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Scotland’s national farming & rural lifestyle magazine

Tuathanachas Alba


FREE INSIDE THIS ISSUE Year Planner & Show Guide 2019 Wall Posters Scottish Speciality Food Show Tractors Dairy Expo 2019 World Farming Argentina Topic Safety on the Farm


In Focus Backing the Future of Farming

February 2019

Farming Travel Guide Skye & Raasay Exotic Farming Soay Sheep Book Serialisation Part 1: ‘Calum’s Road’ Country Woman Featuring Gail Barclay Readers Competition with Hoggs of Fife plus Scottish Country Life s SWI s Beatha an Eilean including our regular news sections and columns



february 2019







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Scottish Speciality Food Show Tractors Dairy Expo 2019



With Wendy Barrie


Safety matters

Backing the future

Skye & Raasay



Life on the islands

SWI 73

Creating a new life!

Soay Sheep

All Editorial & PR enquiries to EDITOR Athole Murray Fleming Tel. 01738 639747 E-mail: mail@farmingscotlandmagazine.com


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Environment Renewable Energy Beef Livestock Dairy Sheep Pigs Science & Technology Gadgets Estate Forestry Future Farmer Finance Horses Machinery Lifestyle @Home Cars

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Part 1 of ‘Calum’s Road’


Arable Cutivations Potatoes EU News Organics New to Market

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Editor’s Bit


In my view






Hutton Institute


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Quality Meat Scotland


The Vet


NFU Scotland

ADVERTISING MANAGER Barry Tweed Tel. 01738 550157 Email: barry@farmingscotlandmagazine.com

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Book Review


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arable editor's bit Forever forward We might be a small family business here, but we are always thinking of new ways to improve the magazine and how we can reach more people. Recently, we started taking card payments over the phone for subscribers. This is proving to be a great move as it makes it very easy to arrange to get your personal copy posted out to you. Another area we have looked at is to have Farming Scotland Magazine available at every single livestock market throughout Scotland and North England. I am delighted to announce that we will begin this ‘roll out’ in livestock markets in March, so I hope that for those of you who are market regulars, this will help you to get your copy much easier. I hope this will also help those who find our magazine has ‘sold out’ in their local newsagent before they get the chance to pop in! We are always looking for new ideas on contents too, so if any of you have ideas on what you would like to read about in Farming Scotland? Please do not hesitate in giving me a call. As long as it has nothing to do with Scotland being taken out of the EU and Brexit!!! Okay? Happy New Year to you all, and despite the political nonsense that surrounds us right now, I wish you a prosperous and successful 2019. Slàinte, Athole.


Shetland farmer receives Innovator of the Year Award Jamie Leslie, who farms at Scholland Farm in Virkie, Shetland, won the Innovator of the Year Award, as well as the barley gold award for yield potential at the Yield Enhancement Network Awards in Harrogate. ADAS initiated the Yield Enhancement Network in 2012 which aims to identify, encourage and support arable innovators, whether on farms or in labs. Three other Scottish farmers – Donald Ross, Mark McCallum and Hugo Lee – also won accolades at the event, which celebrates farmers who strive to improve their arable yields. Jamie received his innovation award for his work with the Shetland Barley Group which saw him achieve a 43 per cent increase over the long-term barley yields for the Shetland islands. The challenge which Jamie and the other Shetland arable growers faced was how to make barley growing a profitable enterprise. Yield and quality needed to increase, and they needed to take a close look at their inputs and general management systems. AHDB Knowledge Transfer Manager Emily Pope, who nominated Jamie, explained: “Jamie used the YEN initiative to help push the

boundaries of crop production on Shetland. He initiated the Shetland Barley Group with the objective of reducing the Island’s reliance on imported feed and straw by increasing productivity on the limited area of land suitable for cereal production. “After taking virtual agronomy advice from SRUC’s Crop Clinic, Jamie increased his input costs by £160/ha, however the reward in the end was achieving an impressive 8.2 t/ha which resulted in an increase in margin of £389/ha.” Jamie also won the gold award in the barley yield potential category. Rather than focusing on volume of crop grown, this category assesses each participating farms in terms

of climate, soil type and growing season and the result is a potential yield figure that could be reached in the best possible conditions. The nearer the farmers get to that the more likely they are to win and in a difficult year Jamie came out on top after achieving 58 per cent of his potential yield. The other Scottish winners were AHDB Arable Business Group members Hugo Lee, based in Roxburghshire in the Scottish Borders, who picked up a gold award for barley yield of 8.2 t/ha. Donald Ross, who farms at Rhynie Farm in Easter Ross, and Black Isle grower Mark McCallum came second and third for wheat yield potential. For further updates, visit cereals.ahdb.org.uk

Winter Wheat Challenge trophy returns to Edinburgh The Winter Wheat Challenge trophy has returned to the Edinburgh campus of Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC). Sponsored by the Mains of Loirston Trust, the winners of the annual competition were announced at this year’s AgriScot, with the King’s Buildings quartet of team captain Grigor Forbes (from Nairn), Mark Craig (Dumfries

& Galloway), Angus Liston (Musselburgh) and Hamish Scott (Loch Lomond) taking the honours ahead of 16 other teams. After last year’s trophy was won by a group of students from SRUC’s Craibstone campus in Aberdeen, Grigor and company gained victory by investing in fertiliser inputs to maximise yield. The Winter Wheat


Challenge sees teams make management decisions on their own plots, including variety, seed rate, fertiliser and crop protection. The winners are those who make the best return after paying for variable costs. Grigor’s team grew a crop of Savello, Group 4, feed wheat and achieved the highest yields at both the Fife and Edinburgh sites with 10 tonnes per hectare and 9 t/ha respectively.

In my view


By John Cameron Balbuthie, Kilconquhar, Fife

Is uncertainty the only certainty?

Once crops were harvested, a grain sample from each team was sent to WN Lindsay, which analysed the sample and provided a spot price based on variety and quality. The winners were offered £172 per tonne for their grain which, although not the highest price, was enough to secure victory. Alex Hilton, co-organiser of the competition, said: “A prolonged dry spell coupled with the ‘Beast from the East’ has led to a particularly challenging contest, so huge congratulations go to this year’s winners. The dry season resulted in other teams producing below-average yields, but the winners invested in higher inputs than some, particularly Nitrogen, in order to achieve this.

“The dry year also meant that the disease pressure was low, meaning that their fungicide regime adequately controlled any issues.” The Mains of Loirston Charitable Trust was set up by the late Alexander Williams Allan, a North East farmer, for “the advancement of education in the fields of either the practice of agriculture or the science of agriculture in Scotland”. Managed by SRUC, the Winter Wheat Challenge is designed to encourage the next generation of farmers and agronomists. To find out more about studying Agriculture at SRUC, go to www.sruc.ac.uk/agriculture

Newly recommended hybrid winter feed barleys will broaden grower choice With hybrid barley now accounting for around 34% of the UK winter feed barley area, the addition of two new high-yielding hybrid barleys to the AHDB Recommended List for 2019 will further extend growers’ choice of hybrids to suit individual farm situations, says breeder Syngenta. The new feed barley hybrids, SY Kingsbarn and SY

Baracooda, are the latest to be recommended from the Syngenta Hyvido breeding programme, says Syngenta seeds marketing manager, Mark Bullen. This programme has produced hybrids delivering higher yields than conventional barley, as well as other benefits such as vigorous growth for greater black-grass suppression, he adds.


Well after months of Brexit negotiations and waiting for the famous – or infamous Brexit vote we are now informed that – after all – there will not be a Brexit vote – at least not meantime. If anyone had forecast such a saga and its outcome we would all have laughed ourselves silly but it has actually happened. So where do we go from here? And how is this going to affect the Agricultural Industry’s future investment plans? There is speculation that amongst other possibilities there could now be another EU referendum. For us in agriculture the big question is whether any future referendum would change things? If it did it might be the simplest way to get us all out of our fears and worries for the future. It obviously won’t please the ‘hard line Brexiteers’ but the unanswered queries and possible threats to our industry are now at a level where a degree of knowledge and certainty has to be desirable over the present situation. Yes if we got a different result the bureaucracy of the EU would still be with us but so would the availability of tariff free entry for our products to the EU and some protection from imports. Personally I’m not a gambling man and whilst I have noted all that has been said about ‘new opportunities’ I would settle for a bit of future stability and surety.

Back to the big question – have the British people had enough of all this doubt and uncertainty – or do they still feel we would be better on our own? For me it’s a bit of human reaction to recent lengthy statements and developments but if we do get to that situation I do believe we would get a different result. Time will tell! Another major political decision that was taken recently and which will undoubtedly affect our livestock sector – particularly our sheep sector was the recent decision by our DEFRA Minister Michael Gove not to release Lynx into the wild at Keilder Forest in the north of England. In this case the certainties of the difficulties this would have caused, overcame the possibilities of any benefits. Almost all farmers take a hand in sustaining our environment in one way or another – but the strong possibility of the cruelty and damage this would have caused went against the grain of livestock producers. Perhaps we need to take another look at the Sea Eagles situation on our west coast? I have not always agreed with Michael Gove but on this occasion I must give him credit for a practical wellreasoned approach which will be widely welcomed not just by farmers but by all genuine nature respecting people. 7

arable SY Kingsbarn “The key point about SY Kingsbarn,” says Mark Bullen, “is that it has produced higher yields than the UK’s current leading Hyvido hybrid, Bazooka. Kingsbarn has also delivered highly consistent yields over the last three very different growing seasons, as a percentage of control varieties. “SY Kingsbarn has also managed to improve on Bazooka’s already-good grain quality, in terms of specific weight, without losing out on disease resistance or standing power, where it offers shorter and stiffer straw. “All in all, SY Kingsbarn looks set to offer a dependable option especially in the East and West. We see it as being suitable for new hybrid barley growers, or for growers who may want to start looking at a step up from Bazooka without compromising on good agronomic characteristics,” he adds.


SY Baracooda The second newcomer hybrid, SY Baracooda, offers a similar UK treated yield to current top yielding variety, Belmont, plus good

specific weight, says Mark Bullen, but its standout benefits include an exceptionally high untreated yield, very robust mildew resistance, and a very high yield in the West.


“SY Baracooda also offers similarly tall straw to Bazooka and a similar resistance profile against diseases,” adds Mr Bullen.

arable Local analysis of cereals essential to accurate feed formulation

crofting The new order of agriculture By Patrick Krause, Chief Executive, Scottish Crofting Federation

Final analysis of the 2018 wheat and barley harvest has revealed high nutritional variability, particularly in protein content. Eloise Lawlor, from Premier Nutrition, advises that routine monitoring of incoming cereals being used for feed is critical. “Many early samples of both wheat and barley had a much lower moisture content in comparison with later harvested crops, contributing to variance in nutritional value. Therefore, local analysis will provide the most reliable data for updating raw material matrix values. “In light of our survey results, our team of independent nutritionists will be on hand to help the industry make appropriate adjustments to maintain accurate feed formulations.” Eloise highlights some of the most notable harvest results. “Preliminary figures indicated an increase in protein in wheat compared to 2017 cereals, due to the prolonged dry spell in the early summer. Although, analysis

of later samples shows this has reversed, and on average there’s a slight decrease in protein when corrected to 13.5% moisture. “However, in some regions a small increase in protein is seen when compared to last year on an ‘as is’ basis. Average energy from wheat has not changed since earlier reports, but it has increased from 2017 figures, largely due to this year’s drier crop,” she says. A similar regional variation is seen in barley, although on average, protein has slightly decreased. Similarly to wheat, energy values show a slight increase. Overall levels of both DON and zearalenone mycotoxins in wheat remain low. For barley, DON levels are low with patches of elevated zearalenone levels distributed across the country. For more information about the 2018 Crop Survey Harvest results, contact Premier Nutrition on 01889 572500 or poultry@premiernutrition.co.uk.


Scotland sells some of its main agricultural products, livestock and meat, on the ‘environment and animal welfare label’. That is to say that we have a niche market based on high environmental protection and high animal welfare. We sell on high quality with high standards and this could be our unique selling point in the emerging marketplace. Scotland has made the decision to not embrace Genetically Modified Organisms, but this could end with Brexit. Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Michael Gove MP, recently said that Britain will lead an agricultural revolution with the use of gene editing despite concerns about genetically modified food. He made it clear that the agreement for leaving the European Union would allow scientists and farmers to be freed from European legislation outlawing the technology. Earlier in the month, UK government’s advisory Committee on Climate Change released a report advocating that the number of sheep and cattle in the UK should be reduced by up to half to help combat climate change. The reason given is that cattle and sheep

produce greenhouse gases, especially methane. If we reduce the amount of meat produced here we simply relocate the problem. If there is a market, demand will be met by increasing imports of meat from countries that clear native forest for grazing, whilst still adding methane to the global ‘greenhouse’. This is a world-wide issue. Well-managed grazings provides a wide range of benefits to environment, including increasing biodiversity, reducing fire risk, and maintaining peatlands and grassland. Peatlands are better at sequestering carbon than trees and grass is very good for the soil ecosystem, the basis of food production. Crofting communities are founded on grazing livestock. The committee asserts that land currently grazed can be put over to forestry. But we can’t eat trees. Food security was at the heart of agricultural policy following the 2nd world war, and is emerging as a very real issue again in the current political climate. Suggesting this threat to food security and community cohesion as we are being led into political chaos and economic recession is insensitive, not to say irresponsible.

www.crofting.org 9

arable New pulse breeder targets high yields and market suitability Targeting stable high yields and breeding characteristics that suit a range of markets is the focus taken by Limagrain’s new senior pulse breeder, Will Pillinger. The success of this approach is reflected in the new recommendations to the PGRO 2019 Recommended List; large blue pea LG Stallion gains full recommendation, along with spring bean LG Cartouche. Breeding varieties with a range of ‘common’ traits such as stable higher yields, robust disease resistance, as well as sector ‘specific’ traits like colour in marrowfats or protein content in white peas, offers UK growers the best opportunity to realise the full potential of pulses, says Will Pillinger. “It’s about making sure that we produce varieties suitable

for UK growers by offering the highest yielding varieties with agronomic characteristics that help to mitigate many of the challenges of the growing season,” he says. Under Mr Pillinger’s lead, Limagrain’s combinable pea breeding programme focusses on producing pea varieties with the best possible resistance to lodging, a range of maturities to suit different environments and robust disease resistance to downy and powdery mildew, Asochyta, root rot (Aphanomyces) and Fusarium. “Depending on what markets the peas are being grown for there is a requirement for specific traits, for example colour retention in large blues and marrowfats, to protein levels in white peas,” he adds.

Will quotes the example of newly recommended large blue pea LG Stallion, which based

on its high yields and excellent colour retention already holds 7% of the market.

Warmer winters threaten UK blackcurrant farming Warmer winters may not provide sufficient chilling for blackcurrants in the UK, delaying the start of the growing season and resulting in reduced yields and lower fruit quality, researchers have found. Like many fruit crops and woody plants, blackcurrants require a period of chilling before they start to grow in spring. This reduces the risk of frost damage to new buds and ensures that buds burst rapidly in the spring and flower together, when pollinators are abundant. Speaking at the British Ecological Society’s annual meeting in Birmingham today, a research group based at the James Hutton Institute highlights that milder winters may cause blackcurrant crops to flower later in the year, produce fewer fruit, and over repeated years, have a reduced plant lifespan. “Blackcurrants have particularly high chill requirements and 10


so are already seeing the effects of milder winters”, said Dr Katharine Preedy from Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland. A key crop worth about £10 million a year to the UK economy, blackcurrants are primarily processed as an ingredient and juice for major brands like Ribena (brand value at £140 million). Understanding how different blackcurrant varieties may respond to climate change is critical to farmers. About 35% of the crop currently grown is known to require 1,800 hours of chilling below 7°C. Some varieties, however, need far lower temperatures and others can tolerate warmer temperatures as long as the chilling lasts longer. Many farmers coordinate processing with apple producers in shared facilities, hence, a delayed blackcurrant season may

arable force them to harvest unripe fruit of poorer quality or they might miss the chance to process the fruit at all. “Blackcurrants are like the canary in the mine. If we can understand what they need in a changing climate, we can apply our knowledge to similar crops like blueberries, cherries, apples and plums”, Preedy added. To explore the relationship between chilling period and bud opening, the ecologists carried out controlled temperature experiments (at temperatures ranging from -4 to +8°C for up to 150 days) on 20 different blackcurrant varieties. The findings were then compared with blackcurrant cuttings sent in from farmers across the UK and temperature data obtained from local met office stations. They found that each blackcurrant variety preferred different levels of chilling. In addition, some were able to compensate for warmer winter temperatures if they were chilled for long enough, whilst for other more sensitive varieties, longer chilling periods did not compensate for being less cold, causing erratic bud break. The differences lie in the genetics, as some varieties have evolved in different climatic regions or are the result of selective breeding over the years. “If we can understand this, farmers can carefully select varieties based on the climate

and conditions in which they are going to be planted, and breeders can develop varieties that are more resilient to both warmer winters or periods of extreme cold”, said study collaborator Professor Hamlyn Jones from the University of Dundee. Currently, 12 varieties are widely grown in the UK and Ribena invests in the British Blackcurrant Breeding Programme coordinated by the James Hutton Institute. Whilst previous varieties were produced with tougher skins to increase shelf life, this research demonstrates the potential to develop varieties that can cope better with a changing climate. “In the future, we hope to identify genetic markers associated with the ability to withstand variable winters, so we can rapidly breed new varieties of blackcurrants”, concluded Preedy. Dr Katharine Preedy will present the group’s work on Monday 17 December 2018 at the British Ecological Society annual meeting. The conference will bring together 1,200 ecologists from more than 40 countries to discuss the latest research. This study is funded by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, and the Scottish Government’s Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services (RESAS) division.

Order your



A successful Supporters’ event for 200 farmers, agricultural businesses and their guests held at Piperdam has brought RSABI’s mission supporting people in Scottish agriculture firmly to the fore. Adam Henson, farmer and rural television presenter who is also a Bank of Scotland agricultural ambassador, is keenly aware of the difficult times and uncertainty facing farming. He rallied support for the Charity with an impassioned plea to back RSABI’s growing Supporter Scheme, designed to provide regular income support for rural people struggling to cope. Adam, who with his business partner had been hit hard by the footand-mouth outbreak in 2001, told of the need for organisations such as RSABI. “Our farm park had to close for a whole summer without compensation and we were sitting on a rented farm which included our

houses, with next to no income and the bills pouring in. If it hadn’t been for help from neighbours as well as charitable support, we wouldn’t have come through it. It shows how something unexpected can come along and knock everything off course,” he said. With over 450 individuals, farms, businesses and corporate organisations across Scotland already showing their support for RSABI, Adam Henson was joined by Perthshire farmer/comedian Jim Smith who compered with great humour, to make the case for signing up to the Scheme. With backing from major sponsor Bank of Scotland and existing RSABI Corporate supporters Johnston Carmichael and Savills on the night, 27 new businesses, including many farm businesses, and over 20 individuals followed the plea for funds by signing up as Supporters at the dinner.

Anyone wishing to become a supporter during the current RSABI Winter Supporter Appeal should do so now by visiting www.rsabi.org.uk or by calling 0300 111 4166.

Subscription Form see page 72 www.farmingscotlandmagazine.com

Adam Henson is joined by Sponsors at the RSABI Supporters’ dinner.


Optional extras enhance KUHN’s cultivators


PROLANDER vibrating tine stubble cultivator

KUHN Farm Machinery has launched a variety of optional accessories to enhance its range of PROLANDER, CULTIMER AND OPTIMER cultivators. PROLANDER: new tine, toughened share and roller options The PROLANDER range of vibrating tine stubble cultivators receives a new tine which uses a single bolt to hold a hardwearing, easy to change and reversible share in place. The single-bolt design reduces the amount of downtime incurred when replacing worn parts, while the heat-hardened share, which is also thicker than standard versions, has a lifespan up to 20% longer than ordinary, non-hardened parts. A new tube and bar combination roller is also available for the PROLANDER: a 550mm diameter tube roller and 420mm bar roller are mounted together to ensure excellent soil crumbling and weed management when working stubbles on a min-till basis. CULTIMER and OPTIMER: new V-LINER roller A new V-LINER roller is available for KUHN’s

CULTIMER (tine) and OPTIMER (disc) cultivators: featuring v-shaped press rings at 12.5cm intervals, the V-LINER ensures good soil consolidation, even in wet conditions. Cleaning blades are located between each neighbouring pair of rollers to prevent clogging and to enhance the crumbling of heavier soils. These blades can be retracted to avoid excessive consolidation when working in loamy soils. CULTIMER: continuous hydraulic adjustment The CULTIMER range has been further enhanced by the optional inclusion of KUHN’s continuous hydraulic adjustment system. This system, which is already available on the OPTIMER XL and PROLANDER ranges, enables the working depth of the cultivator to be adjusted from the comfort of the tractor cab: this not only enables the cultivation depth to be adjusted as soil conditions change, but also reduces operator fatigue, fuel consumption and machine downtime, thereby increasing daily output.

PROLANDER cultivator

TERRASEM Fertiliser mulch seed drill from Pottinger Pöttinger offers direct fertilisation on the proven TERRASEM series of seed drills. Using direct fertilisation technology enables micro and macro nutrients to be deposited at the same time as the seed grain. Optimum growth conditions are created during germination and help boost overall yield. A major advantage of direct fertilisation is that only one pass is necessary to apply fertiliser and sow the seed, so wheelings are reduced. The new IDS (Intelligent Distribution System) for cost effectiveness and versatility A consistent seed rate in all coulter pipes is made possible

by the unique distributor head to provide the conditions for optimum seed germination. This features a seed return system using the patented funnel system back into the air stream. Each coulter pipe can be switched individually using IDS, which automatically reduces the seed rate in the metering system during tramlining and half width drilling. The excess seed is returned to the riser tube via a funnel system. With contractors in mind, the TERRASEM makes it easy to create special tramlines and double tramlines. Another advantage is the completely consistent seed rate in each coulter pipe, which ensures (continued page 14)



CULTIVATIONS uniform crop development and saves on seed material. Well matched tillage tools for successful sowing Fertiliser can be applied on the TERRASEM using the DualDisc Exakt coulter. This method involves depositing fertiliser between each double row using the coulters on the compact disc harrow integrated into the TERRASEM seed drill. The placement depth of the fertiliser can be adjusted independently of cultivating and sowing depth. The surface is then packed across the whole area before the seed

is drilled. The Dual-Disc Exakt coulter thus places a deposit of fertiliser in a perfect position to nourish the root of the grain. Not only does this save fertilizer and minimise unproductive losses, it also promotes faster development of the root mass and contributes long-term to optimum yield. The decision whether or which method of - direct fertilisation should be applied depends mainly on the structure of the soil, the crop and the precipitation patterns in each region. Pöttinger fully supports the trend in direct fertilization: in the face of increasing fertiliser

prices, new types of fertiliser, new fertiliser regulations and environmental legislation, it pays to employ precision fertiliser management in future. Pöttinger

TERRASEM mulch seed drills with direct fertiliser application offer the right process for a wide range of individual needs and operating conditions.

New PowerDisc coulter on HORSCH Pronto The HORSCH PowerDisc coulter, which debuted on the latest Serto drill, will now be available on the company’s Pronto DC drill. “It has proved highly effective and a popular choice on the Serto for those working heavy land, and we’re pleased to offer it as an option on the 3m, 4m and 6m Pronto DC in 2019,” explains Stephen Burcham, general manager at HORSCH UK. The PowerDisc coulter uses a parallelogram pivot that

enables a pressure of up to 150kg per coulter, which is ideal for operating on heavier land. This proven design ensures that coulter has a more consistent sowing depth and slot closing in these conditions. Designed for high-speed precise sowing after plough, mulch sowing or direct seed, the Pronto DC is offers precise depth control thanks to a preconfigured packer system and a choice of high-performance seed coulters.

New generation of precision seed drills from KUHN KUHN Farm Machinery has announced the launch of the next generation of its MAXIMA precision seed drills. Available in 6 to 12 row versions and capable of drilling maize, sunflower, beetroot, sugar beet, peas, beans, onions and other crops with row spacings from 37.5 to 80cm, the new MAXIMA 3 range comprises 12 models in a choice of configurations including telescopic, trailed, foldable and telescopic with adjustable spacing. The new MAXIMA 3 drills use an improved seed selection and ejection system which enables accurate seed placement at working speeds of up to 10km/h. Accuracy is also enhanced by a new seeding unit parallelogram which is reinforced in key areas, including at critical hinges and linkages, for added stability, robustness and longevity. 14

A new coulter pressure system, capable of producing up to 180kg of downward pressure, also enhances seeding accuracy by ensuring consistent depth control. The MAXIMA 3 range also boasts an electrically driven seed metering system which allows application rates to be adjusted manually on the move or in accordance with a pre-prescribed seeding map. The electrically operated system also enables GPS or manually controlled row shutoff. The MAXIMA 3 can be controlled via KUHN’s simple and intuitive KMS 548 control panel, and is also compatible with KUHN’s ISOBUS CCI 50 and CCI 1200 terminals, the latter of which allows two different control interfaces to be viewed simultaneously on the same screen for ease of use.

