nature of Scotland Awards. The programme provides information sessions, DIY farm trials and resources for farmers, growers and crofters across Scotland, supporting them to explore techniques that are good for the environment as well as for their businesses. The award was given in recognition of the partnership approach taken, and the impact on key areas, ranging from soil health and horticulture to grassland management, reaching hundreds of farmers each year. Now in their fifth year, the awards celebrate the people, projects and organisations across the country working to protect Scotland’s internationally renowned precious wildlife and habitats. The Food and Farming Award was a new category for 2016, announced at the Nature of Scotland Awards dinner on 24th November 2016 at Prestonfield House Hotel in Edinburgh in front of over 300 guests, including key decision makers and supporters from industry. Stuart Housden, Director of RSPB Scotland, said: “The

judges had a tough job to do with such a high calibre of entries to this category, but the Future Farming Scotland project really stood out to us. Developing and promoting sustainable farming practices which work in harmony with nature, as this initiative does, is so important for delivering environmental benefits like clean air and water, as well as rich habitat for wildlife and of course good, healthy food for us to eat. Soil Association Scotland are very worthy winners this year and their success at these awards is truly deserved.” This year’s awards were supported by ScottishPower, GreenPower, Turcan Connell, The Ardmore and The James Hutton Institute. For 2016 the judging panel chaired by Stuart Housden, Director of RSPB Scotland, welcomed Ross Martin from the Scottish Council for Development and Industry, Ian Jardine from Scottish Natural Heritage, BBC Scotland’s Euan McIlwraith and the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Susan Davies. For more information on the Nature of Scotland Awards visit: natureofscotland

Order your subscription of FARMING SCOTLAND MAGAZINE now see page 94

Organic Farmers Want Standards to Remain in Aftermath of Brexit A survey by the UK’s only cooperative organic certification body has revealed the majority of organic producers want the organic standards to remain the same when the time comes for the UK to leave the EU. [debs.roberts] Last November the Scottish Organic Producer’s Association (SOPA) consulted their membership to find out their views about the impact that Brexit may have on their businesses. Businesses throughout the organic sector responded to the SOPA consultation, with 85% of respondents coming from the farming sector, 15% of respondents engaging activity up the supply chain. 10% of respondents retail organic food and drink. Of the 380+ consultees, more than half expect there to be a change in the food, farming and environment (not organic) regulations, and more than half expect the overall regulatory burden to become stricter rather than more relaxed. 90% of the respondents consulted said they wanted no change in the organic regulation, whilst a third of respondents say that increased regulation will be bad for their business. However, 10% disagree and feel that a stricter organic regulation would help their business and, most noteworthy, were the 3% who said that the status quo and the current state of uncertainty is bad for their business. The highest priorities for Brexit is to continue support for the organic sector (90%) and ensure ongoing access to EU markets (83%). Nearly 80% of respondents believe that simplifying government regulation is important and almost 70% said they want a trade agreement with the EU. Free movement of people across

state borders was important to 66% of respondents, with 44% saying that immigrant labour is not important to their business. Those consulted were also asked about their plans for the future, to which the responses were as follows: · Two-thirds are going to conduct a strategic review of their business · Two-thirds are going to investigate new markets · Three quarters are going to investigate new income streams (diversifications) · Three quarters are going to interrogate their current business performance · Less than 0.5% are considering withdrawing from organic certification compared to two-thirds who remain firmly committed. · Only a third are anticipating no change to their business direction under Brexit. SOPA Policy Manager Debs Roberts had the following to say about the consultation results: “The impact of Brexit is going to be felt across all sectors, so as a member organisation it is imperative we find out what our members had to say about the matter.” She continued: “It’s obvious that it’s a subject at the forefront of everyone’s minds based on the results of our consultation, and it was both interesting and encouraging to see that two-thirds of those we spoke to are planning on conducting a strategic review of their business, as well as investigating new markets. I believe this shows a positive attitude in a time of uncertainty and the willingness to adapt to a changing business landscape.”


TRACTORS FOR 2017 We take an overview on some of the latest models for the coming year

New mid-range tractors from Case IH Two new Case IH tractor series are making their LAMMA debut at the 2017 event, with the Luxxum and revised Maxxum lines renewing the brand’s offering in the key 100-150hp mid-hp category. Also on show will be a range of updated fixed chamber balers, both with and without integral wrappers. The Luxxum 100, 110 and 120 have rated power outputs of 99, 107 and 117hp, provided by 3.4-litre four-cylinder engines from Case IH partner FPT Industrial. Stage IV emissions legislation is met via patented Hi-eSCR-only exhaust treatment. Respective diesel/DEF capacities are 150/14 litres. Key new in-cab features are the Multicontroller joystick, which operates key functions including gear and direction selection, linkage and spool valves, and the Multicontroller armrest on which it is mounted, which also incorporates a split throttle for max/min engine speed settings, plus controls for hydraulic and transmission tuning. A new 32F/32R automatic powershift transmission with

four powershift steps and eight ranges provides 40km/h travel at 1,730rpm and features adjustable powershuttle response and speed selection. An auto field mode shifts through the lower 16 speeds, while auto road mode moves

the transmission progressively through the higher 16 speeds, each mode operated via a single press of an armrest button, or through each speed via buttons on the rear of the Multicontroller joystick. In auto mode downhill safety is enhanced

by the ability to manually override upshifts and prevent heavy trailed loads from jack-knifing. With 80mm of movement, front axle suspension damping is controlled via an accumulator and regenerative valve system.

The Claas ARION 400 range Tractors in the 90 to 140hp power range have to be capable of meeting a wide range of demands, ranging from livestock farmers just wanting a simple, straightforward tractor for yard and grassland work, to arable farmers looking for greater sophistication for field work. To meet these differing needs, the six-model CLAAS 22

ARION 400 range offers a wide range of cab, transmission and specification options, including CIS versions and various cab options including the unique award winning PANORAMIC cab, which sets a completely new standard for cab visibility. The PANORAMIC cab features a one piece windscreen,

that is joined to roof pane without a crossbeam. This gives the operator an unrestricted 90 degree field of vision over a front loader and gives the cab a large feeling of space that is unprecedented. The design for the ARION 400 maintains the even weight distribution that is a common feature on CLAAS tractors. The

ARION 400 also features a ‘wasp waist’ design to the bonnet, which allows a tight turning lock for maximum manoeuvrability and also provides plenty of space above the front axle for the radiator assembly. The ARION is built around a solid cast frame with integral oil sump. Where the ARION is to be used with a front loader,


Unique Deutz-Fahr 6215 RCshift

the brackets can therefore be bolted directly on to the engine frame and transmission, and a front linkage can be fitted to the front chassis, ensuring

maximum stability and ease access for servicing. PROACTIV front axle suspension is available as an option for models over 90hp.

The DEUTZ-FAHR 6215 RCshift is the range-topping model of the company’s new 6 Series with a transaxle featuring a new fully automatic robotised transmission with 30 forward speeds and 15 reverse speeds. This system ensures extremely rapid, comfortable and, crucially, intelligent shifts, as the innovative electronic management system optimises performance in relation to operating conditions, responding and adapting to the requests of the user in real time. Scottish farmers can take advantage of the best technological solutions available today to define their own, personalised tractor, with a choice of 12 models from

156 to 226 HP, two wheelbase versions, three transmission variants, two cab types and many other options. The innovative design of the 6215 RCshift is a product of the collaboration between SDF and Giugiaro, a partnership that has established SDF products as the benchmark in their class not only for their superior style but also, and above all, for ergonomics and functionality for the operator. Four different driving and work modes are offered: Manual: the user selects ranges and Powershift speeds, Semi-automatic: the user selects ranges and the system selects Powershift speeds automatically, Full-auto (field):


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TRACTORS the system selects ranges and Powershift speeds automatically with specific parameters for field use, Full-auto (road): the user selects ranges and Powershift speeds automatically with specific parameters for transport use. All modes are configurable and monitored easily from the innovative InfoCentrePro display. Other new features include the Deutz Stage 4 engine, the innovative axle with outboard disc brakes, the new adaptive front suspension and the high performance hydraulic system with proportional electronic control.

The new Fendt 500 Vario The 4-cylinder tractor series, ranging from 125 - 165 hp, features the well-known Fendt operating interface and the VisioPlus cab


with numerous updates. Besides compliance with the legal emissions standard Tier 4 Final, AGCO/Fendt has designed its 500

Vario tractor range for still more efficiency and equipped it with more optional features adopted from the high-horsepower tractors, such as the new VarioGuide guidance system, the full glass front terminal, the 1000E PTO, a 300° front wiper, LED work lights, optional immobiliser and a flange or stub axle, to name a few. With the new Fendt 500 Vario series tractors, AGCO/ Fendt offers tractors that comply with the European emissions standard Stage 4 / Tier 4 Final. Analogous to the well-known technology found in the 700 - 900 Vario high-horsepower tractors, Fendt now also uses electronically-controlled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) with map-controlled AdBlue injection and an auxiliary

engine oil heat exchanger in the 500 Vario. With this technology package, AdBlue consumption can by reduced by up to 50 percent compared to the previous model, based on past experience. The 4.04 l four-cylinder Deutz engine with common rail injection and the tried and tested Fendt SCR technology offer an efficient, fuel-saving solution in combination with the coated soot filter (CSF), where passive regeneration is possible without requiring additional fuel injection into the exhaust line. In the ProfiPlus variant of the new Fendt 500 Vario series, AGCO/Fendt now offers the new VarioGuide guidance system, which has only been available in high-horsepower tractors until now.


JCB’s new Fastrac 8000 series tractors Increased power and performance, a new cab providing class-leading levels of comfort and all-round visibility, and a fully hydrostatic steering system – a ‘first’ for a high-speed tractor – are among the key features of the new JCB Fastrac 8290 and 8330 that make their public debut at LAMMA. The new tractors represent a significant step up in performance with heavy draft equipment, demanding ptodriven implements and heavy trailers, tankers and spreaders, with the 8330 clearly being the most productive Fastrac ever built. The new-look machines share their styling and a number of features with the highly successful 175-235hp Fastrac 4000 Series tractors but are clearly in a different

WILKS BROTHERS Main dealers in Perthshire for DEUTZ FAHR Tractors

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TRACTORS performance league. The Fastrac 8290 is powered an 8.4-litre sixcylinder engine developing peak output of 228kW (306hp), while in the Fastrac 8330 this twin turbo engine is tuned for 260kW (348hp). That is 32kW (42hp) or 14% up on its predecessor, with 1440Nm of torque (10% more) at just 1500rpm enabling the tractor to ‘hang on’ when faced with an increasing load or an incline, whether on the road or in the field. A multi-mode CVT transmission with bespoke JCB control software provides the operator with different powertrain control strategies for maximum performance, economy or consistent ground or pto speeds. There is even a choice of seamless speed adjustment or the unique ‘powershift’ mode that adjusts ground speed in steps.

John Deere adds new flagship tractors to 6R Series John Deere is launching two new top of the range sixcylinder tractor models rated at 230 and 250hp (97/68 EC), designed to meet the needs of contractors and arable farmers. The 6230R and 6250R will complete the line-up of John Deere 6R Series tractors from summer 2017. The 6230R and 6250R set new standards for transport, operator comfort and acceleration on the road. Thanks to an engine boost of 50hp with intelligent power management (IPM), the flagship 6250R tractor provides up to 300hp when required. With a very light vehicle weight of 9.3 tonnes, the 6250R delivers more power than any other

tractor in along with density of maximum

this weight class, an unrivalled power 31kg/hp. The high permissible weight

of 15 tonnes also allows a 5.7 tonne payload, which means the tractor is able to transport heavier loads.



Landini gets ‘Active’ with new four-and six-cylinder tractors A new line of tractors that combine the best features of ‘mechanical’ and ‘electronic’ models will feature on the Landini stand at LAMMA 2017. The new ‘Active’ models join the Landini line-up between the four-cylinder 6L Series tractors and full-spec Dynamic versions of the fourcylinder Landini 6 Series and six-cylinder 7 Series. The advanced Dynamic models come with a seatmounted control console, electric spool valves and 9300kg rear three-point linkage. They can also be equipped with front axle independent wheel suspension for superior ride comfort and


traction, 50kph gearing and precision farming electronics. The two ‘Active’ models in the Landini 7 Series comprise the 165hp 7-175 Roboshift with +10hp boost for pto and transport applications, and a new addition to the range – the 7-160 Roboshift. With 152hp at rated speed and 160hp max output, this new model caters for operators wanting a tractor at this power level with a sixcylinder engine installed in a cast chassis for extra stability with heavy implements. “With the 6L, 6 Series and 7 Series all covering power outputs from 143-175hp, the Landini range provides a great choice of specifications to meet different needs,

preferences and budgets,” says Ray Spinks, general manager and sales director at GB distributor AgriAgro UK. “Go for the 6L if something capable

but basic suits your needs; choose the 6/7 Series Dynamic for top specification; or opt for the new 6/7 Series Active for something in between.”


New Massey Ferguson Tractors A completely new Massey Ferguson tractor in the everimportant, smaller-to-medium horsepower range – the MF 5700 Global Series– is set to make its debut at January's LAMMA show. At the same time, four new Massey Ferguson telehandler models will be unveiled, together with examples of the new MF 5700 SL and MF 6700 S tractor ranges, which replace the widely-praised MF 5600 and MF 6600 series. Two mid-range models will represent the MF Global Series banner – the 100hp MF 5710 and the 110hp MF 5711 – which have been painstakingly designed to perform a wide range of operations on livestock, dairy and mixed farms. Their all-round capabilities embrace loader, field and transport work,

while providing users with the largest cab in this competitive sector. MF 5700 specifications include a range of features normally only found on larger

tractors – turbo charger, with electronic wastegate, AdBlue injection in a patented, all-inone system, creeper gearbox option. Power shuttle, with Power Control and Comfort

Control, Easy Shift control button on the gear lever are additional benefits, together with 58L/min hydraulic flow as standard (100L optional) and a 4.3 tonne lift capacity.

McCormick launch their X8 VT Drive 300hp+ tractor range The most powerful McCormick tractor ever built will be unveiled in the UK for the first time at LAMMA. The McCormick X8 VT Drive, which will be produced in three models with engine power outputs of 264hp, 286hp and 310hp, takes the McCormick marque into a new performance class to complement the advanced 143-212hp X7 Pro Drive semi-powershift and 136194hp X7 VT Drive stepless transmissions ranges. Ray Spinks, Sales Director and General Manager at McCormick distributor AgriArgo UK says: “The McCormick name is closely associated with efficient power and performance and the new X8 VT Drive is the ultimate expression of that image. It has great driver appeal and the unique combination of proven engine, transmission 30

TRACTORS and hydraulics will make it a powerful performer in the field.” Ploughing, cultivating, sowing and powering big grass mowers and other harvesting machinery will be the main roles

performed by the tractors but the size and weight of the tractor makes it also suitable for road work with large capacity slurry tankers, muck spreaders and trailers.

Key features include a heavyduty CVT transmission providing fine speed control, different operating modes for optimum performance and cost-saving fuel efficiency. Electronically-

controlled hydraulics with 157-litre or 212-litre load-sensing pumps – plus 115-litres/min dedicated to steering and other ancillary systems – are also part of the package.

New Holland Agriculture T5.120 wins Best Utility title The New Holland T5.120 tractor was crowned Best Utility at the Tractor of the Year® 2017 Awards, which were announced today at the EIMA exhibition in Bologna, Italy. The jury panel of 24 leading farm equipment journalists from across Europe analysed and tested in the field the shortlisted tractors for two months before making

their decision and judging the T5.120 to be the best. New Holland has improved its popular T5 tractor range – one of the best sellers in its power bracket in Europe – to not only meet Tier 4B emissions regulations, but also to incorporate a host of new features designed to boost comfort, efficiency and productivity.


TRACTORS “New Holland has traditionally been very strong in serving this sector of agriculture with tractors in this power bracket, and the T5 Tier 4B developments are designed to build on that,” explains Sean Lennon, Head of Tractors, Telehandlers and PLM Product Management. Carlo Lambro, Brand President New Holland Agriculture, added: “The Best Utility 2017 title is testament to New Holland’s long-standing leadership of the mid-powered segment. This award is a well deserved recognition of the hard work and dedication of all those involved in the development of the T5.120 tractor series, from our engineering teams to the whole Jesi plant team, developing a tractor meeting the specific requests made by our customers.”

The Siromer 504CH Cab Launched in 2015 the Siromer 504CH cab has become extremely popular among farmers who brave all weathers to manage their land and cattle. Its popularity and success is owing to the tractors high specification plus high comfort all weather cab whilst maintaining Siromer’s renowned value for money. The 504CH Cab is specifically designed to meet the same exacting standards of Siromer’s CH Range of tractors with its 50hp engine, 4 cyl, 4wd and synchromesh shuttle gearbox. All tractors in the CH Range feature water cooled direct injection diesel engines, giving ample power and torque to fulfill any task around the farm. Whilst the use of a shuttle gearbox is the ideal solution for loading work as the operator is able to

switch between 12 forward and 12 reverse gears, through the use of an independent gear lever. The tractor has a maximum lift of 1600kg whilst the weight of the tractor is 2780kg. Much thought has gone into both the design of the 504CH

cab’s exterior as well as the interior. The silencer is located under the bonnet to maintain complete visibility, front mudguards are fitted as standard, a pick up hitch and hydraulic trailer braking are available as an optional extra.

Tafe tractors imported by Tractors UK Anyone looking for a tractor would do well to consider the TAFE range of tractors. Based on a UK design, the tractors are ideally suited for a wide range of uses including yard scraping, equestrian, forestry or hobby farming where a basic, simple and reliable tractor is required. The range is available in 37, 47 or 60hp with power steering on all models with the exception of our Classic model. Options include, oil immersed brakes, four wheel drive & /or roll bar or safety Q cab. Also available a 32

choice of front end loaders & attachments. Prices start from as little as £10,250 + VAT. The long term costing worked out by an existing customer with 3 tractors totalling 35,000 hours is £190 per 1,000 hours of use for spares (figure excludes routine service filters) making the choice of buying new exceptionally good value for money. All new tractors come with a 2 year (maximum 1000 hrs) parts and labour warranty. For the mechanically minded user you can even opt to carry out your own servicing/repairs

TRACTORS with a telephone / spares back up support from Tractors UK. Tractors UK have been the sole importers of the Indian built tractors since 1999 & have seen many customers come back for their 2nd & even 3rd tractor to replace old MF 35 , 135 & 240 models where multi dairy units are operated.

Order your FARMING SCOTLAND MAGAZINE Limited Edition Whisky See page 71



The Valtra N Series When approaching a new or unknown machine its always worth having a quick walk around, if only to make sure its all there. It only takes a glance to check if the wheel nuts are in place and on the Valtra N Series it’s a simple matter to check sight glasses for transmission and hydraulic oil. It’s also very easy to check the

engine oil dipstick and simply lift the bonnet to check the cooling radiators for chaff etc, even with a loader fitted. That all done it’s a quick hop up into the cab: the door's wide and the cab roomy, even for the largest of drivers. Sit down and adjust the seat both for leg room and weight and steering wheel for position, this can be

your home for some long hours so getting comfortable, is paramount. From the seat one of the first things a new driver notices is the exhaust and air intake pipes - or the apparent lack of them. From the seat they are hidden behind the A pillars; a clever bit of design

Zetor, strong, robust and efficient as ever Currently, a new, innovated and modernized range of FORTERRA tractors is being presented in the USA; they are mostly fourcylinder farming tractors with power ranging from 96 to 147 hp. Tractors of the FORTERRA model range are outstanding for their robustness and power. They are offered in three options: FORTERRA CL, FORTERRA HSX, and FORTERRA HD. FORTERRA CL employs fourcylinder engine with the power from 96 to 136 hp and basic gearbox 24/18. In addition to the features of CL model, FORTERRA HSX offers more up-to-date gearbox 30/30 with hydraulic Power Shuttle. FORTERRA HD is the top model with bigger power (up to 147 hp), more robust body, bigger lifting power, suspended axle and multifunctional control panel.


Tractors of the FORTERRA range are equipped with fourcylinder engines with 16-valve head. The engines are produced in Europe offering the power from 96 to 147 hp. The engines are highly rated for their good acceleration, easy starting even in low temperature and outstanding torque reserve. A mechanical injection pump with electronic regulation results in low fuel consumption, which was proved in the prestigious European DLG test in 2013. The engines are reliable and powerful; they have low fuel consumption, long durability and easy maintenance. One of their advantages is definitely the fact that the presented power of the tractor is available to the tractor operator at any time, not just under certain conditions as it is with engines using Power Boost.

by Valtra engineers. The result? Excellent visibility to the front as well as sides and rear. Windscreens are electrically heated for winter use and the front wiper travels through 270 degrees, keeping the screen clear for a good all round view.


What is a real family farm in the state of Maine USA? WORLD FARMING Maine is the most northerly state of the six states, which make up New England, in the north-east corner of the USA. Eggs and milk are the leading livestock products; however, the main agricultural production is in potatoes, followed by other crops for cattle sheep pig and turkey rearing. Nursery produce such as chick peas, broccoli, beans, apples and soft fruits are also an important part of farming in “The Pine Tree State” and it is a leading producer of blueberries. With the Atlantic Ocean on its eastern border, salmon fishing and the world-famous Maine lobsters are also very important to the economy. With a population of 1.3million, Maine has over 8000 farms, most of which are under 100 acres, family owned and


By Fiona Sloan

blend into the beautiful fauna and scenery of the place. One of these is the Spear family who run 500 acres of owned and rented land around two hours from the main city of Portland. The farm has grown with the family over the years and began life in in 1933 when Wallace Spear, bought the holding with his wife Maud and began to learn how to farm, making ends meet by taking in boarders and doing accounts for other farmers. In 1940 he expanded into milk, cattle, forage and vegetables and with his entrepreneurial spirit, sold to people working in the local factory, canned vegetables and rented freezer space to other farmers to store their produce through the winter. Wallace’s son Bob, carried on the family business following agricultural college in the 1960’s

and now in his seventies, still heads the business with his wife Janet, two sons Terry and Richard and grandson Kyle. A great deal of the farm and ultimately the family success, is attributed to their involvement in the local community and an inherent need to be part of that community. A small farm produce stand, started at the gate in the late 1970’s has spawned a much larger farm shop in the local town of Nobleboro with a second nearby in Waldoboro. Supporting the local famers’ markets with their home-grown vegetables, now forms the basis of a successful wholesale business, supplying local restaurants, stores and supermarkets. Every square metre grows something and is utilised for a

variety of things. Janet grows flowers, supplying vases of cut flowers to the farm stands, which she also manages. Squash, beans, tomatoes and Pumpkins (some pink to raise money for Breast Cancer awareness) are all grown around the shed, where the family and seasonal workers, both local and from Brazil are happy to work until the job is done. The family members and their employees, work side by side and everyone is treated like family, consequently the same workers return year on year. The ethos of the business is to produce top quality vegetables by working smarter, not harder. Value is added by chopping and processing smaller less “attractive” vegetables into bags for convenience or fed to the cattle. Janet organises farm study tours

WORLD FARMING overseas for local farm groups and both she and Bob play an active part in educating people on growing food. Capital investment in plant and irrigation could move the enterprise to another level and maybe the next generation will do just that but this is a true family farm, where everyone has

everything they need. They live well, they treat their workers well and they are heavily involved in community work, which allows them and the business to thrive. Barter is alive and well in Maine and if all else fails you can take a moment to chill and admire some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.