Each seeding unit’s settings (depth, ground pressure, furrow closing, etc.) can be adjusted easily and quickly by hand and without the need for any specialist tools. This not only makes setting the machine up more efficient, but also makes maintenance tasks less time consuming. A wide choice of optional equipment, including angle-


adjustable V-MAX rear closing wheels which provide a furrow closing pressure of up to 45kg, fertiliser hoppers, front, rear and intermediate press wheels, clod cleaners and trash wipers is also available. Retail prices for the new range start at £23,345 for the MAXIMA 3 TS 6-row machine in maize drilling configuration.


Hot potato

Dry season among topics at annual conference The implications of one of the hottest and driest seasons on record will be one of the main topics of discussion at a major potato industry this month. Organised by SAC Consulting, part of Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), the SAC Association of Potato Producers’ 20th annual conference will take place in Perth on Wednesday 30 January. This year’s theme is Resilience – the key to future profitability, with a wide range of speakers including key players in the industry as well as researchers. Chairman for the day, Andy Steven from Agrovista,

will welcome delegates before Innes Jessiman, Senior Potato Consultant at SAC Consulting, reflects on the past season and its implications for the future. Philip Benzie, from Gairnieston, Aberdeenshire, will explain the challenges of managing one of the largest potato enterprises in the country, while Professor Jerry Knox from Cranfield University will explain the latest advances in irrigation. Roma Gwynne from Biorational and Andrew Gough from Lallemand Plant Care will give their expert insight into the future of biopesticides – a highly

relevant topic given the pressure on the use of conventional pesticides. SRUC’s Robin Walker and Cathy Hawes from the James Hutton Institute will present research findings from Scotland’s longest-running trials on potato crop rotation. The conference will also feature a poster demonstration from Dr Simon Gibson-Poole, SRUC’s drone expert, a resilience workshop and a potato cookery demonstration from the hospitality department at SRUC’s Elmwood campus in Fife. Innes Jessiman, co-organiser of the conference, said: “The

conference is the perfect opportunity for members of the industry to hear specialist advice from across the sector. Not only will they hear about the challenges facing potato producers, but they will also learn about the array of opportunities and help available. Once again, we have an outstanding line-up of speakers and we’re looking forward to another successful event in Perth.” The conference is free to SACAPP members but is open to non-members. Those who would like to attend should email Janis.forrest@ sac.co.uk or call 0131 603 7525.

Scottish potato yields hold firm as British potato production hits lowest level since 2012 Despite a challenging season, potatoes grown north of the border enjoyed a 3% increase in yield against last year to 49.2 tonnes per hectare (t/ha). The total British potato harvest is 13% down on the five year average of 5.6m tonnes at 4.9m tonnes according to the annual Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) estimate. The relatively low production figure is a result of an estimated

4.4% drop in planted area across GB, and a 12% drop in average yield. The crop was heavily impacted by a combination of late planting and the prolonged hot and dry weather that stalled tuber growth in June and July. Scotland was the one area of Great Britain that avoided the effects of the summer heatwave, although the total production of potatoes in Scotland was still down, due to a decrease of 1.6Kha in planted area.

Average yields in England were 40.1t/ha, a 20% decrease from the 49.9t/ha seen last season. The difference in yield is most likely down to the slightly better weather conditions in Scotland over the summer months. While rainfall was significantly less than usual, Met Office data shows that Scotland was both cooler and damper than its southern neighbour. For example eastern Scotland


received 75mm of rain over June and July, while central England had just 43mm over the same period. The lower temperatures in Scotland were also a factor. In eastern Scotland in July there were just three days where temperatures exceeded 30 degrees, while in East Anglia over a similar period, it was over 30 degrees on 13 separate occasions. Sector Strategy Director at AHDB Potatoes, Dr Rob


potatoes Clayton, says the average yield decrease is the result of large variations from field to field. “Growers were battling a shortage of water this year, as you can see on the AHDB weather hub, the combined June and July period was one of the driest on record. Fields that were irrigated will have

enjoyed a reasonable crop, while in others yields were very low.” Only 53% of the land in Great Britain planted with potatoes this year had access to irrigation, according to an AHDB estimate. “We won’t run out of potatoes” continued Dr Clayton “we didn’t in 2012, and we won’t in 2018. But

what consumers will notice is a wider range of shapes and sizes in the bag they bring home to cook with. “These shapes and sizes are a normal part of any harvest, they’ll still taste great and will still contribute to the nation’s vitamin C and fibre intake.

“With fewer potatoes around this year supermarkets won’t be able to only choose from the ‘middle’ section of sizes – hence more variety in the bag.” While there was good news for those who enjoy eating potatoes, when a recent study underlined their health benefits.

Groundbreaking potato breeder wins industry’s top award One of Britain’s most innovative potato breeders was recently presented with the Potato Industry Award, an annual accolade presented each year by AHDB. Doug Harley, who heads up Cygnet PB, received his award at the Seed Industry Event in St Andrew’s. Alongside him was a second prize winner, Gerald Croft, who took home the


Above and Beyond Award which recognises those unsung potato heroes who go that extra mile to make a positive impact on the potato supply chain. Potato Industry Award AHDB Potatoes Sector Board Chair, Sophie Churchill, who presented the awards, said: “Doug Harley has long been at the forefront of seed

potato production and breeding, not just here in Britain but internationally. Not only that, he has also been committed to driving the industry forward through his leadership on our key industry bodies. He is an undoubtedly deserved winner of the Potato Industry Award.” After completing a degree in Agriculture in Aberdeen Doug joined the family business -


Alexander Harley Seed Ltd based in Kinross, Scotland – and later launched the Cygnet brand which focused on limited generation seed production on a commercial scale. This was a truly innovative process as it drastically reduced the number of generations of potato seed which needed to be grown before it could be used as a commercial crop.

potatoes Doug explains: “The old system took nine generations before you could use the seed commercially, the mini tuber technology we pioneered allowed us to multiply up seed in a disease free environment, decrease the number of generations needed to three, and at the same time reduce disease and increase yields.” The business has changed significantly in the years Doug has been at the helm, and they now breed, produce and export both seed and ware potatoes across the world. New potato varieties, like the recently launched Kingsman, which can be used as a fresh or processing variety and grows equally well in cool and hot climates, help them satisfy such varied markets. Doug said: “I’m honoured to receive this award. I have watched a few of my peers win and to be among such an illustrious group is a privilege. “I feel I still have a lot more to achieve and I have absolutely no intention of slowing down any time soon.” Above and Beyond Award Gerard Croft, Seed Sales Manager for Greenvale AP, is the third ever winner of AHDB’s Above and Beyond Award. Gerard has spent his entire 36 year career in the seed potato sector after studying Agricultural Botany at Nottingham University. He initially worked for Pattullo Higgs and stayed with the company when they were taken over by Greenvale

AP. Based in Yorkshire his current work involves the marketing of seed of new and existing potato varieties. Hugely committed to the industry, Gerard was instrumental in the foundation of the British Potato Trade Association, was President from 2010 to 2012, during which he oversaw the rewriting of the seed terms and conditions, and now chairs the Legal Committee. “I’m delighted to have won this award,” Gerard says. “I’ve always been passionate about seed potatoes and over the years I’ve always really enjoyed being a part of teams bringing new and improved varieties to market”. “I was involved with Cara in the early days, helped Caithness establish their variety Harmony and more recently have worked with HZPC in developing their variety Sagitta. Establishing new varieties brings together a lot of my skills, like sales, science and agronomy, and seeing those varieties succeed is a great reward.” Sophie says: “Gerard Croft is the absolute epitome of the Above and Beyond Award, having spent many years working tirelessly on behalf of the industry and never expecting anything in return. He’s modest, hardworking and a fantastic advocate for British seed potatoes, a very worthy winner.” Doug and Gerard received their Awards at this year’s Seed Industry Event held in St Andrew’s.

The Dewulf RA3060 Essential

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Interpom 2018. For example, during this main event of the potato industry, the manufacturer will unveil the very first RA3060

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potatoes Essential and the SC 300 to the general public. The RA3060 Essential is an attractively priced standard configuration of the R3060, self-propelled 2-row sieving harvester. The SC 300 cultivator is the first model in the brand-new line of cultivators from Dewulf. The Torro, a trailed 2-row sieving harvester, which is also present, has been equipped with a number of new features. No less than 10 machines can be discovered on Dewulf’s stand. At Interpom 2018, Dewulf can be found in hall 4 – stand 413. You can discover the following machines and innovations from Dewulf on the manufacturer’s stand during Interpom 2018:

RA3060 Essential: competitively priced, self-propelled 2-row sieving harvester (NEW) A universal standard configuration of the renowned self-propelled 2-row sieving harvester, based on the feedback provided by growers, with an attractive starting price of 288,000: that is the RA3060 Essential. With this variant of the R3060, Dewulf is celebrating the 30-year anniversary of this harvester. The machine offers all the elements for a successful crop, at a keen price. In addition to the familiar heavy-duty characteristics of the R3060, as standard the RA3060 Essential is also equipped with LED lights, 8 infrared cameras and an axial module.


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We need your views about local issues in rural Scotland Dr Jonathan Hopkins, James Hutton Institute Social scientists of the James Hutton Institute and Scotland’s Rural College are seeking people’s views about wellbeing, local issues and quality of life in Scottish rural communities, in a drive to improve current data and inform ‘place-based’ policy development and implementation. The term ‘place-based’ refers to a policy which is delivered at the local or regional level, and which is designed based on the characteristics of the area in question. These policies aim to generate local development, and/or prevent continued economic decline. Examples in Scotland include ‘LEADER’ funding, the work of Highlands and Islands Enterprise, and Regional Economic Partnerships. In addition, several other ‘place-based’ activities and initiatives are taking place, led by community and voluntary groups and a range of other organisations across the public, third and private sectors. We understand that place-based policies, and other local initiatives, need evidence – detailed locallevel data - to be successful. The people involved need to know about the strengths and assets, and the needs and problems, affecting different areas. However, a huge number of issues affect local areas and communities across Scotland. Additionally, it’s

essential to publish evidence and data in a way which is useful and accessible to people and groups who are going to use it. As such, researchers from the Institute and SRUC are involved in a project on ‘Place-based policy and rural Scotland’, funded by the Rural & Environment Science & Analytical Services Division of the Scottish Government. Last year, we launched a short online survey (available at http:// surveys.hutton.ac.uk/index. php/433557?lang=en), which is accessible to everyone and aims to collect vital local knowledge and expertise from across Scotland. Besides gathering information about the most important issues and subjects which affect Scotland’s rural areas and small towns, and whether data is available to measure them at the local level, the survey also aims to understand how data about places and people is used. If you’re interested, please take a look at the survey. More information on our project is available at https://www.sruc. ac.uk/info/120671/our_ projects/1806/strategic_ research_programme/3. To learn more about the James Hutton Institute’s research on Scotland’s rural economies and sparsely populated areas, visit www. hutton.ac.uk.

EU NEWS By Chris McCullough

Europe pays back 444 million euros to farmers A TOTAL of 444 million is to be paid back to European Union farmers by the European Commission. This amount was originally deducted from the 2018 budget for farmers’ income support under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to create this year’s so-called agricultural crisis reserve. However, even though the agricultural sector faced challenging situations this year,

such as extreme weather during the summer, it was not necessary to use the crisis reserve in 2018. Additional support measures taken to deal with the difficult market situation for certain sectors including fruit and vegetables, dairy and for animal diseases, were financed from the available CAP budget. The damages caused by adverse weather conditions during this spring and summer have been addressed by

other measures available to help farmers overcome the consequences. This includes derogations from certain conditions related to greening payments and higher advanced payments for 2019. The decision means that the amounts deducted from direct payments this year may be reimbursed to farmers by member states as from December 1 2018. The concept of the agricultural crisis reserve and its

reimbursement mechanism was agreed in the 2013 CAP reform. It was applied for the first time in the 2014 budget year. The deduction only applies to income support above 2,000 and does not yet apply to Croatia for the 2018 budget year. This is due to the process of phasing in of support levels post-accession to the EU. For Croatia, having joined the union in 2013, the income support under the CAP is not yet fully phased in.

Slowdown in EU exports while imports from Brazil and USA increase LATEST trading figures from the European Union indicate a fall in agri food export values particularly to China, but an increase in imports from the USA and Brazil. In fact, food exports from the EU fell by six percent when compared to last year’s totals in September 2017. Despite this, the EU still maintains a monthly agrifood trade surplus of 2.2 billion. However, although the value of imports also fell marginally, imports from both Brazil and the USA rose considerably in contrast to this month last year. The highest increases in monthly export values, still comparing September 2018 with September 2017, were recorded for Egypt with an increase of 61

million; Algeria up 34 million, and South Korea gaining 26 million. In contrast, exports to China dropped significantly by €131 million. There were also drops in exports to both Hong Kong, down by 94 million, and Turkey which decreased by 91 million. In terms of sectors, raw hides and fur skins exports have continued to experience a significant fall in value terms by 77 million. Wheat and other cereals have also experienced decreases, down 58 million and 60 million respectively. By contrast, there was an increase in exports for feed and feed ingredients and for preparations of vegetables, fruit and nuts.

Brazil has seen its exports to the EU rise by 166 million when compared to September 2017. Imports from the USA also performed strongly, increasing by 104 million. Despite this, there were significant decreases in exports from Paraguay, down 56 million; Indonesia down 51 million and Colombia dropping by 50 million. By sector, other cereals reversed last month’s decline and saw a significant rise in imports and oilcakes continued to grow gaining 80 million. By comparison, imports of cane sugar, palm oil and unroasted coffee and tea all fell. LATEST trading figures from the European Union indicate a fall in agri food export


values particularly to China, but an increase in imports from the USA and Brazil. In fact, food exports from the EU fell by six percent when compared to last year’s totals in September 2017. Despite this, the EU still maintains a monthly agrifood trade surplus of 2.2 billion. However, although the value of imports also fell marginally, imports from both Brazil and the USA rose considerably in contrast to this month last year. The highest increases in monthly export values, still comparing September 2018 with September 2017, were recorded for Egypt with an increase of 61 million; Algeria up 34 million, and South Korea gaining 26 million. 19


Four successive national title for Scotland’s most awarded haggis McCaskie Butchers, based in Wemyss Bay, achieved a remarkable feat at Scotland’s only annual haggis competition which took place earlier this week. Facing competition from some of the very best haggis makers from across the country, from Dingwall to Dumfries, McCaskies took home both awards at this highly regarded event, which forms a key part of Oban’s Winter Festival. The titles up for grabs were the ‘Golden Haggis’, judged by leading food industry judges, and ‘People’s Choice Award’ which is judged by around 150 members of the public who attended the event. McCaskies have won this latter award every year since its inception in 2014. These latest trophies mean that McCaskies is the only butcher ever to ‘win the double’, and therefore, given previous success, the only butcher to have won the ‘double double’ for the biggest haggis prizes of the year!

McCaskies have won an incredible six out of the potential eight awards since the competition started, with no other butcher having come close, making McCaskie’s haggis Scotland’s most awarded haggis. Grandfather of proprietor Nigel Ovens opened the eponymous Mearns T McCaskie in Wemyss Bay in 1935 to supply the local villages with the finest meat and meat products possible. 75 years on and Nigel and his team, with input from his mother, Elizabeth, who is the daughter of the founder and has worked in the business for 51 years, are still committed to making all their products in small batches using the finest ingredients. In addition to the thriving shop, the business operates a successful e-commerce business and adjoining restaurant. The family firm is also a previous winner of UK Butcher Shop of the Year, makes Scotland’s most awarded Black Pudding and has received several Great Taste Awards.

Nigel Ovens commented: “When I started working within the family business, I began to tweak our haggis recipe into what it is today and I’m happy that it’s the best it can be! It’s been winning awards since 2002 and I am thrilled to have won both of the country’s top awards for haggis this year. As always, we were up against the very best, and so these wins are really special. I am proud of the

whole team here at McCaskies and we look forward to future developments within the business.” McCaskies was recently honoured to receive a visit from HRH Princess Anne who opened their new state of the art small batch production unit. This development is currently being further supported by the creation of a new website which will go live early in 2019.

Perthshire Chef awarded Scotland’s Game Chef of the Year 2018 A Scottish chef’s dedication with over half a century in the kitchen has been rewarded. Neil McGown, chef patron of East Haugh House Hotel, won Game Chef of the Year at the Scottish Food Awards, which were presented in May. East Haugh House is a luxury boutique hotel in Pitlochry who won Country Sports Hotel of the Year 2018 at the Scottish Hotel Awards, for the eighth time. The hotel also took home the top award of Scotland’s Hotel of the Year at the second annual Prestige Hotel Awards, presented 20

by Allied Irish bank, in Glasgow, in February this year. Neil has been cooking for almost 55 years and specialises in game. Neil said: ‘I am absolutely thrilled and honoured to have won Game Chef of the Year at the 2018 Scottish Food Awards. ‘After almost 30 years in business at East Haugh House, this recognition couldn’t be a more fitting accolade. It reflects my passion for cooking game food and couldn’t have been achieved without the talent I work alongside in my kitchen.’


Bought in 1989 by husband and wife team Neil and Lesley McGown, the 17th century country house was lovingly converted into a luxury 12 bedroom hotel and restaurant, and has established itself as a popular destination for tourists from the UK and overseas. Renowned for its locally sourced seasonal food, specialising in seafood and game, Neil leads a talented and passionate kitchen team with East Haugh’s restaurant recommended in the Michelin Guide.


Scottish Cheese Wins Gold at International Awards Connage Highland Dairy has emerged triumphant after picking up another gold accolade for one of their cheeses at an international industry awards. The Connage Dunlop was awarded gold at the World Cheese Awards on the 2nd of November. The Guild of Fine Foods’ World Cheese Awards this year took place in Bergen, Norway, with 3,472 cheeses from more than 40 countries amongst the entries. All of the entries were judged in a single day by a team of more than 230 judges, and Connage’s Dunlop took home the gold in one of the hotly contested hard cheese categories. Their success at the World Cheese Awards is the third award for Connage this year. The Scottish cheesemakers won gold for their Clava Brie at the International Cheese Awards in

the summer, and it was the Gouda flavoured with Cumin that took home Gold at the Artisan Cheese Awards back in May. The win comes hot on the heels of a successful trip to the USA, where co-owners Jill and Callum were showcasing their products in the USA as part of a wholesaler event to promote British produce in America. The event was organised by wholesaler Atalanta, who currently provide cheese to the Central Markets stores in Texas. As well as inviting producers to Texas, a group of the Central Markets store managers visited London and Gleneagles to visit producers and find out more about their products. Connage were amongst other British cheese producers, including Neal’s Yard and the Isle of Mull cheese company.

magazine Supporting

FARMERS MARKETS IN SCOTLAND Aberdeen Country Fair www.aberdeencountryfair. co.uk Alford Farmers’ Market www.spanglefish.com/ alfordfarmersmarket Argyll Country Markets katie@barbreckfarms.co.uk Ayrshire Farmers’ Market www.ayrshirefarmersmarket. co.uk Balerno Farmers’ Market www.balernovt.org.uk Blairgowrie Community Market www.strathmoreglens.org Cairndow and Loch Fyne Farmers’ Market katie@barbreckfarms.co.uk Campbeltown Farmers’ Market katie@barbreckfarms.co.uk Clarkston Farmers’ Market enquiry@ lanarkshirefarmersmarket. co.uk Cupar Farmers’ Market www.fifefarmersmarket.co.uk Dundee Farmers’ Market lorna.mckenzie@dundeecity. gov.uk Dunfermline Farmers’ Market www.fifefarmersmarket.co.uk Edinburgh Farmers’ Market www.edinburghfarmersmarket. com Edinburgh - Stockbridge Farmers’ Market www.stockbridgemarket.com Falkirk Farmers’ Market howard.wilkinson2@btinternet. com Fencebay Farmers’ Market fencebay@aol.co.uk Forfar Farmers’ Market www.angusfarmersmarket. co.uk Glasgow Farmers’ Market Mansfield Park www.citymarketsglasgow. co.uk Glasgow Farmers’ Market Queen’s Park www.citymarketsglasgow. co.uk


Greenock Farmers’ Market matthewmcs2000@aol.com Haddington Farmers’ Market pjdesign@dunbar.org.uk Hamilton Farmers’ Market www. lanarkshirefarmersmarket. co.uk Hawick Farmers’ Market eg.sangster@btinternet.com Inverurie Farmers’ Market e: ronreid2@aol.com Kelso Farmers’ Market www.kelso.bordernet.co.uk Kirkcaldy Farmers’ Market www.fifefarmersmarket.co.uk Linlithgow Farmers’ Market forumevents@yahoo.co.uk Loch Lomond Shores Farmers’ Market forumevents@yahoo.co.uk Lochwinnoch Farmers’ Market david.oneill@clydemuirshiel. co.uk Lockerbie Farmers’ Market www.lockerbiefarmersmarket. co.uk Milngavie Farmers’ Market matthewmcs2000@aol.com Montrose Farmers’ Market www.angusfarmersmarket.co. uk Oban And Lorn Markets admin@lorn.org Overton Farm Farmers’ Market www. lanarkshirefarmersmarket. co.uk Paisley Farmers’ Market enquiries@ayrshiremeats.co.uk Peebles Farmers’ Market johnbolton1@btconnect.com Perth Farmers’ Market www.perthfarmersmarket. co.uk Portpatrick Farmers’ Market foodstore@auchenree.co.uk St Andrews Farmers’ Market www.fifefarmersmarket.co.uk Stirling Farmers’ Market StirlingFM@aol.com. Stornoway Farmers’ Market kennylhhp@btopenworld.com

For your market to be listed mail@farmingscotlandmagazine.com



Errington Cheese welcomes back staff as it receives settlement for destroyed product

Errington Cheese has welcomed the return of two long-time staff members who were laid off earlier this year, as the family company recovers from successfully defending a costly legal dispute with South Lanarkshire Council. Earlier this month, the small producer received a payment of £254,000 from the council in compensation for cheese which was seized in 2016 and destroyed after a well-publicised claim that the cheese was linked to an outbreak of E.coli 0157 – a claim strongly refuted by the company based on advice from experts in the fields of microbiology and epidemiology.The company was cleared of breaching food hygiene regulations in October, and won a judicial review stating that all batches of cheese were safely produced and safe to eat. Now, the family have been able to reemploy head cheesemaker Angela Cairns, who is part of the family which owns and runs the business. Angela joined Errington Cheese in 2010 after returning to her native Scotland after spending 22

several years living in New Zealand. Paul McAllister joined Errington in 2013 and has returned to work alongside Angela as a cheesemaker, as the business looks to the future and concentrates on increasing its stock. The appointments come after the cheese producer won three awards at the prestigious World Cheese Award last month. Errington’s Corra Linn was awarded two gold medals, while the first batch of its new Dunsyre Blue, made with raw organic milk, was given a silver award. Selina Cairns, director at Errington Cheese, was also named Person of the Year at the Slow Food Awards, while the company’s Lanark Blue Cheese was awarded Champion Slow Food Product. Angela Cairns commented: “I’m very happy to be back at Errington, working with my family to do what I love. It has been a long road over the last two years, but we remain determined and focused on rebuilding

Opportunity not to waste New assurance scheme first to focus on point of application

A comprehensive new assurance scheme aims to reduce the pollution caused by spreading organic materials on UK farms. Delivered by SAC Consulting, part of Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), Spreading Organic Materials Assurance (SOMA) is the only training and qualification scheme focused specifically on ‘point of application’ as well as operator standards and good practice. Neil Carter from SAC Consulting said: “Where application of organic materials such as biosolids – or sewage sludge – takes place, there is always an inherent risk to the surrounding environment. “There is already legislation to minimise this risk, but at the point of application there are a number of variables which on any given day can cause a problem.” SOMA is designed to ensure that people applying these materials are aware of the risks, are able to identify the variables and can then minimise the impact on the surrounding environment.


Neil added: “Although a great deal of planning goes into applications, the operator of the machine might not be aware of much of what has taken place already. By making them aware of why this legislation is in place and the potential environmental and financial penalties from applying materials inappropriately, the scheme will provide confidence to the public that by utilising what were once wastes we are helping to reduce landfill and reclaim the agricultural benefit.” Fieldfare Associates, part of SAC Consulting, already offers ‘Landspreading for Operators’ – a Waste Management Industry Training and Advisory Board (WAMITAB)-accredited course to help ensure operators are aware of why they are spreading the material, the risks to the environment, the general public and themselves, and how to mitigate these risks. Individuals must pass this course in order to become SOMA-assured.

cooking with game

Farmor’s Pannbiff By Wendy Barrie

Recipe & photography © Wendy Barrie

Farmor – not farmer! – literally means ‘father’s mother’ so this is my Swedish mother-in-law’s family recipe and a very popular dish for family cooking. This version has butcher’s boiled ham and artisan cheese inside but you can substitute crispy bacon if you prefer. Support your local butcher – some even have an online shop such as Macbeths Butchers & Game Dealers who sell Highland and Aberdeen Angus beef from their own farm. It is hung for a minimum of three weeks making it tasty and succulent. https://www.macbeths.com



350g Macbeth’s beef mince 75g St Andrews Farmhouse Mature Cheddar 1tbsp chopped chives/spring onions 1 slice of boiled ham 2dstsp rolled oats 1 medium free range egg, beaten A light crunch of Isle of Skye Sea Salt and a generous twist of black pepper 200mls single cream 1 onion, peeled and cut in chunky rings Summer Harvest rapeseed oil

s )NABOWL MIXTOGETHERMINCE EGG CHIVESANDSEASONING with oats. s 3HAPE THE MIXTURE INTO  EVENLY SIZED mATTENED PATTIES laying them on a raw meat chopping board. s 7ASH YOUR HANDS THOROUGHLY BEFORE HANDLING THE CHEESE and shave it in slices. s 0LACE DAINTY SLICES OF CHEESE AND HAM ON TOP OF HALF THE patties. s 0LACETHEOTHERHALVESONTOPANDSHAPEAGAIN SANDWICHING the ham and cheese in the middle. s (EATADECENTDRIZZLEOFOILINALARGEFRYINGPANANDBROWN the patties on both sides, adding the onion to caramelize. s 2EDUCEHEATANDTHOROUGHLYCOOKTHROUGH2EMOVECOOKED patties and keep warm. Deglaze pan with cream. Simmer, taste and adjust seasoning. Serves 2-3 with boiled potatoes and spring cabbage.

2018/9 Winner Thistle Regional Ambassador, Central, Fife & Tayside, Wendy Barrie is a highly respected campaigner for local sustainable food, popular cookery show presenter and food writer. Founder & Director of award-winning www. scottishfoodguide.scot & www.scottishcheesetrail.com . Wendy is Leader in Scotland for Slow Food Ark of Taste & Slow Food Chef Alliance Member. www.wendybarrie.co.uk www.farmingscotlandmagazine.com


Many good reasons to visit Scotland’s premier fine food event Be the early bird and re-stock first when thousands of fine food retailers across Scotland will head north in January for Scotland’s only speciality food trade show at the SEC in Glasgow from 20-22 Jan 2019. The Show, which is already near capacity, has a huge breadth of exciting food and drink producers. Be the early bird and re-stock first when thousands of fine food retailers across Scotland will head north in January for Scotland’s only speciality food trade show at the SEC in Glasgow from 2022 Jan 2019. The Show, which is already near capacity, has a huge breadth of exciting food and drink producers. Renowned for the high quality and innovation of the food and drink industry in Scotland, the Show comprises about two thirds of all exhibitors from Scotland with the remainder from the rest of the UK and beyond. Many will be completely new to the trade offering buyers the first chance to taste and see the delicacies. This Show is a ‘must visit’ for food retailers, delis, farm shops, tourist destinations and cafes across Scotland as it is the only chance for sourcing products for the retail and food service industry together in one venue. The Scottish food and drink industry sales have grown from £10bn in 2007 to £14bn in 2018, with an aim for £30bn by 2030. With a combination of great produce, deep knowledge, a powerful credible brand and strong Government and industry support as the key ingredients to the success of the industry in Scotland, 24

it is key for retailers to ensure they are offering customers some of the most innovative, delicious and above all Scottish products on their shelves. So why visit Scotland’s Speciality Food Show? Here’s 11 good reasons: • The variety and quality of exhibitors is exceptional this year with almost a third as new exhibitors, such as Deans of

Huntly, Aye Pickled, Puddledub Food Co, Edinburgh Cakes and Jams, Coco Chocolate, The Dessert Depot, Spice Kitchen and many, many more. This Show is certainly the place to discover what’s new in the food and drink world. • The Launch Gallery – here about 21 young, innovative companies will showcase their products such as Hungry


Squirrel nut butters, Isle of Skye Smokehouse, Genius Brewing, Libber Tea, Rora Dairy, Pittenween Preserves, Scottish Bee Company and Rebel Chocolate. • Regional aisles – The Orkney Aisles, a show stalwart, has some delicious producers from the Orkneys, while new this year is A Taste of Shetland, with producers such as Mirrie

Dancers chocolates, Lerwick Brewery etc; East Lothian Food and Drink and Invest Northern Ireland, so visitors can source products by region. New for 2019 is Nessie’s Den – selected exhibitors will have the chance to pitch their products to 3 key buyers – Emma Niven from Loch Leven’s Larder, Sue Montgomery from Ardardan Farm Shop and café and Nikki Castley from The Cress Company - in an entertaining and useful interactive session. Established exhibitors are back in their droves with some great new product launches promised from Folkingtons Drinks, Summerhouse Drinks, Crystals Shortbread, Little Herb Farm, The Gin Bothy, Mackies, Brodies Coffee and Tea, Stewart Tower Dairy and Galloway Lodge Preserves. Improve your retail skills at the Seminar Theatre where retail experts will provide workshops and seminars on many vital aspects of retailing such as using social media to get business, how independent retailers can compete against the big boys, visual merchandising, working with digital influencers and maximising the tourist market. Foodie Tuesday – seminars and events will be geared especially towards food and drinks on the Tuesday. The best products in the Show will be picked out and exhibited in special design cases in the Best Product Awards judged by a highly experienced line-up of judges including Scotland’s Chef Gary Maclean, Alison Niven from Gloagburn, Gillian Allsop from Klondyke Garden Centres and Kieran Austin from Roots & Fruits. With the popularity of drinks, especially gin, there has been a rush on stands from drinks companies, including Lundin Distillery, Blackford Craft Distillery, Northumberland Spirit Company, Pixel Spirits, Lussa Gin, Genius Brewing, Teasmith Spirit Company, Coul Brewing Company and more. Trading up - Scotland’s Speciality Food Show is run

in conjunction with Scotland’s Trade Fair where about 500 gift, homewares, craft, jewellery, fashion accessories, clothing and textile producers will be on display, allowing buyers a ‘onestop’ buying platform. • Held at the SEC, in the centre of Glasgow, it is easy to access from motorway, train and airport with many large hotels close by. Catriona Farquharson, Owner of Finzean Farm Shop in Aberdeenshire said: “Keeping

ahead means sourcing new products as well as old favourites. There are a huge range of new products being brought out all the time right across the board – it makes going to Scotland’s Speciality Food Show each year much more fun and exciting and also worthwhile!” Mark Saunders, Show Director said: “Following on the back of a good year for tourists visiting Scotland and trying the many delicious foods and drinks we offer, we anticipate a greater interest in


Scotland’s Speciality Food Show for 2019. Coupled with one of the most diverse and innovative range of producers exhibiting we have ever had, we feel there will be plenty for every type of food shop or catering outlet.” Registration is now open so sign up now for your free ticket: https://registration.n200.com/ survey/16bux9jtire6z www. scotlandsspecialityfoodshow.com


Argentina A country of many parts By Fiona Sloan

WORLD FARMING Every year the Agricultural Tour Operators International (ATOI), holds an annual conference and this year’s host was Argentina. ATOI is the umbrella organisation for specialised agricultural tour companies world-wide, who share their local knowledge with overseas farming visitors, ensuring the quality and success of agricultural tours throughout the world. Argentina took this opportunity to showcase the country, its people and its production and illustrate the reasons why, we should bring our UK farmers to this South American country not only to experience their agriculture but


their way of life and the history, which makes them so diverse. Travelling from Santiago in Chile, through the Andes Mountains by bus, gives you a lasting impression, not only of the beauty of the place but the type of people who had endured long winters and extreme hardship to build this worthwhile infrastructure for trade between the two countries. As farmers, when we think of Argentina, we think of cattle and there was no shortage of quality animals to be seen and except for the Brahman, used mainly for crossing for its hardiness in the heat, most herds were founded on Aberdeen Angus or Hereford,

which originated from The British Isles. Scottish consumers are accustomed to different types of steak, cut neatly and well presented in the supermarkets, with little or no fat. In Argentina, as in most farming families in the Scotland, we have come to realise that marbling gives taste, particularly with our native breeds. Steak in Argentina is well covered, cut in chucks and barbequed, regardless of where is comes from on the animal. In the long flat areas near Mendoza and Rosario, herds of cattle are raised from grass, still managed and herded by the gauchos on their horses and are


brought to a central market very much like here, or increasingly sold in an “indoor market” online, where hi-tech systems allow buyers and sellers to come together over hundreds of miles. Another of the main areas of production in these regions is the famous Malbec wine, which has been produced here for centuries. Salentein Vineyards in the Uco Valley, near Mendoza, is one of these. The Salentein wines are world famous and the Salentien family, who still own the vineyards, are committed to promoting, not only their wine but a unique form of tourism, to showcase their region through “wine, art, cuisine and pleasure.”


The vineyards are located between 1050 and 1700 metres above sea level (higher than Ben Nevis) and are some of the most elevated in the world. They benefit from sunny dry days with high solar intensity, cold nights and very little rainfall. The loamy, sandy soil, sits on a hard rock bed, giving it excellent drainage and is irrigated entirely from the melt from the Andes Mountains. The beautiful snow-capped mountains not only form a picturesque backdrop but produce almost perfect conditions for growing grapes with thick skins, which need little chemical intervention, allowing the winery to be true to its philosophy of

production; to be complimentary to the region and its people. The winery also provides an opportunity for people to come and see and enjoy the process of the Salentein wine making, without a “touristy” feel of any kind. The sunken cellar is 29 feet underground and can be viewed from the ground or “superior” level, which overlooks this magnificent bodega. It is home to 5000 French oak barrels, which are placed around the central stone floor, with its circular symbol based on the wind rose and representative of the region’s relationship with the rest of the world. The cellar has

been created in such a way that the acoustics are like that of an amphitheatre and a grand piano sits waiting for the next concert, which echoes the music through the concrete building like the latest sound system.

There is no better way to spend and evening in Argentina with great friends, eating succulent steak and drinking good wine, with the Andes as a backdrop, listening to a grand piano being played around you.

John Deere included among the Best Global Brands John Deere has again earned a spot among the world’s most valuable brands in an annual ranking completed by leading brand consulting firm Interbrand. John Deere is now ranked 88th in the Best Global Brands research announced in October 2018, moving up four spots from a year ago. Interbrand estimates the John Deere brand to now be worth approximately $5.4 billion, a 12 per cent increase on last year. “A decade after the global financial crisis, the brands that are growing fastest are those that intuitively understand their customers and make brave iconic moves that delight and deliver in new ways,” said Charles

Trevail, Interbrand’s global chief executive officer. Interbrand said its brand valuation is based on three key areas - financial performance of the brand; the brand’s influence on purchase decisions; and the brand’s strength to create loyalty and sustainable customer demand. “This recognition emphasises the success of our 70,000 employees worldwide who work each day to deliver on the company’s core values of integrity, quality, commitment and innovation,” said Samuel R Allen, Deere & Company chairman and chief executive officer. John Deere has been included in the Best Global Brand ranking

since 2011, when Interbrand estimated the value of the John Deere brand to be $3.65 billion. The Interbrand methodology was


the first of its kind to be certified by the International Organisation for Standardisation requirements for monetary brand valuation.



Safety first when working at heights People working within the Scottish agricultural industry are urged to follow strict procedures when working at heights to avoid death and injuries. Falls from height are the second highest cause of death in agriculture. Every year at least eight people die across Great Britain with many others suffering severe injuries as a result of a fall from height. Falls often happen from roofs, lofts, ladders, vehicles, bale stacks, and unsuitable access equipment, such as buckets. These accidents and injuries cause you pain and cost your farm time and money. This winter, Farm Safety Partnership Scotland is laying out measures to follow for safe working practices at heights, whether that is on roofs, stacking or loading bales, ladders or when


using forklifts, for example. This includes: • Avoid roof work or work at height maintaining buildings. Do as much as you can from the ground for example, use extending equipment to clear gutters. • Avoid doing the work yourself. Where possible use a professional contractor with the knowledge, skills equipment and experience to safely work at height on buildings. • On very rare occasions where roof work or building maintenance at height cannot be avoided make sure the work is planned and carried out by people with the right training and equipment. • Don’t be tempted to use the wrong equipment. Being

lifted on the forks or bucket of a telehandler is illegal. FSPS, which consists of key industry stakeholders, will be focussing on different types of farming activities each quarter to deliver key messages and encourage those working and living on Scotland’s farms and crofts to take action. Scotland’s farm safety record continues to be poor. Last year alone there were 33 deaths in the agricultural industry in Great Britain, with five in Scotland. The most common causes of death and injury in the agricultural industry continues to involve falls, transport, animals and equipment. CASE STUDY: IAN ARGO, LAURENCEKIRK Even the most safety conscious farmers can experience the effects of a serious injury as we learn from Ian Argo, an arable farmer at Auchcairnie Farm, Laurencekirk. A dislocated knee cap and severed tendons were the unexpected consequence of coming out of a tractor the wrong way and falling. Like many farm accidents, it was a routine task that Ian had done many times. For years he had been climbing out of the tractor ‘the wrong way’, effectively front facing. However, on 12 September 2013, for a reason unknown to him, he fell. Ian found himself lying on the ground after getting out to fill up the tractor with diesel at the end of the working day whilst working for a neighbour. Ian, who farms in partnership with his son Steven, wife Alison and mother Edith, commented: “I got out of the tractor, effectively the wrong way [front facing] and the next thing I know I was lying on the ground. I’m not sure whether I slipped or tripped, it happened so fast and I can just remember lying on the ground. “At the time I was working alone and I tried to get up but couldn’t get my left leg to work. There was no blood and I wasn’t


feeling any pain at that point, but I could see that my knee cap had moved significantly up my leg. “I then tried to phone someone, however I soon realised that my phone was in the tractor cab and there was no way I could reach it. “The diesel tank was around 50 yards from the house, and I could hear voices coming from there, so shouted. Thankfully there was someone nearby that could hear me otherwise I would have been in bigger trouble. “It was clear the knee cap and tendons had parted company. I ended being in hospital for around four days before I had an operation. Overall, I spent just over a week in hospital and following that I had my leg in a brace frame for three months, attending hospital every couple of weeks to have it adjusted. “I couldn’t drive for a number of months and I had to change my car to an automatic to make it easier. “I was off work for six months but managed to get back in time for the spring work starting. We had to get someone into help my son Steven with the potato lifting, but thankfully they weren’t required over the winter months. I’d underwent a few months of physiotherapy which has helped in the range of movement I now have in my leg.” The accident has made Ian more aware of coming out of tractors the correct way, and he says that he hopes it has been a learning curve for his son of how accidents can happen so easily. Ian added: “I want to highlight the impact an accident like this can have on your family and your business. We’re much more conscious of safety all the while on the farm now and it’s made me slow down and think about every process.” This case reinforces that fact that farm workers of any age run the risk of injury or death from falls. Falls constitute one of the most common farm accidents, accounting for 23 fatal accidents in the last five years.


Barclays backs next generation to boost Scotland’s farms Barclays has launched #FarmtheFuture, a nationwide campaign encouraging farmers to plan for their future and tell young people about the benefits of a career in agriculture, as new data reveals that Britain’s farming population is ageing rapidly. The bank has teamed up with TV presenter and former JLS boyband star JB Gill, who has swapped pop stardom for a rural life of turkey and pig farming, to show the younger generation that farming could be their perfect career. The number of British farmers aged over 65 has increased by 70 per cent in the last decade, while the proportion of under-25s running farms has dropped by two thirds (63 per cent) over the same period. The average age of the British farmer is now 55.5 years old, with almost four in ten (38 per cent) aged 65 or over. Just one per cent of Scottish 18-30 year olds surveyed by Barclays said they would view farming and agriculture as a desirable career, despite the job meeting many of the criteria young people look for in employment. More than three quarters of millennials in Scotland (80 per cent) said staying physically fit and healthy while working was important to them and nearly half (46 per cent) said they would like to work with animals. A lack of understanding and a perceived lack of resources appear to be the key things putting young people in Scotland off a career in farming. Two thirds (65%) believed they wouldn’t be able to afford to become a farmer, while 43%

thought they needed to inherit land. While many farm businesses traditionally pass down through families, farmers with no direct succession are now exploring alternative options, including share farming agreements. These allow new entrants to farm in partnership with the farm owner with much less capital required than starting out alone, and their share of the business can grow over time through profit share. JB Gill, TV presenter and former JLS boyband star, said: “There’s a lot of misconceptions among young people about what a career in agriculture really means. It’s hard, physical work so it keeps you fit, you get to work with animals, you’re your own boss and you can keep up with

the trends by posting everything on Instagram for everyone else to see. “The farming community is really welcoming, providing newcomers with knowledge on everything from tending to animals to financial advice. You don’t need to have your own land to work in agriculture, there are many options from farm management through to the service industries and I would encourage anyone interested to give it some serious consideration – it’s a life like no other!” Mark Suthern, national head of agriculture at Barclays, said: “Barclays has over one hundred and fifty agriculture relationship managers working the length and breadth of the UK to support businesses within their local


communities and help them plan for the future. “Every industry needs new talent to innovate and look to new markets, and the next generation will be vital as the sector strives to boost productivity and drive growth. “British farmers have proven time and again their ability to diversify, innovate, and weather tricky economic conditions, so the skill and experiences the older generation can bring are vital. But the next generation need to learn the skills to carry businesses forward in the future. The best place to make your first enquiry on a road to a farming career is your local agricultural college or university.” Find out more at barclays.co.uk/ agriculture




A brief look at some of the latest models for the coming year

The Puma range from Case IH The Case IH Puma range has a well-established reputation as a premium product with plenty of power. With fifteen models from 140 to 240hp and proven semi powershift, full powershift or CVX transmissions, the Case IH Puma range is designed for the most demanding applications in arable, contracting and farming situations. There are three series to choose from, starting with the Puma X (140-165 HP) standard format tractor which features an 18F/6R semi-powershift transmission as well as additional creep speed options. The Puma X series doesn’t scrimp on specification, though, with up to four mechanical remote valves, a

high capacity hydraulics system and a luxurious cab. The Puma Multicontroller (5 models from 150-220HP) offers even more in terms of premium comfort, with a multicontroller armrest and joystick that puts all key operating functions at the driver’s right hand. Powershift and powershuttle are operated via Multicontroller buttons, as are the operation of the rear linkage and one of the rear remote valves. Finally, the Puma CVX offers 7 models from 150-240HP, making the most of FPT engine technology and the proven Case IH continuously variable transmission, to give a fuelefficient, intuitive machine that is suited to all types of operator.

With a rear lift capacity of up to 10,463 kg and an optional front lift capacity of up to 3,785kg, the Puma is built to handle the heaviest

implements with ease. Together with a power-weight ratio of up to 30 kg/hp, the Puma is designed to put power where it’s needed.

CLAAS ATOS 300 & 200 range of tractors CLAAS offer one of the widest ranges of 3- and 4- cylinder tractor ranges below 160hp within its ELIOS, ATOS, ARION 400 and ARION 500 ranges. In the ATOS range, six models are available; three 3-cylinder 200 models with power outputs of 76, 88 and 97hp and three 4-cylinder 300 variants with power outputs of 88, 102 and 109hp. The ATOS features robust and simple technology, but with a wide range of options, making it very versatile. Its compact design

and excellent manoeuvrability make it the ideal option for all kinds of farm work. Under the bonnet, there’s a Stage IIIb/Tier 4i-compliant Farmotion engine with a cubic capacity of 3.8 litres on 300series models and 2.9 litres on the 200 series. The engines feature a common rail injection system, turbocharger and charge air cooler and are fitted with a diesel oxidation catalytic converter (DOC), while cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system ensures maximum efficiency.

The catalytic converter is integrated under the bonnet leaving clear all-round visibility. High torque values of up to 436 Nm mean that the ATOS is extremely responsive to drive. To meet the wide range of market needs that the ATOS will need to meet, three different transmission options are available. The basic manual transmission provides 10 forward/10 reverse speeds, but for those wanting more sophistication there is the option

of the 20/20 TWINSHIFT with two powershift speeds or the 30/30 TRISHIFT with three powershifts. All transmission variants are available with either a mechanical or the clutchless REVERSHIFT reverser. PTO options include either 540; 540/540 ECO or 540/540 ECO/1000/1000 ECO. An automatic power take-off system and a separate groundspeed power take-off for powering trailers are also available optionally.

The 6 series range from Deutz with four cylinder models DEUTZ-FAHR has added three new 4-cylinder models to its existing 6 series 6-cylinder range. The modular high tech system now includes a 6155.4, 30


6165.4 and 6175.4 as a top model. All models in the range now feature higher permissible weights (11,500kg) and a longer wheelbase

TRACTORS (2,543mm) for improved stability and a comfortable driving performance. Design features of the 4-cylinder models are similar to those of the 6-cylinder versions which were awarded “Tractor of the year for the design” last year. The 156hp, 164hp and 171hp Deutz TCD 4.1 4-cylinder engines comply with the requirements for emissions Stage IV. The new engines offer a hefty starting torque and high torque reserves across a wide speed range. In addition to a compact cooling system, which can be opened completely and easily cleaned, the TTV models are also equipped with a new electric Visco fan. Three transmission variants are available: from the simple, manual five-speed powershift transmission with six forward powershift stages and three reverse stages (30+15 gears) and the newly developed fully automatic RCshift gearbox (30+15 gears, with creeper gear 54+27 gears), to the efficient TTV transmission for continuous driving and working from 0 to

50km/h. For all transmissions, the maximum speed is achieved at a reduced engine speed to save fuel. On the RCshift models, the top speed of 50km/h is reached with only 1,530 rpm, saving fuel and reducing noise. Another unique feature of this tractor class is the front axle with independent suspension, which is equipped with an antidive and anti-rise control and a booster brake system. This ensures maximum traction and safety in all situations.

The Fendt 313 Vario wins “Tractor of the Year 2019” in the “Best Utility” category at EIMA The winners of “Tractor of the Year 2019” were announced on the first day of “EIMA International” in Bologna. The

Fendt 313 Vario won the “Best Utility” category as the most versatile tractor offering best value to farmers.

The verdict of the international jury, comprising specialist journalists from 26 countries, reads: “The Fendt

Agricultural Merchants Main dealers for CASE tractors

Visit our website for new and used tractor & machinery stock lists and older model/refurb parts lists

www.jandwtaitltd.co.uk Sparrowhawk Road, Hatston Industrial Estate Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1GE

Tel: 01856 873003 / 872490 Email: info@jandwtaitltd.co.uk




John Deere updates 5R Series tractors for 2019

313 Vario is the tractor with the best agility and most modern technology in this segment of the market. Stepless transmission, low fuel consumption, a modern cab with continuous windscreen, suspended front axle and many electronic options make it suitable for any agricultural task. Electronic lifter and

hydraulic valve control, headland management system, automatic steering and Isobus, improve versatility and efficiency.” The jury was impressed by both the equipment and functionality of the top model in the current 300series. So, the success story of the 300-series, begun in the 1980s, continues apace.

Fastrac ‘utility’ features provide farm diversification options Optional features for JCB Fastrac 4000 Series tractors that enable farmers and contractors to equip their machines for non-agricultural applications where highlighted at the LAMMA show for the first time, alongside farm-spec versions of the 175-235hp 4000 Series and 306-348hp 8000 Series machines. A Fastrac 4220 equipped with these ‘utility’ features underscored the tractor’s suitability for operating rear-mounted, frontmounted and deck-mounted equipment individually or in combination for applications such as snow clearance, salt spreading and roadside vegetation control. The features include a DINstandard mounting frame for highways snow ploughs, snow blowers and powered sweepers; a stability control system to keep the tractor level when operating heavy long-reach vegetation mowers; and a purpose-built rear deck frame for quick mounting and demounting of specialist spraying equipment and salt spreaders.

John Smith, Managing Director of JCB Agriculture, said: “A number of contractors, utility companies and airports in the UK and overseas already operate our tractors but we see the Fastrac’s ‘utility’ options providing opportunities for farmers and contractors to diversify into municipal, highways and commercial markets for winter and summer maintenance. “With their stepless transmission, excellent manoeuvrability from four-wheel steering, and up to 60kph legal road speed with allround suspension and anti-lock braking, the Fastrac 4000 Series tractors make an ideal platform for a range of industrial and highways maintenance applications.” The frame is available with central or offset pto drive shafts to match equipment from a wide range of specialist manufacturers, and up to four electrically-operated spool valves to handle lift, angling and other equipment functions.