New Year, new management tools…. Sarah Kerr, SAC Consulting

AFBI Scientists building new Chinese collaborations Two AFBI scientists, Prof Trevor Gilliland and Dr Rodrigo Olave, were among more than 130 delegates from the UK and China who attended the recent ChinaUK Agri-Tech Innovation Policy Roundtable and Forum events in Shaanxi Province, China. They were initially supporting the DAERA Minister, Michelle Mcllveen, who was participating in the UK

delegation in establishing a new collaborative agreement between the UK’s innovation agency, InnovateUK and the China Rural Technology Development Center (CRTDC). After this event both AFBI scientists travelled more widely across China to meet with agri-food and environmental scientists and promote new AFBI research linkages with Chinese institutes.

With a new year of opportunities ahead, now is a good time for beef farmers to undertake Body Condition Scoring (BCS). This is the best guide to the correct feeding of suckler cows. It estimates the energy reserves of the animals. This should be done regularly at key stages in the production cycle (calving, housing, weaning etc.). Scores range from 1, very thin to 5, very fat. Target condition scores for beef cows: Autumn Calving Spring Calving Housing 3.0 3.0 - 3.5 Calving 3.0 2.5 - 3.0 Turnout 2.5 2.5 Breeding 2.5 - 3.0 2.5 - 3.0 Calving and fertility problems can be seen in cattle at both extremes. Excess fat around the pelvic canal can lead to complicated and assisted calving, plus cycling problems and delays in conception. Over thin cows lack stamina and can have problems with weaker calves, poorer colostrum and lower milk yield. For these cows, breeding competes with early lactation nutrient demands. This can delay cycling and embryo losses can be high. If necessary wean low BCS cows earlier to allow for an increase of condition and later for fat cows. To assess BCS, always handle animals on their left side as seen from behind. Use your hand to feel the amount of fat cover on the edge of the loin bones, ribs, tail head & pelvic bones. Score 1 2 3 4 5

Description Transverse processes sharp to touch, no fat around tail head. Hip bones, tail head & ribs visually prominent with no fat cover. Coat often rough. Transverse processes identified when touched but feel rounded. Some cover around tail head & hip bones. Individual ribs rounded rather than sharp. Transverse processes felt with pressure. Fat cover over whole tail head & individual ribs felt with firm pressure. Cannot feel individual processes & loin will have rounded appearance. Tail head completely filled with folds of fat. Folds of fat cover ribs. Bone structure no longer noticeable. Tail head almost completely buried in fatty tissue; ribs are hidden in a thick layer of fat.

See for other practical measures to improve farm efficiency. 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.

WORLD FARMING At the Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University in Yangling City, Prof Gilliland explained AFBI’s research experiences in applying precision research tools to solve problems faced by livestock farmers in Northern Ireland. This focused on common issues where Chinese

and AFBI scientists could work in partnership in the future. Dr Olave explained how changes in land-use can be used to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from farming systems. This is an important environmental challenge in China as well as in Northern Ireland and so is a key area for collaboration.

In Hangzhou meetings were held with the Division of Research Management and Cooperation of the Academy of Agricultural Sciences and Science and Technology Departments of Zhejiang province followed by visits to commercial agri-food companies, including Bluetown

Agriculture Co. Ltd and Transfar Co. Ltd. Bluetown is one the most competitive ‘third party’ testers of agricultural products, food and environmental monitoring in China. Transfar was one of the first companies in China that sponsored technology transfer activities to promote best practice among farmers.

Farmers set to benefit from new partnership between Yara and Pessl Instruments Yara International ASA (Yara) and Pessl Instruments are announcing a new partnership to market the Yara Water Solution as part of the Pessl Instruments’ eco-system of smart farming solutions. With increased water scarcity and agriculture consuming 70% of the global freshwater resources, demand is surging for new agricultural solutions. The new partnership will offer improved crop management for farmers by optimizing the use of water and crop nutrition. “Collaborating with Pessl Instruments enables us to offer a solution that increases the profitability and productivity of farming through greater nutrient and water use efficiency,” said Pål Øystein Stormorken, Head of Application & Crop Management System in Yara. The move is an another step in strengthening Yara’s precision farming offering, adding improved solutions to allow real-time monitoring of crop, soil and weather data to

ensure optimal use of scarce resources like water, land and nutrients. What is the Yara Water-Sensor? This new method is a continuous, non-destructive measurement of changes in turgor pressure in the leaf. Turgor pressure is the pressure caused by fluid pushing against the cell wall of plant cells. It boosts the plant’s rigidness so that it stands straight and maintains normal cellular functions. As the turgor pressure is the driving force for plant growth and fruit production, proper water management is important. If a plant is not able to access enough water, it cannot maintain turgor pressure, causing it to wilt. The Yara Water-Sensor measures the difference between magnetic pressure and turgor. A Yara Water Solution Kit consists of 10 Yara WaterSensors to be installed on five different trees (within a range of 500 meters) and is optimal for irrigation plots up to 15 ha.

The Water Solution The aim is to apply water and nutrients on demand to optimize the resources, improving crop quality and quantity. The combined PesslYara solution offers real-time measurement of weather, soilmoisture and turgor pressure in the leaves, in addition to analytical data from soil and leaf analysis. Farmers will be able to access real-time recommendations for irrigation and recommendations

for crop nutrition, in addition historical information of evapotranspiration and weather forecast displayed through “MyYara”, which is Yara’s farmer engagement portal for crop management. The Yara Water Solution is currently available for olives and citrus. Research and trials for additional crops like grapevine, pome and stone fruits, nuts and coffee are ongoing and will be launched in due course.

The newest weapon against one of the worlds worst horticultural pests has been unveiled in South Australia The world-leading National Sterile Insect Technology (SIT) Centre will initially tackle the Queensland fruit fly, which costs the Australian horticulture industry more than $300 million a year. The $3.8 million centre will produce 50 million sterile 38

male Queensland fruit flies each week. The flies will be released to mate with females, collapsing wild populations in fruit fly affected horticulture growing regions. Fruit flies destroy fruit and vegetables in commercial

crops, home gardens and impact trade access. The Queensland fruit fly, or Q-fly, is a major pest, which attacks fruit and vegetable crops in Australia. South Australia is the only mainland State to be declared fruit fly free.

Investing in

People SRUC Ayr campus student wins national 2016 AgriScot Business Skills Award

Heather Kerr being presented her award by Peter Gillard (R), Director of Biocell, and Alec Ross, Biocell Agent for Scotland

A student at the Ayr campus of Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) has been named as the winner of the prestigious national 2016 AgriScot Business Skills Award. Heather Kerr - whose business management skills and knowledge of agri-business issues impressed the judges – wins a prize of £1,000. Heather is currently studying for a degree in Agriculture at Ayr - and has recently completed a placement with SAC Consulting.

Heather, from Maybole in Ayrshire, works on her family beef and sheep farm in her spare time, helping with the running of 100 suckler cows, a flock of 1900 Blackfaced ewes and a small flock of pedigree Bluefaced Leicester sheep. On the day of AgriScot – held recently at Ingliston Showground, Edinburgh - the four finalists were asked to assess and evaluate a new product that was launched at the event - before being interviewed by a panel of three judges who decided the overall winner.

Heather said: “It was such a great experience to be part of this competition - and I think I speak for all the finalists when I say it’s been really enjoyable! “I’m thrilled to have won this year’s award, and it’s great to have such an industry-recognised achievement on my CV.” Jan Connell, Programme Leader for Agriculture Courses at Ayr, added: “Heather was a worthy winner of this year’s award. Her past experience combined with the way she has performed throughout the

competition - gave her the tools needed to impress the judges, and we look forward to following her journey in the future. “Congratulations go to all four finalists. It was a tough decision for the judges to make – and it is so inspiring to see young people so passionate about agriculture and developing the future of the sector.” The AgriScot Business Skills Award is sponsored by Biocell Agri and supported by SAYFC. 39


Mitas releases new HCM tyre size and plans expansion in its municipal tyre range Mitas, part of Trelleborg Group, is releasing 540/80R38 HCM, the largest tyre in its High Capacity Municipal (HCM) range that now includes five sizes. The highly universal HCM tyre fits best into the municipal segment, where adaptability of use on different terrains, machines and applications is needed. Its unique cascade tread lugs design ensures even better traction in snowy, muddy and wet conditions and provides optimal self-cleaning properties. 540/80R38 HCM will be displayed at the EIMA fair at Mitas stand A1 in Hall 14. Pavel Kott, product manager for Mitas agricultural tyres, said: “Mitas entered the municipal tyres segment last year. The success of the HCM range gave us a strong signal to continue development and broaden the offer of tyre sizes.” Kott added: “Mitas now offers five sizes of HCM tyres and plans further expansion of this range to fulfil the needs of municipalities, farmers and contractors. New sizes will be introduced at the beginning of 2017.” Mitas HCM is a versatile tyre that can be fitted on agricultural

and industrial tractors, handlers and loaders, and is also suitable for agricultural, municipal, construction and forestry applications, among others. Thanks to its D speed category, Mitas HCM tyres are well prepared for road transportation. Mitas HCM boasts low noise

emissions and vibration, due to different length of pitches and their alignment along the circumference. The specific cascade shape of the tread lugs, which resemble steps, supports better traction and self-cleaning properties. In winter conditions, they can be equipped with spikes.

The new Mitas 540/80 R 38 IND 172 A8 (167 D) HCM has a speed symbol D allowing speeds up to 65 kilometers per hour. Under 3.2 bar and speed 50 kilometers per hour, it can carry loads of 5,985 kilograms. Mitas 540/80 R 38 HCM has a diameter of 1.83 meters.

Trelleborg Receives Prestigious SIMA Innovation Award Gold Medal On Thursday, November 24, Trelleborg was awarded a gold medal at the 2017 SIMA Innovation Awards for its soon-to-launch Variable Inflation Pressure - VIPTM - system. Developed in partnership with leading tractor manufacturer AGCO FENDT, the VIPTM system is a smart and autonomous complete wheel capable of self-adjusting the pressure of a combine harvester’s tyre according to its precise load during operation, optimising 40

the tyre’s footprint in order to reduce soil compaction. Held at SIMA’s pre exhibition press conference in Paris, the internationallyrenowned SIMA Innovation Awards, which were launched in 1931, honor the agricultural industry’s most innovative equipment, products, techniques and services. Paolo Pompei, President Trelleborg Agricultural and Forestry Tyres, who received the coveted award, commented at the ceremony: “To receive

the ‘SIMA Innovation Award’ Gold Medal is a tremendous honour for us. It gives us great pride that the agricultural industry recognises Trelleborg’s long-standing commitment to developing innovative solutions.” Piero Mancinelli, R&D Director, Agricultural and Forestry Tyres at Trelleborg Wheel Systems commented: “Precision Farming technologies are, today, in use across over 5% of cultivated land which is projected to reach 20% within the next decade. As a result,

driverless machines and robots connected with the Internet of Things (IoT) are fast becoming a reality in modern agriculture, helping farmers to produce more, with less. “At Trelleborg, we have looked to establish the role of the agricultural tyre in the precision farming and the IoT framework, and have invested significant time and resource to further enhance the potential of these innovative technologies. The VIPTM system does exactly that. It is a smart, intelligent,

AGRICULTURAL TYRES self-adjustable variable inflation pressure system capable to determine and adopt the right pressure at the right time, in the right place. Just as precision farming philosophy suggests.” The VIPTM system consists of a set of sensors measuring several parametres including load, pressure, temperature along with an electronic central processor controlling a compressor and a valve to adjust the pressure.

The VIPTM system is directly integrated on the tyre rim. “By determining and adopting the right tyre pressure without manual intervention, farmers can reduce soil compaction over 10 percent, resulting in a five percent higher crop yield. This can be achieved while allowing full connectivity with the farm network, mainframe as well as VIP App interface and machine fleet.

Bridgestone and Firestone putting farmers in the driving seat As the world’s largest manufacturer of tyres and rubber products worldwide, Bridgestone continues to lead the way in quality, technologically innovative goods and services. The company’s critically acclaimed VT-TRACTOR premium agricultural tyre is a fitting testament to this, targeting large operations using today’s advanced, sophisticated and often heavy equipment. The VT Tractor enables farmers and contractors to meet the conflicting demands of greater productivity, efficiency and soil protection. The range is capable of operating at lower inflation pressures and with a larger tyre


footprint. As such, they reduce ground contact pressure and associated soil compaction. Preliminary tests conducted in March 2014 by the independent organisation DLG* confirm the superiority of the VT-TRACTOR over other market-leading brands in a number of areas including traction and fuel consumption.** The VT-TRACTOR’s superior traction allows farmers to work faster in the field and cover up to 0.9 hectares more than its competitors over a 10 hour period. Coupled with the tyre’s excellent fuel economy, generating savings of up to 36 litres per 50 hectares vs. benchmark competitors, the VT-TRACTOR guarantees a lower total cost of ownership.

The most important feature of the VT-TRACTOR tyre is arguably its very low and very evenly distributed contact pressure. Internal testing*** also revealed that the VT-TRACTOR provides up to 26% larger lug contact area than the same competitor tyres tested, resulting in very low soil compaction and thus greater crop protection. While Bridgestone has set its sights on the new and growing high-end agricultural tyre segment and will mainly be made available in sizes covering the largest and most powerful agricultural equipment, Firestone will continue to meet the needs of more than 90% of the tractor market in Europe with

a new generation of high-quality agricultural tyres. This new generation of Firestone agricultural tyres includes the robust MAXI TRACTION COMBINE for combine harvesters and the advanced PERFORMER ROW CROP for sprayer applications, a narrow tyre that allows precise steering between crops, thus eliminating damage to crops and roots. Product manager Steve Hewitt said: “Bridgestone and Firestone have different brand strengths and attributes. Together in our multi-brand approach they can provide farmers in all segments the optimal solution.” The opportunity for both Bridgestone and Firestone is the rapidly changing face of farming in Europe. Farms today are becoming fewer in number but larger in size, often sharing their resources and equipment to maximize efficiency. Their equipment is also becoming larger, more powerful and more specialized. Steve added: “This evolution in farming in Europe represents a serious challenge to manufacturers of agricultural tyres, as they struggle to keep up with the pace of change. As the world’s largest tyre and rubber manufacturer, we are responding to the challenge with a targetoriented multi-brand product portfolio that will meet the needs of all players in the agricultural sector.”

livestock Report Highlights Economic Importance of Scottish Red Meat Industry The importance of red meat production to both the national economy of Scotland and the country’s rural areas, is very clearly highlighted in an independent new report commissioned by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS). The report, “An Assessment of the Economic Contribution of Scotland’s Red Meat Supply Chain”, reveals that the red meat supply chain in Scotland contributes around £2.4 billion to total output. This equates to a £733 million contribution to Scotland’s Gross Domestic Product and provides employment totalling 33,000 jobs. The report also clearly lays out the Scottish red meat industry’s very considerable importance in terms of employment in rural areas through jobs created by farming and meat processing. The report accounts for production as far along the red meat chain as abattoirs and cutting plants. The figures would be significantly higher if the economic impact further downstream, including the wholesalers and multiple and independent retailers plus food outlets were also included. The publication, compiled by Dr Andrew Moxey of Pareto Consulting, reveals that red meat production accounts for around 40% of total farming output in Scotland. Overall cattle, sheep and pigs are found on around 20,000


holdings in Scotland of which over 14,300 are LFA specialist cattle and sheep holdings, around 2300 are non-LFA cattle and sheep holdings and nearly 300 are specialist pig holdings. In Scotland there are around 30 livestock markets which have a collective throughput of 2.7 million animals, with a turnover of £525 million in 2014. The 23 licensed red meat abattoirs in Scotland generated a collective output in 2014 worth an estimated £876 million. Sixty-eight percent of their total production is sold outwith Scotland to the rest of the UK, with a further nine percent sold to overseas export markets. The important economic role of the other businesses which support the industry is also very clear in the report. Livestock haulage accounts for 108 haulage firms operating 275 vehicles registered for carrying livestock. Additionally, 201 veterinary practices are registered for treating farm animals and there are 113 feed suppliers. “As well as clearly laying out the way in which red meat production underpins Scotland’s agricultural output, the report also highlights the role it plays in social sustainability and in the maintenance of Scotland’s landscape,” said Iain Macdonald, Senior Economics Analyst, QMS.

The report also clearly identifies there are opportunities to increase the contribution the industry makes to Scotland’s economy. “The main routes identified for achieving this include the retention of more animals in Scotland and the wider adoption of best practice at farm level,” said Mr Macdonald. “The other key opportunities identified for driving growth in our industry are greater collaboration and information sharing across the supply chain.” To view the full report visit or you can request a free hard copy by

emailing or calling 0131 472 4040.

Significant step in opening beef market to China British beef producers are a step closer to exporting their highquality meat to China, following a vote of confidence from inspectors. Last month, for the first time, Defra and the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) hosted a delegation of Chinese officials at a beef farm and abattoir in Surrey to show at first hand our high levels of animal welfare and disease control measures. The visit, which included a meeting with the Animal and

Plant Health Agency (APHA), was part of an ambitious plan to open exports of British beef to China – opening this lucrative market for British farmers and giving a massive boost to the industry. The products in demand in China include quality cuts and, with a growing middle-income population, China’s consumption of beef has increased and it imported a total of £1.5 Billion worth last year – double the amount imported in 2014.




Dual Purpose Cattle – SBA’s Views The voice of the Scottish Beef Industry, the Scottish Beef Association (SBA), has given cautious support to the Scottish Government’s decision to allow genuinely dual purpose cattle to be eligible for the Scottish Suckler Beef Support Scheme (SSSBS). Following recent press reports the SBA, who work to support Beef Farmers throughout Scotland, sought clarification on this from the Scottish Government and NFUS. While the rules appear to have been moved to allow calves from the Fleckvieh breed to become eligible under the SSSBS, the breed must clearly demonstrate that they are part of a suckler beef system. Commenting on the decision SBA Chairman, Neil McCorkindale, said: “We understand that dualpurpose breed such as the

Fleckvieh are being used in sucker herds and we would not want to see those farmers being disadvantaged. However, I wish to assure beef producers across Scotland that this is not a “lidoff” situation.” “The SBA remains totally opposed to opening the scheme to dairy breeds. Scottish beef farmers have spent many years building a reputation of producing a product of the highest quality and we will do everything we can to protect this hard-won reputation.” In ensuring the most positive outcomes for the beef industry in Scotland and interests of beef producers the SBA have asked that the Scottish Government keep them informed of any further rule changes which they are considering and which would dilute support payments to beef producers.

“Every Breath You Take, Every Move You Make I’ll be Watching You By Andy Cant Northvet Veterinary Group Moving with the times, keeping up with technology, embracing change – is all very well, its just there seems more moving, more tech and more embracing to be done all the time! Do we really need it or is it being forced on us? In my time as a vet the main changes have been from many smaller farms with cattle in tied byres to fewer larger farms with mostly slatted courts; from feed barrowed and forked in which took time, to TMRs delivered in one pass in minutes and to less people on farm with less time. Whilst it is progress in terms of efficiency and production the individual animal observation has no doubt suffered. In the tied byre you knew exactly what was going in and what was coming out and any deviation from the norm was picked up quickly. In modern systems it may be a more cursory glance to check that animals are coming in to feed before time pressures pull you away to another job which can lead to problems not being picked up so soon. Increasingly technology can help. We’ve had activity

monitors helping with heat detection for some time now, boluses that can monitor rumen function and acidity, and cameras for remote observation. For younger calves ear tags are available which flag up raised temperatures and so it goes on. Even on the small animal front these devices are being developed so you can monitor heart conditions constantly or even know that your dog has been walked when put into kennels! What all these devices do is collect information and interpret it for us. So we do need to embrace this technology to maintain animal husbandry standards whilst freeing up time. All too often I see farmers putting a brave face on poor production figures – “Every Smile You Fake, Every Claim You Stake” – but wishing to improve. The future will be more health related monitoring devices, which will give us the same hands on observation of an individual animal as the tied byre. So yes – embrace the change. And as for the vet – well he may become a remote consultant or a thing of the past – that’s the Sting in the tail!


livestock beef Stranraer Farm announced as Scotch Beef Farm of the Year

A Dumfries and Galloway farm was named as the 2016 Scotch Beef Farm of the Year. Drumdow farm, near Stranraer, run by Robert Parker and his wife Eileen, was announced as the overall winner during a presentation at AgriScot. Drumdow farm runs 170 Hereford and Aberdeen Angus cross cows and calves (otherwise known as Black Baldies) and a further 40 Hereford and Angus cross bulled heifers. All cows and bulls are outwintered on a 52 hectare moor. Cows are homebred with heifers joining the herd calving as two-year-olds. The farm also has 150 Easycare ewes and gimmers. The aim of the annual award, run by AgriScot and Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), is to showcase excellence in the production of cattle in Scotland and raise the profile of the dedication and stock management skills behind the production of Scotch Beef. The other two finalists were: Seggarsdean Farm, Haddington, East Lothian run by Andrew Kennedy and Sons and Corrimony farm, Glenurquhart, Inverness, run by David Girvan in partnership with his parents Lindsay and Mamie. Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity, extended his congratulations to the Parkers. He said: “Farms like Drumdow are the mainstay of our livestock industry and I whole heartedly congratulate the Parker family on this award. This year’s winner 46

and the other finalists should be commended for their commitment to building sustainable and viable farming businesses. Their success and commitment augurs well for the future of the beef industry in Scotland.” Representatives from AgriScot and QMS visited all three finalist farms and were particularly impressed with the Parkers’ commitment to continually improving the efficiency of their farm. “It was a pleasure to visit all of the finalist farms all of which demonstrated high quality beef production systems”, said Douglas Bell, Head of Industry Development with QMS. He added: “What particularly impressed us with Robert’s production system was how he has designed and tailored it to suit the resources available at Drumdow. A ten-year programme of crisscrossing Hereford and Aberdeen Angus, using carefully selected bulls, has produced a high quality herd of ‘Black Baldies’ which, when combined with Robert’s management skills, is achieving high levels of technical and financial performance.” Andrew Moir, Chairman of Agriscot added: “We are delighted that we have a farm dedicated to producing quality meat in an easily managed system and - with climate change and carbon footprint moving to the top of the agenda - a sustainable way.” Robert Parker said he was delighted and astounded to have won.