John Deere has announced several updates to its 5R Series tractors from 90 to 125hp, designed to increase their versatility and suitability for small and medium sized livestock and arable farms. To improve their connectivity for precision farming operations, from 2019 the tractors will be available AutoTrac and ISObusready. JDLink telematics will also be available ex-factory, together with a remote display access (RDA) five-year subscription. Other new features include an extendable pick-up hitch with hydraulic push-back through the rear SCVs to improve rear visibility, and variable ratio steering (VRS). This requires AutoTrac for operation and is selectable through a dedicated switch on the tractor cab’s B-post. The 5090R, 5100R, 5115R and 5125R tractors are equipped

with fuel efficient, Stage IIIB compliant 4.5-litre John Deere PWX engines. These dieselonly four-cylinder engines deliver 10 extra hp for transport applications via their transport power management (TPM) system. Three transmission options start with the entry level 16/16 CommandQuad Manual featuring four ranges and four powershiftable gears within each range. Also available are a 16/16 CommandQuad and a 32/16 Command8 transmission, which has eight powershiftable gears and an ECO mode that enables a top speed of 40kph at only 1759 engine rpm. All three transmissions offer a fully automatic clutch, individual start-up gears, individually settable speeds and an electric park lock. Automatic shifting is standard on the premium Command8 and optional on the 16/16 CommandQuad.

(continnued on page 34)




Innovative driving and control system for Landini Rex 4 tractor wins technology award A high-tech system for easing the workload of operators using Landini Rex 4 orchard, top fruit and vineyard tractors received a coveted Technical Innovation Award 2018 at the EIMA international machinery show in Italy. Developed by engineers at Landini manufacturer Argo Tractors, the Advanced Driving System comprises several new technologies that combine to make the operator’s life simpler and less tiring, while also providing detailed monitoring and recording of the tractor’s activities to help

manage lifetime ownership costs. “At Argo Tractors, we believe that this award further validates our continued research efforts aimed at improving comfort, safety and performance, which are at the core of our corporate mission,” says Antonio Salvaterra, Marketing Director. “Speciality tractors such as the Rex 4 Series require a great deal of effort on the part of the operator, who needs to control both the vehicle and implements. But the technologies of the Advanced Driving System allow the operator

to focus more on the tractor’s work rather than on driving it.” The Landini Rex 4 is an allnew range of tractors with six power outputs from 70-112hp and a choice of width and wheelbase configurations to suit differing orchard, top-fruit and vineyard situations. New transmission options, a flat-floor cabin with Category 4 ventilation to protect the operator from noxious substances and a front axle suspension option for the first time broaden the appeal of the range, which is one of the

UK’s most popular orchard tractor designs.

New four-cylinder McCormick X7 Series P6-Drive tractors The new range of McCormick four-cylinder tractors with a number of performance and driver comfort advances were launched at the LAMMA 2019 show as McCormick manufacturer Argo Tractors aimed to wow visitors with one of its most ambitious stand presentations. The McCormick X7.440 P6-Drive destined for the event represented a three model line-up of higher-spec four-cylinder tractors with maximum power outputs from 141hp to 176hp with ‘power boost’ on all models and a new slickshifting powershift transmission. The tractor was displayed among a selection of models

representing the midto high horsepower span of the McCormick range, from the 119hp X6.45 to the 310hp X8.680 VTDrive. “Our stand at LAMMA 2019 made a clear statement about how the McCormick range has developed into a thoroughly modern line-up of products supported by independent dealers who put customer service at the top of their priorities,” says Adrian Winnett, managing director of UK operations. “While some manufacturers seek to control their dealers by pushing them to sell more tractors and equipment of a single

brand, Argo Tractors champions independent dealers with strong customer focus who are free to choose the best implement franchises for them and the farmers they supply.”

The new Tier 4 Final versions of the McCormick X7.4 tractors offer a well-equipped machine capable of handling a wide range of tasks on livestock, arable and mixed enterprise farms.

At EIMA, SAME wins the Tractor of the Year 2019 in the “Best of Specialised” category At EIMA 2018, SAME Frutteto CVT 115 S won the “Best of Specialized” category in Tractor of the Year 2019. The Tractor of the Year prize is awarded annually by a jury of 25 journalists from Europe’s leading agricultural machinery magazines, who judged the SAME Frutteto

CVT 115 S to be the best tractor in the specialised category. The Frutteto CVT range is the latest technological evolution for vineyard and orchard applications: everything has been designed to offer the very best in efficiency, productivity and operator comfort. This coveted (continnued on page 36)



TRACTORS award is yet another recognition for SAME in the vineyard and orchard tractor segment, to go along with the Machine of the Year 2017 and Tractor of the Year 2016 awards for the Frutteto ActiveDrive in the specialist category. During the international agricultural machinery exhibition held in Bologna from 7 to

11 November, SAME also presented the new Frutteto CVT ActiveSteer, equipped with a technology that introduces fourwheel steering to vineyards and orchards. The ActiveSteer option allows work to be carried out in tight areas, ensuring manoeuvrability, steering quality and a significantly better turning

radius than a traditional machine, but with the same track and wheelbase as traditional rear axle configuration. “We are very pleased to have again won the ‘Best of Specialized’ award at Tractor of the Year�, commented Lodovico Bussolati, CEO of the SDF group. “This award - together with the

presentation of the ActiveSteer system on the CVT specialist range - is a source of particular pride for us, as both models were designed and manufactured entirely by SAME with the main strategic components - such as the engine, transmission and front axle - also designed and produced by SAME.

Zetor Tractors for 2019

Bucking the trend from previous years the start to 2019 see’s Zetor a.s focus on the lower end of its portfolio with the introduction of the Utilix and Hortus ranges of

tractor in the 40 to 70 HP market segments and top of the range with Zetor Crystal 170 HPThe new models are made up of the Utilix HT 45, Utilix HT 55 and Hortus CL 65 and Hortus HS 65 and Crystal HD 170. Despite their size, at the heart of the Utilix and Hortus is a fourcylinder engine with ratings at 43, 49 and 67 HP, add to that a choice of hydrostatic, mechanical and power shuttle transmissions (dependent on model) makes these tractors suitable for a variety of applications including municipal, grounds care and small holding.

The Hortus HS 65 was recently displated on the Zetor UK Lamma stand. Also on display at Lamma were the Major CL and HS variants both fitted with the same 2.9-litre engines, the 76 HP model HS gets a broader spectrum of gears to play with via a three-range transmission with four gears in each and a splitter, 24 forward gears and 12 reverse are available – maximum speed is 40 kph. In addition, a power shuttle affords clutch-less direction changes. Cab space has also been increased, now featuring more

steering wheel adjustment, more storage space, a new dashboard, and the addition of a passenger seat. The Major CL 80 is one of their first new ‘Mother Regulation’ compliant units to land in the UK giving a clear view as to what the future ranges have in store for us. Also promoting at Lamma was the Proxima T2 CL 100 and HS 100 & 120 models giving the choice between absolute mechanical or power shuttle transmissions from 100 HP to 120 HP offering superior value for money.


WILKS BROTHERS Main dealers in Perthshire for DEUTZ FAHR Tractors

The new 6 and 7 Series Tractors

3ALESs3ERVICEs0ARTS Repairs for a wide range of Agricultural Machinery Murthly, Perthshire, PH1 4HG Tel: 01738 710381 Fax: 01738 710581


AGRICULTURAL SERVICES LTD. Main Dealers for John Deere Tractors

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



Find a Professional Agricultural Contractor

The National Association of Agricultural Contractors (NAAC) has launched a new, revitalised website at www.naac.co.uk, featuring an improved, easy to navigate ‘Find a Contractor’ area. Finding a professional contractor has never been simpler, with all NAAC members on the website having appropriate insurance cover

and agreeing to comply with an NAAC Code of Conduct. The website can track through a vast list of operations from ploughing to waste spreading through to sheep shearing or Knotweed removal, narrowing down to the area that contractors’ operate. Each contractor can then be contacted directly to discuss the best terms.

If a higher level of assurance is preferred, the NAAC’s website can also locate contractors that have qualified and passed an annual audit against the NAAC’s Assured Land-Based Contractor Assurance Scheme (ALBC). This is an independently audited standard that gives further reassurance that a contractor has all the necessary training and

to market

procedures in place to operate a professional business. The new, improved website also features useful information for contractors and farmers, such as the annual NAAC Contracting Charges Guide, offering average prices surveyed from members. In addition, a vast Members only area provides business guides and access to a comprehensive health and safety package which all NAAC members can access. Commenting, Duncan Russell, NAAC Chief Executive said, ‘Over 91% of farmers now use a contractor and many would struggle to run their businesses without their contractor’s input, particularly for specialist, high capital investment machinery and the need for extra labour. The NAAC website offers a valuable resource of member’s details, alongside useful information and advice.’ For details see: www.naac.co.uk

Farming in the 21st Century benefits from tailored inspections Technology advances must be backed by maintenance and inspections of core machinery In an era of fast-paced technological advances in farming, it is now common place to see precision field mapping systems in place, or satellite data fed directly to fertiliser spinners, combine harvesters and other farm equipment. Machinery manufacturers have developed advanced telematics systems which indicate directly to the workshop when a machine is due for service. This is now considered the norm and, in some cases, essential rather than the novel luxury it once was. As welcome as these new innovations are, there are aspects of machinery maintenance that will never be replaced. This is certainly

true of PUWER (Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998) and LOLER (Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998) inspections. James Baimbridge, machinery inspection engineer within the engineering division of Farmers & Mercantile Insurance Brokers (FMIB), explains, “The PUWER and LOLER inspection can only be undertaken by an inspector with the relevant engineering qualification. “When we inspect machines, we are not only inspecting the machines looking for issues that might compromise its operating performance or potentially lead to dangerous situations, but we are also creating a comprehensive

service history of the machine which can be beneficial for a number of reasons.” Mr Baimbridge continues, “You would never buy a secondhand car without first looking at its service history. When you are ready to upgrade your telehandler, your engineering certificates will provide all the information for potential buyers that you had maintained the machine, that it is


in good, safe working order, and suitable for further service.” From an insurance perspective, if the machine is stolen or involved in an accident, the reports provide invaluable evidence as to the general condition of the machine, the hours and any advisory issues that have been actioned, to help prove the true value of the machine. Call 01604 782782 for more details. Visit www.fandmgroup.co.uk.


Farming travel guide Scotland Barley, Boats and Beauty on Raasay & Skye by Janice Hopper If your father fishes for lobster and crab, and your brother catches langoustines, what career can the youngest sibling carve out without standing on everyone’s toes? This was the quandary of Ewen Grant who wished to work the waters between Skye, Raasay and Rona. The solution? Provide luxury day trips aboard a smooth catamaran, dishing up bowls of Cullen Skink, generous platters of langoustines and lobsters caught by his family, with equally generous glasses of white wine. The vast majority of the Grant family catch is sent directly to Europe, Spain in particular. So the tourists aboard the Seaflower are amongst the only people in Scotland lucky enough to taste this rich harvest of the sea, dining in beautiful surroundings as the vessel sits at anchor off the coast of Raasay. And what a wonderful introduction to the island it is. Raasay is on the map thanks to a new distillery that began producing whisky in September 2017, and it’s the only distillery in Scotland to provide luxury accommodation within the same building. But in terms of agriculture, the distillery is making waves in an attempt to grow its own barley in a relatively tough environment, and thus create

Buffet on board the Seaflower


a whisky that is 100% Raasay provenance, creating at least one batch of Raasay Scotch per year that uses all-local ingredients. While acknowledging that this whisky will be a small percentage of total production, the distillery is keen to challenge the limitations of production in such an unusual location, and the finished product aims to capture the island’s terroir. The first barley trial on Raasay commenced in April 2017, carried out in conjunction with local farmer Andrew Gillies, and Peter Martin, Director of the Agronomy Institute at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI), who had experience working with distilleries producing whisky with non-commercial barley varieties. Five varieties of barley were trialled in Gillies Mill Park Field: Concerto (the commercial variety), Tartan, Bere, Iskria and Kannas. The latter three ripened successfully and the barley was harvested in August 2017, before being transported to the James Hutton Institute in Dundee to be dried. It was then malted by Hugh Alexander from Curio Group in June and July 2018 and a small amount of Raasay peat was used during this malting process. This trial revealed that current

A distillery with a view - Raasay Distillery

commercial barley varieties grow but do not ripen on Raasay, due to a much shorter growing season owing to high rainfall levels in March, April and September. In 2018 it was back to the drawing board. Martin and Gillies cultivated four varieties: Iskria, Golden Promise, Anneli and Brage. The harvest produced 1.7 tonnes from the field that, once dried and cleaned, produced just over a tonne of usable barley. In 2019 the trials will focus on the Iskria variety, as it looks the most promising based on the last two years of trials. A Barley Trial Open Day will be held in the Summer for those who wish to discover more. The first Raasay Single Malt will be ready to drink from 2020, but the distillery staff are already busy running whisky tours and managing the distillery hotel, which is set within the refurbished factor’s house. In a tiny place like Raasay it’s not unusual that most of the prominent buildings connect to the land, to the running of an estate and the survival of a small community. Take Raasay House, a second prominent building on the island, situated only metres from the pier. It offers hotel accommodation, a huge range of outdoor activities, and a relaxed bar and restaurant (in fact it’s the only venue serving breakfast, lunch and


dinner on the island). But Raasay House was originally the clan house of the MacLeods of Raasay, part of the Lewis, Assynt branch of the MacLeods. Over the centuries, ownership has passed from laird to laird, one generation of islanders experiencing a sporting estate, the next generation focussing on iron ore mining. Ultimately the lives and livelihoods of the people of Raasay were hugely susceptible to the influential individuals who owned the estate at any particular time. Such change, transience and power has inspired creative locals. Raasay’s most famous poet, Sorley MacLean, is renowned for his work ‘Hallaig’. The township of Hallaig fell victim to the Highland Clearances and the poem charts the desolation and impact associated with such a loss. The remains of the township are roughly an hour’s walk from the nearest road, and visitors can imagine the ghosts of the past living here, working the land, and making a humble life for themselves. On a similar theme, hike to the deserted village of Screapadal with its stunning views over to Applecross, again the subject of a MacLean poem. The work points the finger at laird Rainy for clearing the people, leaving merely sheep behind, but even a landlord couldn’t rob the

The Fairy Pools

the Creative Trial is Skyeskyns tannery. Visitors can undertake a guided tour of the workshop to learn how sheepskins are made, taking in traditional implements including the beam, paddles and buffing wheel. The showroom has a vast range of goods to purchase including rugs and cushions, slippers and coats, and even wee teddy bears. After visiting a series of galleries, step outdoors at Waternish Farm for a breath of fresh air. Experience a conservation talk, walk around

the farm on the Waternish Peninsula, learn about local conservation and the native corncrakes, then relax with a glass of sparkling elderflower and an afternoon tea with sea views. Being ‘down on the farm’ has never sounded more appealing. Or drop by the Skye Museum of Island Life. Set within traditional cottages, barns, a smithy and a ceilidh house, it offers insight into rural island life a century ago. Ultimately, the overriding attraction of Skye and Raasay is

Courtesy of Visit Scotland and Kenny Lam

land of its inherent beauty. Finally, Emigrant’s Walk is a short trail from the main village of Inverarish, that includes a series of plinths charting the travels of Raasay emigrants, and includes plantings from some of the countries that they settled in. Modern Raasay is a vibrant island, with an art gallery, silversmith, hotels and a distillery, but it’s been a long journey to get to this point. The Clearances will always be part of its story and its culture, and Skye shares a similar story. Skye is associated with the beautiful lament ‘Farewell to the Place’, or ‘Soraidh Leis An Ait’ in Gaelic. Written in the 19th century by a crofting woman, Mairi Mhor Nan Oran, or Big Mary of the Songs, it’s considered an anthem for the island. The turbulent history, the moving stories and the beauty of the landscape provide rich pickings for creatives, and visitors to Skye are spoiled for choice when it comes to exploring a contemporary art scene and shopping for local paintings, jewellery, photography or crafts. Skye’s ‘Creative Trail’ includes Skyescape photographer Russell Sherwood, Laurence Broderick the British wildlife sculptor, ‘On the Croft’ that uses wool from its own flock of Jacob Sheep to create fibre art, and Edinbane Pottery inspired by the land, sea and wildlife of Skye, to name just a few creative souls. One fascinating stop on

Courtesy of Visit Scotland-Kenny Lam

Farming travel guide Scotland

experiencing natural beauty, with limited human interference or alteration. The Cuillin, the Fairy Pools, the Quiraing, the Old Man of Storr, Dun Caan: timeless attractions that will be here long after we’re gone… GETTING THERE Skye - No ferries required! Drive across the bridge from Kyle of Lochalsh to Skye. Raasay - To reach Raasay arrive at the port of Sconser on Skye, and catch the regular Caledonian Macbrayne ferry over to Raasay. calmac.co.uk STAY AT Skye - Book a newly refurbished room at the Sligachan Hotel, complete with a bar, restaurants, playground and a small climbing museum - sligachan.co.uk Raasay - Raise a glass at the new accommodation at Raasay Distillery - raasaydistillery.com Book outdoors activities, as well as smart accommodation, at Raasay House - raasay-house.co.uk ACTIVITIES Set sail with the Seaflower at seaflowerskye.com Visit Skyeskyns - skyeskyns.co.uk Book a Farm Walk and Afternoon Tea at waternishfarm.com Explore the Skye Museum of Island Life - skyemuseum.co.uk

The Quiraing, Skye



environment Warning after hundreds of farm pollution incidents reported in Scotland over past decade An agricultural expert is warning farmers about the risks of farm pollution, after official figures revealed 1,649 incidents occurred across Scotland in the past decade1. Farm pollution incidents can have a devasting impact on wildlife, ecosystems and, in some cases, human health - for example, silage effluent can be up to 200 times more toxic than untreated sewage if it finds its way into waterways. In the wake of these figures, obtained from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) through a Freedom of Information request, Matt McWhirter of Farmers & Mercantile Insurance Brokers’ Scotland


office, says he is worried too many farmers are not aware of just how destructive farm pollution can be to the environment – or the severe penalties they face if prosecuted. “What many farmers don’t realise is that they could be slapped with unlimited fines, or up to five years in prison2, if found responsible for a pollution breach,” said McWhirter. He warned that, whilst insurance may cover the cost of any clean-ups, it is not available to cover the cost of substantial fines imposed when farmers don’t comply with the law. “Agriculture remains one of the biggest sources of pollution incidents, with a large number of

incidents relating to water pollution, with slurry, soil and chemicals running into water courses,” he said. “Much can be done, however, to mitigate the risks. First of all, farmers should ensure their knowledge of environmental legislation is up-to-date and that they closely follow guidance from SEPA. “Risk assessments should be conducted, such as identifying low-lying areas and waterways vulnerable to effluent runoff, and checks should be routinely carried out, from ensuring silage clamps and slurry containers are sound and secure to examining nearby waterways for signs of pollution.


“Adverse weather should be also taken into account, as heavy rainfall can increase the chance of toxic runoff. “Contingency plans should put in place, in preparation for every eventuality, and all workers should be made aware of these. If there is a pollution incident, suspected or confirmed, SEPA should be contacted immediately, followed by the insurance company. “It is worth bearing in mind that prevention not only provides peace of mind but may in the future reap benefits, if SEPA realises its objectives to protect the environment for future generations.”

renewable energy

Failure to check energy potential could cost £millions Land agents and farmers who are buying and selling land should ensure they check the potential for renewable energy projects before proceeding, to avoid missing out on valuable contracts. The value of land which is suitable for generating or storing renewable energy could be considerably higher than land which does not have such capacity, explains independent energy specialist Roadnight Taylor. “We recently had a case where a large land agent was selling land for a client and wanted to check if there was an opportunity for a high value energy scheme,” explains

director Hugh Taylor. “The client didn’t want to pay the £350 for a survey, so it wasn’t carried out. Within a week, we were approached by a prospective purchaser to carry out our Stop/ Go study on the same land, which revealed there was 20MW of grid capacity available for battery storage.” At the time, such a scheme was worth around £60,000 a year in rent for the next 30 years, potentially adding about £1.5m to the value of just an acre of land, he adds. “On the day the purchaser completed the sale we submitted their grid application and secured them an incredibly cheap 20MW connection offer.”

Roadnight Taylor’s ‘Stop/ Go’ study costs from £350 +VAT to see whether a site has true

potential. For more information call 01993 830571 or visit www. roadnighttaylor.co.uk

Heading into the future with renewable farming Currently, the world is only using 25% of its renewable energy generated from natural resources, meaning the globe is still heavily reliant on unsustainable, environmentally-unfriendly fossil fuels. It is striking, and perhaps unsurprising, to see the world is not taking effective action to reduce global warming’s impact, especially when harmful gases and emissions pose a serious threat to our ecosystems. Luckily, the farming industry is exploring different ways to run its machinery on alternative energy supplies, highlighting the various options the sector can adopt to make a committed transition to renewable energies. The extensive use of heavy machinery in the day-to-day running of agribusiness has been in existence since the Industrial Revolution. Over the years, and as many similar land-based industries turned to mechanised production to increase yields and sustain finances, this proliferation of fuelguzzling machinery has inevitably taken its toll on environmental health.

But, because the farming world and other industries alike are seeing the damage caused by the overuse of fossil fuels, action is being taken. Within the past decade or so, better action has been taken to farm smarter, adopting new technologies to improve sustainability across the sector. These technologies, including robotics and drones, are energy-efficient alternatives which, unlike tractors, remove the production of harmful emissions, such as greenhouse gases. But what kinds of renewable energy supplies should the industry turn to? The farming industry has the technology to produce food sustainably, but what are the cleaner options to oil and petrol? Utilising renewable energy sources At the moment, UK food production is heavily dependent on the use of oil to fuel machinery. Although there are ways to store and dispose of oil safely, there is no denying the fact it is hardly a sustainable solution to powering the country’s farms into a greener future.

So what are the alternatives and, more importantly, are they efficient? Biofuels: Estimated to reflect 3.4 to 7.5% of UK energy consumption by 2020, biofuels are a great solution to alleviating the industry’s dependence on oil and fuel. Biomass converts organic matter into renewable energy (biofuels), creating resources such as biogas. Methane from animal and plant waste can, and is, used to power tractors, for instance. Other biomasses include: grown resources (cereal crops), grasses and other forestry, and residues. As waste is a natural byproduct of the growing process, biofuels are effective alternatives for both small and large scale farmers and are a friendlier choice to damaging fossil fuels. Solar energy: For pig or poultry farmers consuming a high amount of energy on a daily-basis, solar PV panels are the answer to transforming excess energy into their own supplies. Solar panels absorb sunrays to convert them into energy – and they still produce up to 25%


energy on a cloudier day. To save costs, farmers can produce solar energy through a power purchase agreement (PPA); alternatively, farmers can purchase a battery storage unit which enables them to draw on their own energy supply when needed. Making a more assured transition to renewable energy supplies is highly important to sustaining the health of the planet and indeed the agriculture market. Moving away from the use of harmful fossil fuels will relax the industry’s reliance on oil to power machinery; and will effectively improve the industry’s sustainability as a whole. But more importantly, and as the UK steadily shifts into an uncertain Brexit-based political period, renewable energies also guarantee self-sufficiency. As UK industries are heavily dependent on overseas oil imports, the transition to communal, domestic renewables will be the farming world’s saving grace. It’s a solid move towards ensuring a more resilient, sustainable and independent future for UK agriculture 41

beef East Lothian Farm is AgriScot Scotch Beef Farm of the Year

Bielgrange near Dunbar, run by Niall Jeffrey in partnership with his father Angus, was revealed as the recipient of the award during a presentation in the main ring at the AgriScot event in Edinburgh. The Jeffrey family runs two spring calving herds over three farm units. The 300-hectare lowland Bielgrange farm and 240-hectare upland Weatherly farm run 250 Aberdeen Angus cross sucklers. The business also contract farms 160 Aberdeen Angus cross suckler cows at Halls Farm. Both herds calve from March to May in a mixture of indoor and outdoor accommodation and are then moved to grazing from midApril when they enter a rotational grazing system for the first half of the summer to try and utilise the grass growth. Calves are EID tagged at birth and weaned outside before being housed in an outside corral and wintered on straw, bruised barley, dark grains and sugar beet pulp. They are then grazed from April to July before being housed from August to finish around 16-18 months. The aim of the Scotch Beef Farm of the Year Award, which is run by AgriScot and Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and sponsored by Thorntons Solicitors, is to showcase excellence in the production of cattle in Scotland and raise the profile of the dedication and stock management skills behind 42

the production of Scotch Beef PGI. Following the announcement, Niall Jeffrey was keen to praise the efforts of the team, including three members of staff. He said: “We were honoured just to be nominated for the Scotch Beef Farm of the Year award but to become a finalist, and then go on to win, makes me even more proud of our team.” As part of the award prize, Mr Jeffrey received a £500 cheque as well as a £250 voucher to celebrate the farms success at a Scotch Beef Club restaurant. The members of the club, run by QMS, are committed to serving top quality Scotch Beef PGI. The other two finalists in this year’s award were Poldean near Moffat, run by husband and wife team Alisdair and Emma Davidson, and Midtown of Glass near Huntly, run by Gary and Angela Christie with help from their son Adam. Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Minister for Rural Economy, extended his congratulations to Niall Jeffrey and the other finalist farms. He said: “This is a tremendous effort by Niall and Angus Jeffrey, and I extend my congratulations to them on being named Scotch Beef Farm of the Year. The competition this year was particularly good, as all three farms are excellent examples of the best of our beef sector, and I wish them all every success in the future.”