Report Highlights Economic Importance of Scottish Red Meat Industry The importance of red meat production to both the national economy of Scotland and the country’s rural areas, is very clearly highlighted in an independent new report commissioned by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS). The report, “An Assessment of the Economic Contribution of Scotland’s Red Meat Supply Chain”, reveals that the red meat supply chain in Scotland contributes around £2.4 billion to total output. This equates to a £733 million contribution to Scotland’s Gross Domestic Product and provides employment totalling 33,000 jobs. The report also clearly lays out the Scottish red meat industry’s very considerable importance in terms of employment in rural areas through jobs created by farming and meat processing. The report accounts for production as far along the red meat chain as abattoirs and cutting plants. The figures would be significantly higher if the economic impact further downstream, including the wholesalers and multiple and independent retailers

plus food outlets were also included. The publication, compiled by Dr Andrew Moxey of Pareto Consulting, reveals that red meat production accounts for around 40% of total farming output in Scotland. Overall cattle, sheep and pigs are found on around 20,000 holdings in Scotland of which over 14,300 are LFA specialist cattle and sheep holdings, around 2300 are non-LFA cattle and sheep holdings and nearly 300 are specialist pig holdings. In Scotland there are around 30 livestock markets which have a collective throughput of 2.7 million animals, with a turnover of £525 million in 2014. “As well as clearly laying out the way in which red meat production underpins Scotland’s agricultural output, the report also highlights the role it plays in social sustainability and in the maintenance of Scotland’s landscape,” said Iain Macdonald, Senior Economics Analyst, QMS. To view the full report visit www.qmscotland. or you can request a free hard copy by emailing or calling 0131 472 4040.


2016 has come and almost gone in what feels like a blink of an eye. There are not many days left this year as I write. The end of the year is often a time to look back and I thought I would jot down some of the memories from this year, a year that has seen us host many visitors to the farm and some new friendships formed. Back in April a group of Germen cattle breeders with partners and friends came to the farm to have a look at the cattle and have a poke about a Scottish hill farm. The initial email asked to spend only one or two hours with us. There was only one person in the group who spoke a little English so a rather awkward tour began; they were very enthusiastic and the awkwardness soon left as I was asked a whole range of questions from the members of the group. Afterwards, tea, coffee and biscuits were offered and gladly received. Not as well received as the first bottle of whisky and then the second soon disappeared also, they missed their dinner reservation but at the time no one appeared to care, interestingly the more of the whisky that was consumed the more of the group could speak English or were at least prepared to give it a go. It was late when they flowed out of the kitchen, lots of handshakes and hugs all round and they the poured on to the minibus with the driver instructed that the first stop was to be the local chip shop. In the summer an old friend of mine came with his wife and children, he has not been in the best of health and has had a tough time over the last couple of years which

Best foot forward! By Ken Headspeath Highland Drovers & Borland Farm has resulted in the loss of a lower leg. I lent him a quad and he found it very liberating and greatly appreciated the freedom and mobility it gave him. Both of our families had a tour round the farm with a picnic up on the hill on a glorious day over looking Highland Perthshire. We all had a fantastic afternoon, slightly spoiled by the fact that Dave had taken his false leg off to drive the quad and it fell off the bike without anyone noticing, slightly surreal as we all back tracked along our route across the hill to find the lost leg! In June at the Highland Show I met a young travelling

Australian girl who had previously been a model. She is here on a years’ work visa and fallen in love with Scotland. We had a good chat at the Highland Show and she was particularly taken with the highland cattle. I offered her an open invitation to come and have a look round our farm. An offer I make too many people and much to my surprise she got back in touch and took me up on that offer. She was travelling north and asked to stop off and have a look round the farm; sadly she appeared with her huge policeman boyfriend! In September an agent for a celebrity Canadian

chef called Chuck Hughes got in touch to ask if they could come and do some filming for a series of outdoor cooking that they were filming all round Europe, at the time the agent got me in a good mood, so I agreed. During the days before they arrived I started regretting the idea as I am not the sort of person to be in front of a camera. The day was taken up with various shots of us travelling up the hill track by Landrover. I was filmed shouting the cows in to feed them around the vehicles while Chuck and I discussed the benefits of Highland Cattle and in particular what makes the beef so special. I was then asked to do a piece to camera which was just me talking to the camera about my life, the cattle and the farm, I did it but as I was so nervous I really can’t remember if I was any good. Time will tell when it is aired sometime next year. Chuck then cooked a sirloin steak on a little gas stove balanced on a wall with a little salt, pepper, garlic, onion and some green stuff, along with new potatoes. The two of us were filmed while we ate the steak from the same plate on the Landrover bonnet, discussing the flavours and texture. Being truthful I can’t remember ever eating such a well cooked and tasty steak, Chuck has talent! He then proceeded to do the final talk to the camera in French and English and for some reason it took countless takes to get it right and as darkness fell I thought it was time for the whisky to re-appear and another great night started with a patient minibus driver waiting for his passengers to finish up. 47

dairy Scottish Dairy Farm of the Year 2016 The winner of the prestigious AgriScot Scottish Dairy Farm of the Year award was announced at AgriScot. The accolade, which is sponsored by Cogent Breeding Ltd, has this year been awarded to K & I Millar and Sons, Trailflat, run by Keith and Irene Millar and sons Donald and David. The official assessor Jimmy Goldie, a highly respected dairy management advisor and rumen technical manager with Carrs Billington, chose the winner after visiting the final four farms, which were shortlisted from every milkrecorded dairy farm in Scotland. The award was judged according to a wide range of criteria, including calf rearing, sire selection, practical management techniques, feeding and nutrition programmes and the general well being and contentment of the cows. Trailflat, at Lochmaben near Lockerbie was awarded the title based on a number of different factors, including the cleanliness and comfort of the herd, their outstanding calving index and the general health and footcare of the herd. Runners up, in alphabetical order, were: - A Colquhoun Ltd., Dendoldrum, Inverbervie, Kincardineshire

- Wm. Hamilton & Son, Meldrum, Blairdrummond, Stirling - University of Edinburgh, Langhill Farm, Roslin, Midlothian Jimmy Goldie had the following to say about the 2016 award: “All the top twenty farms were a huge credit to Scottish dairy

farming, especially in these times of low milk prices, but the top four were absolutely outstanding in every aspect of their detailed management; from calf rearing, fertility, animal health and comfort to yields and length of life in the herd, and it was a very difficult task deciding the top award.”

He continued: “Congratulations must go to the Millar family at Trailflat who are the winners of this year’s AgriScot Dairy Farm of the Year award. It’s a fantastic, family run farm where they pay huge attention to detail both in terms of technology and finance, and they thoroughly deserve the title.”

Companies link to offer dairy farmers a new solution Two key companies have joined forces to promote a unique new product to dairy farmers, offering a solution to the negative energy balance often associated with high yielding cows. Bio-Energy Ingredients Ltd (BEI) and Advanced Ruminant Nutrition Ltd (ARN) plan to work together to promote Glycal Forteâ to dairy farmers across the UK. Developed by BEI, Glycal Forteâ is a feed material 48

produced by a unique, patentprotected process. It supplies by-pass glycerol, acts as a rumen pH regulator, and is a source of bio-available calcium. “The very high effective energy of Glycal Forteâ can dramatically reduce the negative energy balance often seen post calving,” says Hans Jansema, BEI. “This negative energy balance can predispose cows to several metabolic disorders: ketosis, milk fever,

retained foetal membranes, metritis, displaced abomasa and increased susceptibility to mastitis, for example. “Perhaps, most importantly, the negative energy balance can negatively impact reproduction, with a significant association between the extent of body condition loss and decreased fertility. The high effective energy of Glycal Forteâ ensures that this negative energy balance is reduced, leading to improvements in fertility and

profitability that are being seen on farm.” ARN is an independent, forward thinking company delivering nutritional and management solutions to farmers. “Glycal Forteâ is unique,” says Bryn Davies, ARN. “Poor fertility can be a huge drain on profitability. By addressing the negative energy balance, and reducing risks of ketosis and weight loss, we’re seeing improved pregnancy rates in herds feeding Glycal Forteâ.”

dairy Leave maize in the clamp for at least six weeks Dairy farmers are being urged to leave maize in the clamp for at least six weeks before feeding, to allow starch degradability to improve as levels are already lower than last year. A combination of factors are being attributed to the drop in starch degradability, not least the favourable growing conditions which saw crops mature earlier resulting in them being harvested at a later maturity stage. Bethany May, ruminant nutritionist at Trident Feeds, explains that from 618 early analysis results, taken by Trouw Nutrition GB, the national picture shows that starch degradability is down 3% on last year, to 76.8%. “Producers should try to keep maize in the clamp for at least six to eight weeks before

feeding, as the crop needs time to reach second stage fermentation. This process increases starch degradability which is where the value in maize silage lies,” says Bethany. “However, many producers are often tempted to include maize in the ration sooner rather than later due to low remaining forage stocks. If this is the case, we’re encouraging producers to get their maize silage analysed to really understand what they’re working with,” she adds. “It’s likely that the results will show reduced starch degradability and therefore producers will need to balance rations with a high energy and protein liquid, such as Spey Syrup, which has higher energy than cereals and rapeseed meal.

VistaPre-T fibre pretreatment now available ready-mixed into molasses The novel fibre pre-treatment VistaPre-T can now be included ready-mixed in any ED&F Man bulk molasses product, creating a single feed ingredient that combines the benefits of extra ration sugars and VistaPre-T to maximise forage and fibre digestion in the rumen. Available through all current ED&F Man merchants, the novel VistaPre-T option was developed as part of a new collaboration between AB Vista and ED&F Man. The result is a range of combination products that simplify storage, handling and application, improve dosing accuracy, and incorporates the flexibility to match changing molasses requirements. “VistaPre-T improves fibre breakdown by roughening and creating pits in the surface of the fibre pre-feeding, increasing the rate and extent of microbial colonisation once in the rumen,” explains Dr Nicola Walker, AB Vista’s Ruminant Product Development Manager.

“The result is an increase in fibre digestibility, which according to recent trials can raise total mixed ration (TMR) D-value from 63% to 67%, improve feed efficiency by up to 11% and increase milk yield (+1.3 litres/cow), milk protein (3.58% to 3.70%) and beef liveweight gain (+60g/day).” Research from the United States has also highlighted the importance of maintaining an overall ration sugar level of 5-7% in order to fully support fibre-digesting microbial activity in the rumen and improve overall rumen function. “Combining the two means that not only is the fibre in the ration being opened up for faster microbial colonisation, but those microbes also have the sugars needed to maximise activity and fibre breakdown,” Dr Walker continues. “It’s an opportunity to increase milk or growth from all feeds, not just forage, whilst also simplifying feed ingredient handling and improving ration accuracy.”

Growing case for AGP alternatives Although a rise in digestive tract-borne diseases such as E. coli and Salmonella spp. scours is the primary concern for calf rearers where the use of antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs) has been banned, there’s now a growing case for AGP alternatives that not only target the digestive tract, but also directly stimulate the entire immune system. “The approach employed by most of the AGP alternatives – such as organic acids and plant extracts, as well as pre- and probiotics – is to target feed digestion, gut microflora and intestinal health,” highlights Liz Mee, Technical Manager for Micron Bio-Systems. “Since gut microflora can influence the mucosal immune system, there is often a positive effect on immune response, albeit indirectly and only locally within the digestive tract.”

Yet the digestive tract is just one of several routes for potential bacterial infection. For example, pneumonia caused by inhalation of Streptococcus spp. bacteria via the respiratory tract is responsible for considerable losses within the dairy industry, whilst skin damage caused by parasites can expose the calf to environmental pathogens. “As a result, there’s growing interest in the potential offered by AGP alternatives that directly stimulate the entire immune system,” adds Ms Mee. By increasing the calf’s ability to tackle all infections, it’s possible to have a much broader impact on disease incidence, mortality rates and costs of treatment. Such an approach would also boost the efficacy of the many vaccines used within the dairy industry to manage viral infections. 49

dairy Don’t let complacency threaten BVD control, warn Scottish vets A number of Scottish vets have issued a stark warning to cattle farmers of the dangers of ignoring the continuing threat BVD poses to herds. The Scottish BVD eradication scheme has made superb progress so far, but that is no reason not to continue to take this insidious disease seriously, says vet Niall McDonald of MBM Vet Group, Mauchline. “I’ve seen two or three cases recently where herds which felt they were safe from BVD due to their farm situation and perceived biosecurity, have had BVD outbreaks. “In all instances these herds have had persistently infected (PI) calves born and, in most cases, these have been born to dams which were not PIs themselves. This means these cows have been exposed to BVD during pregnancy and subsequently passed the disease to their unborn calf.” Mr McDonald says many of the herds he works with have a history of vaccinating youngstock against BVD because they are either grazed or housed on another holding. “But because the milking herd remains at the home farm they feel a false sense of security towards them and don’t vaccinate. “However, in many instances sudden changes in herd management, such as grazing cows on fields bordering neighbouring cattle can leave the herd unnecessarily exposed to the risk. Nose to nose contact over a fence is all it needs for BVD to pass to between cattle and not vaccinating your own herd is leaving them open to significant danger,” he adds. Meanwhile, John Donald of the Moray Coast Vet Group, Nairn, says many beef herd owners are putting their cattle 50

at equally high risk in similar situations. “I’ve seen a case in a large beef herd which had been clear under the eradication scheme testing, then found 18 PIs this year. These cattle were found as a result of tag testing and came about because in-calf cows had been housed away from home on another unit alongside finishing cattle. “It is clear the infection came from those finishing cattle and as the herd was fairly naïve to the disease it had a significant impact on it,” says Mr Donald. “I’ve also seen cases where either a bull or the odd incalf heifer has been bought in and slipped through the net of vaccination. It can easily happen, but it shouldn’t when herds are well managed.” South west Scotland-based vet David Campion of The

Priory Vets, Whithorn, says in many cases those herds seeing PIs currently failed to tackle BVD testing hard enough at the beginning of the eradication scheme. “As a result PIs have continued to be born and farmers have lived with BVD in their herds. We have seen that mis-mothering is another way the disease continues to rumble on in some herds. If a PI calf is found and its dam is incorrectly identified, a PI could be inadvertently left in the adult herd. The message in this instance is simple, if you’ve got concerns over mis-mothering then test both potential dams.” Mr Campion says suckler herds in his area have more keenly embraced the eradication scheme and testing since it became a requirement to test animals moving from not

negative holdings. “But in my opinion the check test regime which only requires a sample number of animals to be tested from each management group isn’t enough to help herds move forward. Individual testing is the only way herds are going to truly get on top of the disease. Farmers have definitely started to pay more attention to their herd’s BVD status since it became impossible to sell PIs or untested animals from not negative herds.” But, in line with other vets he says vaccination must form a central plank of any eradication strategy. “Many of our farmers are now using Bovela® as the vaccine of choice as its one shot regime makes implementing and maintaining a vaccination plan much simpler and less time consuming,” he says.


For the sixth year running, Harrison & Hetherington have today announced the return of their flagship dairy showcase, Borderway UK Dairy Expo, which will take place at the Borderway Exhibition Centre on Saturday 11th March 2017. With an international line up of judges, 60 show classes and the Dairy Youth Championships, Borderway Dairy Expo has now become one of the most prestigious dairy events in Europe. This event brings together the crème-de-la-crème of British dairy genetics and highlights the quality of stock that the UK has to offer. Since its launch in 2012, Borderway UK Dairy Expo has grown rapidly in size and last year the event saw over 350 animals presented for judging, 120 trade stalls and exhibitors, and in the region of 7000 visitors. Commenting on why this is such a key exhibition in the farming calendar, Event Organiser and Operations Director at Harrison & Hetherington, David Pritchard said: “There is quite literally something for everyone within the dairy industry; it is a hub for knowledge sharing with traders showcasing the latest industry development, technical advances, genetic breakthroughs and export opportunities. “When we launched in 2012 our aim from the outset was to celebrate the best of what the dairy industry has to offer, and I believe we have achieved this. This is highlighted by the sheer number of exhibitors, traders and the UK and international visitors we now welcome each year. “With plans firmly underway for our sixth event in March 2017, we are looking forward 52

Borderway UK Dairy Expo 2017 Harrison and Hetherington announce the date for Borderway UK Dairy Expo 2017 to yet again announcing another fantastic line up of well renowned judges.” Securing the highest accolade at the 2016 Borderway UK Dairy Expo was a Swiss cow, called Australia, from Scotland. Exhibited by Alister and Colin Laird from Blythebridge

Holsteins, the 5 year old Holstein cow, Illens Atwood Australia, won three championship awards, including Champion of Champions. Alister Laird was also the recipient of the 2016 John Dennison Lifetime Achievement Award, an annual award presented in memory of John Dennison for

commitment and dedication to the dairy industry. Testament to the success of Borderway UK Dairy Expo is the continued support from the sponsors; Holstein UK, CIS, Clydesdale Bank, Norbrook, Farmers Guardian, Carrs Billington and Harrison and Hetherington. The standing of the event to the industry after last year’s event was summed up by Mark Holliday, Sales Specialist and Marketing Manager at Carrs Billington: “Borderway UK Dairy Expo really is a tremendous show of dairy cattle, one of the best in the country. It is a very important part of the UK showing calendar, and from a business side it is an ideal time to have a show.” The livestock schedule and entry forms will soon be available to download online or by contacting the Harrison & Hetherington Event Office on 01228 406 230.

sheep Qualified SQP team can help local sheep producers stamp out lameness

Eight members of the Murray Farmcare animal health advisory team are all primed to help local sheep producers stamp out flock foot problems after each completing a comprehensive training course on reducing lameness issues. Having qualified as ‘Lameness Reduction Advisors’, the SQPs are now well equipped to help farmers implement the industry-accepted Five Point lameness reduction plan. This has been proven to build flock resilience to the infectious causes of lameness and sets out the steps needed to reduce the disease challenge on farm. The advisory team members will also utilise the MSD

Animal Health Lameness Control Planning tool. This highly practical walkthrough offers a simple, yet visual ‘where are you now’ method of identifying whether a flock lameness management protocol is unbalanced in any way. The tool scores current farm practice within each of the five points that must work synergistically to deliver the sheep lameness reduction plan: culling; treatment; quarantine; avoidance and vaccination. Sheep producers interested in reducing the costs and hassle associated with managing lameness issues should contact Murray Farmcare on 01387 722300.

Aboyne Farmers Tackle Deficiencies and Increase Flock Size Few people will have benefitted more from being part of QMS' Grazing Group project than young start-up farmers, Ahren and Louise Urquhart at Maryfield, Aboyne, Aberdeenshire. The couple took over the tenancy of the 100 hectares in February 2013 and initially stocked the farm with 250 Scotch Mule, Cheviot and Cheviot

Mule ewes. Since then they have increased ewe numbers to 700 and the aim is to increase further to around 1000 ewes and possibly take some cattle for summer grazing. Louise said: "The Grazing Group has had a huge part to play in helping us to realise the potential of the farm and encouraging us to make the

Winter Roadshow meetings begin Roadshow meetings across Scotland have started, held jointly with Caltech Crystalyx the first meeting was held in Moffat on the 30th November. With nearly 50 farmers present the audience heard a compressive talk from Euan Hart on improving nutrition and management of breeding ewes over the winter period and prior to lambing with the use of Extra High Energy buckets. Whilst all farmers have their preferred nutrition plan for the winter period it was interesting to hear the benefits and cost savings that can be made by using the energy buckets, all based on trials and past specific examples. Also speaking was Stuart Ashworth from Quality Meat Scotland who covered a wide-ranging number of issues that could potentially effect lamb pricing and trading over the next few years. Stuart covered potential new markets for Scotch lamb and highlighted demand and other factors that we are likely to see under Brexit. His power point presentation was full of facts and information. Those present found both talks most interesting. I was the last speaker and covered all the important work that NSA does for the sheep industry, highlighting how important it will be to have a clear voice for the sheep industry over the next few years to deal with all the policy issues that will be brought up as a result of Brexit. Never has a time been more important to connect and convince government and ministers about the important role that sheep farmers play in the social, economic and environmental aspects of the rural countryside.

The sheep industry has a great story to tell, delivering many public goods along the way as we strive to produce an excellent eating product for the consumer. Many of these benefits will go unnoticed but it should be remembered that where sheep are farmed and managed, it requires people to look after them and live and work in many remote rural parts of the country. Simply sheep mean people and the people deliver the social and economic benefit to local shops, restaurants, and businesses with a significant multiplier effect being delivered. Without sheep many parts of the country would simply become abandoned, and we already have some vast areas where this has happened and we certainly do not want to see any further decline in activity as a result of land abandonment. The environmental benefit is delivered by sheep being grazed and managed throughout the year, delivering a landscape suitable for many birds and plants to survive. I would also suggest that sheep farmers play a very important role in tourism, with many tourists coming to Scotland to see the magnificent hills and views which can only be maintained and visible by sheep farmers managing the land. Educating and reminding the public of all the benefits is going to be challenging but very important going forward. The NSA will be at the heart of delivering this information to all officials and decision makers with the aim to see a successful, profitable sheep sector continue to thrive during and after Brexit.

sheep changes in order to carry more stock." It is especially important that the Urquharts make the most of natural resources as money is tight with no entitlements or Single Farm Payment and any increase in stocking has to come through improved management and utilisation of grass. They have 700 ewes going to the tup this autumn and have retained 250 ewe lambs which will lamb in 2018 bringing them close to their 1000 ewe target. The couple have taken on much of the advice from the Grazing Group meetings but it has not been easy for them with a serious mineral deficiency coming to light on the farm which affected the performance of the ewes and lambs. Louise said: "We knew that our problems were down to mineral deficiencies so started using Animax Tracesure boluses with cobalt, selenium & iodine. Since doing further tests we have

discovered that selenium was very low and high molybdenum was being antagonistic and locking up any available copper so we have now switched to Cosecure boluses which contain copper, cobalt and selenium, which seem to have improved things further. " This year after bolusing the ewes pre-lambing they noticed they looked fitter. Louise also felt that blousing lambs earlier this year (at their second Ovivac vaccination) has reduced the post weaning check they usually see. Left over boluses were administered to the tups, who, Louise said, have never looked so well! They lamb outdoors with last year's lambing percentage around 150%, which is up 10% from their first lambing in 2014. They hope that addressing the mineral deficiencies will result in an improvement in flock performance, leading to more lambs and that this, combined with increased stock numbers

will lead to more kg per ha of liveweight produced from grass which is the ultimate aim of the QMS Grazing Groups. The Urquharts have also adopted rotational grazing for about half the flock on areas of the farm which lend themselves to the system, and they are working on dividing the remainder of the farm into paddocks with electric fencing. About one third of the

farm is rough grazing, which is hard to improve but through advice from the Grazing Group, Ahren and Louise are confident that they can farm the area to its full potential. For further information about the QMS Grazing Group project and details of the next series of meetings around Scotland, visit www.qmscotland.