New GB-wide Campaign Highlights Red Meat’s Positive Health Role A high-profile new campaign aimed at inspiring people about the role of lean red meat in a healthy diet has been launched by Great Britain’s three red meat organisations. The campaign from the joint-funded programme by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC) – Meat Promotion Wales and Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), has launched across England, Wales and Scotland. The collective initiative also aims to counter misinformation on the role of red meat in a balanced diet and to help support better understanding of the facts about the nutritional value of red meat. Three well-known celebrities across England, Scotland and Wales are fronting the campaign. Welsh and Lions rugby star Shane Williams represents Wales, television presenter and Celebrity MasterChef Winner Angellica Bell champions the cause in England, and ex- Scotland rugby player and Strictly Come Dancing contestant, Thom Evans, turns out for Scotland. The campaign, which is intended to appeal to younger audiences, has a social media focus and will highlight the nutritional value, ease and versatility of lean red meat in line with approved health claims, and the opportunity to enjoy more midweek meat meals.

Key health messages are communicated by the celebrities whilst cooking up three healthy red meat dishes with an unsuspecting member of the public. To extend the campaign reach further, a nutrition factsheet has been developed for distribution to healthcare professionals. Consumer insights, which helped inform the creative behind the campaign, show that a proportion of young people are limiting their red meat intake and are not aware of the positive role that red meat can play in the diet. Alan Clarke, Chief Executive of Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), said: “More than ever, it is essential that the important role red meat plays in a healthy, balanced diet is communicated accurately.” “Working with AHDB and HCC on this project means we can collectively tackle some of the misinformation currently available in the public arena around lean red meat.” This activity is funded by the £2 million fund of AHDB red meat levies ring-fenced for collaborative projects which is managed by the three GB meat levy bodies – AHDB, HCC and QMS. The ring-fenced fund is an interim arrangement while a long-term solution is sought on the issue of levies being collected at point of slaughter in England, for animals which have been reared in Scotland or Wales.

livestock New project will reveal ideal size for livestock A new research project is aiming to improve production efficiency in the UK by enabling farmers to determine the optimum mature size for both beef cattle and sheep. The researchers, from AbacusBio International and Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), will study how different mature weights, in both upland and lowland livestock, affect issues including herd fertility and business profitability. The project, which has been jointly funded by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), AHDB and HCC, will then develop techniques and tools which pedigree breeders and commercial farmers can use to ensure they achieve the optimum mature weight for their enterprise.

QMS Director of Industry Development, Douglas Bell said: “Breeding flocks and herds represent the backbone of lamb and beef production in Great Britain.” He added: “It is long been recognised that the profitability of such enterprises is related to the productivity of the breeding population. Enterprise efficiency however relies on understanding the cost base as well as the output potential. It is for this reason that QMS, AHDB and HCC have identified assessing efficiency of breeding enterprises as an important area for their levy payers. For Tim Byrne, Managing Director of AbacusBio International and project lead, slowing down the trend for larger livestock is vital.

He said: “If we take the UK as a whole and we know that we have about 14 million sheep and 2 million cows, what happens to our industry if the weight of those animals keeps going up? “We know that is the general trend and that growth rates are also rising, but we are not killing

these animals any younger, what are the implications of that? The benefits of bigger animals can quickly be diluted by increased on farm costs. This project will demonstrate exactly what producers should be trying to achieve to maximise their productivity and profitability.”

Crystalyx celebrates 40 years of success

The past 40 years have been marked by the unrivalled growth of the Crystalyx feed block range, with the brand leading the way with research and development of low moisture feed licks.

This success has been achieved on an international basis with parent company Caltech having invested significantly in manufacturing and distribution operations throughout Europe, www.farmingscotlandmagazine.com


livestock North America, South America and Australasia. Crystalyx products have been available in both the UK and Irish markets for 40 years and have been manufactured by Caltech for 25 years after the brand was purchased from Pfizer in 1993. To mark the last 40 years of success, the Crystalyx range has been completely re-branded with the new look products launched at Novermbers AgriScot event. “Our research and industry analysis have shown a significant increase in the number of livestock farmers grazing livestock on brassica crops, with the new products being tailor made to balance the deficiencies associated with these practises,” confirmed Caltech technical director Dr Cliff Lister. “Over the past quarter of a century we have committed £millions in developing a range of Crystalyx feed blocks, which offer innovative feeding solutions to cattle and sheep producers around the world.”


Extended ordering hours for same day tag despatch Allflex has announced that it has extended its cut-off time for the same day despatch of replacement cattle ear tags, with all orders made before 4:30pm guaranteed to be sent out by first class post on the day they are ordered. “Feedback from our customers tells us that the later deadline time could make a significant difference to busy livestock farmers who need

to order replacement ear tags in a hurry,” explains Ashley Musgrave, General Manager of Allflex UK. The new cut-off time applies to all orders made through Allflex merchants as well as those placed directly with Allflex. For more information, or to place an order, visit www. allflex.co.uk, call 01207 523175 or fax 0800 783 6655.

Stone Farms Ltd Answer The Call Stone Farms Ltd is a small family business based in East Kent run by brothers John and Matthew Whitehouse. “In 1986, we purchased our first post knocker - a basic

Parmiter followed by a Parmiter PPD200. We also used a 360 digger with an auger kit mounted on it for drilling holes in our very hard ground ranging from tight chalk with flints to clay


with flints. However auger heads and flights wore out within a month and continually had to be refurbished. This way of working was much too time consuming,



VET Pointing the Right Way By Andy Cant Northvet Veterinary Group

costing us money, so we had to move away from working like this and our focus switched to post drivers capable of dealing with these conditions. We needed a post driver that would drive in lots of minimum 150mm top strainers fast and without damage and it would also need to be suitable for our Ford 7710. “Our first port of call was to go to Bryce Suma - a brand that stands out. Jock was incredibly helpful and we decided to purchase a ‘Bryce Powershift HD2 Forest Supreme’ with a 500kg weight and a 95mm rock spike. It is simple, straightforward, very robust and puts strainers into ground as hard as concrete. We can now work efficiently on the hardest land you can work on, because we now have the right machine and are making more money.

It has without doubt been well thought out and is very wellengineered. It has been tested to the limit, driving in hundreds of strainers, and it still performs as well as the day it came out of the factory.” Matthew continues, “very, very pleased with it. Probably the best thing we have bought for many years, it’s 100% and can’t fault it and can only sing its praises. The Bryce with the rockspike makes it all so simple and does it in a fraction of the time compared to the machines we had in our previous line-up”. “I definitely believe that this machine is the best available to meet our needs. It has increased our output no end, working in these hard conditions. Well done and thank you to Bryce - long may they continue building these brilliant machines” - John Whitehouse

At work we are in the midst of scanning cows to the point where you sometimes think your arm is about to drop off! Being mostly spring calvers the majority are around the 4-6mth stage just now. Scanning results in general are pretty good and you can tell the relief when a farmer knows that his cows will deliver his next crop of calves and he hasn’t missed a problem with a bull. It is also good for us at the practice to know that the circle of life is in full swing again and we will also have a job to do next spring! There is comfort in that certainty especially when every time you listen to the news our politicians seem intent on pursuing uncertainty if not madness. It is a concern that disruption to support and markets in agriculture as well as consumers seeming preference for cheap food products could change demand for our local products and make it non viable financially. However we’ve been through threats of change to our traditional farming practices before, BSE and Foot and Mouth Disease from a disease point of view for example and we


have come through that. It’s about dealing with change. The initial worry, followed by an understanding of how to deal with it, which sometimes can end up with you heading in a different direction and ending up in a better place than where you started. Farming is lucky to be steeped in strong community spirit, which helps adapting to change and survival. I was invited to speak recently at the Greamsay Harvest Home, an Island population of 23 bolstered by some guests meant that about 40 folk sat down to a three course meal in the lovely wood lined wooden hut from the second world war that is the community centre. It was then dancing to accordion fiddle and pipes into the wee sma’ ‘oors. A great night and gives me confidence that if that tradition can survive so can the industry that it is part of. And at the end of the night we were offered a lift home to where we were staying. There were various cars randomly parked around the hall. “Which one?” I asked. “We’ll take this one – it’s pointing the right way “ was the spirited reply! If only our politicians had the same nouse.


dairy Meeting to tackle feeding high yielding herds Tailoring the diet of a high yielding cow to maximise both health and productivity was the focus ar the meeting of the Strategic Dairy Farm based in Lanarkshire in December. Karen Lowe, AHDB Dairy Knowledge Exchange Manager, explained: “Our host farmer William Baillie is already doing a really good job in terms of managing his herd for high yields so at this point it is all about making those marginal gains which can have a big impact on the bottom line. “At the meeting William discussed how he currently achieving his high yields of 11,400 litres annually, as well as describing the insights he gets from regularly blood testing to metabolic profile his herd, which highlights focus areas. He also shared the changes he is making which he hopes will get him up to 12,000 litres.” Independent dairy nutritionist Hugh Kerr has reviewed the feed management at Hillhead of Covington and he presented on how William’s farm, and others, can maximise health, efficiency and productivity.

He says: “What focused on is cow eating behaviour and efficiency of digestion. The three key areas to consider are input, what the animal is consuming, throughput, how efficiently that moves through the system, and output, what milk yield and quality is achieved.

“On the day we also discussed the suggestions I have made to adjust the diet at Hillhead now that the farm’s forage stocks are more secure, as well as observing the new dry cow house.” Strategic dairy farms help farmers learn from each other through regular on-farm meetings where we

will share key performance data and showcase what the top performing farmers are doing. They form part of the Optimal Dairy Systems programme which aims to help dairy farmers lower costs and increase efficiency by focusing on either a block or all year round calving system.

New tube-feeding system makes it easier to feed calves sheep and goats Dairy Spares has introduced another tube-feeding system into the UK: the Flexi Tuber includes a head-strap which helps hold the tube in place in the animal’s mouth, and makes it easier to administer colostrum/milk/ rehydration fluid. It is suitable for use with calves, adult sheep and goats, and cattle up to 200kg liveweight. The Flexi Tuber consists of a mouthpiece with a plastic crosspiece for easy positioning in the animal’s mouth, and on which it may chew during feeding. A soft feeding tube is passed through the mouthpiece, 46


and the swallowing action of the animal directs the end of the tube over the airway and safely into the oesophagus. The length of the tube can be altered to ensure correct placement and positioning of the tube end. The mouthpiece can be held in place with one hand, or for a hands-free feeding operation, it can be securely attached to the animal with the head-strap.The Flexi Tuber has been developed by New Zealand company Antahi, the same company that developed the Trusti Tuber. Both systems are designed to ensure tubing is safer, easier and more

comfortable for the calf. They allow feeding to be done more quickly and with less stress for both animal and farmer. The Flexi Tuber starter kit which includes the mouthpiece with head-strap, a

flexible feeding tube, a 4-litre ergonomically-designed bottle, and a teat, retails at £60 + VAT. For more information farmers can contact their local stockist or call Dairy Spares on 01948 667676.

Healthy and rested cows are essential for productivity and profitability in the dairy farm The new cubicle, GEA DairyBarn B3130, is the only box system on the market that has no fixed mounted neck and front rails. Therefore it offers freedom of movement, flexibility and safety at the same time. The flexible design of the DairyBarn B3130 promotes the natural lying behavior of the cows and at the same time ensures high animal security and thus a longer productive life of the cow. The divisions, which are flexible in the horizontal and vertical directions, reduce injuries. A wide front opening allows more natural movement when the cow tilts forward to get up or lie down. The neck rail bar with a vertical flexibility of 30 cm prevents the cow from getting stuck. The GEA DairyBarn B3130 also guides the cow to an optimal lying position, which leads to cleaner

beds and less cleaning effort. The GEA DairyBarn B3130 will be launched as an all-in-one concept with a cubicle, mattress/ deep bedding and knee barrier at the end of the first quarter of 2019 in the Western European market. New feed fence GEA DairyBarn B3525 for organic farming Especially for dairy cows with horns, GEA has also developed the new self-locking safety feed fence DairyBarn B3525. The next generation of the Sweden feed fence is highly resilient and equipped with an additional safety option. With a feeding space width of 75/85 cm, a neck width of 21 cm and an external height of 88 cm, it meets the requirements for organic farming. The introduction into the Western European market is planned for the end of January.

Order your FARMING SCOTLAND MAGAZINE Limited Edition Whisky See page 70 www.farmingscotlandmagazine.com

NFU Scotland


What price clarity?

The one ‘certainty’ for NFU Scotland and our members as we face 2019 is that ‘uncertainty’ is the main event for our industry writes NFU Scotland President

By President Andrew McCornick That makes planning what we, as farmers and crofters, are currently doing or are needing to do to ensure our businesses are sustainable and profitable a real challenge. Given the uncertainties around Brexit, we need both Westminster and Holyrood to make some very clear and meaningful commitments to our industry. And let’s be clear, I am not interested in all the political machinations around this process. The considerable amount of political noise from all parties and all Parliaments needs to be tackled but will not detract from our clear focus on what we need as an industry to deliver the food that the country wants with all the downstream and upstream benefits to the economy, jobs, environment, climate change, landscape and communities. That focus then makes the task of a lobbying organisation such as NFUS much clearer and cleaner to do. Set down clearly the goals that are essential to our future, drawing in all the outcomes highlighted, and then direct the decision makers to what needs to be done. At the very start of the Brexit process we, at NFUS, set out the three main priorities that need to be in place to deliver for our ambition - trade, labour, and support. The series of CHANGE Documents produced and distributed to members, politicians and stakeholders since then all

relate to this set of priorities and lead back to the main messages. We have undertaken an unprecedented amount of lobbying in the last year, at a level that NFUS has never been able to achieve before. There will be no easing back on this work going forward as it is too important to us all. In 2019, there will be more evidence sessions, more high-level meetings, more consultations to deal with while a new agricultural policy, funding levels and trade deals are being developed within the UK and Scotland. Be assured, despite all the intensity of what is the most significant change our industry is facing in almost half a century, nothing will be disregarded in what NFUS does for the sector. NFU Scotland’s commitment and focus is to ensure that we have a profitable and sustainable future in this brave new world and we will be resolute in our pursuit of that on behalf of our members. Our series of 13 future policy roadshows in November took us the length and breadth of the country, by the end of which we had met many hundreds of our members. Those roadshows will see us fine tune the vision that we mapped out in ‘Steps to Change – A New Agricultural Policy for Scotland’, launched in late March 2018 and give us a clear mandate as we enter the most crucial period of policy negotiations for a generation.



UK Dairy Expo 2019 at Borderway, Carlisle With eight years of success, in which its reputation and following has steadily increased, Borderway UK Dairy Expo returns to the Borderway


Exhibition Centre, Carlisle in Cumbria on Saturday 9th March. The event continues to strengthen its position in the British and Global

dairy industry scene, linking farmers, exhibitors, and sector representatives, and uniting the experienced dairy men and women with the younger generation. Being held on Saturday 9th March, this livestock showcase is an exhibition of the latest genetics, science and technology, and a major platform for business – all key reasons for its growing prominence as a UK Dairy Event. It is a tremendous hub for advice, information, exchange, and commerce, with its importance reiterated by the number of trade stand attendees. This is a key role for the industry with UK and International business exhibitors representing all sectors. An a-z of companies and organisations features accountancy, breeding,


buildings, engineering, equipment, feeding, financial, genetics, legal, technology, and veterinary - all there to provide advice and support, and to help farmers and breeders plan for the future. Many of the exhibitors will also be on hand to demonstrate the use of their products and appliances first hand. Reiterating the importance of this event last year, Sue Cope, Chief Executive of Holstein UK, said: “Borderway UK Dairy Expo is a really important show to us: it’s great for business, it’s great to meet and greet all of our members at this fantastic time of the year. It is the right time of the year to do business with dairy farmers.” The showcase of livestock competing for the Championship Awards and a share of the


£15,000 prize fund continues to be at the heart of the day, with in the region of 400 head of the finest dairy cattle in the UK being shown. There are a total of 70 classes across the seven breed sections - Holstein, Ayrshire, Jersey, Dairy Shorthorn, Red and White, and Brown Swiss. In addition, the event also hosts the British Friesian National Show. For the exhibitors, winning adds to the reputation of the herd, and makes its livestock more valuable in the marketplace. Taking away the prestigious Champion of Champions is the ultimate accolade and for an unprecedented third time last year, it went to Peak Goldwyn Rhapsody Ex97 6E, a seventh calver from Sterndale in Derbyshire, who was also awarded this accolade in 2014 and 2017. The cattle being exhibited last year were described as; “Sheer quality from beginning to end - they are outstanding, world class and something to behold.” “The global reach of Borderway UK Dairy Expo and the reputation of British dairy genetics is no better illustrated by willingness of the international team of judges to attend. All endorse the view that judging at this event is a privilege and with such exceptional quality of livestock to judge, often a challenge”, says David Pritchard, Event Organiser and Joint Managing Director at Harrison & Hetherington. This year’s four judges travelling from North America, Canada, and across the UK are

all highly-respected individuals. Carl Saucier, from Canada, will judge the Holstein, Brown Swiss & Milking Shorthorn classes; Molly Sloan, from the USA will judge the Ayrshire, Jersey & Red & White classes; Mark Logan from Northern Ireland will judge the National British Friesian Show and Ben Yates from Somerset, UK will judge the Showmanship class. Carl Saucier, from Champlain, in Québec, has worked with some of the biggest names in dairy genetics. He has been an official judge for Holstein Canada since 1996 and judged several shows in Québec, Ontario, Nova Scotia, United States, Belgium, France, Portugal, Costa Rica, Australia and Japan. Molly Sloan from Wisconsin is a renowned figure in the intentional genetics industry. He has judged major shows in 15 states throughout the US and has been a lead judge twice at World Dairy Expo, and at major shows in Australia, Brazil, France, Peru and Canada. Mark Logan from Northern Ireland is a former Championship Winner himself and has an impressive record of judging duties including The Royal Welsh, The Royal Highland, The Great Yorkshire, The Royal Cornwall, UK Dairy Day and The Autumn Show on Jersey Island. Ben Yates, who manages the Y-Farm Partnership farm near Shepton Mallet, Somerset, has a judging record which includes the All Breeds All Britain Calf Show, Emerald Expo, Celtic Show Case, The All

Ireland Calf Show & the Winter Show, Drenthe, Holland. For many, competing and showing cattle in World class dairy events starts at a young age and it takes a huge amount of time, commitment and dedication. The organiser of Borderway UK Dairy Expo, Harrison & Hetherington, are aware of this and underline the importance of supporting the next generation through their own commitment to the younger people. Specifically tailed to encourage young people to take part, the Showmanship Youth Championships and Stock Judging classes inspire the next generation of dairy breeders. With dozens of young breeders from across the UK and Europe competing, these classes are key to overall success and popularity of the event. Acknowledging that individuals are also key in the continuing success of UK Dairy is the presence of The John Dennison Lifetime Achievement Award. Now in its 6th year, the award is presented by the family of John Dennison of Cumbria, who was one of the industry’s most respected breeders until his sad death in 2012. Seen as the “Oscar” of the dairy arena, it recognises a dairy cattle breeder, or exhibitor judged to be a high achiever and excellent role model within the industry. Already entries are being received by the judging panel for 2019. Last year’s winner was Jimmy Wilson from the Tregibby Herd in Cardigan, Wales and a past President of the Holstein Association.


Nominations are now open for the 2019 John Dennison Lifetime Achievement Award. Success is also demonstrated through the continued support received from mainline sponsors; Holstein UK, CIS, Norbrook, Farmers Guardian, Carrs Billington and new for 2019, HSBC. Demonstrating the key role these organisations have in the industry, their presence and sponsorship also ensures the continued appearance of UK Dairy Expo as an annual event. Commenting on the 2019 event, David said: “We really are delighted that Borderway UK Dairy Expo has become such an important event for dairy farmers, and for the wider industry as a whole. Rarely do dairy farmers get the chance to attend a specialist event, offering advice on a broad range of subjects related to the profitability of their business. Dairy Expo is now widely recognised as doing just this, and I believe explains why the event goes from strength to strength.” “As everyone knows, 2019 is going to be a year of uncertainties, however, one thing that I know is certain, is that UK Borderway Dairy Expo will once again welcome thousands of progressive dairy farmers all wanting to gather the latest information to help them to future-proof their business”, concludes David. The 2019 Borderway UK Dairy Expo takes place at the Borderway Exhibition Centre, Carlisle, on Saturday 9 March 2019 and continues to be free for all spectators who attend. 49

sheep Perthshire Farm is AgriScot Scottish Sheep Farm of the Year A family farm from Perthshire is the 2018 AgriScot Scottish Sheep Farm of the Year, an award run by AgriScot and Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and sponsored by Thorntons Solicitors. Incheoch, near Alyth, run by husband and wife team Neil and Debbie McGowan in partnership with Neil’s mother Judy, father Finlay and sister Clare, was revealed as the recipient of the award during a presentation in the main ring at AgriScot. Incheoch is a 485-hectare upland farm at the foot of Glenisla, running 1,100 Lleyn ewes on a low-cost sheep system in terms of capital and labour, along with a suckler herd. The farm uses EID technology and EBVs to help produce ‘functional, efficient and robust breeding stock’. The McGowans are dedicated to improving the genetics of their flock and enhancing the commercially relevant traits, particularly maternal characteristics. The foundation of the sheep business is prime lamb production, however they have been selling grass-fed, performance recorded Lleyn and Texel rams at an on-farm sale for the last 11 years. Prime lambs are sold to Woodheads but the McGowans also work with a local abattoir and butcher and sell 30-40 of their lambs direct to the public each year in bespoke retail packs. The aim of the AgriScot Scottish Sheep Farm of the Year Award is to showcase excellence in sheep production in Scotland and to raise the profile of the dedication of the Scottish sheep farmers who produce Scotch Lamb PGI. Neil McGowan from Incheoch Farm was delighted by the news. He said: “Being announced as the Agriscot Scottish Sheep Farmer of the Year is great recognition to the effort that everyone involved at Incheoch puts into what all Scottish Sheep farmers try to 50

do - produce a great product, sensitive to welfare and the environment, in a business that offers a way of life attractive to the next generation.” As part of their prize, the McGowans received a £500 cheque as well as a £250 voucher to celebrate their success at a Scotch Beef Club restaurant. The members of the club, run by QMS, are committed to serving top quality Scotch Beef PGI. Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Minister for Rural Economy, extended his congratulations to the McGowans. He said: “I would like to offer my warmest congratulations to the McGowans on Incheoch being named 2018 Scottish Sheep farm of the year. They are excellent ambassadors for our Scottish sheep sector and have shown how technology can help to produce an efficient and robust breeding stock, while enhancing it commercially. I wish them every success moving forward.” He also congratulated finalist farm Bowhill Farming Ltd, in Selkirk, managed by Sion Williams and his team for their commitment to producing Scotch Lamb.

Charley Walker from Barnside Farm, one of the assessors this year and recipient of the 2017 award, admitted that it was incredibly hard to decide who should receive the award this year as both businesses excelled at what they did. He said: “Incheoch and Bowhill are very different farms, but both share outstanding technical performance and a great passion and understanding of the sheep industry. Both have made and continue to make great strides in genetic improvement and have an excellent understanding of their market.” Fellow assessor and AgriScot board member Hamish Dykes commented: “Although Sion and his team should be very rightly proud of what they have achieved, we were incredibly impressed by the McGowans foresight and courage to go down their chosen path at such an early stage. Long before any of us knew what a Lleyn actually was, Neil and Debbie already had a flock of them and were preparing to start their on-farm ram sale.” During the farm visits the judges looked for evidence of a high standard of technical and financial performance, uptake of


new ideas to improve efficiency/ profitability, a high level of health and welfare and a keen eye on the market for the end product. The judges were also looking to gauge the passion and enthusiasm of the farmer, and family and staff where relevant, to efficiently produce high quality animals. “It was a pleasure to visit the finalist farms, both of which demonstrated incredibly high-quality sheep production systems managed with real pride and dedication,” said Heather McCalman, Knowledge Transfer Specialist at QMS and fellow assessor. Kenneth Mackay, partner in the Land and Rural Business team at Thorntons Solicitors, said: “We are delighted to sponsor the AgriScot Scottish Sheep farm of the Year award; it is a wonderful way to celebrate the fantastic sheep industry we have in Scotland. Many congratulations to the McGowans on their success this year.” All farms producing lambs destined to be used for meat sold under the Scotch Lamb label were eligible to apply and accordingly they were also required to be members of QMS’s quality assurance scheme.

sheep Technology Delivers Benefits for Thurso Farmer

Oh, for a crystal ball that works! By George Milne

Farming on the north coast of Scotland is hard, so anything that makes life easier and saves time and money is a bonus. One farmer who has taken advantage of technology to his own and his flock’s benefit is Donald Macdonald of Taldale near Thurso. Taldale is a very exposed, wet farm that has to cope with very strong winds all year round, so Mr Macdonald is always on the lookout for new concepts which will make his life easier and save money. For that reason, he enjoys attending the Sutherland Monitor Farm meetings at Clynelish, Brora, and even hosted one of the meetings earlier this year.