Major sponsors for Highland Sheep 2017 Harbro have been confirmed as major sponsors of the North of Scotland’s biennial sheep event, Highland Sheep 2017. Organised by the National Sheep Association Scotland, the event will be hosted by the Clark family at Kinnahaird Farm, Contin, Strathpeffer, on Wednesday, May 31. This is the third Highland Sheep, following the first held at Dingwall Mart in 2013 and last year’s event hosted by the Scott family at Fearn Farm, Tain. The one-day event is expected to attract a large attendance of sheep farmers from both the Highlands and Islands and the rest of Scotland. Features will include a farm tour, trade stands, breed society exhibits, commercial and technical demonstrations, grassland management, seminars, wool shearing, wool spinning, sheep dressing, crook making, a butchery and cookery demonstration, a sheepdog trial, the Shepherd of the Year competition, stockjudging and a show and sale of ewe hoggs. “NSA Highland Sheep 2017 will be a fantastic event for the sheep industry in the Highlands,” said local organising committee chair Brenda McIntyre, of Findon Mains, Culbokie, Dingwall. “We have an excellent venue for the event at Kinnahaird, courtesy of Amy Grant and her Mum, Dorothy Clark, and 56

we are delighted that Harbro have come on board as major sponsor.” Harbro national sales manager, David MacKenzie, described the Highlands and Islands as a key trading area for the company: “We are delighted to support this important event which will be a magnet for all sheep farmers. “Harbro has enjoyed a longstanding trading relationship with the Clark family. We work closely with Dorothy and Amy, focusing on the efficiency of their sheep and beef enterprises with the aim of maximising the liveweight of both lamb and beef leaving the farm. A key focus is utilising home-grown products and balancing local deficiencies in minerals and trade elements.” Kinnahaird Farm extends to 900 acres and carries a flock of 400 North Country Cheviot x Mule and Texel cross ewes and a suckler herd of mostly Simmental cross cows. “The sheep flock is a very important part of our farming enterprise and we are currently engaged with Harbro in a number of innovative projects to improve the performance of the flock through both better genetics and nutrition,” said Ms Grant. Further details can be obtained from event organiser, Euan Emslie on 01430 441870 or 07718 908523 or at euan@

By James Rhys Baylis

I can barely believe 2017 is already upon us. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and have recovered after seeing in the New Year in style, as only the Scots can. As you read this, I will be far away from home, kicking off the New Year at the other end of the country, lambing Poll Dorsets in Cornwall. While spending 3 and a half cold January weeks in a poly tunnel is not my ideal way of starting the New Year, the post Christmas income is essential, and I’m sure it’ll make me appreciate spending Christmas with my family and friends all the more. It’ll be a great opportunity to learn on the job and experience new things too, so it’s not all bad! With rams out doing their jobs, and the ewes hopefully holding up their end of the bargain too, contract work slowed down towards the end of the year. 2016 has seen my contract work increase dramatically,

and I barely stopped between April and October with lambing, shearing, crutching, drafting lambs for sale and breeding ewe selection keeping me nice and busy. I spent the quiet months of November and December working with Annan based Creatomatic to design a logo for my business. Paul the designer took my ideas and came up with something better than I could ever have imagined. I think he really captured Non’s essence perfectly and it’s great to see her incorporated in the logo. Don’t tell Dane though, I don’t want to make him jealous. I’ll now be using the logo to put together some business cards and some work clothing to help me spread the word a bit in the local area. I’d like to sign off by wishing everyone calving and lambing the best of luck and I’ll see you all on the other side in the next issue!

You can keep up to date with James’ farming journey on social media. Find him @SolwayShepherd on Twitter or at


New Nithsdale Monitor Farm Announced A couple who set up their farm business only four years ago and are keen to drive it to a new level, have been announced as the new Nithsdale monitor farmers. Clonhie Farm is 300 hectares, with 40 hectares of good hill rising to around 800ft and 260 hectares of upland grassland. The couple run the farm without any staff – though they have two willing helpers in their children William (6) and Anna (4). Before the couple took over the tenancy of Clonhie in March 2012, Andrew Marchant was the manager of a dairy and beef unit in Castle Douglas. The aim, however, was always to run their own farm business. The Marchants originally leased the 93 hectare Clonhie farm along with the farmhouse and outbuildings from Buccleuch Estates in 2012. Over the past four years they have taken on more land from Buccleuch, and earlier this year took on a neighbouring 134 hectare farm, also owned by the Estate. The stock numbers on Clonhie have increased significantly since 2012 and show no sign of stopping. Andrew brought his own small flock of 20 ewes with him to Clonhie and bought 180 in-lamb ewes in spring 2012.

Clonhie now has 900 breeding ewes and 230 ewe lambs and the couple hope to reach their target of 1,200 ewes by 2020. They have also established a small herd of eight Luing cows and plan to build the herd up to about 40 in order to sell females and bulls in the future. The Marchants are ready to embrace any change that the community group may suggest in order to improve the farm’s bottom line. “So far we have focused on building the business and the number of sheep in particular. Now we need to focus on improving the technical efficiency of the whole farm business, so becoming monitor farmers is perfect timing for us. We also hope many more farmers will share the benefits of what we learn along the way,” said Mr Marchant. The new three-year monitor farm programme is being run jointed by Quality Meat Scotland and AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds. It is establishing a group of farms to serve as monitor farms

Clonhie Farm, near Penpont in Dumfries and Galloway, run by Andrew and Aileen Marchant, is the second of nine new monitor farms being established in Scotland as part of a joint initiative by Quality Meat Scotland and AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds.

to help improve the profitability, productivity and sustainability of producers through practical demonstrations, the sharing of best practice and the discussion of up-to-date issues. The first meeting of the Nithsdale Monitor Farm is expected to take place early in

the new year. Those interested in being involved in the project should contact Judith Hutchison, one of the project facilitators, on 07718 919055 or email Judith. For more information about the monitor farm programme visit 57

pigs New Zoetis Vaccine Protects against PCV2 and M. hyo A new one-bottle, one-dose bivalent vaccine that helps protect pigs against the effects of both porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) and Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae (M. hyo) is now available from Zoetis. Suvaxyn Circo+MH RTU provides active immunisation against the economically important diseases caused by PCV2 and enzootic pneumonia. “Respiratory disease from M. hyo, and the effects of PCV2, can be devastating to pig herds through reduced growth rates, poor feed efficiency, increased mortality and extended time to market,” said UK Pig and Poultry Business Unit Director Ben Lacey. “That is why we let science lead the way in developing an effective vaccine in one convenient bottle that is fit for the 21st Century. “This is a true bivalent vaccine built from the ground up and not just two existing products mixed together,” he added, “aspects of human vaccine technology have also been applied to the manufacturing process. “In particular, extraneous proteins that can affect efficacy and safety are removed from the new vaccine; a unique whole-virus vaccine approach is taken with the PCV2 antigen to elicit a more complete immune response; and the M. hyo portion is filtered to reduce PCV2 antibodies (present in the pig serum required to culture M. Hyo) which could bind to PCV2 antigen in the vaccine, reducing efficacy of a combined product; the filtration process also purifies the M. hyo, resulting in a high level of membrane antigens vital for a targeted immune response.” The adjuvant MetaStim completes the package; it stimulates both humoral and cellular immunity and has proven efficacy in vaccines 58

such as Suvaxyn MH-One. MetaStim does not contain any mineral oil, which means reduced risk of serious injury in case of accidental selfinjection, but this also limits the effects of local inflammation at the injection site and has contributed to the complete absence of anaphylactic reactions in safety trials. Clinical trials have shown that Suvaxyn Circo+MH RTU reduces faecal shedding caused by PCV2 infection, as well as reducing the viral load in blood and lymphoid tissues. It also reduces lung lesions caused by M. hyo infection. This protection is achieved from a single 2ml dose that can be given from three weeks of

age. The onset of immunity to both PCV2 and M. hyo is fully effective three weeks after vaccination. Additional benefits of using one-shot vaccination include reducing stress for the pigs and decreasing labour time required for vaccination, as only a single injection is required. Suvaxyn Circo+MH RTU is available now in pack sizes of 50 and 125 doses. Suvaxyn Circo+MH RTU Emulsion for Injection for Pigs contains inactivated recombinant chimeric porcine circovirus type 1 containing the porcine circovirus type 2 ORF2 protein and inactivated Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae,

strain P-5722-3. For active immunisation of pigs against porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) and Maycoplasma hyopneumoniae. POM-V For further information please see the product’s SPC,

New Scottish Pig Monitor Farm An Aberdeenshire farm has been announced as Scotland’s new pig monitor farm in an initiative jointly supported by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and Opportunity North East (ONE). Mill of Carden Farm near Inverurie, owned by Patrick Stephen, has a commercial herd of 530 sows housed on straw. The farm currently employs four members of staff, including farm manager Wayne Ducker, and runs JSR females with a Danbred terminal sire. Mill of Carden has been run as a pig unit since the 1960s with the most recent new building being a French-designed weaner shed which was put up 18 months ago and features an innovative ventilation system. Pig health and welfare are a priority on the farm and Mr Stephen is keen to look at ways to further improve his herd’s health status as part of the farm’s involvement in the monitor farm programme. “We take a real pride in what we do but there is always room for improvement and there will

definitely be opportunities to introduce changes to further improve our system,” said Mr Stephen, who is also chairman of Scottish Pig Producers. “We would also like to focus on weighing and data collection to ensure we can very closely monitor our costs of production. We’re looking forward to sharing what we learn along the way with other producers and hopefully their businesses can benefit from our experiences too.” A further area which Mr Stephen is keen to explore is an evaluation of the two different types of feed systems which he currently runs – one is ad-lib and the other is restricted feeding. Allan Ward, Pig Specialist with Quality Meat Scotland, said he was delighted to welcome Patrick Stephen and the Mill of Carden team as the new monitor farmers. “The farm is a great example of a pig business which is performing well but recognises that there is scope for further improvement and that small changes can deliver significant gains,” said Mr Ward.

“The enthusiasm of Patrick and his team to get involved in this project and to share what they learn for the benefit of the whole industry gives us a great base to start from. We’re looking forward to working with the Mill of Carden team and I’m certain the project will deliver a great deal over the next four years.” Opportunity North East aims to strengthen and diversify the region’s business base by providing access to expertise and actively investing in projects that support growth in key industries. Food, drink and agriculture is one of the four key sectors which it is supporting in the region. “The north east of Scotland is where the majority of Scottish pig farming takes place and is home to over 60% of the Scottish sow herd,” said Peter Cook, Director of Food Drink and Agriculture at ONE. “Pig production is worth around £40 - £50 million annually to the region’s economy. To sustain and grow the sector we need to see the tremendous improvement in performance which can be gained through the programme.


New Monitor farm for North Ayrshire Announced A farm run by a young and enthusiastic farmer with high hopes for the future of the family business has been announced as the new North Ayrshire monitor farm. The farm business is a partnership involving John, his mother Margaret and his sister Mary. The family moved to Girtridge in 2000 and in 2010 John took over the day-to-day management of the farm, with family support. The 116-hectare farm sits in an elevated position just outside Dundonald, and the family also own a further 35 hectares of grazing land nearby. The main farm enterprise is buying in store cattle and finishing them for sale direct to local abattoirs but the family also have a herd of 10 suckler cows. The farm also runs 140 cross ewes producing Suffolk and Texel prime lambs that are mainly sold through nearby Ayr market. Everything grown on the farm is used on-farm including 56 hectares of silage and hay and 28 hectares of spring barley. The Howies feel fortunate that Girtridge is very versatile. This means they are not restricted to one type of farming policy and they are happy to consider a future change in direction as

a result of the monitor farm process. Mr Howie, who studied accountancy at Strathclyde University, is keen to start recording production data on the farm and to benchmark and improve the efficiency of the business with the help of other local farmers. “Ultimately I would like to grow the business and expand the farm as efficiently as possible, maximising profit and reducing costs,” said Mr Howie. He added: “I am really looking forward to learning from other farmers and looking at what we could do at Girtridge to strengthen our business. I think it will be a huge learning curve, but one that I will benefit from, as well as the local farmers who get involved.” Mr Howie is an active member of the Scottish Association of Young Farmers Club (SAYFC) and has been a past chairman of Ayrshire district as well as National Member of the Year in 2012. He has found being in the SAYFC

Girtridge Farm near Dundonald in Ayrshire, run by 27-year-old John Howie, is the fourth of nine new monitor farms being established in Scotland as part of a joint initiative by Quality Meat Scotland and AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds

very valuable and hopes that younger farmers will get involved with the monitor farm programme. The new three-year monitor farm programme is being run jointly by Quality Meat Scotland and AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds. It is establishing a group of farms to serve as monitor farms to help improve the profitability, productivity and sustainability of producers through practical demonstrations, the sharing of

best practice and the discussion of up-to-date issues. The new North Ayrshire Monitor Farm plans to hold its first meeting in the new year. Those interested in getting involved should contact the project facilitators, Raymond Crerar and Carol-Anne Warnock, SAC Consulting Ayr on 01292 525148, or email For more information about the monitor farm programme visit 59

renewable energy Glenmuckloch Energy Park vision takes major step forward A plan to create an innovative energy park at the former Glenmuckloch open cast coal mine in Dumfries and Galloway took a significant step forward recently when the Scottish Government gave consent for a pumped storage hydro scheme of up to 400MW on the site. The project would make a major contribution to energy provision and breathe life into the former opencast site, which has ceased commercial coaling and is now undergoing restoration works. It would also create over 250 jobs during a five-year construction programme and more than 15 long term local jobs when complete. The proposed scheme, a joint venture between Buccleuch and 2020 Renewables, has the potential to become a catalyst for industrial regeneration in the region; however any proposal will require major financial investment from other partners to proceed. Meetings have taken place with the UK Government – which sets energy policy – to discuss the need for a stable revenue mechanism that will encourage investment.

Pumped storage hydro stores electricity in times of low demand and releases it on to the National Grid in peak demand periods, providing energy when required and also balancing local constraints on the electricity grid. [See pumped storage graphic – notes for editors.] Alan Baker, managing director of 2020 Renewables, said: “Pumped storage brings considerable benefits to the country’s energy system. Major pumped storage schemes already exist in Scotland – for example at Foyers and Cruachan – but no new projects have been built in over 30 years. “The challenge is in finding the package of support measures which will unlock private investment in the project. We have been working with the UK and Scottish governments and others to find a way to make this work. A successful project will be a major driver of economic activity and growth across the region.” John Glen, chief executive officer of Buccleuch, said: “For five years we have been working closely with the local community and Hargreaves

Surface Mining to restore and transform the site. Our vision is to create an energy park that will support local jobs and deliver major new investment in Dumfries and Galloway, and that has taken a step forward today. “Renewable energy offers great opportunities for the area and the combination of pumped storage and on-site wind generation are a very natural fit. Viewed together as an integrated system, they would act as a catalyst for economic growth and could form a central plank of a collaborative regional industrial strategy that would generate new jobs and economic growth.” The Glenmuckloch site already hosts two community-owned wind turbines, and Buccleuch subsidiary, Glenmuckloch Renewable Energy Limited, recently received planning permission from Dumfries and Galloway Council to build eight 3.2 MW turbines. Local MP for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale & Tweeddale Scotland David Mundell said: “This is a very welcome announcement for the communities of Upper Nithsdale where I am

always pushing for investment to help boost the local economy. Buccleuch and 2020’s plans for a major development will help sustain jobs in the region and I am very excited to see how the project progresses. “I hope this scheme can bring significant long-term energy benefits to Upper Nithsdale and I will work to ensure the continuing discussions with the UK Government can help to secure the scheme’s long-term future.” Councillor Colin Smyth, chairman of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Economy, Environment and Infrastructure committee, said: “As part of our commitment to build the local economy, our council has identified Upper Nithsdale as a key regeneration area where we want to encourage investment that will create jobs. This development does just that by offering exciting job opportunities, which is so important for Upper Nithsdale. It also delivers a sustainable and environmentally friendly energy solution so it’s a win, win situation for the area.”

UK Government puts off decision on renewables for Scottish remote islands The recent announcement on the levels of UK Government support which will be offered to the renewable energy industry will leave developers and communities on the remote islands of Scotland ‘bitterly disappointed’ claim industry body, Scottish Renewables. The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) published detailed budgets of the next auction round for Contracts for Difference (CfD), which covered offshore wind, wave and tidal, but delayed access to the competition for remote islands and issued a further consultation instead. 60

Responding to the announcement, Niall Stuart, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables, said: “We’ve waited a long time for this announcement, which signals further significant investment in the UK’s offshore wind sector. “However, developers and communities on the Scottish remote islands will be bitterly disappointed that Government has put off a decision on allowing projects on Scotland’s islands to compete for long-term contracts for renewable energy. “After years of work on this issue, and many ministerial pledges to resolve it, we still seem no further forward to

unlocking investment on Scotland’s islands - home to some of the best wind, wave and tidal resources in Europe. “With more than 800MW of renewable capacity consented and ready to deliver and a significant capital spend going to UK-based suppliers, the island projects not only serve as important contributions to the Scottish and UK renewable energy targets but to our economy as well. “But they can only go ahead with contracts to underpin investment and to help meet the prohibitive costs associated with connecting the islands to the national grid.”

There was also disappointment for the wave and tidal sectors with no budget ring-fenced for marine energy projects, unlike the previous auction. Mr Stuart continued: “The wave and tidal sectors are still at an incredibly early stage in their development, and simply not ready to compete with offshore wind on cost alone. “If we want to continue the development of the UK’s worldleading wave and tidal sectors then we now need government to look at how it will support the development and roll out of the technology to get it to the stage where it can compete in the future.”

renewable energy Ecotricity unveils plan for Britain to make its own gas from grass Ecotricity has unveiled a plan to heat almost every home in Britain using green gas made from grass. Ecotricity outlines the potential in a new report – Green Gas Mills: The Opportunity for Britain – which shows that by 2035, green gas made from grass could provide all of the gas needs for 97% of Britain’s homes, pump £7.5 billion annually into the economy, and create a new industry that supports up to 150,000 jobs. Additionally, green gas made this way is virtually carbon neutral, so could play a significant role in Britain meeting its climate targets, and creates new habitats for wildlife on an unprecedented scale. Ecotricity has just received planning permission to build a prototype ‘Green Gas Mill’ at Sparsholt College in Hampshire, the first of its kind in Britain.

Dale Vince, Ecotricity founder, said: “As North Sea reserves run out, the big question is where we’re going to get our gas from next. The government thinks fracking is the answer, but this new report shows there is a better option. “Recently, it’s become possible to make green gas and put it into the grid, in the same way we’ve been doing with green electricity for the last two decades. The current way of doing that is through energy crops and food waste – but both have their drawbacks. “Through our research, we’ve found that using grass is a better alternative, and has none of the drawbacks of energy crops, food waste or fracking – in fact, it has no drawbacks at all. “Our first Green Gas Mill has just been given the go-ahead, and we hope to build it soon – though that does depend on whether government energy policy will

support this simple, benign and abundant energy source. “As our report shows, the benefits of Britain making its gas this way are astounding. And in the light of this new option available to us, I call on Teresa May to review the government’s plan for where Britain gets its gas – post-North Sea. “We now have a more than viable alternative to fracking, which people have been fighting tooth and nail up and down the country to prevent. It’s not too late, because fracking hasn’t started yet. We need a proper review of where Britain gets its gas from – we can either frack the countryside or we can grow the grass. It’s that simple.” Making green gas from gas will cut carbon emissions, help Britain become energy independent, support food production by improving soils, create wildlife habitats, and allow farmers to financially

diversify in the face of lost EU subsidies following Brexit. Lynne Featherstone, Liberal Democrat MP Minister: “If the government would only throw its weight behind green gas, it would go a long way to delivering on our renewable heating targets and secure our energy for the future. I am very grateful to Ecotricity and others who want and are willing to push forward on this vital part of our energy mix.” Doug Parr, Chief Scientist and Policy Director of Greenpeace UK, said: “As long as it’s not competing with food production, green gas like this project can be really helpful in getting the UK onto a cleaner and lower carbon path. Agriculture need not simply be part of the problem in tackling climate change, but through innovation it can be part of the solution, and improve wildlife habitats at the same time. ”

Norvento launches new BioPlant anaerobic digestion system Norvento, a leading manufacturer of on-site renewable energy systems, has launched a new integrated biogas solution for agricultural, utility and industrial users throughout the UK. Known as the NorventoBioPlant, the system enables small and medium sized companies and landowners to sustainably manage organic waste and turn it into renewable gas, electricity or both, allowing them to take a step towards energy independence. Norvento’s BioPlant is a medium sized system for the agricultural and landfill waste sectors that will benefit from the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) and Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) sweet spots, which range between 150kWh for electricity and 600kWh for heat. The solution is a modular and automated anaerobic

digestion (AD) plant that can be tailored to the energy and budget requirements of the end user, as well as the available fuel source. It collects, stores and treats waste, creating renewable biogas, which is refined and then pumped into a boiler or cogeneration engine to produce heat and electricity when required. The UK AD market has shown steady growth in recent years, fuelled by FiT and RHI support. It continues to offer opportunities to a diverse range of industries, including farming, food processing, water and waste treatment, and the chemical and pharmaceutical sectors. These users are able to deploy on-site biogas plants to directly support high energy and heatintensive production processes.