A new entrant farmer in 1999, Mr Macdonald has gradually increased his farm size to just under 240 hectares on which he runs 600 Cheviot and cross ewes and 250 ewe hoggs. His aim is not necessarily to increase ewe numbers but to have 600 productive ewes producing lambs to the correct market specification. He keeps 400 Cheviots pure and crosses the rest with a New Zealand Suffolk, the progeny of which are crossed with the Beltex. He said: “I was one of the first in Scotland to buy into the New Zealand Suffolk genetics and I have been very impressed with their prolificacy and libido.


!S)REmECTON THEYEAR started with hogg prices rising from January and this trend continued through until New season lamb arrived on the market. While hogg prices reached record levels lambing got underway in the worst weather conditions experienced for many years. Actually what was generated was a perfect storm for the sheep industry, winter forage was very scarce and expensive if it was available, concentrate feed prices were increasing and lamb losses were high as a result of the “Beast from the East”. With hogg prices high and large losses of sheep as a result of the weather there was a prediction that all replacement breeding females would be in demand in September/ October. In June /July the lamb price came back and followed a similar trend for the rest of the year as the previous two years had done. We then experienced the driest summer on record for many years, this had a negative impact on sheep sales, in particular breeding gimmers as many farmers simply did not have enough grass to feed their own sheep let alone consider buying in more. Store lamb sales remained reasonable good considering the shortage of grass, ram sales also managed in general to remain buoyant. As we start 2019, the consequences of 2018

remain, winter forage is again in short supply, and expensive. Perhaps the saving grace is that we have had a kind backend to the year weather wise, sheep are reported to be in good condition. The biggest unknown for this year is of course Brexit, whilst politicians seem to be determined to play at party politics, instead of being united for the greater good of our country, we find ourselves in limbo waiting for our future to be determined. Like all industries we do not know what lies ahead, except the sheep industry is the most at risk of all the agricultural sectors, that is due to the fact that nearly all our lamb exported goes into EU countries, we will continue to receive lamb from New Zealand under a long standing trade agreement. In the event of a No Deal government will have to work fast to secure trade deals for our sector. Any other options should see trade continue during a transition period. With an industry already committed to its 2019 lamb crop we may just find out where we will stand trade wise before the lambing starts. Industry representation at policy meetings across the country has never been more important and is likely to remain so for a number of years until the aftermath of Brexit finally settles down.

sheep One shearling will serve 150 ewes and the resulting cross ewe has a good, thick coat, which helps in this area.” He has improved his lambing percentage over the years and now scans at over 170% and achieves 156% at weaning, thanks to blood testing the ewes six weeks before tupping to identify any mineral or trace element deficiencies. He also soil samples and has the unusual approach of combining the two results and adding the required minerals to his fertiliser programme instead of treating the sheep. He said: “Why do we drench sheep and put up with poor quality grass and silage, when we can marry the two together and solve both problems at once.” The key to his winter feeding is making good silage. He makes around 350 bales per year and has started using Silostop bale wrap which claims to prevent any oxygen entering the bales. Mr Macdonald first saw it on a visit to AgriScot and has found it to be an excellent product. He said: “We were losing as many as eight to 10 ewes a year with listeria, which was very frustrating, especially as it usually happened just before lambing. Since I started using Silostop, I have not lost a single ewe to the disease.” Although it costs about £85 per roll compared to £56 to £60 for normal bale wrap, Donald finds it worth it as there is absolutely no leakage, waste or bad bales and the silage is so much better. He pointed out: “Why spend a lot of time and money analysing soil, fertilising, cutting and chopping grass, then baling it in a sub-standard wrap?” Because of the ferocious wind in Caithness, Mr Macdonald wraps his bales with eight layers. He uses a double wrapper and has Silostop on one spool and normal bale wrap on the other so each bale is completely sealed and airtight. This extra two layers adds about £1.15 onto the cost of a bale but the quality of the silage is excellent, and the bales 52

only lose two to three per cent of their weight over the winter. Because the silage quality is good, the ewes are only fed silage and molasses over the winter with twins fed a small amount of concentrates from two weeks before lambing and triplets a little bit longer. Another product Mr Macdonald has used to great effect on the farm is ClipEx fencing. This system, based on galvanised steel posts and clipon Rylock fencing was founded in Australia and comes with a 30 year guarantee. He said: “I started with about 150m three years ago and liked it, so I put up another 1,100m in the spring and plan to replace a further 1,000m of fencing by the end of the year. It is very costeffective compared to wooden posts, which only last 10 to 12 years.” He added: “It is a very good, strong fence, which requires very little maintenance. We paid a contractor to erect it and it worked out cheaper to erect than a traditional fence even with concrete pillars and a heavier post every four meters.” Mr Macdonald also has a landscape gardening business with five staff and has one fulltime worker, Ronald Bain, who works in both businesses, so he is always looking for ideas to save time. Five years ago he invested in a Racewell sheep handling system with weigh crate and auto-shedder. The system was demonstrated at a recent Monitor Farm meeting held at Taldale. It was his wife, and partner in the farm business, Fiona, who suggested putting a roof on the fank at the same time to make the whole process of sorting sheep a bit more pleasurable. Mr Macdonald said: “The Racewell system is so quick and easy, I can weigh and shed 600 lambs an hour by myself and we can put the whole ewe flock through the race, checking feet and udders in just over an hour.” Some of the lambs are sold store with the remainder finished and all sold at Dingwall. Donald reckons there is nothing better than a Beltex cross leg of lamb.

New drencher for feeding lambs and kids

A new drencher – the Trusti Tuber for lambs and kid goats is being launched into the UK by Dairy Spares. Its design ensures feeding is easy, quick and kind, and that milk/colostrum is safely delivered into the animal’s stomach. The Trusti Tuber for lambs and kid goats consists of a 240ml vial into which milk/colostrum from ewes/nanny goats can be milked directly. The vial has a handle to make it easy to hold one-handed, and a flat base so it will remain upright when placed on a level surface. Attached to the vial is a transparent soft flexible feeding tube with a large internal diameter to speed milk flow. At the end of the tube are safety stripes which show the operator

the minimum distance the tube needs to be passed into the mouth so that the end goes past the animal’s airway, ensuring milk is delivered safely to the stomach, and not the lungs. To feed a lamb/kid, the operator holds the animal’s head in one hand and gently passes the tube into its mouth with the thumb and index finger, until the safety stripes can no longer be seen. Milk is gravity-fed to the animal by raising the vial in the other hand; flow rate can be slowed or stopped by lowering it. The Trusti Tuber lamb and kid drencher costs £14.85 +VAT. For details of their local stockist farmers can contact Dairy Spares on 01948 667676, or visit www.dairyspares.co.uk.

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pigs QMS Pork Marketing Campaign Receives £125,000 Boost

One of Scotland’s biggest ever pork marketing campaigns is set to launch early in the new year following support from a grant from the Scottish Government. Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) has been awarded £125,000 to help fund a brand new marketing and public relations campaign to promote Specially Selected Pork. The campaign will highlight pork as a healthy and easy-tocook ingredient which is also great value for money at a time of year when shoppers are watching their cash and healthy eating is also high on the agenda. The “Go Places with Pork” campaign, which will launch on January 21st, will include TV, radio, print and billboard advertising as well as a major digital and social promotional push. Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “Specially Selected Pork is farmed and

produced in Scotland and is valued for its high-quality provenance. “I am delighted to award £125,000 to enhance Quality Meat Scotland’s ‘Go Places with Pork’ campaign to promote the brand further and to encourage more people to buy and eat this healthy and tasty source of protein. “This funding aims to contribute to the delivery of the strategy I launched at this year’s Royal Highland Show to double the value of the pork industry in Scotland by 2030.” Alan Clarke, Chief Executive of QMS, welcomed the funding which he said is a major boost for the Scottish pig industry. “This additional funding will make a huge difference to what we can deliver for the Scottish pork industry. We have a very innovative and exciting campaign which will be unveiled in January and we are delighted to be taking

Specially Selected Pork to TV as part of the campaign. “Our pork industry has a huge amount to be proud of in terms of their innovation and commitment to animal welfare and the result is a healthy, nutritious and tasty source of protein which is one of the most versatile food ingredients around,” said Mr Clarke. Mr Clarke also highlighted the value of the partnership which QMS has with the Scottish SPCA, including the “Approved by the Scottish SPCA” logo which can be used alongside the Specially Selected Pork logo. The new marketing campaign ties in with the strategic objectives for pork marketing set out in the “Scottish Pig Industry Strategy” launched at the Royal Highland Show this year. This strategy also includes an ambition for the pork industry


in Scotland to double its value by 2030, a target in line with the Scotland Food & Drink Partnership’s Ambition 2030 target to double food and drink turnover in Scotland. James Withers, Chief Executive of Scotland Food & Drink said: “This is a significant boost for our pig industry and it is timely too. The industry has shown its ambition to grow with the launch of its recent strategy and central to future success is a strong brand. “That has been the foundation of Scotland’s food and drink success in recent years, winning customers at home and abroad. This investment will help ensure our pork sector’s reputation grows further in the minds of shoppers who want to identify products that are great tasting as well as produced to world class standards of welfare.” 53

exotic farming scotland

The Survival of Soay Sheep Soay Sheep, a rare and primitive breed, are acknowledged for their independence and intelligence. The word Soay means “sheep island” in Norse, and the breed takes its name from the island of Soay in the St. Kilda archipelago. Soay Sheep remain rare on mainland Scotland, but in 1932 one hundred and seven Soays were transported to the island of Hirta in St Kilda, only two years after the last human inhabitants left for good. This feral population provides a historical link back to the sheep’s St Kilda origins. According to the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST) the animals are perfectly suited for such remote wilderness, “The Soay is exceptionally hardy and can survive in the most adverse conditions. Anecdotal evidence suggests few footrot problems, low incidence of flystrike … and general resistance to most health problems affecting more developed breeds.” Soay are also very independent mothers, as the RBST statistics demonstrate, “Depending on the location, lambing percentages range from 80-90% when left to their own devices but can reach 150% in the lowlands with good management. Lambs are small, born easily and are quick to rise.” Known for their excellent grazing skills they initially attracted the attention of Joanne Romanis of Westown who was selecting animals for her Perthshire smallholding. “I’d initially been interested in alpacas but our pasturage contains plants that would poison them’ says Joanne. ‘My husband’s background is in sheep farming, so we researched different breeds and selected Soay. They’re small, relatively manageable creatures, and we knew they’d eat our garden! They eat anything, including trees and bark. They have the appetite of a goat.” But Joanne’s choice ran deeper than garden management, she 54

works to protect, preserve and promote this rare breed, which was ranked as ‘In Decline’ on the RBST Danger List 2018. There are currently only 900-1500 registered breeding ewes producing pure bred offspring in the UK. “Managing a flock of Soay Sheep is a loss-making hobby’, explains Joanne, ‘but it’s a worthwhile passion. It gets me out of bed in the morning.” Joanne’s main employment as a lawyer involves working with a firm specialising in crofting law. The ‘Mossoay’ flock is a sideline, one that she adores, and it also maintains Joanne’s hands-on experience in the farming world. Joanne and her husband, Peter Mossey, began with a starter flock of three animals in 2011, sourced locally, near Biggar. A stock ram was then transported from near Wick, and lambs were soon produced. Many Soay farmers proceed to sell the meat, but there are factors to consider. Soay meat is lean with a rich flavour, but the sheep are fineboned and late maturing, so it’s

Joanne in the ring with ‘Jackson’

Bottling Soay lamb ‘Carlo’


exotic farming scotland a gourmet offering rather than a strictly commercial one. Joanne is attached to her animals, preferring not to sell them for meat but accepts that such is the circle of life. The family breed and sell Soay, but they are particular about who they sell them onto. References are required and/or a home visit. Other challenges include late nights and exhaustion from lambing, and maintaining biosecurity. The family is also known to receive rescue flocks if a crisis occurs. In terms of paperwork, the pedigree registration of Soay sheep is handled within the Combined Flock Book managed by Grassroots Systems Ltd on behalf of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust. Another curious consideration is that Soay sheep are nimble and can jump pretty high, especially when fearful or startled. A naturally curious animal they will find ways to escape if the opportunity arises, so quality, well-maintained fencing is essential, as is the calm handling and management of the animals. The benefits to owning Soay Sheep form a long list for Joanne. Successful sales rate highly, she’s particularly proud to have sold two sheep as thera-pets, working with children with additional needs. Lambing time, feeding and ‘treat’

Joanne’s husband, Peter Mossey, catching a Soay lamb for tagging

time are highlights, but it’s the Soay’s intelligence alongside the show-going experience that stand out for Joanne. “The shows put the message across to the public, and raise awareness of this particular breed of sheep’, explains Joanne. ‘A key date in the diary is the Scottish Smallholders and Growers Festival, Scotland’s main annual smallholder event. It alternates between Forfar and Lanark, and it’s a great spot to meet up with fellow breeders and spread the

word about this fantastic rare breed.” From the early days of three sheep, Joanne’s flock is in flux as they sell and breed more beasts. “We’ve got six breeding ewes and a stock ram’ says Joanne, ‘The rams are stronger than they look, and we did replace one of our rams as he could knock me to the ground. We have a wether as a companion animal for the ram, and we currently have five entire boys. We’re getting to the point now, as the young Tups get feistier, to

decide whether to sell them on or castrate them. On the whole we’re looking forward. We’ve acquired another field, so we have more room for more Soay, and/or we may diversify into other breeds.” As well as personal fulfilment, the rarity of these sheep is an excellent reason to keep, or even eat, Soay. Tom Beeston, Former CEO of The Rare Breeds Survival Trust said; “These rare breed animals are going to end up as dead as a Dodo unless their numbers increase dramatically. With the publication of the Danger Watchlist, we are calling on Government bodies and consumers to support our work.’ ‘We need more than £10m in the next decade to pay for our Gene Bank, where genetic material is stored so that we can recreate a breed, a bit like the film Jurassic Park. And although it might sound odd we want more people to eat rare breed meat to drive demand for the animals.’ ‘These animals are beautiful to look at, uniquely British and deserve to be protected for future generations.” FACT BOX soayflockscotland.com soayandboreraysheepsociety.org grassroots.co.uk rbst.org.uk The next Scottish Smallholders and Growers Festival will be held on 28th September 2019 at Lanark Agricultural Centre.

Soays courtesy of Iain McVicar



science & technology

Technology success for DeLaval DeLaval took first place in the ImageBarometer in the Animal Husbandry Technology category carried out by the German Agricultural Society (DLG), and successfully defended its leadership from the previous year. With a brand index of 43.53, DeLaval maintained their high score from 2017 and has a clear advantage over competitors in the Animal Husbandry Technology category. Of the five ImageBarometer surveys carried out since 2014 by the DLG, DeLaval has already won the popular trophy three times. For the first time in history, DeLaval has succeeded in defending the top position

in the following year. What has been an especially eventful year for DeLaval, this success is particularly encouraging and enjoyable. 2018 was all about new and big innovations that were introduced to the market for the first time. Led by the launch of the new DeLaval VMS™ V300 automatic milking system and DeLaval OptiDuo™ feed pushing robot during the summer, at EuroTier in November also saw to the launch of the award-winning DeLaval Evanza™ cartridge system and the DeLaval E100, E300 and P500 advanced rotary and milking parlour systems. The result not only confirms the new marketing concept under

the slogan “All revolves around you”, but also underlines its successful communication in the different marketing channels. “We are very pleased with the result and that the farmers give us their appreciation. At the same time, we would also like to thank all our employees and dealerships for achieving this great result together and maintaining our strong position in the market”, says Dr. Stephan Lais, Vice President Sales Market Area Central Europe, to thank for the support and customer orientation. “Certainly the result is also connected with our burst of new products in 2018! It is a motivation and a confirmation for us to continue the journey

with our products and solutions in the future. “ In the annual DLG survey, about 700 German farmers were identified in terms of their brand perception in August and September in the seven different categories of agricultural technology, animal husbandry technology, feed and equipment (animal), agricultural chemistry and seeds, banking and insurance, trade and service providers, and renewable energies, all interviewed by phone. The calculated brand index consists of the four subsections: brand image, brand knowledge, brand performance and brand loyalty. Overall, a maximum score of 100 points can be achieved.

Farmer saves a third on his electricity bill A farmer from Duns in the Scottish Borders has saved a third on his annual electricity spend and has been so impressed by the system that he has now teamed up with the manufactures and NFU Scotland to explain the benefits to as many other farmers as possible. John Seed, who farms at Woodend in the Borders in partnership with his wife and son, installed an advanced energy saving and remote monitoring system from EnergyAce last year, and has since reduced his electrical bills by one third. “We produce free-range eggs

and arable crops and installed a wind turbine and solar panels to produce as much of our own power as possible,” he says. “Despite these, our electricity bill remained stubbornly high and I wanted to understand why.” John’s research into energy saving led him to EnergyAce and its managing director Gary Vizard. “Electricity consists of actual power, which drives motors for example, and reactive power, which is wasted, but your bill includes both,” explains Gary. “EnergyAce uses proven technologies and unique patented solutions which take advantage

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of this to reduce energy spend and carbon emissions.” Since teaming up, John and Gary have surveyed a range of farm businesses, including arable and mixed farms, like Johns, as well as fruit growers, poultry producers and even grain stores. “Our monitoring shows up to 40 per cent of the electricity entering farms is being wasted,” adds Gary. “Farmers are not only paying for useless power, but are also increasing their carbon footprint.” The assessment of ten farming businesses showed an average electricity bill of £38,000 a year. The EnergyAce system would save an average of £12,000, paying for itself in less than a year – statistics that have been supported by John’s experience at Woodend. Since John’s success, word of mouth from both him and his electrician has resulted in a number of other farms trialling


and installing the EnergyAce system, including a number of other broiler and egg producers. “The process starts with our own monitoring equipment which provides an overview of current energy use, efficiency and power quality,” continues Gary. “We then analyse the data to determine the most appropriate solutions for each business. We guarantee that if we haven’t found a saving equal to the cost of the recommended EnergyAce solution within 24 months, we will refund the cost and you can keep the system for free.” Farmers and growers wanting to learn more about the EnergyAce system can telephone 01695 559785 or log in and enter their details online at www.energyace.co.uk/signin. Members of NFU Scotland can save 5 per cent on the cost of an EnergyAce solution, with details available on the NFUS website.


New John Deere app Machine logistics, efficiency and productivity can all be improved by John Deere’s new MyOperations app, which was featured on the company’s stand at The CropTec Show back in November at the East of England Showground in Peterborough. This free app allows users to see machine and field data remotely from their mobile phone or tablet and receive alerts on the go. It means farmers and contractors can experience less downtime as well as reduce operating costs, by always knowing where machines are and what they are doing.

The personalised Operations Centre in MyJohnDeere.com can also be used anywhere and at any time to reference both historic field operation information and current data coming off the field. This is managed under the key headings harvest, seeding, application and tillage. The app has been available initially to new S700 Series combine owners for the 2018 harvest season, to make initial combine optimisation even easier. This option enables users to remotely view and change several combine settings to optimise grain quality and

cleanliness of the sample, and minimise losses; the operator then just has to confirm the adjustments on the in-cab display. This allows maximum performance and quality to be consistently achieved, even while harvesting conditions are changing. Use of the MyOperations app requires an online John Deere Operations Centre account connected to a machine’s JDLink telematics system. It is suitable for use with any internet connected smartphone equipped with iOS system 10.0 or Android system 4.4 or later.

Want to increase yields and lower costs? Hutchinsons’ ground-breaking trials that prove the use of Omnia Precision Agronomy results in yield increases and lower costs of production. The trials conducted across the East Midlands last autumn compared variably drilled wheat alongside a farm standard rate on spilt fields, which were then taken to yield. The statistically-valid work has proven that using Omnia Precision Agronomy can increase yields by an average of 0.6t/ha, worth £99/ha (based on wheat at £165/t). “`This went up to 1.4t/ha or £240/tonne in some cases which is a significant increase - and was achieved with lower costs of production,” says Nick Strelczuk, precision technology specialist for Hutchinsons. When combining this yield data with Omnia’s cost of production tool, it is possible to calculate the cost/tonne of producing the crop for different areas of the field. “The calculations showed that costs for the area drilled

variably were lower and in these trials by as much as £28/tonne ( an average of £15/tonne– so not only were we getting better yields but the cost of producing these

yields was lower with Omnia,” he adds. “This is really exciting news for the industry as it is the first time that we have been able to prove


the financial benefit of the features that using Omnia for variable rate applications offers to growers such as more even establishment and targeting inputs.”


estate Scotstarvit Farm - livestock and arable farm with excellent potential in scenic area

Galbraith is pleased to bring to the market a prime livestock and arable farm in a desirable


area within the heart of rural Fife, about three miles from Cupar.

Scotstarvit Farm is in an elevated position and enjoys spectacular panoramic views over the surrounding countryside, which is a lovely mix of farmland, woodland, hill ground and river. The main dwelling at the property is Scotstarvit Farmhouse, an attractive traditional 4-bedroom property with two reception rooms, a spacious kitchen, study and two bathrooms. The house has its own private garden edged by mature trees and enjoys an attractive outlook over fields to the north. In addition there is a substantial stone steading currently used as part of the farm business, but also offering the potential for development subject to planning consent. The property also has over 200 acres of land. Duncan Barrie, handling the sale of the farm for Galbraith, said: “This property offers a number of benefits for farmers and we expect it to attract a considerable degree of interest. In addition to the high quality and well-maintained farmland, there is a lovely farmhouse and the steading buildings offer the


potential to be developed for alternative use, perhaps as an equestrian or tourism business. The purchaser could therefore potentially benefit from an alternative source of revenue in the future while also maximising the value of the property for future generations or for future resale. “Above all Scotstarvit Farm is notable for its wonderful scenic and private location as well as its proximity to Cupar. This part of Fife is very admired and is a great place for a family lifestyle.� Scotstarvit extends to 208.23 acres (about 84.27 ha) in total and the farmland comprises a mix of rolling pasture and productive arable land with small areas of amenity woodland located throughout. The land has been classified as mainly Grade 3 with a small area of Grade 5 land, by the James Hutton Institute. The farm has historically carried around 70 suckler cows plus followers with a flock of 150 ewes. About 45 acres of land is put down to barley each year. The arable land is well suited to growing a range of crops and has historically grown feeding

estate turnips and potatoes. The land is divided into good sized enclosures which are readily accessible directly from the farm steading or via an internal access track. All of the land has benefited from the regular application of manure generated from the cattle on the farm. The woodland includes several areas of mixed broadleaved trees and some conifer areas. The total woodland area extends to about 16.43 acres and provides shelter and amenity with the possibility of providing further cover for sport if desired. There are extensive traditional farm buildings situated adjacent

to the farmhouse and comprised of a U-shaped courtyard steading of stone construction and a traditional mill ring which is completely intact. Located in the centre of the courtyard is a modern general purpose shed and a cattle court of stone construction. The wide open spaces of the Lomond Hills and the pretty fishing villages of Fife’s quaint East Neuk, such as Anstruther, Pittenweem and St Monans are within comfortable driving distance of Scotstarvit. Scotstarvit Farm is for sale as a whole for offers over £1,200,000.

Luxury Perthshire family business takes the top award at Scotland’s Prestige Hotel Awards

A Perthshire family business is celebrating after being named Scotland’s ‘Hotel of the Year’ at the 2018 Prestige Hotel Awards. East Haugh House in Pitlochry, a 4 star boutique country house hotel, took home the top award at the 2nd annual Prestige Hotel Awards, presented by Allied Irish bank, in Glasgow on February 18th. Over 18,000 votes were cast to find the best of Scotland’s hotel trade; competing venues from across the nation were whittled down by public vote, then judged by an independent judging panel who visited each of the hotels. Bought in 1989 by husband and wife team Neil and Lesley

McGown, the 17th century country house was lovingly converted into a luxury 12 bedroom hotel and restaurant, and has established itself as a popular destination for tourists from the UK and overseas. Renowned for its locally sourced seasonal food, specialising in seafood and game, Chef Patron Neil McGown leads a talented and passionate kitchen team with East Haugh’s restaurant recommended in the Michelin Guide. Steven Dobbin, GM, joined East Haugh House from Cameron House in 2016, and attended the glittering awards on Sunday along with owners Lesley and Sophie McGown.


estate Lesley McGown, Proprietor of East Haugh House, said: “We are absolutely thrilled and honoured to have won the main award of Hotel of the Year at the 2018 Prestige Hotel Awards. After almost 30 years

in business, this recognition couldn’t be a more fitting accolade. It reflects our fantastic team’s dedication to delivering a very personal service for our guests with first class hospitality and exceptional food.”

Woodcock numbers have improved, says expert

Natural Capital – in a nutshell Ross Macleod, Head of Policy (Scotland,) Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust

The woodcock season is set to be better than expected, according to an expert from the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT). Andrew Hoodless, who is head of wetland research at GWCT, has had many reports of large numbers of woodcock arriving in the latter half of November. This has come as a slight surprise as there were concerns of a poor breeding season resulting from the long dry summer, particularly in Scandinavia. “I’ve received word from shoots at various locations across the country during early December, all indicating that woodcock numbers are slightly above average. In some western areas, such as parts of Ireland and Cornwall, numbers are well above average and it is looking like it will be a reasonably good woodcock season,” explained Dr Hoodless. The reasons behind the higher woodcock numbers are not yet completely clear. 60

It is possible that conditions in spring on the main breeding grounds in Russia and Scandinavia may have resulted in better chick survival immediately after hatching, when they are vulnerable to cold, wet weather, and compensated for higher mortality during the dry weather later in the summer. Summer conditions were also variable across Europe, with central Russia not experiencing the high temperatures recorded in Scandinavia, but the autumn weather is another factor. The woodcock influx this year coincided with sudden, widespread snowfall in Scandinavia during the third week of November, coupled with easterly winds from central Europe. Rigorous woodcock ringing efforts by Dr Hoodless’ team and the Woodcock Network are providing valuable information on this iconic species. The woodcock season finishes at the end of January.


2018 saw the publication of the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust’s vision statement on Farming through Brexit. As we enter 2019, and at the time of writing, the ramifications of the Brexit debate are still to fully materialise, but we predicted in the statement that the current system of paying farmers per hectare will probably draw to a close by 2024. We also identified that as 60 per cent of farms are not profitable without support payments their eventual withdrawal will have a serious impact on farm businesses. We recognised however that there is growing support for ‘public benefits’ like water quality, soil health, biodiversity and carbon storage. Indeed, the results of a Scottish Environment Link commissioned survey published in May 2018 indicated that 77 per cent of Scots want farming to deliver for environment and climate That is why the Trust is paying close attention to the development of Natural Capital, which can be defined as the stock of resources - geology, soil, air, water and all living things. We derive a wide range of public benefits from these resources, often called ecosystem services, which make human life

possible. By properly valuing Natural Capital, we can work to maintain such assets so that they provide a sustainable flow of benefits. In 2016, the UK-based Natural Capital Coalition published a Protocol, which provides a basis on which to identify, measure and value direct and indirect impacts and dependencies on Natural Capital. We propose to follow this systematic approach by applying it on our demonstration farms at Auchnerran in Aberdeenshire and at Loddington in Leicestershire. Having substantial baseline species, habitats and other data at both locations, we are well positioned to make progress. This work will enable the Trust to engage on equal terms with other stakeholders researching Natural Capital. It will allow us a further means to assess game and wildlife management impacts, both positive and negative and, of course, it will also allow us to contribute to development of agrienvironment reward schemes based on Natural Capital. Further information from: Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust Tel: 01738 551511

forestry Biggest-ever celebration of Scotland’s finest woods A prize to celebrate 100 years since the 1919 Forestry Act is the highlight of the annual competition to find Scotland’s best and most inspiring woods. Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards 2019 will present the oneoff 1919 Forestry Act Centenary Award in a year offering more prizes than ever before - including a second for Farm Woodland, building on the successful introduction of the Award last year. Angela Douglas, Executive Director of Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards, said: “We are delighted to have two new awards for 2019, including the one-off centenary prize - to celebrate woodland created during the past 100 years that has evolved through careful and skilled management, has resilience to face the future and justifies the title of one of Scotland’s finest woods. “We are very pleased to build on the successful introduction of the Farm Woodland Award, which attracted a very high standard of entries in 2018.” SAC Consulting, part of Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), has agreed to sponsor the Farm Woodland Award for three years, while Scottish Woodlands Ltd is supporting a second Farm

Woodland Award for farmers or crofters and/or their forest or woodland managers aged 40 or under – also for three years. Angela Douglas added: “We are so grateful to SAC Consulting and Scottish Woodlands and also to the Royal Highland & Agricultural Society of Scotland for their generous support.” Last year’s inaugural Farm Woodland Award was won by Peter Gascoigne, who farms at Broughton in Peeblesshire. He said creating a woodland shelter belt on his farm had led to heavier and healthier lambs. The ever-popular Crown Estate Schools’ Trophy is back, won last year by St Mary’s School in Melrose, which has just planted a Centenary Avenue of trees to mark the First World War with part of its prize money. Other returning categories are: Community Woodlands (two competitions: small and large community woodland groups); New Native Woods; and Quality Timber (three competitions: new commercial wood; multi-purpose forest or whole estate; and a single stand/compartment or small wood). The winner of the centenary award will win £1,000 and

specially commissioned trophy. All winners receive £1000 and there is a different trophy for each category. This year’s cream of the crop will be honoured at the annual Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards

ceremony at the Royal Highland Show on Friday June 21st 2019. Entries must be submitted by 31st March 2019 For the full list of awards, criteria and entry forms, go to www.sfwa.co.uk

Positive vision for Scottish forestry would benefit from enhanced land use strategy A bright future for Scottish forestry lies ahead if an integrated land use strategy which underpins forestry, farming and other sectors can be realised. Scottish Land & Estates (SLE) made the comments in its response to the consultation on Scotland’s Forestry Strategy 2019-29 which was undertaken by the Scottish Government.

The organisation said it supported efforts to promote and develop sustainable forestry but recognised achieving consensus over different land uses was not always a simple process. Katy Dickson, Head of Policy at Scottish Land & Estates said: “Forestry is a key sector for landbased businesses and the rural economy, and the private sector has a vital role to play in helping

the Scottish Government achieve its increased tree planting targets. “We welcome the longterm approach taken in this new strategy document and believe the government’s vision for forestry is broadly in tune with the wishes of rural businesses such as estates and farms who will work to deliver many of these goals. “Where we would like to see the strategy enhanced is in


decisions regarding land use and in particular, diversification from one type of land use into forestry. Many businesses want a mixture of farming, forestry and other activities such as energy or tourism on their land. We fully support enabling landholders in making the correct choices for their business which will then go on to deliver for the economy, environment and community. 61


The road that Calum built The road that Raasay crofter Calum MacLeod built single-handedly is a byword for determination and defiance. It is also the subject of an acclaimed book by Roger Hutchinson. In the opening extract from our exclusive serialisation, he explains how he first came upon the story


ferry back to Skye would leave in little over an hour. I looked around the silent emptiness, shivered and resigned myself to missing the road’s maker. Then there was some movement among the trees and shrubbery down the hillside to my right. A wiry man, five feet eight inches tall, walked up out of the vegetation, smiled at me shyly and offered his hand. He was, he said, Calum MacLeod. He had a weather-worn telegraph pole balanced on his right shoulder. He had found it washed up on the shore – he pointed several hundred feet below us – and thought it might be useful. I suppose we talked for fifteen or twenty minutes, but he did not rest the pole upon the ground, or show any indication of needing or wanting to put it down, until I asked to take his photograph. At that point he dropped it smartly and struck an experienced pose for the camera.

younger than Calum MacLeod, could not in my late twenties, nor at any time after, have carried that telegraph pole even ten yards up the slope below us. If I had managed to move it five paces I would then have seized any opportunity or none to drop it and take a long rest. “He was hardy, boy, was Calum”, as a shared acquaintance would say.

‘The terrain gives this highway epic proportions. Rarely can more than a quarter of a mile of it be seen from any stretch’ I now know that Calum was sixty-seven years old at that time, and I cannot say that he looked much younger. His face, beneath a battered tartan bonnet, carried the wear of a hard life spent out of doors. But I knew well enough that I, forty years

“There was not an ounce of spare flesh on him.” Calum told me about his road. He told me of the requests made in the 1920s to Inverness County Council by his parents and another ninety adults for a road. He told me – as he would tell so many others, in a tone that wavered between wry amusement and disgust – of how

Copyright David Carslaw

In February 1979 I had been working as a journalist on a Highland newspaper for fifteen months. There arrived in the editorial office notification of some council work that was apparently due to commence on a crofter’s homemade track on the island of Raasay. It was, I was told, a good story. I took the small car ferry from Sconser in Skye to Raasay. I then motored up a long and winding single-track road to Brochel Castle in the north of the island. I took the car up a short, steep hill past Brochel and saw ahead of me an apparently limitless expanse of peat bog, heather and granite. A grey road wound across this solitude and disappeared out of sight. It was a perfectly good stone-based road – wide and gently contoured – but it had no tarmacadam topping. As a result it consisted of two parallel wheel tracks and a large central ridge inside trim rocky verges. The wheel tracks were worn and rutted with use. The central ridge was pronounced and studded with sharp stones that seemed likely to remove any ordinarily slung exhaust pipe. I could not realistically contemplate driving any further, and so I parked and looked around. I knew from the map that this was the road in question and that the relevant crofter lived almost two miles further along it. It was cold and beginning to rain. It would soon be dark. The last

Calum’s Road begins,


Copyright Campbell Sandilands


Calum MacLeod’s road

the council “kept putting it off and putting it off, until one after another of the young families left because there seemed to be no prospect of a cart road, and eventually there was nobody left but myself and my wife”. He told me of his eventual conclusion, in 1964 that if he did not build a road between Brochel and Arnish then nobody else would. Not many months after that encounter I walked the length of Calum’s road for the first time. It was a glorious early summer’s day, but the one and three quarter miles appeared to be unnaturally long. Its surface was as before – which is to say that only the wheel ruts and the rugged central ridge prevented a car from traversing it – and it made for relatively easy hiking. But the terrain gave, and still gives, this highway epic proportions. Rarely can more than a quarter of a mile of Calum’s road be seen in any single stretch. Everywhere its next section disappears elusively from sight, around bends in the cliff-face, or down into glens, or

off over hilltops. One and three quarter miles of a motorway (or, as Calum himself would say, of an Autobahn) is as quickly traversed as it is seen. One and three quarter miles of the road between Brochel and Arnish is like an odyssey. Later I walked it again. And later still I drove one motorcar after another along it. With every passage it seemed increasingly not only to represent some kind of heroic last stand but also to be a parable. Not a myth or fable, for it is firmly grounded in fact, but a simple morality tale. The test of its allegorical power would be, of course, endurance. Like good roads, parables not only survive the passing of the years but grow stronger with them. And Calum’s road has established itself effortlessly in the folklore first of the Highlands and Islands and then of Scotland, and steadily thereafter of the United Kingdom and the whole great wider world beyond Loch Arnish. A curious physical process seemed to be under way in which, as the Gaelic

Hebridean society which Calum MacLeod fought for, embodied and loved slipped into history, so his immense, defiant gesture became increasingly significant. A cultural mountain had eroded, but as it was washed away the remnant bedrock of Calum MacLeod’s road appeared as haunting and precious as fossilised footprints on any other distant shore. Television programmes lingered over it. A strathspey in D major was written about it by a member of the popular band Capercaillie. There has even been mention of applying to UNESCO to have Calum’s Road recognised as a World Heritage site. Why has Calum’s road become such an enduring parable and not any other access road in the Highlands and islands? The answers are elementary. The first is that Calum MacLeod’s community was the smallest of the small, the most neglected of the neglected; it was located on the furthermost point of one of the least prominent of the lonely Hebrides. And the second is, of


course, that a road was finally built to Anish not by the council, or the Department of Agriculture, or the Royal Engineers, and not even by a community, but by one extraordinary man. There is clearly a risk of sentimentalising a definitively robust and unsentimental story. The metaphor, the parable of Calum’s road, inspires flights of fancy. The evident engineering, the solid rock and tarmacadam of Calum’s road inspires a mostly bewildered but deep and lasting respect. Whatever else is said and written about this subject, the least firmly grounded of visitors to Arnish will leave with one essential, important conclusion: that here lived a man who desired not fame and money, nor television and radio programmes, nor medals and recognition by UNESCO, nor paragraphs in travel guides, nor tributes in magazines and newspapers and books; a man who would have been astonished and bewildered by the tribute of an exhibition of art. Calum did not even want a driving licence. He merely wanted a road. 63

futurefarmer SAYFC and International Trust visit ‘the land of a thousand hills’ in their bid to connect with developing countries! The International Trust was set up to support The Scottish Association of Young Farmers (SAYFC) in their aim to achieve international travel goals over 40 years ago and has since proudly sent over 800 young people destinations across the world in order to benefit from opportunities of forming longlasting relationships, experience once-in-a-life-time challenges such as sailing or touring safaris and embarking on journeys further afield such as China. Following the initial trip by Trustees in 2017 to Rwanda, relationships were formed and from Scottish Government’s assistance, the trust became increasing keen to invest in a new programme to support developing countries. Visiting the country and planting the first 1,000 trees of the 100,000 Rwandan Young Farmers tree planting programme are; Jim

Montgomerie (International Trust), David Lawrie (National SAYFC Chair), Catherine Sloan (Bankfoot), Lucy Mitchell (West Fife) and Katie Burns (Kilmaurs). There is a real opportunity for the group to highlight the career opportunities within farming to the youth of Rwanda. In preparation for his trip, Jim Montgomerie (International Trust Secretary and Treasurer) stated: “For a country which has faced such devastation turmoil, the enthusiasm, energy and optimism of the country’s young people in their demand for governance, prosperity and friendship is astounding. The ambition, perspective and opportunities that Rwanda as a country offers is truly unique.” The Scottish team have embarked on a trip incorporating meetings with the ‘Rwanda Youth

in Agribusiness Forum’ (RYAF) and the country’s Agriculture Minister. These meetings are to gain better insights into Rwandan farming practices and their government funding as well as agreeing a formal Scottish & Rwandan Young Farmers partnership agreement.

The agreement will outline the future focus on the development of RYAF members through plans for an ongoing exchange programme between RYAF and SAYFC and continued support through regular communications and updates. Their trip will also include an exciting Agakara Safari!

Students take part in farm safety training to tackle Scotland’s farm accident death toll Whilst Scotland’s farmers and crofters are renowned for the attention they give to their livestock, crops and machinery, it appears they do not have such a good track record when it comes to taking care of themselves and


their own wellbeing. According to RIDDOR figures, a farmer is five times more likely to die in the workplace than a construction worker. Scotland’s farm safety record continues to be poor. Last year alone there were 33 deaths in

the agricultural industry in Great Britain, with five in Scotland and many more accidents caused serious and life changing injuries. This may be shocking but the statistics don’t lie. The Farm Safety Foundation was established by rural insurer NFU Mutual as an independent charity and, since 2015, the Foundation has developed and delivered a unique farm safety outreach programme to over 5,000 agriculture students in 41 different land-based colleges and universities throughout the UK and on the 13 November the team delivered this training to agriculture students at SRUC, Oatridge Campus.


Martin Malone, Regional Manager for NFU Mutual in Scotland, said: “We insure most farmers in Scotland and we’re determined to do all we can to reduce the toll of deaths and serious injuries resulting from farm accidents. “It’s great to see that SRUC have signed up to receive this unique and innovative Lantra accredited course. This educational outreach programme demonstrates the need to put safety first at all times when working on a farm or croft – and the risks of becoming complacent when working with large machinery and livestock on a daily basis.

finance Make sure your Accounts comply with Making Tax Digital HMRC’s new legislation for Making Tax Digital comes into force from April 2019, requiring all businesses with a turnover of £85,000 or higher to submit their VAT Returns digitally using suitable accounting software as they will no longer be able to submit their Return through the Government Gateway website.

Sum-It’s Total Farm Accounts software has already been doing this since 2010 and we are updating our software for the new portal so our Users will see little change. Sum-It’s Total Farm Accounts comes in two levels; the Starter Accounts Module provides a simple Cashbook

Union enters 2019 on healthy membership and financial footing NFU Scotland is entering 2019 on a healthy financial footing with membership growing again for a second year. Publication of its annual accounts for 2018 shows income is up by £132,000 on last year with subscriptions accounting for £82,000 and returns from affinity deals generating a further £49,000 of the uplift. Expenditure in 2018 was up £191,000 at £3.01 million (2017- £2.84 million) leaving an operating deficit this year of £28,000 as opposed to a surplus of £32,000 in 2017. Investment income of £72,000 means NFU Scotland ended with a net surplus of £44,000 compared to £111,000 in 2017. As a result, the balance sheet remains strong with net assets increasing by £58,424 to £2,968,225. Membership at financial year end was 8,315, up from 8,258 at the same time last year, an increase of 57. NFU Scotland Chief Executive Scott Walker said: “NFU Scotland exists to lobby. We are here to bring pressure to bear on policy makers and commercial organisations to gain favourable outcomes for Scotland’s farmers and crofters

system whereas the Standard Accounts Module goes further to allow the input of unpaid invoices, generating current debtors and creditors. Both systems will prepare VAT Returns, reconcile the Bank and generate Year-End reports. Designed specifically for agricultural accounts, Total processes self-billing invoices with ease, unlike many mainstream accounting systems. Sum-It’s Total Farm Accounts software is PC-based, not in “the cloud” so it doesn’t require high-speed internet at all times, it only needs some internet when submitting the VAT Return.

To ensure your Accountant gets the maximum benefit from the data, Sum-It provide an Auditor version of Total to all accountants free of charge on their client’s request. This enables them to receive the data by email from their client and prepare the final accounts in considerably less time. Sum-It’s Total Accounts range starts from £425 + VAT, including full telephone backup and support for the first three months. Contact Sum-It on 01844 213003 for more details or visit www.sum-it.co.uk to view a demonstration video.

in order to achieve a sustainable and profitable future for Scottish agriculture. “In order to achieve this, we need to be underpinned by a robust financial base to give us the resources to employ the right people to be the advocates for the industry and to do the activities that will make a difference. “I am pleased that once again we have had a good financial year. A lot of hard work by many people has seen our membership grow for a second year. “I set a goal a few years back to grow affinity income and to return an amount equal to the value of subscriptions back to our members in the form of discounts on goods. Our affinity income continues to grow, and we now return discounts equal to the value of members subscriptions. “We will once again plough back our surplus into growing the activities we do. We will be putting new part time regional policy advisors in Orkney & Shetland to enhance the support we provide to members and we will continue to strengthen our lobbying activities to ensure that the voice of Scotland’s farmers and crofters is heard.” www.farmingscotlandmagazine.com


finance Aberdeen & Northern Marts Q4 market report Trade for store cattle and breeding stock this autumn has held up remarkably well, confounding the prophets of doom anticipating a collapse in prices due to a shortage of fodder and straw following the long, dry summer. Autumn store cattle and breeding calve prices have generally been running at similar values on the year with plainer, weathered cattle harder to cash. The main sale of autumn-born calves at Thainstone Centre saw prices slip by 4.6 pence per kilo for steers and 2.3 pence per kilo for heifers but returning confidence and the availability of more winter feed than expected – although at a cost – resulted in rise of 6.5 pence per kilo for steers and 5.2 pence per kilo for heifers at the later sale of spring-born calves. “Demand for cattle has been better than expected and there are still some good cattle around

for the discerning buyer,” says Aberdeen and Northern Marts head of livestock, John Angus. “The sharp increase in feed costs is a concern, however, the good run of weather in the late autumn has assisted farmers with the later housing of livestock and the fodder challenges going into the winter. The price of straw has eased since harvest time and is expected to hold at these current levels through the winter.” Fears of a further fall in the beef breeding herd are not being realised with indications that most farmers are replacing cull cows or expanding to spread overhead costs. The main sale of spring calving heifers at Thainstone saw prices rise by £69 per head to average £1,716 per head which was totally against expectations. Finishing cattle have done well this back-end as a result of the good harvest weather

and a supply of better-quality barley. But it looks as if the preChristmas surge in prime cattle prices is not going to happen with cattle coming to market earlier and a two-three week waiting list at abattoirs to get cattle slaughtered. Prime and cull cattle manager, Tim McDonald, is encouraging finishers to bring cattle to auction when they are ready rather than incurring the cost of feeding for an extra two or three weeks and run the risk of becoming too fat and failing to meet spec. Prime cattle prices at auction are steady with a particularly strong demand for butchers’ heifers which are attracting a premium price. As introduced by the Farm Profit Programme advisers at the open meeting in August, breeders are heeding advice to sell cows proving not in calf as quickly as possible rather than carrying unproductive passengers in the

herd. More leaner cull cows are coming on the market which has seen prices slip by 12-14 pence per kilo. It is debatable at current feed costs whether it is worth feeding cows to a heavier weight before culling and there is a limit to how far older cows can be taken. The autumn store lamb market started off slowly, but with late autumn grazing more plentiful, prices have risen by around £10 per head in recent weeks to £60£68 per head for top store lambs. The availability of late grass and forage has helped but the sharp increase in the cost of concentrates – up 20-25% on last year – will make feeding over the winter more expensive. However, deputy head of livestock, Colin Slessor, expects numbers to be tight as a result of the late spring storm which hit some hill flocks hard which suggests prime lamb prices should firm through to the spring.

Are your guidance systems covered? The use of precision farming tools and guidance systems is now commonplace in larger arable units, and increasingly popular in the livestock sector and smaller farms, but what is the impact on insurance, and what precautions should farmers be making? “It is essential that the replacement value of the GPS equipment is included within the insured value of the tractor, combine or sprayer to which it is fitted,” explains Paige Dalby of Farmers & Mercantile Insurance Brokers (FMIB). “The machine must be insured on a fully comprehensive basis for cover on the GPS equipment to be in place, but even then, different specialist agricultural fleet insurers take a different attitude to insuring it. Some will automatically include it, others will only cover equipment fitted by the manufacturer.” 66


The alternative way of insuring such equipment is to specify it on an ‘All Risks’ basis on a business combined policy. This is essential for GPS equipment moved between different machines, also giving the added benefit of cover being on a reinstatement basis,regardless of age. Another important point is that some of the most sophisticated precision farming systems will be used in conjunction with either a fixed or mobile base station. Separate ‘All Risks’ insurance is also required for the base station which can be valued at between £5,000-£20,000. From a risk management perspective, be aware that guidance equipment can be a target for thieves. To discuss your requirements or call 01604 782782 for more details. Visit www.fandmgroup. co.uk

finance CLAAS reports record sales and 22% increase in profits

The family owned CLAAS Group, and one of the world’s largest manufacturers of agricultural machinery, has reported record sales and a substantial increase in profitability for its 2017/2018 financial year. Overall sales rose 3.4% increase to a new record of 3.889 billion Euros, up from 3.761 billion Euros, boosted by increased revenue from its core markets including Germany, France and the United Kingdom. On the back of this, profit before taxes rose 22.3% to 226 million Euros, up from 184 million Euros the year before. Over the past 10 years, spending on research and development has doubled and reached a new record level of 233 million Euros, a rise of

7.3%. During the year, this resulted in the launch of the new JAGUAR TERRA TRAC, the first forage harvester with integrated crawler tracks, plus the new generation TUCANO including MONTANA hillside versions. Considerable investment also continues to be made in fixed assets, rising 22.6% to 160 million Euro. This has included the modernisation of the main assembly line at the CLAAS Tractor factory at Le Mans, the construction of a new high-bay warehouse at the world parts centre at Hamm, a new machinery test centre at Harsewinkel and the start of the redevelopment of the CUK headquarters at Saxham and the distribution centre for CLAAS France.

Next Issue FARMING SCOTLAND MAGAZINE March 2019 www.farmingscotlandmagazine.com

THEMONEYMAN Capital Investment Plans for 2019 By Charlie Carnegie Now that the winter crops are in the ground and the livestock are indoors thoughts will be turning to plans for the coming season and on the back of a very decent year in terms of grain and potato income there may be funds available to invest in some new Plant and Machinery. Which makes the recent budget announcement to increase the amount of Annual Investment Allowances from £200,000 to £1,000,000 with effect from 1st January 2019 for a temporary two year period very welcome indeed. Annual Investment Allowances are a form of Capital Allowances which you can claim when you buy certain types of qualifying Plant and Machinery, basically Combines, Tractors, Spreaders, Balers, Pick Up Trucks and Commercial Vans and most Implements. It does not apply to Cars or Sheds. Although the increase takes effect on 1st January be careful if you have a financial year which straddles that date because in that case the maximum allowance will be calculated pro rata as follows. If you have a 31st May 2019 year end then the maximum allowance is arrived at by taking 7/12 x £200,000 = £116,667 plus 5/12 x £1,000,000 = £416667 making a total for the financial year of £533,334. However, the maximum spend which qualifies for the 100% AIA

in the period 1 June 2018 to 31 December 2018 is the £200,000. Similarly if you have a 30 November 2019 year end the maximum allowance will be 1/12 x £200,000 = £16667 plus 11/12x £1,000,000 = £916667 making a total of £933,334. It can be seen that timing of expenditure in any period which straddles 1st January needs careful consideration and if you are taking advantage of the increased threshold then please have a discussion with your Accountant about reducing your Tax Payments on Account sooner rather than later as the potential tax saving could help assist the financing of the asset purchase. Obviously there will be a similar exercise to be done at the end of the two year temporary increase period. Also announced in the budget was a straight line 2% over 50 years allowance on the cost of building new sheds which, whilst welcome its hardly a great incentive.