In doing so, they can benefit from reduced energy costs and meet increasingly stringent sustainability targets. Norvento is a specialist in helping UK industrial and agricultural users realise the commercial advantages of becoming independent power producers (IPPs), having rolled out its industry-leading nED100 medium wind turbine throughout the country over the past three years. The Norvento BioPlant forms part of a growing renewable energy product line that is designed to meet increasing demand for on-site power production and consumption. With a growing pipeline of sites scheduled for development in the UK, Norvento BioPlants have already been successfully

deployed in Spain, where they are providing considerable benefits to agricultural and industrial users. At Xustás Farm, an intensive dairy farm in Galicia with 110 cattle, a BioPlant system is converting slurry and plant waste into 280,000kWh of energy per year and meeting 100% of on-site heat and power demand. At Casa Macán Dairy, a cheese factory, also in Galicia, a BioPlant is directly supporting the cheese production process by covering 40% of total heat and electricity demand. “The economics of small and medium biogas generation really stack up for users with energyintensive on-site processes, especially if the energy demand is heat-based,” said Ivo Arnús, Director of UK Business Development, Norvento. 61

science & technology New Mobile CT scanner offers greater insight for livestock researchers and breeders A new mobile CT scanner, currently undergoing calibration tests with Scotland’s Rural College, offers yet more clarity and inside knowledge for both livestock researchers and pedigree breeders. The project is jointly funded by SRUC and CIEL (Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock), one of the four Agri Tech Innovation Centres supported by UK Government. From its base in Edinburgh the new facility will travel across the UK, serving pedigree livestock breeders, commercial food processors and research scientists seeking evermore sophisticated real-time analysis of not just meat yield and quality, but fish, plants and even obesity in companion animals. Both SRUC and CIEL believe this advanced machine, in its distinctive trailer unit, offers real opportunities for innovation in these vital sectors. The new multi-slice scanner is fast, capturing 16 images at once. This not only collects more detailed information about the subject but offers improved welfare as the live animals being studied spend less time in the scanner. It is also possible to routinely take 3D images. When this is coupled with the advanced image analysis software developed by researchers it can capture a wealth of data that can be used to measure new traits linked to the animal’s composition, conformation and shape or product quality. SRUC’s Animal and Veterinary Sciences group has operated a CT scanner for the last two decades. In 2009 they began using a hired 62

scanner, mounted in a trailer, to help provide an enhanced commercial scanning service supporting the sheep industry across the UK. The data are fed into the Basco database shared by breed societies and used for genetic evaluations. Nicola Lambe, sheep geneticist with SRUC who manages the CT unit, said: “More recently the research has broadened out. It includes other species like cattle, pigs, poultry, fish and plant material as well as their products, like meat. “The information provided is valuable in its own right but the primary benefit to SRUC is its ability to support our work on genomics and breeding research by providing physical measurements (or “phenotypes”) of traits that are hard to measure or predict by other means. This will lead to

a better understanding of how genetics drives improvement in food products and help guide developments in sustainable agriculture worldwide.” As a key player in the UK’s Agri Tech strategy, the Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock, is partly funded by Innovate UK, the UK government’s innovation agency, sponsored by the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. CIEL’s aim is to deliver new technologies that provide better outcomes for industry through increased profit and efficiency or enhanced product quality and lower environmental impact. Dr Mark Young, CIEL’s Head of Innovation, said: “The mobile CT scanner will deliver benefits in two ways. Firstly it will make it easier to carry out scanning for commercial

breeding programmes and research across the UK, and secondly, it will allow innovation research to deliver new systems for describing carcass merit and meat quality across meat supply chains.” The scanner will begin its work with pedigree sheep breeders in the spring of next year. In the meantime, once calibration and technical checks are complete, it will be used for Scottish Government funded research measuring the gut dimensions of ewes as part of investigations into greenhouse gas emissions and from livestock. There are also plans to take the rig to an abattoir and scan beef joints using non-destructive, noninvasive assessments in the development of automated meat quality assessment techniques.

A future trading framework for Scottish agriculture Trade is a fundamental issue for the UK and Scotland in a postBrexit world. Leaving a ‘customs union’ will have a huge impact on trading relations across the UK economy and implications for all agricultural businesses, with ramifications for: s 4HE FUTURE SUPPORT SYSTEM that is developed for UK and Scottish agriculture post-2020; s 4HE MOVEMENT OF LABOUR in and out of the UK and accessibility of non-UK workers; s 4HE REGULATORY REGIMES THAT should be adhered to; s 0RODUCTIONCOSTS In the best interests of the agricultural, food and drinks industries, the future trade deal with the EU will be bespoke to the Scottish and UK situation. Here, we look at the different options for a trading framework post-Brexit. s 3OME  PER CENT OF THE UK’s agricultural exports are to the EU s )NCLUDED WITHIN THIS TOTAL amount is 90 per cent of the UK’s beef and lamb exports s PERCENTOFTHE5+SPORK exports go to the EU s )N  THE 5+ EXPORTED ÂŁ141 million worth of combinable crops and ÂŁ383 million worth of lamb s 3COTTISH FOOD AND DRINK exports were valued at ÂŁ1.9 billion in 2015 – around 39 per cent of the total value of Scotland’s overseas food and drink exports s 4HE 5+ IS A NET IMPORTER – UK food, drink and animal feed exports were valued at ÂŁ18.9 billion in 2014, but corresponding imports were ÂŁ39.6 billion s ;#!.7%!,3/2%0,)#!4% THE MAP THAT IS IN THE BEYOND BREXIT TRADE DOCUMENT?] NFU Scotland considers that the optimal position will maintain open access to the EU Single Market, with minimal tariffs if any, and freeing the UK from what some see as an excessive EU regulatory burden.

By Clare Slipper

However, alternatives to full EU membership, such as that currently held by Norway, Switzerland, Turkey and the USA, operate on a sliding scale of low trade costs but with the concession that there is little regulatory autonomy. None of the current models therefore fit the UK and Scottish context, but they are useful to at least consider the pros and cons of different approaches and negotiating positions. Adding to the complexity is the fact that sectors of the agricultural industry vary considerably in what they need and want. For example, for sheep producers, trade with the EU is extremely important – however for other commodities, such as milk, a more domestic approach is preferred. Unilateral trade liberalisation, i.e. reverting to the World Trade Organization (WTO) default position, may well be the most damaging scenario for the profitability of British and Scottish agriculture, potentially seeing 20 per cent tariffs on food products. Equally important for UK farming is the relationship achieved with non-EU markets in the rest of the world. The UK as an independent country

may seek to continue to apply the same terms as under the EU’s current Free Trade and Preferential Trade Agreements; or these may be renegotiated. A critical issue for UK farming is whether, and to what extent, the UK will seek a more liberal trade stance, lowering the tariff protection including that applied to sensitive agricultural products such as beef, lamb, dairy and fruit and vegetables. Any new trade deal must actively seek to prevent any form of ‘cheap food policy’, as importing more food would effectively export food production and food manufacturing and all the associated employment. As well as the economic cost, sucking in food imports would also export environmental, animal welfare and food standards responsibilities to others. Consequently, NFU Scotland believes that the UK must adopt the following principles, and stick rigidly to them, in negotiating a new trading arrangement that is in the best interests of Scottish and UK agriculture. s &OOD 3ECURITY – The UK Government must recognise the potential threat of inappropriate trading arrangements on food security issues, and should seek to address declining selfsufficiency.

s 0ROTECTING &ARMINGS Interests – The UK must ensure that access to UK markets for agricultural and food products is not used as a bargaining chip in negotiating comprehensive trade agreements to replace existing EU trading agreements. Market access to the UK’s 65 million consumers will be highly sought after, and must not be conceded easily. s /PEN -ARKET !CCESS – A key principle in negotiating future trade arrangements with the EU must be reciprocal access to markets. This should see unfettered access to EU markets for UK agri-food products. s 2EMOVING "ARRIERS TO Trade – To ensure improved access to agricultural markets, negotiations should consider all tariff and Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) that have the potential to act as barriers to trade. s %QUIVALENT 3TANDARDS – It will be vital that legislative standards adhered to by UK producers are fully met by all agricultural and food imports, to address concerns that products from elsewhere produced to lower standards could undermine domestic production. Scottish and UK farmers and food processors must not be put at a competitive disadvantage by the lack of a level playing field. s 3ETTING0RIORITIES – The UK must negotiate new trading arrangements based on a strategic assessment of trade threats and opportunities for key sectors within the profile of UK and Scottish farming, food and drinks manufacturing. s 0ROMOTINGTHE0RODUCT – The UK Government and devolved administrations increase their focus on promotion of domestic products, at home and abroad, and encourages and provides necessary tools and resources to agri-food businesses to access EU and non-EU markets. NFU Scotland’s Beyond Brexit discussion documents can be viewed online at www. Hard copies are available on request. 63

estate Fishing beat for sale on one of Scotland’s most famous rivers Scotland is one of the world’s great salmon fishing destinations and now CKD Galbraith, Scotland’s leading property consultancy, is offering enthusiasts the opportunity to own their very own beat on one of the country’s best known rivers the Tay. The River Tay is Scotland’s longest and arguably best known river at 119 miles in length. It is internationally renowned for its consistent fishing with an average annual catch in excess of 6,000 fish and the season runs from 15th January to 15th October. The beat that is offered for sale, the Dunkeld House Fishings, is a most attractive and productive stretch situated next to the historic village of Dunkeld, Perthshire. The beat offers approximately two miles of double bank salmon fishing in glorious rural

surroundings. There are a total of 14 pools, which fish in a variety of water heights, and salmon are generally caught in every month of the season with a five year average of 182 salmon. Emma Chalmers, partner at CKD Galbraith handling the sale, said: “Salmon beats on the stately waters of the middle River Tay rarely come to the market and this river remains one of the most preeminent salmon fishing rivers in the world. We expect to receive a lot of interest both locally and from abroad and believe this sale offers a great opportunity for private parties as well as corporate organisations for entertaining clients.” Mungo Ingleby of Sporting Lets, CKD Galbraith’s sporting agency, commented: “The River Tay and, in particular, the middle river continues to offer consistent

fishing through the season. The number of fish in the river in recent years across late spring and summer has been very encouraging and the Tay board continues to do a huge amount of positive work. The sale is a very exciting and rare opportunity to purchase a double banked middle Tay beat.”

Dunkeld House Fishings is suitable for both boat and bank fishing and is currently fished by two boats each fishing two rods and an additional four bank rods. The sale of this beat also brings with it an exciting opportunity for prospective owners to build a new fishing hut on a beautifully secluded site.

Encouraging numbers of birds of prey sighted on Scottish moorlands An increasing number of birds of prey are thriving on Scottish grouse moors due to gamekeepers’ conservation efforts. More than 10 different raptor species including golden eagles, red kites and hen harriers have been identified on prominent grouse moors this year. They are among the 86 bird species that have been recorded on estates in the Angus Glens. A snap shot from a range of estates across the Angus Glens Moorland Group highlighted encouraging evidence with gamekeepers on Invermark Estate 64

in particular sighting nine raptor species including buzzards and golden eagles. Some of these are nesting and successfully breeding on the estate. A number of other estates also reported healthy numbers with Ballogie Estate, Royal Deeside, revealing a total of 15 buzzards regularly hunting on the moor. Figures from the Speyside Moorland Group were equally as strong with 12 species of birds of prey recorded on Strathspey Estate alone. Atholl Estate in Perthshire are also monitoring 12 different raptor species.

estate Garry MacLennan, head gamekeeper on Invermark Estate, said: “Scottish grouse moors are far from being raptor deserts, as some opponents of shooting claim. “We have monitored a growing number of buzzards, kestrels, golden eagles and whitetailed eagles. Keepers and estate managers do recognise there are some areas of the country where there are fewer raptor species but there is plenty of hard evidence to show that raptors are successfully nesting on grouse moors.” The findings from Invermark are part of annual surveys undertaken using SNH guidelines. These surveys were conducted by Taylor Wildlife,

an ecological consultancy specialising in upland environments. Richard Cooke, manager of Invermark Estate, said: “The survey is an extremely helpful way for us to monitor the biodiversity of the estate and which species are benefitting the most from our habitat management practices. Throughout the year we carry out rotational muirburn and control predation under the general licence, including foxes, stoats and other mustelids in particular. This is to the benefit of many ground nesting birds and is reflected in the rich birdlife recorded by the annual audit.”

The Golden Plover Award 2017 is now open for applications

After four successful years, the Golden Plover Award for Moorland Management is now looking for applicants to make 2017 the biggest and best award to date. Run by The Heather Trust and the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust Scotland (GWCT Scotland) with support from Lindsays solicitors, the Golden Plover Award highlights the very best of progressive, forwardthinking moorland management across the country. Open to any group, farm, estate or individual with a proven track record of balanced management, the award is becoming well established as a

celebration of balanced diversity in Scotland’s uplands. Having explored a range of themes from farming to peatland in previous years, 2017 will be geared towards the north west of Scotland; west of the Great Glen, including Argyllshire and the Isles. Anyone can apply to enter the Golden Plover Award provided they can show a dedicated level of commitment to multiple land uses. The size of landholding is immaterial; the award welcomes everyone from the smallest croft to the largest estate. Over the past few years, the Golden Plover Award has travelled from prestigious estates on Royal

European Commissionfunded virtual fencing project LIFE Laser Fence to be trialled in Scotland The Game & Wildlife Scottish Demonstration Farm (GWSDF) at Auchnerran on Deeside is involved in an exciting new project funded under the European Commission LIFE Programme. The project, led by Liverpool John Moores University, in conjunction with partners in Spain and the Netherlands, will run until March 2020 and seeks to investigate the use of innovative laser systems for creating virtual fences to help reduce environmental impacts of some agricultural activities, as well as potentially improving the productivity of farming. This ambitious project particularly targets a complete reduction in the use of chemical agents used to control rodent populations on farms, where these animals destroy crops, eat livestock feed and can transmit disease. Despite using chemicals, farmers collectively lose billions of euros each year across Europe due to damages caused by rodents to land and/or crops. Furthermore, the chemicals accumulate in the food chain and can be fatal for animals which prey on or scavenge rodents. A virtual fence is a possible solution to contain animals within an area, or to keep them out of a defined range. This project will demonstrate the use of a technology produced by the Bird Control Group in the Netherlands, called AgriLaser, to keep animals away from certain areas while maintaining animal welfare. Its application ensures a safer working environment without the need for chemicals and,

since the technology is capable of completely autonomous operation, the in-service cost for farmers is minimal. Dave Parish, Head of Research at GWSDF, says: At Auchnerran, the Trust will be testing the technology on a number of mammals that could have a range of impacts. For example, rabbits are plentiful and eat grass that should be available for the sheep flock. A more ambitious application could be preventing access of certain ground predators to our plentiful wader populations – lapwing, curlew and woodcock particularly - which lose clutches of eggs to predation. The sheep themselves could be test subjects and we may look at using lasers to round them up. There are applications with other mammals such as deer control and damage prevention. Partner information s ,IVERPOOL *OHN -OORES University s "IRD #ONTROL 'ROUP (Netherlands) s 6OLTERRA %COSYSTEMS (Spain) s )RIS5!63ERVICES3PAIN s #UCANOCHE #UARTEROLA and Eoloarroz (Spain) LIFE Laser Fence (LIFE15 ENV/UK/000386) Laser systems for the prevention of food chain poisoning and minimisation of chemical exposure to the environment. Further information from: Dr Dave Parish Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust T: 01738 551511 M: 07889 891956

estate Paperwork! By David Johnstone, Chairman of Scottish Land & Estates

Farmers, as with many other professions, rarely find themselves short of some paperwork to digest. If there isn’t a form to be filled out, or an application to be made, it is unlikely that there is a scarcity of guidelines or regulation to be read up on. For the past two years, Scottish Land & Estates alongside the NFUS and STFA, has been issuing a series of guidance documents prepared in consultation with the Independent Adviser on Tenant Farming, Andrew Thin. Whilst some may shudder at the thought of more documents to be read rather than getting on with the work of farming, the guidance is intended to help rather than hinder both landlords and tenants go about their business. The latest guidance on the pre-emptive right to buy for a secure 1991 Act tenant focuses on the situation where the landlord is a private limited company and the majority of the shares in the company are to be sold in an arm’s length transaction. The pre-emptive right to buy would not be triggered by such a sale of the shares.

However, the guidance recommends that the landlord should engage with any tenants with an interest registered in the Register of Community Interests as soon as the decision has been made to advertise the company for sale and sets out a formal process for resolving any issues relating to the tenancy. Whilst this latest guidance is not going to apply to every farm with a 1991 Act tenancy, it is important for both landlords and tenants – and others involved in the sector - to familiarise themselves with these guidance documents. From Scottish Land & Estates’ point of view – and for our members – anything that we can do to smooth the process of agricultural tenancies should be encouraged. The latest guidance is also very much in keeping with our Landowners’ Commitment published in 2014, which asks landowners to ensure that they communicate estate plans to those who are affected by them - and to be aware of how their decisions and actions affect those who live and work in rural Scotland.

For more information Telephone : 0131 653 5400

Deeside to tiny apportionments in the Outer Isles, seeking out the most progressive and imaginative management. Above all other factors, the judges will be looking for passion, pride and a devotion to the best outcomes for the western Highlands and Islands. The unique blend of land uses in the north west will take the award into new and exciting terrain, embracing diverse issues

such as upland fisheries, rural employment, conservation, peatland, deer management and crofting. If you think you fit the bill for 2017’s award, or if you know someone who does, find out more on the Golden Plover Award’s website at www. Closing date for entries April 2017.

Deer Report Offers No Good News Scotland’s sporting pursuits sector could suffer badly because of the shortcomings of a major review of wild deer management, according to a leading land manager. Malcolm Taylor, a Partner at Perthshire-based Bell Ingram, said the Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) recommendations in its comprehensive review of Scotland’s wild deer will be greeted with dismay. He said: “We are extremely disappointed by the report which seems to ignore the huge effort that deer managers have put in to managing the wild deer in Scotland. “Significant amounts of private and public money have been spent on the preparation of deer management plans and this report will have the effect of disheartening stalkers throughout the country. “It is clear that SNH are following the wishes of some politician and NGO’s who are looking to control land management in Scotland. “This could have a massive impact on sports tourism in the future.” The Scottish Government asked SNH to complete the deer management review after the Scottish Parliament’s Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment (RACCE) Committee took evidence in 2013 on the effectiveness of Scotland’s current system for managing Scotland’s wild deer. The review summarises the progress that deer management

groups have made over the last couple of years. However, it also concludes that in some places deer continue to have a negative impact on biodiversity. The review draws on evidence from deer managers, agencies and researchers to look at how effectively deer are managed throughout Scotland. With over 110 years expertise in the agricultural land sector, Bell Ingram plays a key role in helping land and estate owners on their deer management operations. Bell Ingram has 130 professional staff across 11 UK offices including: farm, estate and forestry managers; chartered surveyors, estate agents, architects, planners, and building surveyors; and tourism, GIS mapping, and renewable energy specialists.

by Linda Mellor

SCOTTISH COUNTRY LIFE The wintry temperatures have settled in and have been drawing the pheasants back to the feeders. The cold and damp weather over the summer months has provided an ideal growing environment for our hedgerows and has produced a bumper crop of berries. Sadly, it hasn’t been good for the entire natural larder as the sloes have suffered because the conditions have encouraged a fungus which prevents the berries from growing. With no sloe Gin this year, I have resorted to another of my hipflask favourite’s a rhubarb rum. I first discovered it on sale at Moy Fieldsports fair a few years ago and is a winter staple for my hipflask and a saviour on a bitter, wintry day. I often ponder about the weather at this time of year as we are on the cusp of winter and unsure of what chilly conditions we may experience over the next two or three months. If this year is going to be anything like the last, winter just sort of came and went and wasn’t really a big event. Shoot days went ahead, birds flew well and getting around wasn’t an issue. The shooting season is now in full swing and I have been out on a number of driven days and was delighted to have cool, clear days which provided ideal conditions for taking photographs.

During the second week of November, I spent the day at Meikleour, Perthshire as part of the Atlantic Salmon Conservation Schools Network (ASCSN) week of activities in Scotland. After the welcome and introduction by estate owner, Claire Mercer-Nairne, the 40+ party of international students and teachers were split into small groups to explore various aspects of sports fishing as a form of eco-tourism. Claire and her ghillies gave presentations and casting instructor, Tom Brown, gave practical casting instruction on the river Tay. Pure Fishing (UK) in Alnwick provided Greys rods, reels and 40 baseball caps. Tom said “It was great working with the youngsters. They came for an insight into casting but once they had go they started to appreciate it was harder than

it looked. The big smiles on their faces said it all. They were really getting into it and starting competing with one another. Many of them said they would love to return to Scotland on a holiday and explore more of our countryside and to fish.” Ian Robertson, Executive Director of Countryside Learning Scotland (CLS), said, “From a CLS Perspective it is fantastic to see the Salmon providing our young students with the opportunity to share experiences from across the North Atlantic. It was also fascinating to see our visitors engaging with the traditions of salmon angling in Scotland and participating in some of the skills involved in the sport through fly tying and Spey casting as well as experiencing the running of a traditional Scottish salmon beat. This ‘hands on’ learning

experience will stay with these students for the rest of their lives.” “We always hear in our industry, ‘we need to attract more youngsters in the sport’”, said Claire MercerNairne. “The ACSN project was really an eye opener for me. I personally think that it will be very challenging to reach this goal in any meaningful numbers without teaming-up with schools directly or through youngsters’ charity like Angling for Youth Development. Proprietors, Fisheries, angling clubs, booking agents would all like to see more young people but on a practical aspect taking group of young people in a wild environment is a daunting task that comes with risks and responsibilities. Not to mention that in these current times it is one thing to discipline your own child, but very much another to discipline someone else’s when you haven’t been officially vetted and trained to do so.” The autumn salmon run was very disappointing this year but hopes are high for the spring run in 2017. Tay ghillie Bob White is excited by the number of forward bookings coming in. He said, “it is looking very good, I am getting new bookings daily as everyone is focussing on spring catches.” Happy New Year and here’s to an abundant spring run of salmon. 67

forestry Expertise in forestry must be maintained and strengthened under new governance structures Changes to forestry governance in Scotland should not dilute expertise within the sector, Scottish Land & Estates has said. The organisation, which represents landowners and rural businesses across Scotland, has submitted its response to the Scottish Government’s consultation on the future of forestry in Scotland. Scottish Land & Estates said that many of the proposed changes could harness benefits for the sector, improving processes that have become cumbersome - but that care needed to be given to any new structure that moved current Forestry Commission Scotland functions into a division of the Scottish Government.


Anne Gray, Senior Policy Officer (Land Use and Environment) at Scottish Land & Estates, said: “The proposed alterations to forestry governance in Scotland are extremely important for our members and for the government in meeting their own ambitious target of creating 10,000 hectares of new woodlands per year. “Whilst we will see the full devolution of forestry governance to Scotland, we need to ensure that new structures guarantee practical and policy knowledge across the sector. By separating the physical assets of Scotland’s publicly owned forested land and farms from regulatory, policy-making, grantmanaging and advice functions, which will become a division of

government, there is a concern that practical experience might become diluted in the regulatory division. “If the Scottish Government goes ahead as proposed, we would like to see particular consideration given to how future employees of the forestry division of Scottish Government are developed through the industry. Consideration also needs to be given to how those with expertise are retained. “There have also been concerns that the the proposed new agency to run the national forest estate, Forestry and Land Scotland - which will also be used to deliver more than forestry - could result in a demotion in the importance of forestry to broader activities of this new body. We have had reassurance from government that the importance of forestry within new structures will be maintained but given the long-term nature of forestry, this needs to be certain for decades and not just the immediate future.” Scottish Land & Estates added that the different roles of state and private sector in forestry provision had to be clearly acknowledged. Ms Gray continued: “The consultation does not address the optimum extent of state owned forestry. New structures should, we believe, be given the flexibility to significantly alter the extent

of state ownership if this is in the public interest. “We should also ensure that state-owned forestry does not disadvantage private forestry activities, so there needs to be parity with the private sector in terms of support and regulatory burdens. This not only needs to be thought about in terms of the market for timber products but also in terms of diversification activity. For example, mountainbiking facilities provided freeof-charge on state forestry sites has severely stunted the development of a market for this activity within private forestry sites. This ultimately has not been beneficial to the mountainbiking community as it is only the Forestry Commission that can provide these facilities so they are limited, or to the public purse which is now obliged to underwrite the costs of running such facilities. “We recognise that the shape of forestry is changing – and the outcome of the EU referendum earlier in the summer also represents change that is as yet unquantified. It is vital, however, that we do not hastily react to these changes and jeopardise an industry that supports 25,000 jobs and is worth almost £1billion to Scotland’s economy.”

forestry Först woodchipper distribution expanded into Europe By Paul Tinson

Regular readers will be aware of the RSABI supporter campaign

Here Ewan Pate, Vice Chairman, puts the case for support:

Redwood Global, manufacturer of Först woodchippers, has now expanded distribution of its market leading range of high performance and robust woodchippers into Europe following a period of significant growth. The manufacturer has set up strategic dealer partnerships with industry experts in France, Norway and Denmark that will see arboricultural sales specialists solely distribute Först machines throughout the new territories. In addition, Redwood Global as formed a subsidiary company (Först Gmbh) that is based in Germany to specifically meet significant customer demand in the country. Först Gmbh and each dealership will distribute Först’s premium range of 6” and 8” wheeled, tracked and PTO woodchippers, all of which have a three year warranty as standard, offering tree surgeons, arborists and contractors complete peace of mind. Doug Ghinn, Director at Först, commented: “We introduced the Först brand to the market over three years ago and its presence continues to go from strength to strength. We have

developed an excellent reputation for manufacturing and supplying products that produce outstanding chipping performance, backed up by a first class service offering. “We are very excited to be distributing Först wood chippers throughout Europe. Through extensive analysis and the implementation of strategic business models, we are already beginning to see a positive impact on the markets and this will only help our business to continue to grow.” Daniel Robertson, Managing Director of Först Gmbh, said: “Först has made significant strides in the UK market in a short period of time and we are looking forward to replicating this success in Europe. “Customers here in Germany are liking what they are seeing with the Först product and this is seen in the excellent sales achieved to date. The product is right for the European market and customers are beginning to see the quality of Först wood chippers.” For more information on Först’s high performance range of woodchippers, or to book a demonstration, visit or call 01264 721790.

It seems self-help will be the name of the game as the agricultural sector moves into uncertain times. It may not have seemed like it but looking back over recent decades there has been relative stability with farm support never really in doubt thanks to the Common Agricultural Policy. That of course won’t apply after Brexit. There may be a better farm support scheme in the future or better trade deals but then again there may not be and the EU single market may or may not be out of reach. Who knows? The only certainty will be income volatility and shocks to the system. UK Government is looking favourably on US/Canadian style crop and income insurance schemes as a part of a support package. Scottish Government may well follow suit. These schemes rely on farmers taking out insurance policies with subsidy part-paying premiums. I suggest the agricultural industry takes the same approach, supporting its own charity, RSABI. Again,

self-help with an “insurance” approach making sure RSABI has funds to help those who have worked on the land. Crisis is unpredictable, illness or financial setbacks can catch out even the most competent. Last year RSABI helped 912 individuals with anything from living expenses to providing a listening ear on the helpline. The previous year it was 688. Nothing suggests the numbers will fall. The “insurance policy” is available now. Join the RSABI Supporter Scheme for as little as £25/year. Call 0300 111 4166 or visit www. Everyone hopes never to have to make a “claim” but in this uncertain world who knows? In any event, as a trustee I know it is an organisation one can be proud to support. Contact Paul Tinson at RSABI to learn more and sign up a team: call 0300 111 4166, email paul.tinson@rsabi. or visit

Beatha an eilean Coimisean na Croitearachd a’ cur ìmpidh air croitearan an guth a thogail Mar a tha an ceann-ama a’ tarraing dlùth airson seasamh mar thagraiche ann an Taighaidhean Coimisean na Croitearachd, thathar a’ cur ìmpidh air croitearan air feadh Alba dèanamh cinnteach gun tog iad an guth mu chroitearachd san àm ri teachd. Tha Riaghaltas na h-Alba a’ brosnachadh chroitearan gu seasamh mar thagraichean ann an taghadh Coimisean na Croitearachd san àm ri teachd. Is e an Coimisean riaghlaiche an t-siostaim croitearachd, agus coimiseanairean le dleastanas airson riaghladh, adhartachadh mathas croitearachd agus comhairleachadh Ministearan na h-Alba. Tha an riaghaltas a’ cur an cuimhne faisg air 16,000 croitear san dùthaich bhòtadh


san taghadh anns a’ Mhàrt. Bidh an taghadh air a choileanadh tron phost, agus thathar ga chumail gus coimiseanairean fhastadh do na sia roinneantaghaidh croitearachd: Taobh Sear na Gàidhealtachd, Arcaibh is Gallaibh, Sealtainn, Iar-Dheas na Gàidhealtachd, Taobh Siar na Gàidhealtachd agus na h-Eileanan an Iar. Thuirt Fearghas Ewing, Rùnaire Caibineit airson Eaconamaidh Dùthchail is Ceangal: ‘Tha àite deatamach aig croitearachd ann an coimhearsnachdan dùthchail na h-Alba agus ann an dìon ar n-àrainneachd nàdarra. Is e àm cudromach a tha seo fhad ’s a tha sinn a’ strì ri dhèanamh cinnteach gum bi àm teachdail làidir agus beòthail aig

croitearan, agus sin an t-adhbhar a tha e deatamach Coimisean Croitearachd a bhith againn a tha air a dhèanamh suas de dhaoine a tha a’ riochdachadh agus a’ nochdadh ùidhean agus iomadachd coimhearsnachd croitearachd na h-Alba. ‘Gus sin a choileanadh, tha feum againn air daoine le dealas airson seasamh san taghadh gus a dhèanamh cinnteach à àm teachdail do chroitearachd a bhios fadamail. Tha e cho cudromach gun tog na croitearan uile an guth le bhòtadh ann an taghadh a’ Mhàirt.’ Tha Coimiseanairean cunntachail airson coileanadh iomlan a’ Choimisein agus airson suidheachadh stiùir is poileasaidhean a’ Choimisein a thaobh cùisean riaghlaidh a tha

a’ toirt buaidh air croitearan. Bidh iad cuideachd ag obair còmhla ri buidhnean eile aig a bheil ùidh ann an croitearachd. Tha an Coimisean air a dhèanamh suas à sianar choimiseanairean bho na roinnean-taghaidh agus triùir choimiseanairean air am fastadh le Riaghaltas na h-Alba. Tha an Coimisean a’ faotainn taic bho 64 neach-obrach a tha stèidhichte ann an Inbhir Nis. Is e 27 Faoilleach 2017 an ceann-ama airson tagraichean ainmeachadh mu choinneamh dreuchd coimiseanair agus faodaidh tagraichean iad fhèin a chur air adhart le tadhal air bho 6 Faoilleach 2017. Thèid pàipearan bhòtaidh a sgaoileadh tràth sa Mhàrt agus feumar an tilleadh ro 16 Màrt.

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Is this the island of my dreams? One day in early May 1990, Anne Cholawo’s life changed forever. She hadn’t much money and no clear plan about how to earn more and she didn’t have any friends or relatives in the Hebrides. Yet when she saw an advert for a cottage on the isle of Soay, she knew she had to buy it. Here, in the first of a series of exclusive extracts from her new book, she looks back at what lured her there – and whether her first impressions lived up to her expectations.

Who knows why it caught my eye. On the last day of my holiday on the Isle of Skye I stopped in front of the Portree Estate Agency and there it was. Nothing special. A single colour photograph of Glenfield House showed the front view of a simple, stonebuilt, one-and-a-half-storey house with a corrugated iron roof. The details were sketchy: just the purchase price and the information that this former croft house was located on the Isle of Soay. I had never heard of the Isle of Soay. More to the point, I had no idea it was actually an island. I knew very little about the Highlands and in my ignorance I thought it was a village at the southern end of Skye. Even so the house captured my imagination. I had only glanced briefly at the picture but the image was burned into my memory. It travelled with me on the 570-mile journey home and would not go away. Back in Bedfordshire, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Glenfield House followed me on the daily commute to and from London and it wasn’t long before I succumbed to temptation. I contacted the Portree Estate Agency and asked for more details. One evening I came home from my job as a graphic artist in a London advertising agency to find a thin, brown A4 envelope on the doormat. I opened it with barely suppressed excitement 72

and looked more intently at the photograph attached to the property’s details. I was confused by the last phrase on the page: Access by courtesy of fishing boat. I vividly remember one of my first essays at school written when I was around seven years old. The topic was ‘What do you want to do when you grow up?’ I began: ‘When I grow up I want to live in the middle of nowhere.’ I think I had first heard this phrase used when I was much younger about a summer holiday we had in North Wales. We stayed in what seemed to me to be a very remote farmhouse nestling in the mountains, where the ‘loo’ was outside the house and across the yard, near to the cowshed. After that ‘the middle of nowhere’ always conjured up an exciting and mysterious place in my imagination. That simple and lonelylooking house in the photograph said ‘Adventure’ with a capital A. At least I had enough sense to realise that whatever new life I might propose for myself it would be imperative to have a roof over my head without a mortgage to worry about while I established what kind of adventure I was going to have. Toying with a tantalising dream, I worked out that Glenfield House was just within my financial reach. It took me a few days to build up the courage to telephone its proprietor to ask

for more details and perhaps arrange to see it. Before that phone call I still didn’t realise that the house was on a tiny and little-known island. It was the owner, John Gilbertson, who patiently explained that the only way of getting to see the house was on his fishing boat. Soay was not even big enough to justify a ferry service. Only

then did I finally grasp that the property was on an island and not in a village as I had originally thought. Perversely, this discovery only increased my curiosity and made me even more determined to see it. I was 27 and thought myself quite the worldly adult. With the benefit of hindsight, more maturity and/

Hebridean heaven: a lochan on the north-east of Soay with the Cuillins reflected in the water.

BOOK SERIALISATION or experience, I may well have been put off by the discovery that this house really was in the middle of nowhere; on a remote island with no mains services, shops, jetty or proper road and in particular no public transport at all. Added to that, there would not be much prospect of making a reasonable income to live on. These difficulties did not occur to me at all and nothing but blind optimism and romantic notions clouded my horizon. On the way to Glenfield, John had been telling me about the people who lived on the island. I tried to take it all in but was getting terribly muddled about names and identities. I got Gavin Maxwell: I knew about his book, Ring of Bright Water, and even remembered seeing the film. But I got him mixed up with Tex Geddes, otters and sharks. I thought Tex was some sort of Yankee eccentric, and that Gavin Maxwell was still on Soay fishing. John Gilbertson must have thought me a prize idiot. There was just too much going on all at once for me to take in. We came to the house and went inside. The property had been kept clean and there were signs of recent maintenance, but it had obviously not been lived in for some time. There were still a few pieces of furniture left in the rooms. I hardly knew what my thoughts about the house were. Had it been anywhere on the mainland, I may not have considered it but it was in a place I never thought could exist outside my imagination. The mountains loomed over the island (for a short time I thought the Cuillins were a part of Soay) in a comforting way, giving it boundary and stature. There were little copses of trees surrounding the property and no sounds except the murmur of running water and a quiet clamour of seabirds in the distance. I shall never forget leaving the island and watching the house grow smaller until it merged into the green-grey of

Glenfield House on Soay was for sale for £28,000 in 1989 – without any electricity and access ‘by courtesy of fishing boat’

the low hill behind it. The idea of never coming back was already unbearable, unthinkable. From that first visit, once I had set foot on Soay the house no longer became my primary obsession, but merely a means to an end. I had never experienced a place like it in my life. After only ten minutes on the island I had fallen under its unfathomable, magical and enthralling spell. Unbelievably, I had found my longed-for childhood ‘middle of nowhere’ and apparently, completely by accident. It was a beautiful day in early May 1990 when I arrived back on Skye along with my now elderly dog Taffy. He was tired after the long journey and I was sure he would hate the boat trip to Soay. But the sun was shining on the Guiding Light waiting for us at Elgol jetty. It seemed a good sign. My little car was crammed with pots and pans, plates, cutlery and clothes in poly bags and I had to let down its canvas roof to fit everything in. Once again, I had asked John Gilbertson if he would give me a lift over to Soay. Even I realised this would have to be the last time; Glenfield House

was now my property and he had absolutely no obligation to be my ferryman. However, as usual he was very helpful. I loaded everything from the car onto John’s boat and we set off for Soay. As we approached the island, the churning in my stomach was a mixture of excitement and apprehension. I did not notice them until we were rowing toward the beach. But there, stretching along the shore was a line of people waiting to meet me. I think it was one of the most embarrassing moments of my life. I had never expected this sort of welcome. I knew virtually nothing about the other 17 residents of the island, apart from a few names which I had barely taken in on my brief first visit. I had found no published information apart from an Ordnance Survey map. For the first time, I realised this was not just a magical island for my adventures. I was coming to join a community of real people. Nearly everyone who was not at sea fishing had come to help carry my belongings up to the house. Mercifully, there wasn’t too much stuff – just a fraction of the rest of my household

possessions waiting to come over from Skye. When I walked into Glenfield House there was another surprise. Someone had turned the house into a living home. The Rayburn was lit, there were rugs on the floor and wild flowers in a jug on the kitchen table. David Rosie, one of my new neighbours, kindly showed me how to use the paraffin lamps scattered throughout the house. I had never seen an Aladdin lamp before and they require a certain amount of sympathetic maintenance to make sure evenings are not spent in smoky darkness or potential danger from fire. So many people worry about electricity and the lack of it. Spend a few years without it at all and you realise it is just an added convenience, a luxury rather than one of life’s necessities. On my first day, however, the lack of electricity was the very least of my concerns. I managed to get the gas stove to work. My new life was beginning. This is an edited extract from Island on the Edge by Anne Cholawo, published by Birlinn, price £12.99. 73

horses Yogi double bill leaves Scotland inspired and refreshed! BHS Scotland received a wonderful double helping of Yogi Breisner; retiring British eventing team coach at the end of November, when a master CPD delivered inspirational exercises and straightforward equitation philosophy at the Scottish National Equestrian Centre for nearly 75 coaches and a preceding evening event was held where Yogi shared his Rio Olympic Journey. Yogi stated his “sadness but tinged with optimism” as he steps down as team coach but cited a bright future for British eventing given the amazing pool of riders and horses currently available. His amusing presentation covered the chronology of being a performance manager from before the games are even announced to having a team complete and return home. The challenges of planning, climate, geography, accreditation, selection and logistics and of course funding were all covered in his talk about the journey to the Rio Games. At the CPD Yogi used innovative exercises and various props to make for some exciting yet fun jumping training and his

calm knowledge of riders in the flat work as he tackled winter homework, the show jumping course, test preparation and Cross Country Technique.

BHS Scotland Chairman of Training Erik McKechnie BHSI said; ”It was such a privilege to have someone as clever and traditional but with a young fresh

view come and amazing insight from the top of the sport of eventing present to us and invigorate our coaches – great early winter revision and very affirming.”

New year, new you If your riding confidence has taken a knock then investing in an individual life coaching session with First Focus Consultants could be the perfect way to kick start the new year! First Focus Consultants have a wealth of experience ranging from individuals through to huge corporations and firms and partner Anna Morris is also a former event rider, giving her further kudos within the equestrian sector, as she explains: “Having ridden all my life, I understand how delicate 74

that balance between building and breaking your confidence is and the riders I work with range from novice through to professional, across all disciplines. Sometimes we can work through an issue in one session, others require a few more, but the long-term rewards are enormous. We also offer a free 20 minute phone consultancy to discuss your needs or how we can help you” For further information on Anna and First Focus Consultants including costs:


Equine Angle

Back on Track® sponsor Olympic dressage couple Fiona Bigwood and Anders Dahl BRITISH EVENTING (BE) By Melanie Scott

Olympic dressage riders Fiona Bigwood and Anders Dahl are to be sponsored by Swedish based therapeutic clothing company Back on Track, the company has announced. British Olympic silver medallist Fiona and her husband, Danish Olympian, Anders Dahl have been using Back on Track products for their horses’ wellbeing for over seven years. Anders first used the products when his grand prix level horse, Bukowski, sustained a tendon injury. Anders explained: “A friend from New Zealand recommended using Back on Track bandages and pillow wraps to speed up Bukowski’s

recovery. The horse healed way better than expected and faster than we anticipated. The Back on Track wraps made a huge difference.” Bukowski encountered no further leg problems and went on to compete successfully with South Korean rider, Kim Dong-Seon at both the World Equestrian Games in 2014 and the 2016 Rio Olympics. Fiona said: “We have used the Back on Track bandages, wraps and rugs on all our horses since seeing the effect the wraps had on Bukowski. Anders and I are delighted to be announcing Back on Track as our official sponsor.”

A Brash statue Scotland’s best known showjumper Scott Brash has been recognised with a sculpture made from old horse shoes by his home town. The 3m-high sculpture of Scott and Hello Sanctos is made out of tons of old horseshoes. It stands on the Edinburgh Road in Peebles. in the home town of Olympic showjumping gold medallist Scott. Commissioned by the Bonnie Peebles committee it took Kev Paxton and his team at Edinburgh-based ArtFe thousands of man hours to complete and includes four

horseshoes from Hello Sanctos, the horse on which Brash won gold at the 2012 Olympics. Brash became the first person to win showjumping’s grand slam in 2015 with Sanctos. Community group Bonnie Peebles said they wanted to “recognise the amazing achievements of local lad Scott Brash who has gone on to be world number one showjumper”. The Bonnie Peebles committee raised all the funds for the project via private donations and local fundraising.

BRITISH EVENTING (BE) hopes to put the Great back into sport with the appointment of Chris Bartle as the new performance coach as part of the British World Class eventing programme. Yorkshire-born Chris has been the national coach for the German eventing team for the past 16 years. Since then the Germans have dominated the sport, winning Olympic, World and European team and individual titles with considerable ease. Chris has previously coached the British eventing team in the dressage phase for the Atlanta and Sydney Olympics. Chris comes to the position with a wealth of experience, riding at the Los Angeles Olympics as a member of the GB dressage team and fourth at the European Dressage Championships. He was part of the winning GB team at the eventing world championships in 1997 and won Badminton in 1998. In a further boost to the sport Richard Waygood MBE has been confirmed as the new performance manager

in a shake-up of the coaching structure for the World Class eventing programme. He replaces Yogi Breisner who stood down after Rio after 17 years. Richard has previously been the performance manager for dressage which has seen them enjoy a meteoric rise to the top, cumulating in Olympic, World and European titles. Double Olympic champion, world record holder, world cup champion and World and European champion Valegro, ridden by Charlotte Dujardin has been retired at an emotional ceremony at Olympia, The London International Horse Show last month. The triple Olympic champion received a standing ovation when he retired and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house for this larger than life equine personality. Charlotte Dujardin OBE commented: “Valegro is a once in a lifetime horse and owes us nothing.” Co-owner Carl Hester MBE, said: “Valegro has done it all and we wanted him to go out in style!”


futurefarmer Top of the Crops Student Winners of Winter Wheat Challenge Receive Award at AgriScot A team of students from the Barony campus of Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) has beaten 15 other teams to win the 2016 Mains of Loirston Winter Wheat Challenge trophy. The trophy was presented to the winners at Agriscot in November. The annual competition is managed by SRUC on behalf of the Mains of Loirston Trust, established in 2007 by North East farmer, the late Alexander W Allan. He was committed to advancing education in the practice and science of agriculture in Scotland. The Challenge is designed to encourage the next generation of farmers and agronomists by giving them their own plots of winter wheat to manage. Competitors decide what is needed to produce the most profitable crop, agreeing on variety, seed rate, fertiliser and pest and disease treatments during the season. Crops are grown at three SRUC trial sites in Aberdeenshire, Kinross and Midlothian. Yield is measured and quality analyses are taken into account to produce a price per tonne for the wheat grown. Roger Baird, Director, W N Lindsay Grain Merchants who carried out the measurements, said: “We’re delighted to be involved with the Winter Wheat Challenge. It’s great to see the students understanding the importance of cost-effective crop production and meeting relevant quality standards.” The winning Barony team - comprising Ian Carlisle from Dumfries, Mhari McCulloch, Newton Stewart, Ben Shoreman, Stranraer and James Wright, Thornhill - took part in the challenge while studying for the HNC in Agriculture. 76

Ian and Ben have since moved to SRUC’s Edinburgh and Ayr campuses to study for an HND in Agriculture. Their successful entry of the Group 4, soft variety Revelation produced a gross margin* of £826 per hectare with a yield of 8.4 tonnes/hectare. This was not the highest yield in the competition - a rival team achieved the highest yield of 8.9 tonnes/hectare – but this reinforces the point that maximising profit is not necessarily about maximising yield. The team adopted a strategy of seeking advice from a range of sources, to provide them with the necessary information on which to base their decisions. The Challenge entrants comprising 70 student teams from across four SRUC campuses - chose five different wheat varieties, including those with potential for feed, distilling and milling. Yields at the three trial sites were lower than in previous years, reflecting the national trend. However, there

was a slight improvement in price per tonne of wheat compared with this time last year. The increased disease pressure in 2016 presented challenges to the teams with most teams opting for robust fungicide programmes. Those teams taking part for the second year had to adapt their previous strategies to respond to the season and most of them achieved this quite successfully. Those teams with the higher gross margins tended to invest more money in an early season fungicide application which helped protect crops from disease. Scott Murray, SRUC Lecturer and Challenge coordinator based at SRUC’s Edinburgh Campus, commented: “The quality of the decision making has improved this year and there is very little to separate the top teams. Indeed, the top three teams were only separated by just £45/hectare.” New to the Challenge this year was the introduction of

precision farming technology. A hand-held crop sensor was available to introduce the teams to new techniques to assist in the calculation of fertiliser application rates. Using red and infrared light, the sensor measures the amount of each type of light that is reflected back from plants. This data can then be converted into information to assist with fertiliser rate decision-making. Expert industry advice was available during the summer from Gavin Dick of levy funded body AHDB Cereals, and Charlie Catto from Frontier Agriculture who visited the plots near Edinburgh and Aberdeenshire respectively. They were able to pass on advice and feedback to the teams. Dr Alex Hilton, Lecturer at SRUC’s Aberdeen Campus added: “The Challenge is a great platform to involve people from the wider agricultural industry in our teaching and we would like to thank those people for their support.”

futurefarmer John Deere firsts for apprentice training Understanding your own needs, skills and desires This was one of the key messages received at the third Annual Agri and Rural Affairs Conference held by the Scottish Association of Young Farmers’ Clubs (SAYFC).

John Deere’s first female and forestry technicians have been registered in the latest intake for the company’s award winning apprenticeship scheme, managed by training provider ProVQ, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. A total of 34 apprentices have signed up to begin their first year of training in the work-based Ag Tech, Parts Tech and Turf Tech advanced apprenticeship programmes, including Zoe Parker of dealer Ben Burgess Coates and Matthew McPherson of John Deere Forestry in Carlisle. The apprentices, their families and sponsoring dealers attended an induction day at John Deere’s Langar headquarters and were given a tour of the branch and a ride & drive session with the latest Gator utility vehicles. They also visited the new John Deere Apprentice Training Centre at nearby Radcliffe-onTrent in Nottinghamshire. This is the British agriculture and turf industry’s first and only purposebuilt apprentice training facility, designed specifically and solely for John Deere dealer apprentices. In addition the dealers took part in an employer’s workshop, which provided an overview of developments to the scheme for 2017 and what will be required in terms of apprentice mentoring, support and career opportunities. This is in line with plans for the new Government led apprenticeship framework that has recently been announced, which aims to attract 3 million apprentice starts by 2020. John Deere’s apprenticeship scheme was the first land-based agricultural and turf machinery

programme to deliver training in the workplace, at the sponsoring dealership, with assessment and guidance from ProVQ’s team of expert assessors. Additional block release training takes place at the new Apprentice Training Centre. The three-year Ag and Turf Tech apprenticeships lead to IMI Level 2 and 3 Diplomas in Landbased Engineering. Each year group trains at the centre for eight weeks a year in four blocks of two weeks, with some days spent at Langar when working with larger machines such as combines and self-propelled forage harvesters. The two-year Parts Tech apprenticeship, leading to a Level 3 Diploma in Vehicle Parts Competence, is mostly work-based at the sponsoring dealer, with four weeks of training taking place at Langar. Graduating apprentices can then complete three free courses to gain the John Deere Diploma and start their adult training at the John Deere University (JDU), using the knowledge and skills gained from their initial one-, two- or three-year apprenticeship. After additional training and experience, they can ultimately go on to achieve the highest possible LTA4 Master Technician accreditation. Ag Tech was the first such scheme to be introduced in the UK and won a National Training Award at the end of 1997, the only one ever made to an agricultural machinery apprenticeship programme. Since the first programme started in 1992, more than 600 apprentices have graduated through all the training programmes and been employed in the company’s nationwide dealer network.

The event which focused on “cultivating excellence” incorporated farm visits, breakout sessions, a workshop, panel session, networking and a thought-provoking presentation by RHASS Chief Executive Alan Laidlaw. His presentation set in a motion a theme that continued throughout the conference encouraging the Young Farmers to have confidence, passion and courage to take on challenges. He also emphasised the importance of planning ahead. “If you don’t know your business and you don’t know yourself it will never thrive. Take time to listen, ask questions and find out what is frustrating the team and how together you can help the business” “A report produced by Harvard Business School highlighted those who had a clear goal that was written down made ten times more income than those who did not” “Networks are essential. A support network who understand you will notice your blind spots and won’t be afraid to tell you. Remember not every knock back is because of you, it could just be timing or because another opportunity is better suited to your goals” A similar message was heard during the panel session Chaired by Pat Machray and joined by Kirsten Williams and Martin Birse. The panel agreed that excellence is driven by leadership, communication, performance, networking, listening and personal enjoyment. Mr Machray commented “People give in too early, the only thing that stops yourself is you. You have got to believe in your goals and have the right attitude of mind. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.” The conference was joined by more than 100 members from across Scotland including Stuart Lamont from Islay YFC who was attending the event for the first time after taking a ferry

and driving for five hours to get to the event. “Having the opportunity to get together with like mind people to share and discuss ideas has been incredibly worthwhile. It is great to speak to fellow peers as opposed to employers or the older generation, and it has provided me with the confidence to realise I am not the only one with these ideas.” Members had the option of visiting the poultry and arable unit ran by Craig Grant at Skillymarno, William Willis’s dairy enterprise at Glasgoforest or the beef and diversification operation at Marshall’s Farm. All three businesses recommended in-depth analysis of your financial figures and having a firm understanding of your costs. The full delegation then visited David and Sarah Stephen at Redhouse of Barra where taking a risk, looking ahead and engaging with the consumer were key messages. Agri & Rural Affairs Chairman Sarah Allison was keen to encourage members to have a positive outlook on the future of agriculture and encouraged members to take advantage of opportunities such as events and training on offer via SAYFC. “The last 12 months have been like no other in farminglow commodity prices, a CAP reform implementation that still isn’t resolved, a Holyrood election (and subsequent new Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy), and Brexit” Whilst BREXIT provides uncertainly, and makes the medium to long term decision making process slightly more difficult; there is no doubt we have an opportunity, even more so as members of the Agri and Rural Affairs group, who since inception in 2013 have continued to grow in its involvement with Scotland’s Policy makers. SAYFC has a voice, and now is the time to use it and help shape the future of Agricultural Scotland.”

finance Simpsons Malt climbs five places in the North East Top 200 Family-owned Simpsons Malt has jumped five places to 45 in The Journal Top 200 North East; the league table that ranks the North East’s best financially performing businesses Amongst the top 50 in the coveted list, the Berwick-uponTweed maltster employs over 250 people and has reported a turnover of £160.7 million in the last year. Simpsons Malt, that includes agricultural trading divisions McCreath, Simpson & Prentice (MSP) & John Guthrie in Forfar, produces in excess of 280,000 tonnes of malt a year from the raw barley material sourced from surrounding farms. Increasing sales into the global brewing industry and continuing strong demand from distilling


Richard Simpson, vice-chairman of Simpsons Malt

customers has contributed to a positive year for the independent company as it now represents the North East in over 25 countries around the world.

Commenting on the ranking Richard Simpson, vice-chairman of Simpsons Malt, said: “The success of Simpsons Malt’s can be attributed to the continued hard work of our employees, our farming partners and suppliers and our amazing customers, who recognise our continued investment in both our maltings, in Berwick-upon Tweed and Tivetshall St Margaret, and in the company’s supply chain infrastructure. “We will continue our strategy for growth by continuing to invest in our malting facilities

to further secure home markets while developing opportunities all over the globe. Our people are essential to this success and we will continue to invest in training and development in order to service our customers at the highest level. “As a North East business, being featured on The Journal Top 200 list is a privileged position that we’re very proud to be in, and would like to congratulate all the other businesses in our region that have also made the list.”

Agricultural insurance not a commodity, but an essential service urges leading independent insurance broker Choosing an insurance broker with an understanding of the farming industry and the

complexities which arise out of a farming operation is critical to the safe and successful

finance running of any agricultural business, according to one of the leading independent insurance brokers specialising in agriculture in the UK. Farmers & Mercantile insurance brokers (F&M), has built a strong heritage over nearly 21 years. As one of the largest independent brokers specialising in agriculture, F&M has access to all of the available insurers in the open market. The key to the successful approach of the business is the practical farming knowledge, combined with the insurance expertise F&M’s brokers deliver from its Ayrshire branch. Some 95 percent of F&M’s business is geared to agriculture and all of the onfarm advisers have extensive farming insurance experience with the majority also coming from a farming background.

THEMONEYMAN With experience and expertise across the whole board, from large scale farm operations, substantial ‘hobby’ farms right down to smallholdings over just a couple of acres, F&M provides a first class independent service for arable, livestock and estate insurance. Farmers & Mercantile also has privileged access to specialist products for renewable, rural and diversification projects, and its smallholder division offers the best advice and service available in the market. F&M provide an in-house claims department from its Northamptonshire head-office, meaning all clients benefit from a dedicated claims manager, avoiding delays and impersonal call centres. Call the Ayrshire office on 01292 471097 or email ayr@

Financing diversification ... By Andrew Turnbull

Diversification within the agricultural community continues to grow for a number of reasons: to augment dwindling returns in some traditional lines, to provide income for an expanding family who wish to remain on the farm, to market on-farm produce with “added value”, to generate cash flow at times of the year when income is slow, and so on. There may be many good reasons for keeping the old and new businesses separate. For example, profit sharing ratios may need to be different to reflect the different responsibilities of the operators of the new trade. Or the old hands may not want to be tied to the level of involvement required to make a new business starting from scratch, a success. For these reasons (and many others) diversified businesses are often

owned by a different entity from the farming trade and this can make the obtaining of finance for new equipment a bit more problematic, especially if the new business has no financial track record. Quite often the answer is straightforward; the partners or directors of the long-standing farming business can provide a guarantee that they will meet any outstanding debt should the new business fail. However, the potential guarantor should be certain to see the business plan and projections for the new enterprise so that he can properly assess the level of risk he is taking. Another alternative is for the established farm to buy the asset and rent it to the new venture - in this way, if the new business fails, the asset is saved from the liquidators clutches.

Andrew Turnbull CA is an Area Director, based in Perth, with First Independent Finance where he specialises in agricultural and industrial loans and finance. His contact details are: Mobile: 07720 886272, Phone 01738 624671 email


machinery New Kuhn’s new twin-disc trailed spreader Aimed at large scale arable and grassland operations, the new AXENT 100.1 uses two spreading modules (one for granular products and a second for powdered material) and is the first trailed machine to offer variable rate spreading and automatic section control. The AXENT 100.1 is capable of spreading a wide range of granular, pelleted or powdered fertilisers and soil conditioner products thanks to its interchangeable AXIS PowerPack and LIME PowerPack spreading modules. The hydraulically driven AXIS PowerPack uses the same technology as KUHN’s established

AXIS range of twin disc spreaders to precisely spread granular fertilisers across working widths of 18 to 50m. The AXIS PowerPack module uses KUHN’s EMC (Electronic Mass Control) system to continuously adjust the spreading rate across the machine’s entire width: this is achieved by constantly measuring the torque on each spreading disc and adjusting the flow rate on a second-by-second basis to ensure ultimate spreading accuracy. The AXIS PowerPack also uses KUHN’s CDA (Co-axial Distribution Adjustment) system which works in conjunction with GPS and variable rate mapping to reduce or close sections of the spread pattern.

The LIME PowerPack uses larger spreading discs (700mm) which are specifically designed to spread powdered soil conditioners such as lime and

pellet fertilisers to a distance of 15 metres. It is capable of a much higher output of material and can spread several tonnes per hectare.

Team Leader4, a sprayer for the contractor Team Sprayers’ new Leader4 has major design improvements and superb ‘ride’ ideal for farm contractors and larger farmers. The latest in a series of trailed sprayers, Team Leader4


has been re-designed with a profiled tank and a ‘low-folding’ boom design which combine for a low centre of gravity so maximising machine stability. The new model is available with

3000, 4000 and 5000 litre tank and boom options from 21 to 32m, the wider formats being tri-fold. There’s a new heavy duty PTO pump and air compressor combination for boom recirculation and immediate application readiness. ‘Ride’ is improved by axle air suspension with load sensing valve and a new steering axle which is fitted as standard. A Muller Basic terminal in the tractor cab displays all functions for effortless operation. Leader4 joins Team’s ‘stable’ of trailed and mounted sprayers, the latter being supplemented

by front mounted tanks when required. Team’s latest front mounted liquid fertiliser application system enables the vegetable grower to incorporate liquid fertiliser while planting or drilling. Ground level pipes incorporate the solution into the soil at the desired rate, anything from 50 – 1000L/ha, while a high capacity hydraulic pump ensures the tank solution is kept agitated while being applied to the seed rows. Planter mounted placement tines are offered on the ‘potato version’, either standard single outlet left and right or a double outlet Y’ shaped version.

machinery The New Fleming TR14 The New Heavy Duty 14,000kg Agricultural trailer is designed to satisfy the requirements of modern trailer operations. All chassis and body parts are manufactured from high tensile steel plate and hollow section to help reduce weight and increase payload without compromising structural strength. Unique design sprung draw bar provides excellent ride characteristics working in combination with the multi leaf spring bogie suspension to reduce stress on the towing vehicle and operator. Tapered body and twin heavy duty tipping rams ensure a fast and clean unloading time with all hydraulic pipes safely concealed within the chassis. 10 stud heavy duty commercial axle, brakes and lights. 40mm EN8 towing eye, skid and skid carrier Hydraulic hose carrier and access ladder 550/45/22.5 flotation tyres. TR14 Options include: Hydraulic back door


complete with locking safety valve to avoid accidental spillage. Galvanised silage

extension kit complete with swinging back door and automatic

trip. Front viewing window Grain chute Tarpaulin cover.

machinery First Keenan and Storti collaboration is unveiled at Agromek Irish and Italian agricultural manufacturing firms Keenan and Storti recently announced a wide-ranging collaboration. The first in an exciting array of developmental and engineering projects between the two machinery giants was revealed today at Agromek, Northern Europe’s largest agricultural fair. Together, the two companies have built a range of twin- and triple-auger Keenan vertical feeders. Long synonymous with the paddle feeder, Keenan sees the introduction of a vertical offering to their range as a major development.

The Keenan VA2-18 is the first in a series of new KEENAN vertical auger models that is being brought to market featuring twin and triple augers for the more than 18-cubic-meter space.

“Keenan has always been proponents of the unique quality of the MechFiber mix produced by our paddle diet feeders,” said Matt Higgins, commercial director of Keenan, speaking at the launch of the Keenan VA2-

18 at Agromek. “However, in Storti we have found the best vertical machine in the market and have successfully enhanced the output from this machine with the addition of our InTouch technology.


machinery SlurryKat launches new tanker dribble bar range SlurryKat in Northern Ireland has further stamped its mark on the slurry spreading industry with a brand new range of budget farm line dribble bars. Already firmly established as market leaders in slurry handling equipment and pioneers of the dribble bar system, SlurryKat has now launched a new affordable range designed specifically for farmers. This new range further adds to the company’s existing ‘two-line’ market approach, consisting of premium ‘proline’ products, designed for contractors and larger intensive farmers, as well as a more basic ‘farm line’ budget range of equipment. This approach has been very well received in the market over the past few years according to SlurryKat CEO Garth Cairns. He said: “We now have a product for everyone with premium and

basic spec products from a shear grab to a slurry tanker.” Having launched the range of Panterra tankers almost a year ago, Mr Cairns added: “The Panterra tankers have been an amazing success for us in the past 12 months or so and we continue to build on this success with continuous product development, helping to give our customers the best market leading farm equipment at affordable prices.”

Features of the new dribble bar range demonstrate the usual high manufacturing quality expected from SlurryKat. There are two models available in the more popular 7.5m and 9m working widths.

Other innovative features include spring loaded booms that automatically reset, if they accidentally come into contact with an obstacle such as a post during operation, therefore preventing damage.

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machinery With the takeover of the plough factory from Vogel & Noot, Amazone has further expanded its range of ploughs. The new Cayros mounted reversible ploughs, in their green-orange colour, will be shown for the first time at the LAMMA Show. In this way, Amazone has now brought – in addition to the existing Cayron series – five further models of mounted reversible plough in different sizes and designs into its programme. The smallest Cayros M series includes three to four furrow ploughs for tractors up to 120 HP. Cayros M ploughs feature a beam clearance of 78 cm and interbody clearances of 95 and 102 cm. The beam measures 120 x 100 x 8 mm and features a turnover shaft diameter of 80 mm on models with stepless furrow width adjustment and, for the hydraulic stone release ploughs, an increase to 90 mm. Then, going up in size, the Cayros XM, XMS and XS ranges, for tractors of up to 140 HP, 200

Amazone introduce the new range of Cayros mounted reversible ploughs

HP and 260 HP respectively, offer stronger components still. The top of the range model ploughs are represented by the Cayros XS pro with interbody clearances of up to

105 cm and a beam clearance of up to 90 cm. These ploughs feature a strong 200 x 150 x 10 mm beam and a turnover shaft 120 mm in diameter. This series includes three

types with four to six furrows for tractors up to 380 HP. They have been designed specifically as high performance ploughs for large estates or contractor operation.


machinery Hi Spec’s latest Xcel 1250 spreader

The unique Hi-Spec Xcel 1250 spreader is 10 years old this year, and as part of its ongoing development Hi-Spec Engineering has given it a complete overhaul. Based on extensive field trials and customer feedback, the new Xcel 1250 incorporates significant improvements over the previous model, including the ability to accurately and evenly spread to 24 metres.


The XCEL 1250 is unique in that it uses a rotary chain and flail system to achieve a good break up of material, which is then spread using a pair of spinning discs. As part of the updates, the spreading disc speed has been increased, resulting in the Xcel 1250 now having the capacity to achieve an even spread pattern up to 24 metres, compared to 20 metres previously.

This will have the benefit of reducing wheelings in the field, but where Controlled Traffic Farming (CTF) is carried out, this will allow the Xcel 1250 to be run on the permanent tramlines up to the widest 12m spacing that is increasingly being adopted. The shredding rotor carries 22 heavy duty chains, which in

turn carry 12mm Hardox flail heads, carried under a 4mm Hardox hood, that shred all the material to an even consistency and ensure no lumps are deposited onto the spreading rotors. New on the 2016 model is an adjustment plate on the shredding rotor hood, which improves the spread pattern as the manure is now better placed onto the spreading discs.

machinery New generation baler from John Deere

farmwatch In the rural environment good security is essential and is an effective deterrent against crime. Farm vehicles, machinery and plant are attractive to the would -be thief and it is important that you consider how best to protect them and prevent the financial and operational impact to your business. John Deere has introduced a new generation of fixed chamber round balers for 2017, including the top of the range F441R machine that where featured on the company’s stand for the first time at AgriScot 2016 The F441R premium model has been developed to meet the high-capacity requirements of contractors and larger livestock farms. Like all F441 Series models it features a wider bale chamber, up from 1.17 to 1.21m, which automatically translates into an increased bale weight, and it also incorporates an extra 18th roller. The baler offers a choice

of 2m or optional 2.2m pickups feeding a high capacity MaxiCut HC rotor with 13 or 25 knives. John Deere’s product engineers have focused on improving versatility and durability when redesigning the F441 Series balers. This has resulted in pick-ups reinforced by wear-resistant Hardox steel plates, stronger gate roll drive chains, upgraded roller material, larger bearings and improved sealing protection. These enhancements allow the balers to harvest 95 per cent of the crop mass while reaching the highest possible performance limits.

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The following simple steps can be taken to secure your farm vehicles; s !,7!93 REMOVE THE keys from the vehicle when stored or not in use. s 3TORE VEHICLE KEYS IN A secure location away from the vehicles. s $ONOTLEAVESHEDDOORS open when not in use, especially if the building can be seen from the road or someone driving around the yard. s 5SE ANY lTTED immobiliser. s #ONSIDER lTTING #ESAR vehicle tracking systems or steering locking security device to your machine. s +EEP A RECORD OF ALL machinery serial numbers. s +EEP NOTE OF ANY damage, modifications or repairs to make the machine identifiable. s -AKEMACHINESEXCLUSIVE to you in an obvious way (sign writing, extra lighting, welding on post codes or serial numbers)

s )F POSSIBLE STORE IN A locked shed near to dog kennels or occupied houses. s "LOCK THE MACHINE IN with other equipment so that it cannot be pushed away. s %XTEND BOOM ARMS and legs on telehandlers or forklifts to prevent the vehicle being easily towed. s !VOID LEAVING VEHICLES exposed in fields overnight. s &IT SECURITY LIGHTING IN areas or buildings where machines are stored. s #ONSIDER INSTALLATION OF CCTV s !LWAYS BE MINDFUL OF cold callers s #HECKTHEIDENTITYOFANY utility workers or company representatives calling at the premises. s .OTE DESCRIPTION AND registration number of any suspicious vehicles Please report all suspicious activity to Police Scotland on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at http://www. For further information on security please go to the rural crime page on the Police Scotland website, h t t p : / / w w w. s c o t l a n d . rural-crime

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machinery New Holland Roll Baler 125 New Holland Agriculture launches the new Roll Baler 125 and Roll Baler 125 Combi at Innovagri. The two models, which have been completely restyled to offer excellent service access, have been extensively renewed and upgraded to meet the requirements of the most demanding contractors, livestock and mixed farmers. Simon Nichol, Head of Hay & Forage and Crop Production Product Management, said: “The new Roll Baler models are designed to operate in a wide range of conditions, delivering consistently high bale quality even when working with heavy grass, dense hay or large dry, brittle straw swaths. The new models dramatically increase performance in bale quality, durability, reliability and ease of operation and share many


advanced features with the Roll Baler 135 Ultra that is in a class of its own.� Consistently high bale quality and high productivity The Roll Baler 125 models feature the latest pick-up, which was introduced on the Big Baler and Roll Belt balers. At 2.3 m, it is 300mm wider than in the previous model. The 5 tine bars with double cam drive and the adjustable suspension deliver ultimate feeding capacity and best-inclass pick up efficiency. The improved roller windguard, also adopted from the Big Baler range, ensures perfect feeding of very small or heavy windrows and is available with a choice of removable fixed or swivel wheels. That can be stowed on the pick up for transport, and remains under

3m wide when the pick-up wheels are installed. The new models feature a new drop floor which is operated from the comfort of the tractor cab. The unique pivot design lowers the floor by 120mm at the front and 60 mm

at the rear, making it far easier and quicker to clear a blockage without any losses. The knives lower automatically when the drop floor is lowered. The optional Rotor declutch system ensures fast unplugging even in extreme conditions.

country woman Deborah Deveney By Linda Mellor

The love of the countryside, nature and wildlife is in Deborah Deveney’s blood and can be traced back a few generations to her grandparents who had a farm near Dunfermline and tended livestock. “When I was a child I recall going on country walks with my grandfather. They stir up fond memories for me and the connection I have with the rural landscape.” In her twenties, she loved taking her dog out and walking for hours in the Fife countryside. “Even though there were public parks nearby I always opted to go for a countryside walk as it was much more peaceful and enjoyable.” Years later, Deborah became ill and ended up in a wheelchair. Over the next three years, as part of her recovery, she had regular physiotherapy to help improve her mobility and build up her strength. As her health started to improve, she was able to go out 92

and start walking again. The more she walked in the countryside, the more benefit she gained. Deborah said, “There is something wonderful about the lack of stress, the peace and quiet you experience on a walk. When I am outdoors, I am relaxed and become more aware of my surroundings, and I see so much wildlife. I have never needed binoculars as everything is so close. I credit the countryside for helping me as it played a major part in me regaining my health.” Deborah was determined to stay focussed on her health and keeping herself mobile, she needed an incentive to keep her outdoors and active. “I asked a local farmer if he needed help with his Shetland ponies. It meant I could be outdoors and able to continue making an improvement to my health. It was also a new experience for me as it was my first close contact with horses. I would help out three or four times a week, pottering

around and tidying up. The ponies got used to me coming in and I got to learn about being around them.” The outdoor work was a positive step for the continuing improvement to Deborah’s health. It gave her a sense of purpose and a feeling of satisfaction. “I enjoyed getting outdoors, working hard and being able to stand back and see everything clean and tidy. Even though it was very tiring, I loved it, and that made a huge difference to me.” At the stables one day, Deborah met a new horse, a tall dark bay. Many people were unsure of him, but she found him ‘very smoochy’, and he would ‘nuzzle up’ to her. “There was something about Guinness,” said Deborah. “He was slightly unusual looking as he had a white eye and high withers but we clicked.” She started reading as many horse books as she could to further her knowledge and

eventually bought Guinness, a 16 2hh eighteen-year-old gelding. “I bought him on the understanding I could get help if I needed it. I am independent, and I did not want anyone doing things for me but if I needed advice I knew I could ask someone.” Deborah enjoyed the challenge and responsibility of owning her first horse; slowly they got used to one another, tending to him each day and taking the big step of ‘being brave enough to ride him’. Despite all the challenges, he gave her a reason to be outdoors and to keep her on the go. Five years ago, Deborah had the opportunity of a field just a short distance from her home, so she moved Guinness. She bought a van conversion horsebox to transport him around and joined the local riding club. “He was the perfect gentleman; he had a very docile nature and never put a hoof wrong. If he feels safe, he will do

country woman anything, but then I discovered he was hard to ride out safely. There are so many distractions when you are riding out – like cows! He has a problem if he sees them; he spins around and takes flight and there’s no stopping him.” Keen to try and understand Guinness’s behaviour, Deborah decided to track down his old owner. She discovered an RAF Officer stationed out in Cyprus had rescued Guinness, who had been an untrained ex-racehorse in a previous life. The Officer was transferred to Whitehall and had taken Guinness with him. He was then moved up to Leuchars and Guinness went with him. “In an arena, he feels safe but outdoors in the wide open spaces he’s a challenge. As soon as he puts a hoof on the grass he gets the bit in his mouth; he’s off, and there are no brakes or steering.” Keen to make the most out of their partnership and rise to the challenges, Deborah worked Guinness and introduced him to new activities. She transported him around to different events

and taking part in dressage and jumping competitions. Having enjoyed a number of notable successes competing with Guinness, Deborah has also had her fair share of falls resulting in injuries. “He ran out at a jump, and I came down on the solid wooden section and even though I was wearing a body protector, I still had broken ribs, bruised kidney, a torn ligament and ripped the cartilage of my ribs.” Deborah’s health remains a challenge and some days are easier than others but being in the countryside is where her passion lies. “In the summer, I can’t think of anywhere better but in the winter there is a load of other challenges. I feel the cold, and it can have a knock-on effect on my health. But even it is cold, wet and muddy you still have animals to deal with, and that’s what keeps me going.” “I wouldn’t change any of it. I love the outdoors and no matter what the weather is doing I am outside and getting on with life. I could never go back to living in a town.” said Deborah.

Southern Belle IS IT REALLY THAT IMPORTANT? In the past month, two lorry drivers have been convicted of causing death by dangerous driving, while using their mobile phones. One sentenced to life and another to six years in prison. What was so important to risk lives and liberty? Innocent people died and the lives of the victims’ families and their own families were ruined. What was so important that it was worth risking lives, to use the phone? Changing music, facebook, texting and calling for a chat! These were the “important” things that innocent people died for! Last week a young lad on his phone veered into the fast lane in front of me, nearly hitting the central barrier. He then sat for the next five miles on his phone holding up the traffic despite clear lanes inside him. Flashing lights and horns from me and other drivers made no difference. He was oblivious to the cars behind him! I’ve see women looking down texting at 90mph in

the outside lane, middle aged men on the phone hogging the middle lane, van, car and lorry drivers loosing momentary control of their vehicles, while answering the phone or sending a text and I’m not afraid to say some of the worst offenders are tractor drivers! This is not funny!! You could kill someone and you and your family will live with the consequences for the rest of your lives. How would you feel about a driver who did that you your family? Find a safe place, stop for two minutes and call back. It saves lives! Previously I wrote about the dangers of not wearing reflective jackets, when out with horses or dogs at night, following the death of one of our villagers and both horses. Hopefully some readers will have taken it on board and now be safe. If just one person takes this on board, stops using their phone while driving and saves a life, it will have been worthwhile. Here’s to a phone free 2017! All the best.


country woman Hundreds of women have asked Scotland to better acknowledge their contribution to the agricultural and rural or land-based industries by attending a one-day event Taking place back in November, the Women in Agriculture Conference welcomed more than 250 individuals to their third event which focused on development opportunities, available support and strength in collaboration. The demand for the event and the diverse range of those in attendance highlighted a desire for sharing knowledge, generating new contacts and working together to raise the profile of women who work in the agricultural and rural or land-based industries. This included farmers and crofters, accountants, land agents, secretaries, administrators, retailers, agri-tourism owners, researchers, consultants and producers to name just a few. Opening the event, Professor Sally Shortall, Duke of Northumberland Chair for Rural Economy at Newcastle University

brought attention to the social changes in farming practice and the links between evidence and policy in relation to women working in the sector. Priscilla Gordon-Duff who manages the family business at Drummuir Estate talked about succession planning and the challenges faced by global issues. First-time crofter Maddy Norval is less than half the age of the average crofter/farmer today but highlighted a promising future for any young women wishing to join the sector. Her enthusiasm for Scotland’s heritage, desire to make the most her resources and the ability to combine working on the land with an online art business has enabled her to live her dream. Recent Scotland Bafta winners and stars of This Farming Life, Melissa Irvine and Sybil MacPherson

talked about their experience in the limelight and how public perception of women in agriculture is far distant from the reality. The event, hosted at Royal Bank of Scotland Conference Centre, was organised by representatives from Royal Highland Agricultural Society of Scotland, SAOS, Royal Bank

of Scotland, Scottish Association of Young Farmers ‘Clubs, NFU Scotland and Scottish Woodlands. Anyone wishing to support the Women in Agriculture, or be added to the mailing list for future events should contact Alison Taylor via 0131 335 6214 or alisont@rhass.


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Wildlife on canvas Featuring artist Elaine Johnston

Elaine Johnston was born in Glasgow and graduated with honours from Glasgow School

of Art in 1997 with another 4 years as the understudy of prominent Scottish artist Peter Howson OBE, completing her art education with a further BA from the Royal Conservatoire in 2004.

During her on going career she has specialised in both design and fine art. In these particular areas she has designed sets for opera and theatre, worked with the Department of Trade and Industry, The British Embassy and the royal family of Monaco to name but a few. Articles can be found in various publications such as The Dubai News, The Glasgow Herald, and even here at Farming Scotland magazine. Amongst the various awards she has obtained are The Young Achievers Award for Scotland presented by the Queen at Buckingham Palace and Design For Diplomats presented by the then Prime Minister Tony Blair at Downing Street.

Today this accomplished artist has settled in the village of Sorn in East Ayrshire where she finds inspiration from the stags and pheasants at Sorn Castle, cattle in the fields to the hares at her own back door. Specialising in sport-wild life and rural animal oil paintings with a diverse range in scale from 5 inches to 5 metres, this adaptable artists work is seen in galleries and homes worldwide (even our own editor’s home!). Embracing the strong rural subjects, Elaine also enjoys bringing life to the domestic animal in her commission work and gets great joy from capturing what the owner sees in their animal.


Choosing an independent education for your child by Alison Herbert

Scottish Council of Independent Schools

Scotland has always placed great value on education, which is why today we have such an exceptional range of first-rate independent schools. So whether you have a techloving entrepreneur on your hands, or a son or daughter with a passion for the outdoors, you are sure to find a school they will thrive in. You have a choice of: Single sex or co-educational schools. Large and small schools in both urban and countryside settings. Day schools, boarding schools and those who offer both. Schools equipped to deal with Complex Additional Support Needs The independent school advantage When children are young we often wonder what the future will hold. Will they be musical? Will they be academic? Who will they choose as their friends? Scotland’s independent schools are set up to give your child every opportunity both inside and outside the classroom. The schools’ reputation for academic excellence is an obvious attraction for many 96

parents. Smaller pupil/teacher ratios and significant investment in modern, stimulating teaching facilities attracts the highest calibre of teaching staff capable of igniting a passion for the subjects they teach. Born digital natives, most children and young people today want to feel stretched, challenged and inspired by new technology. While the imposing architecture of some school buildings might give off an air of Hogwarts, once inside it’s definitely more ipad Air and the magic of cloud computing. Developing skills and confidence Each school has its own distinct ethos and values, but each one will encourage your child to be the very best they can be. Independent schools offer an exciting array of new experiences your child can wrap around their academic day to help them grow both physically and socially. You’ll find every conceivable type of sport and activity on offer, plus all sorts of creative opportunities to fire your child’s imagination and develop their confidence, such

as orchestras, drama clubs and countless societies. Boarding Scotland’s boarding schools offer something unique; a breadth and depth of education that is as rich as the landscape and culture it’s set in. Scotland is also one of the safest and friendliest places in the world to study, with 30% of current students coming from Germany, Hong Kong, China, Russia and Spain. The schools have an enviable record for success. Combine this with an adventure-packed landscape to both explore and study and it’s easy to see why Scotland remains such a popular choice. For more information about boarding in Scotland visit www. uk. Fee assistance Schools are sensitive to the sacrifices many parents make in order to afford school fees. The year before you plan to enrol, please ask the school of your choice about the financial assistance options they have available. You’ll find some families use direct debit to

spread the cost throughout the year; others have grandparents or other family members contributing directly. All schools offer some level of fee assistance which is usually awarded on the basis of financial need. In 2015-16, over 600 children received a free place, and over a quarter received financial help with their fees. Financial assistance is generally awarded from P7 through Senior School. To receive assistance with fees your child simply has to meet the normal entry requirements. They don’t have to be of an academic standard required to win a scholarship. Safe environment Providing a safe and nurturing environment where children can learn and flourish is central to the ethos of all independent schools. As with state schools, every school has a trained Child Protection Co-ordinator, strict rules governing protection policies and procedures and is subject to the same exacting standards of safeguarding set by Education Scotland and the Care Commission.


See for yourself All schools welcome visits from prospective families throughout the year. Look out for details of Open Days on the school’s website, or alternatively ask for an appointment

where staff will be delighted to show you round, give you a feel for life at the school and answer any questions you may have. For more information, advice and guidance on choosing an

independent school in Scotland visit the Scottish Council of

Independent Schools website at


Craigclowan Prep School Craigclowan is set in stunning grounds with magnificent views over Perthshire. The school has a distinguished history and a reputation for the highest standards and expectations. Every pupil is encouraged to achieve their all-round potential, both academically, on the sports field and in more than 50 extracurricular activities on offer. These range from skiing, on the school’s own dry ski slope, to judo, metafit, bushcraft skills, mountain biking and fencing. School is a hive of activity and our outdoor classroom, allweather training ground, sports fields, Forest School and trim trail are in daily use. With an average class size of 12 pupils, and a friendly, caring and supportive ethos, staff are able to

get to know the children closely and treat them as individuals in all they do. A growing number of minibus routes operate each morning and our Breakfast Club is open from 0730. Free after-school care is available for all children until 1800 daily. We also operate a number of holiday activity camps throughout the year including multi-activity camps and hockey, cricket and tennis coaching. We would be delighted to see you at our open morning to show you what a Craigclowan education has to offer to your family. If you would like to arrange a visit at another time, please contact Jennifer Trueland on 01738 626310.


lifestyle The Spanish Boot Company offers a new supporting role to grooms! Country and equestrian style brand, The Spanish Boot Company is proud to announce that they are supporters of the British Grooms Association. The new relationship will see the British company offering discounts across their range of footwear to members and as MD Emma Snailham explains, they are thrilled to be involved: “Our collection of boots are worn by so many equestrians and we are excited to support the British Grooms Association, their valuable work and their members in this way for 2017” Lucy Katan, Executive Director for the BGA is also delighted with the support: “The BGA is committed to giving members as many discounts as possible and so have created BGA Supporters. We are delighted to welcome the Spanish Boot Company as our first BGA Supporter and hope that many of our members will take the opportunity of purchasing a pair of such stunning footwear!”

Sno- way!

Lounge wear to love

If after all the seasonal festivities, the thought of staying in, keeping cosy and relaxing in front of the TV holds particular allure, then these new lounge pants from retro fashion inspired British brand Whale Of A Time Clothing ensure that you stay stylish and comfortable when sofa surfing! Presented in a luxuriously soft 100% organic flannel-brushed cotton fabric, these new pants feature a relaxed wide leg cut, draw string waistband and flash of designer brilliance with their block contrast colour stripes on the shins, echoed through the draw string waistband and contrast embroidered logo on hip. Lounge wear you need in your life! Colours: Navy with white bands and Powder Pink with white bands. Sizing: XS – XL RRP: £36.99 98

If your leather boots need ‘winter proofing’, this clever little tube will spoil your boots with a beeswax waterproofing & conditioning treatment all at the same time! Sno-Seal Leather Waterproofing from The Spanish Boot Company helps protect leather from rain, sun, slow and salt and once applied, it dries to a solid coat of wax, which gives a protective second skin to your boots. Simply gently warm up your leather boots in your oven (On a very low heat) baste them with Sno-Seal and let all that lovely waxy goodness soak in! Sno-seal beeswax not only waterproofs your leather, but also lubricates leather and protects against drying and deterioration, well beyond other methods such as grease, oil and animal fats. As a natural wax, it also doesn’t weaken, decay or breakdown the leather, stitching or seams. Get ‘Wax’ lyrical about winter with some help from this handy product! RRP: £ 8.95

lifestyle Winter flora Brighten up your day and your winter wardrobe with this beautiful tweed and vintage inspired floral print scarf from tweed fashion designers Timothy Foxx. The Timothy Foxx Bubblegum Tweed Scarf is styled in a beautiful soft lightweight Scottish tweed with a stunning pink and turquoise plaid on a moss green base. Lined with a pretty vintage inspired pink floral and white cotton fabric, this scarf will brighten up those dull winter days ahead and beyond.

RS rural

STYLE By Helen Burness

Catch this… Sandhurst Fishtail Jacket

RRP: £49.00

Fall in love with Freddie!

This stunning cushion from Freddie Parker is styled in a quality cotton drill cotton and is bound to brighten up 2017! The ‘Freddie Parker Sweet Heart Cushion’ is printed with the equestrian inspired fashion brands own unique valentine’s design in Marl Grey and White with their signature bold graphic galloping horse and rider logo, interspersed with love hearts and the message ‘You Set My Heart Racing’. The perfect shape and size for that special finishing touch to your bed or sofa, this cushion is part of the brand’s growing homeware range, which you are bound to fall in love with! RRP: £22.00 Size 13” x 9”

You just have to love this beautiful fishtail jacket by Liberty Freedom is available through The Spanish Boot Company and showcases stunning British tailoring at its best with unique flag print trim and detailing giving this coat a real WOW factor! The fishtail back just makes it sumptuous! Sandhurst Fishtail Jacket: Navy RRP: £395 Size: 8 -16 99


Pretty colourful things… Flowerdrop Tea For One

Teal & Orange Lovebirds Cushion

Make tea time fabulous with this Tea for One tea set! A fine china tea set which incorporates a teapot, cup and saucer in one neat package – making it easy to brew a single cup of tea with the minimum of effort! In our stunning original Flowerdrop design. Treat yourself, it makes tea-time so special, and it is the perfect present for any tea loving friend! Fine china. Size: 400ml Pot – 2 cup Dishwasher & Microwave safe Price: £24.00

Available in two sizes, 40x40cm, and 47x47cm, and priced from £2530. Ships wordwide. Based on an original painting by artist, Louise Mead. Price: £25.00

Urban Living Colour Pop Collection

Palette Roller Blinds of many colours!

These Palette Roller Blinds are available from £21.60. The Kingfisher Palette Roller Blinds are UK manufactured and made from the highest quality materials for durability and excellence. 100

Urban life brings together a broad mix of cultures into small spaces, creating a vivid and engaging environment. The Urban Living trend draws on this lifestyle using expressive colour, practical design and an eclectic mix of furniture and accessories. The colour palette has a base of grey and charcoal, with contrasts of teal, mustard and purple. Urban Living Colour Pop Collection Shoreditch Pouffe Footstool, Mustard - £79.99 Diamond Pop Cushion, Mustard - £16.99 Dot Pop Bean Bag Nest - £89.99


Sporty numbers for 2017 World Premiere of the Ferrari J50 During a special celebration held at the National Art Center in Tokyo to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Ferrari in Japan, Ferrari revealed a new strictly limited series of bespoke cars, the J50. The Ferrari J50 is a two-seater, mid-rear-engined roadster that marks a return to the targa body style evocative of several wellloved Ferrari road cars of the 1970s and 1980s. Created by Ferrari’s Special Projects department and

designed by the Ferrari Styling Centre team in Maranello, just 10 examples of the J50 will be built and, in the spirit of Ferrari’s fuori series tradition, each one will be tailored specifically to the customer’s requirements. The bodywork is all new and heralds a radically futuristic design language, with a highly distinctive personality that suits the tastes of a clientele that seeks the utmost in innovative styling. The design

approach was led by the desire to create a very low-slung roadster,

encapsulating intrinsic Ferrari values of nimbleness and agility.

The Mercedes-AMG GT R Recording an outstanding Nordschleife lap time for the “Beast of the Green Hell” ahead of the winter break due to weather, the new MercedesAMG GT R has set the fastestever lap time on the Nürburgring Nordschleife in a test drive conducted by “sport auto”. In a time of 7:10.9 minutes, the new spearhead of the AMG model range was faster through the “Green Hell” than any other road-going rear-wheel drive sports car ever tested by the German motoring magazine. Through the Green Hell in just 7:10.9 minutes – the

Mercedes-AMG GT R was faster than any other road-going sports car ever tested. The 430 kW (585 hp) “Beast of the Green Hell” more than lived up to its nickname. A lap of the legendary Nordschleife, which ranks as the world’s toughest race track, is the ultimate test of a sports car. And this exceptional race track, the Nürburgring, is precisely where the MercedesAMG GT R has spent a large proportion of its development time. Numerous innovations and modifications bear witness that the road-going sports car has racing DNA in its blood. The

foundations for such exceptional driving dynamics come courtesy of the front mid-engine layout with transaxle, a 430 kW (585 hp) V8 biturbo engine,

extensively modified suspension, sophisticated aerodynamics, active rear-axle steering, bespoke tyres and intelligent lightweight design

The new Audi TT TDI Quattro The new quattro-equipped duo will complement the existing front-wheel-driven TT 2.0 TDI ultra models, which will continue alongside them. Where these are equipped exclusively with sixspeed manual transmission, the new 2.0 TDI quattro variants use a six-speed S tronic twin-clutch transmission without exception. The quattro drive uses an electro-hydraulic multi-plate clutch to distribute the torque to both axles. In many everyday driving situations, it will direct

the engine’s power predominantly to the front wheels. Should traction decrease there, the clutch continuously redirects the torque to the rear within a few milliseconds. At the limit, the quattro system operates in tandem with wheel-selective torque control, an intelligent software feature of the Electronic Stabilization Control (ESC). This makes handling even more fluid and stable thanks to targeted, accurately metered brake applications to the wheels

on the inside of the bend. On lowfriction surfaces, the permanent

all-wheel drive system even allows safe, controlled drifts. 101


Page Turner’s

BOOK REVIEW Heavenly Recipes: The Scottish Food Bibles

James Adamson Savills has made a senior appointment to its Rural, Energy and Projects team with the addition of Director, James Adamson, who will be responsible for forestry investment across the UK. James is a Chartered Surveyor with extensive

experience of forestry markets.

He was latterly

an Investment Manager with Scottish Woodlands Ltd, specialising in the acquisition and valuation of commercial forests. Philip Gready, Head of Savills Rural said: “We are

delighted to have James on board. His knowledge of the forestry market expands our offering to those investment clients who are looking for a longerterm, tax-efficient capital option, at a time when there is good confidence in the sector.” James said: “Forestry is a unique and often overlooked asset, with considerable potential for a wide range of investors. This department is a natural progression of the wide range of rural services offered by Savills across the UK and beyond and I look forward to working with colleagues to diversify our clients’ investment portfolios.”


This long-running series of pocket-sized cookery books continues to showcase Scotland’s celebrated ingredients to a hungry audience. Beginning back in 2010 with the Stornoway Black Pudding Bible, the series is fast nearing a baker’s dozen. The most recent batch of three could easily furnish a handsome breakfast table: there’s an Oats Bible for your porridge and oatcakes, and Honey and Marmalade to go on top (or on your toast). However, it’s a testament to the creativity of their authors that these books go far beyond the breakfast table, showing the versatility of these raw ingredients. Shirley Spear of the famed Three Chimneys restaurant on Skye is the doyenne of Scottish marmalade. Her renowned Marmalade Pudding takes pride of place here, and it’s a zingy delight of a winter dessert. But there is also a section on vegetables and meat: marmalade glazed carrots are straightforward and a roast gammon joint with mustard and marmalade glaze is a showstopper. These are all prefaced by a section on the history of marmalade, which seems to have arrived in Scotland with Mary Queen of Scots who used marmelada (a Portuguese quince paste) to ease sea-sickness on her journey to Calais. Shortly thereafter, Scots began to chew citrus peel to aid digestion.

The Chain Bridge Honey Bible by Liz Ashworth is a collaboration between the Berwickshire honey farm, whose bees forage on both sides of the Tweed, and an experienced food consultant from the north of Scotland. Ashworth’s tips on how to substitute honey for sugar in baking and the benefits of doing so, extra moisture and a richer colour, are fascinating. For a small book, The Scottish Oats Bible by Nichola Fletcher has big ideas. The sheer variety of uses for oats in traditional and modern recipes is staggering. There is ‘avenotto’ a risotto using oat groats, smoothies and skirlies galore, and even a recipe for oatmeal facial scrub (no environmentally harmful microbeads). These small books are wittily illustrated by Bob Dewar, whose distinctive cartoons save the Scottish produce from shortbread-box tartan kitsch. The front cover of the Oats Bible, for instance, has a massive bearded Highlander tossing a spurtle – a winking homage to the iconic Scott’s Porage Oats box. After consulting the MacSween Haggis Bible, you’ll add some flash to your Burns Supper this January by serving your haggis with a dash of whisky sauce (p. 24). The Scottish Food Bibles by various authors are published by Birlinn (£4.99, paperback)

Farming Scotland Magazine (January - February 2017)  
Farming Scotland Magazine (January - February 2017)