Charlie Carnegie is a partner in the Perth office of Campbell Dallas and can be contacted on 01738 441666 for any further information

horses Midas the miracle horse leads the parade!

Equine Angle

By Melanie Scott

'REATMARE5RSULA8)) retires

For most horse owners, one or two major health issues in their horse would be enough to put an end to any horsey plans and dreams but for one exceptional horse which led All The Queen’s Horses on the London New Year’s Day Parade on January 1st, his story is pretty incredible! Midas is an 18-year-old 17.1hh Oldenburg gelding, and for his owner Jane Morgan, there have always been three of them in the relationship, Midas, Jane and their vet. Because since the age of 7, alongside your everyday knocks, cuts and bangs, Midas has also managed to tout up a rather long list of injuries and ailments, including life threatening complications too, 68

as this mini health overview shows: Severe pollen allergy Broken pedal bone Cushings Disease Cancer Equine Metabolic Syndrome Degenerative Joint Disease Currently, sound, happy and in good health (which his owner Jane says is probably down to her having a bad back and being unable to ride) Midas loved being the centre of attention and leading the entire parade along the streets of London. “He’s stressed me out like no other horse I’ve ever owned but I love him dearly, and I wouldn’t change a day I’ve had with him, and I hope I have many more years with him.” Explained Jane.


Scotland’s leading showjumper Scott Brash has decided to retire his great mare Ursula XII. Scott made the announcement on after he and the 17-year-old Scottish Sport Horse finished sixth in the Rolex Grand Prix at the CHI Geneva, Switzerland. Scott and Ursula have been one of the world’s greatest partnerships since first teaming up together in 2012. The mare, owned by Lady Harris and Lady Kirkham, was bred in Fife by the Turnbull family and first produced by their son Mark, who took her to the newcomers final at Horse of the Year Show and the Under 23 championship at Olympia. Tina Fletcher took over when Ursula was a 10-year-old, jumping at five-star level and on Nations Cup teams. Scott and Ursula have since been on an incredible journey. As well as winning the Major, part of the Rolex Grand Slam, at Calgary, Scott has piloted Ursula to victory in the Longines

Global Champions Tour grand prix of Mexico and the Doha grand prix in 2017. They have also accumulated plenty of podium places along the way in some of the toughest jumping competitions in the world including a runner-up spot in the Olympia World Cup 2017, the Rolex Grand Prix of Aachen in 2016, the IJRC Top 10 Final and third in the Rolex Grand Prix at Windsor in 2017. “She has been an amazing horse and to jump big courses and feel as good as she does is a credit to my team and to her owners,” said Scott. “I don’t think I will ever ride a horse again that can jump round such a big course as easily as Ursula can. She gives me an unbelievable feeling jumping and I am really going to miss that.” Ursula will return home to Scott’s stables and he hopes to put her in foal next year. “We will make sure she enjoys a very happy retirement and she will certainly be very pampered.”

by Linda Mellor The shooting season has only a few more weeks left before the doors close once again. The tweeds go back in the WARDROBEANDEMPTYHIPmASKS await the 2019 sloe gins. Some gamekeepers think about booking a holiday and others start to plan for the following season. Discovering new places is always fun, and during the last months of 2018 I enjoyed being out and about on my travels and happy I wasn’t challenged by any adverse weather. Early November, I was down in the Borders just outside Kelso for a few days with the new owner of a country hotel with a golf course and fishing beats. The new owner, his daughter and a group of his colleagues travelled over from Germany to sample the local shooting and fishing. It was the first time in my life I accompanied a line of guns on a walked-up shoot over an 18 hole golf course. They had cleared the course of golfers earlier in the afternoon (thought I should clarify just in case anyone was wondering about the quarry..!) then the guns were lined out, we walked the course, and the final bag consisted of a few pheasants, one pigeon and a duck (mixed with a few hard-to-resist comments about birdies). The following day, I enjoyed photographing a fine day of driven partridge at Lothian Estates near Jedburgh with Head Keeper Edward Bell, and his team of beaters and pickerups. Visit www.lothianestates. co.uk At the end of November, I was in Cupar, Fife, for the British Deer Society (BDS) Game

SCOTTISH COUNTRY LIFE cookery and tasting evening at the SRUC Elmwood Campus, the event has been running since 2003. I am a BDS (https:// www.bds.org.uk/ ) member and also on the committee of the central Scotland branch and am passionate about supporting local events. The game cookery evening opened with drinks and canapes (a selection of game and salmon tasty bites) followed by a cookery demonstration by Chef and Lecturer, Willie Balfour, and Student, Hannah Beatty. Hannah was the winner of the students Game Chef of the Year Competition, and together they demonstrated Hannah’s winning venison dish. Then we (fifty of us) sat down to a four course meal featuring partridge, pheasant and venison (red, roe and fallow) with wine and finished off with coffee. We all took part in the HIGHLY ANTICIPATED RAFmE FOR A number of top prizes including an original deer painting donated by artist Martin Ridley (https://www.martinridley.com/ ). BDS Central Scotland Branch

Chairman, Ron Smith said, ‘it’s a great way to socialise with like-minded people and to raise funds for the BDS. It allows us to support and encourage the gamekeeping and hospitality students and gives them a chance to handle game meat and develop their butchery skills.’ He added, ‘all the game on the menu was donated by BDS members.’ It was a fun evening out for members, and an opportunity to enjoy a selection of beautifully presented game. People involved with country sports have busy diaries, especially during November, so in many ways, to enjoy a local night out with a game theme is a timely celebration. It is also an impressive way for partners to join in and perhaps connect with others they haven’t seen in a while or to make new friends. I took the opportunity to catch up with a few I hadn’t seen in years, including Sir Robert SpencerNairn, a great supporter of our country sports and gundogs. The evening was also a


fine example of supporting youngsters at the start of their careers, and also to reward their efforts and participation in the competition. Events such as the game cookery evening at Elmwood highlight the work so many do across different sections of our industry and also help put the college and the work and passion of the lecturers in the spotlight. Chef and Lecturer Willie Balfour is a huge asset to the college, a natural in front of 50+ guests, students and cameras. If you’d like to attend the 2019 BDS Game cookery evening, visit the website for updates and membership details. On a local level the BDS host a number of events. Recommendations All4shooters.com and All4hunters. com revamped their websites and have launched a much sleeker looks full of information, reviews and articles. Visit www.all4shooters.com Eagle Review – another impressive website looking at the worldwide shooting, hunting and fishing offerings. It’s a great platform to showcase your business. The website is rich in information, and has site visitor numbers running into the millions. Visit https://eagle-review.com/ John Shooter Ltd have a dedicated range of British made leather shooting accessories. Visit https:// www.johnshooter.com/ 69

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

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

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


1) Order by phone on 01738 639747. (To reserve your order and arrange payment). 2) Or fill in the form below (enclosing your payment) Please send me

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Beatha an eilean

Croitean neo-obraichte Rod MacCoinnich Neach-gairm, Coimisean na Croitearachd

Bha sinn air leth toilichte na bu thràithe am-bliadhna gabhaltasan 6 croitean a leigeil do chroitearan ùra agus tha sinn a’ leantainn air adhart ag obair còmhla ri uachdarain air cùisean leantainneachd gun fhuasgladh, gus barrachd chroitean a thoirt air ais gu feum. Tha seachnadh air leantainneachd gun fhuasgladh, far nach eil tiomnadh an làthair a’ daingneachadh rùintean a’ chroiteir a thaobh cò a gheibh a’ chroit às a dhèidh, cho cudromach oir tha e a’ ciallachadh gum faodar a’ chroit a thoirt seachad gu furasta don ath chroitear seach a bhith na laighe bàn airson ùine. Tha na ceistean as trice a thathar a’ faighneachd dhuinn aig an àm seo mu chroitean nach eil air an làn obrachadh no nach eil air an obrachadh idir, fiù nuair

a tha an croitear a’ còmhnaidh oirre. Thuiteadh seo fo neoghèilleadh do dhleastanasan, ach uaireannan tha e mar thoradh air suidheachadh frionasach agus mar sin tha e duilich don Choimisean gnothaich a ghabhail ris airson fhuasgladh, mar eisimpleir, nuair a tha an croitear ’s dòcha aosta no ann an droch shlàinte agus nach eil e comasach air an fhearann obrachadh. Ach, tha ceumannan deimhinneach ann a dh’fhaodas an croitear a ghabhail iad fhèin gus a dhèanamh cinnteach gu bheil am fearann air a chumail suas ann an deagh staid gus an àm nuair a bhios iad comasach air a’ chroit obrachadh a-rithist. Roghainnean do chroitearan Tha fo-leigeil, no fo-leigeil geàrramail mas e croitear-seilbhe a

th’ annad, a’ ceadachadh dhut cothrom a thoirt do neach eile am fearann obrachadh airson ùine shònraichte. Tha e an urra ris a’ chroitear co-dhùnadh cò a dh’obraicheas a’ chroit rè na h-ùine sin agus bu chòir do chroitearan cuimhneachadh NACH EIL an fho-leigeil/ leigeil geàrr-amail mar ghluasad maireannach air a’ chroit, agus gum fuiricheadh iadsan mar am prìomh neach-gabhail no croitear-seilbhe. Ma tha croitear a’ smaoineachadh air a’ chroit a ghluasad gu neach eile air bhunait mhaireannach, ach nach eil e cinnteach mu dheidhinn, dh’fhaodadh fo-ghabhail/gabhail geàrr-amail a bhith mar dhòigh air leigeil le cuideigin a’ chròit obrachadh gus faicinn an toir iad feum math às an fhearann mus tig iad gu co-dhùnadh a’ chroit a


shònrachadh/no a leigeil dhaibh. Tha fios againn gu bheil dragh eile an lùib na thachras don taigh ma cho-dhùineas croitear a’ chroit a thoirt seachad. Ann an sònrachadh, faodaidh croitear an taigh aca a chumail agus leantainn air adhart a’ còmhnaidh san sgìre, cho fada ’s a chuireas iad tagradh gun Choimisean ag iarraidh làrach an taighe a dhichroiteadh agus an uair sin a cheannach bhon uachdaran. Mar an ceudna, faodaidh croitearseilbhe gabhaltas na croite a leigeil ach làrach an taighe agus fearann a’ ghàrraidh fhàgail às a’ ghabhail. Gheibh thu fiosrachadh air làrach-lìn a’ Choimisein, no faodaidh tu fònadh thugainn agus deasbad air na roghainnean a tha rim faotainn. www.crofting. scotland.gov.uk


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Creating a new life! When Lynne Jobes and her husband, Alan, decided to start a new life in the country, they envisaged a scene reminiscent of The Good Life, tending to vegetable plots, keeping some chickens and maybe even pigs for good measure. What the couple didn’t ever imagine, however, was sharing their home in the breathtakingly beautiful Cheviot Hills with a herd of 13 alpacas. These charming creatures, with their big doe eyes, plush coats and inquisitive personalities, stole Lynne’s heart – and gave her all the encouragement she needed to kickstart a new career. Lynne gave up a demanding job in social work to launch her own business – Beirhope Alpacas – where visitors can escape the stresses and strains of every day life by taking the animals for a walk in the stunning countryside around her home. “It’s possibly one of the best decisions that I have ever made,” said Lynne, a member of Towford Institute in Roxburghshire Federation. “I feel incredibly lucky to be able to live and work in such a beautiful part of the world, and to be able to share it with other people. “My husband looked at me like I was mad when I said I wanted to give up work to run alpaca trekking

tours, but he could see how it would work. I just love being around them: they are beautiful, calming and so therapeutic. “And, of course, there’s the positive benefits of being in the outdoors. We live in a digital world, but there is no mobile phone signal at Beirhope. Families can come here and have a complete digital detox, spending time together.” Lynne and Alan initially wanted to move to the countryside simply so that she could have a field for her horses and he could have his own workshop. They settled on Beirhope in the Kale Valley – a property which had once been a farm spanning an incredible 530 acres. However, it had been bought by a forestry company and while the business had planted up the land with trees, the buildings had more or less been forgotten about. The couple, however, saw the potential and realised that they could make a living, running a small holding and converting two bothys, a cottage and barn into holiday accommodation. They attended a glamping trade show to get inspiration – and it was there that Lynne had her first encounter with alpacas. She explained: “They were absolutely fantastic. I was just smitten with

them. They were naughty and inquisitive and to be honest I could have spent the entire two days of the show with them. “I was so taken with them, not just because of the way they looked, but because of the way they engaged with people. They also make a humming noise as they interact with you, which I just loved. “I told my husband that night that I was going to give up work to run alpaca trekking from Beirhope. From there I made some enquiries about where we could get alpacas and also went on a course to learn about alpaca husbandry.” The couple welcomed five alpacas – Tenzing, Monty, Grafitti, Yehudi and Sam – to the farm in April last year and Lynne handed in her notice at work. They started offering tours, using the scenic routes around their home, and discovered there was a real demand. People wanted to do a very different activities and to celebrate special occasions in a different way, while some just wanted to be around the animals. She now offers a full range of experiences, from treks lasting several hours to pet an alpaca, where families enjoy a picnic in the company of the herd. Just a few months after the first five boys arrived at Beirhope, Lynne and Alan ordered another six alpacas – including two females that were pregnant. Hope was the first alpaca born to them, while Kale followed soon afterwards. Lynne intends for Beirhope to have its own breeding programme, with generations of the cute and cuddly animals making their home there. She said: “It is very easy to tell them apart even though, to most people, they look identical. They


each have their own quirks and characteristics. “It really amazes me how happy they can make people. We even have one lady with Parkinson’s disease who is unable to trek with them, but just enjoys sitting with the alpacas and feeding them. I get so much pleasure from it, and for me another perk has been able to find out about local history, so I can share that with guests during the treks. “The ladies at Towford Institute, and other Institutes in our area, have been amazing and so helpful. On the day we opened, they came to help out, armed with homebakes. They have been so supportive. “When I moved here I didn’t know anything about the Rural at all. One of my neighbours suggested that I go along as it was a great place to make friends. I’ve found that joining has really helped me to become a part of the community, and most of all, it’s been such fun.” Beirhope Alpacas is just the start of the rural dream for Lynne and Alan, who continue to focus on developing holiday accommodation at the farm. However, there has also been another surprising spin off from their love affair with alpacas. “Their fleeces are incredibly luxurious, and we now sell their fleeces to be spun into our own yarn. We’ve been pleasantly surprised by the demand for it – we’ve been able to sell it without even having to try. “Towford has a knitting group that meets on a Tuesday night – maybe we’ll produce something with Beirhope alpaca wool in future!” Visit www.beirhope.co.uk to find out more about Lynne’s alpacas and to see her holiday accommodation plans take shape.


country woman

Gail Barclay By Linda Mellor

Gail Barclay lives in Fife and is a busy Doctor in a local practice. She said, ‘I have always enjoyed outdoor activities, and my time spent at Medical School in Aberdeen and then postgraduate medical training in Inverness meant I had fantastic access for hillwalking, scrambling and climbing, together with skiing in the Cairngorms. A major highlight was cycle touring the Outer Hebrides, from Barra to Lewis (camping all the way) and marvelled at the beaches, the cliffs and the wildlife. I also enjoy sea kayaking, and love the access this gives to otherwise unreachable areas, and the joy of having curious seals popping up around the kayak and playing.’ In winter 2012, Gail bought her partner, Chantal, a ‘have a go’ clay shooting voucher. They visited Moreton Clays so Chantal could try clay shooting. After a few shots at clays she wasn’t keen so Gail decided to try it out and instantly loved it 74

and wanted to find out more and where she could go shooting. The following day she went to Cluny Activities. It was a family trip out with Chantal, Gail’s mum and her grandmother. Who, at 98 years old, decided to have a go at Air rifle shooting and hit a bullseye. Soon afterwards, Gail completed a two-lesson course at Cluny Activities called a ‘Passport to Shooting’ then applied for her shotgun licence. By January 2013, she was the owner of 12 gauge Beretta Silver Pigeon and couldn’t wait to do lots of clay shooting. But on a skiing holiday a few weeks later, she damaged her knee and had a fracture and required numerous operations which meant she couldn’t get out to shoot. Gail said, ‘most of my outdoor activities were halted by the serious knee injury.’ Over a period of three years, she had four operations and they prevented her from undertaking any outdoor activities. ‘I couldn’t do anything,

I used to play hockey but that was also out of the question, so all I did was work. Even now that my knee is stable I struggle with any serious hills. This makes me even more grateful to have a sport like shooting which can help get me outdoors with a sense of purpose again.’ In 2015, Gail noticed the Scottish Ladies shooting Club were shooting clays at Dunkeld so she decided to go along, ‘it felt great hitting the clays!’ Gail took part in their annual shoot and won Ladies high gun, and the winners prize was a lesson with top shot and professional shooting coach Stewart Cumming (based at National Shooting Centre). The session with Stewart went very well, Gail shot a mixture of sporting clays and he gave her some pointers. Stewart asked Gail what she wanted to do with her shooting, and she replied, ‘go as far as I can.’ He told her she could shoot for Scotland. A joint Christmas and birthday gift


was 10 lessons with Stewart and these enabled Gail to develop her shooting skills. In 2016, Gail had a further knee operation but was determined to carry on, and even the leg brace and crutches did not stop her from getting out shooting. A month or so later, and at the end of a shooting lesson with Stewart at Auchterhouse Country Sports, he suggested she stayed around for the Down the Line (DTL) shoot. She shot 279/300. Three months after her operation, Gail qualified for the Ladies DTL team. ‘When I am shooting I have to put my full focus into it. I can’t think about work and I certainly can’t take my work with me so shooting helps me focus.’ She added, ‘shooting makes me smile.’ Gail shots with a 30” Caesar Guerini Syren Tempio Trap. ‘I started to research what ladies fit guns were available in a trap configuration, and quickly

country woman realised that none were available to buy in the UK.’ The first time Gail picked up a CG Syren Tempio Sporting gun it instantly felt right. ‘The shorted distance between stock pad and trigger meant I didn’t feel I was stretching to hold the gun up, and the increased cast on the stock meant I could mount it in a comfortable position on my shoulder and it naturally came to the correct position on my cheek, rather than having to cant my head across to reach it. A revelation! Gail approached Cluny Country Store and asked them to have the Caesar Guerini Syren Tempio Trap AT imported from Italy. Gail said, ‘after a few phone calls the answer was “Yes, but it will take 5 months!”. Buying a reasonably expensive gun unseen and unheld is really not a sensible approach, but I was enjoying shooting the Summit Impact (also Caesar Guerini), which is similar in terms of high rib configuration, and I knew I liked the feel and fit

of the Syren Tempio Sporting, so I decided to take the plunge, whilst making sure I paid the extra for the adjustable comb. I am so glad I did opt for this gun, as it feels “right” in every way, and being multi choked in both barrels I can use it for everything from skeet, through sporting, to trap. But why, oh why, does it come in a white case?’ In 2018, Gail’s wins include: British and English Open All Round Ladies Champion, Scottish All Round Ladies Champion and Double Trap Ladies Champion, DTL Home International Scottish Lady High Gun, and ABT Scottish Championship Lady High Gun. Gail said, ‘I am determined to take my shooting to the highest level, and have chosen to focus solely on Trap disciplines over the coming year. My goal is to win the Scottish, English and British Championships in DTL and ABT, along with consolidating my existing experience in Olympic Trap.’ Gail is looking for sponsorship.

Permits available for local rivers 26 Allan Street, Blairgowrie, Perthshire, PH10 6AD Telephone 01250 873990 email: shop@kateflemings.co.uk



Southern Belle Wisdom is nothing more than healed pain… hopefully Robert Burns described it as “thou hell o’ a’ diseases” and having had the toothache for the past 10 days, I concur with his sentiments. Being lucky enough to have all my own teeth, I also find myself in the unusual position of being “fashionable”, as a space between front teeth is now popular. How things have changed. While I know friends’ who have had wisdom tooth trouble, mine developed from having an extra one appear. One friend though it surprising they had found any wisdom teeth at all, which would have been funny had I been able to laugh. After the usual “waiting time”, I finally had word to go to hospital and have it out. Hurrah!! I had planned my first week off this year and typically the operation landed on the first day at 8.30am. Hey ho! At least my caring other half would be at home to look after me. Not quite as poetic as Burns, he described my

subsequent demeanour as “the only thing worse than a bear with a sore head is a woman with a sore tooth.” Five days of misery, a visit to emergency dentist, calls to NHS 24 and the dental hospital, all resulted in “keep it till it is better” advise and don’t take too many Ibuprofen. Are you kidding me!! Thankfully a nurse practitioner friend advised me to get on antibiotics right away and I am writing for the first time in 10 days. Friends always no best but heading to the dentist again just to make sure……. My own lovey dentist Laura, took one look at it and exclaimed “Ooh, that looks b****y sore!” At last!! Someone who understands the pain! 15 minutes later and feeling better already I’m heading home with a disinfected tooth and a box of Ibuprofen, Good woman!! Hopefully by the time you read this my four remaining wisdom teeth will be happy and shiny again.


machinery Vaderstad appoint Ross Agri Services as key Scottish dealer Vaderstad has appointed Ross Agri Services Ltd as a key dealer in Scotland covering Perth and Angus. Growing demand for a number of products within the range including Spirit drills, Cultus, Carrier and TopDown requires a well established and dedicated dealership that can provide a high quality service and immediate back-up. Ross Agri Services Ltd has a long pedigree in agriculture

having established in 1972 as a farming machinery hire business. An agricultural contracting division was added in 1976 and was rapidly followed by the purchase of a spare parts business. The company soon started to sell and maintain farming equipment and in 1988 was awarded the Fendt tractor franchise. A fabrication enterprise was then acquired in 1996 adding to the company’s portfolio and by 2018

further franchises were added, including Faresin Telehandlers, Alpego Machinery Range and Gregoire Besson Tillage. Ross Agri Services Ltd’s dedicated, experienced and professional sales and service team is ideally placed to help take the Vaderstad brand to a new level in the east of Scotland. “We are delighted to have been awarded the Vaderstad franchise and are looking

forward to working closely with the company in Scotland. The range of machines available from Vaderstad allows us to offer a better soil solution to our customers going forward,” says Ross Agri Services Ltd’s managing director Martin Ross. “We have a range of machines on order which will be available for on farm demonstration`s so speak to your sales manager to discuss your requirements.”

New HORSCH Shuttle improves logistics HORSCH’s logistics range, which includes the 34m3 Titan chaser bin, has been expanded to include two new lorrymounted units; the HORSCH Shuttle 10000F for seed and granular fertiliser, and the HORSCH Shuttle 8000L for liquids. “Keeping high-performance drills and sprayers supplied with inputs is essential to maintaining a high daily work rate. The HORSCH Shuttle improves on-farm logistics, allowing operators to do this easily. The Shuttle is built to the same high standards as all HORSCH machinery and includes proven components from our broad product range,” explains Stephen


Burcham, General Manager at HORSCH UK. Both Shuttle models can be mounted on the rear of a fourwheel-drive lorry. An adaptive connection system allows the Shuttle to be easily attached to a wide range of lorry variants. Built-in fork guides enable the Shuttle to be manoeuvred safely with a fork lift truck. The Shuttle 10000F features a 10,000-litre hopper and a conveyor belt capable of loading a drill with seed or fertiliser at 2000kg per minute. The Shuttle 8000L combines an 8000-litre stainless steel tank, 800 litre fresh water tank and a 3000 litre per minute pump for fast refilling. The

Shuttle 8000L also features the automatic internal Continuous


Cleaning System from the Leeb LT trailed sprayer.

machinery Spread-a-Bale launches Midi Lite Spread-a-Bale has added to its portfolio the Midi Lite, the first ever side mounted self-loading straw spreading machine for rectangular bales weighing 500kgs maximum and appealing to livestock farmers with one tonne loaders. The Midi Lite was officially launched at Lamma. Extending Spread-a-Bale’s M series, the 500kg Midi Lite requires only one tonne lift capacity and is suitable for most tractor fore-end loaders as well as skidsteer and Hof loaders. Spreading distance is up to 14 metres to the left, by a single horizontal rotor. The machine is powered hydraulically and requires a maximum 55 litres per minute oil flow. The chain drive to the rotor motor can be geared differently to compensate for lower flow rates. The Midi Lite features one horizontal rota for side loading and side spreading. The head can be elevated to reduce total width

if door access is limited to less than three metres, enabling the machine to enter the vast majority of livestock buildings. Spread-a-Bale’s Michael Hughes comments: “The Midi

Lite completes Spread-a-Bale’s portfolio, enabling livestock farmers with smaller lift capacity loaders to make up to 75% reduction in spreading time and labour, and equally important,


make significant straw savings of approximately around 40% with mini Heston bales.” Midi Lite standard list price, £11,500 and available from Spread-a-Bale’s dealer network.


machinery Silver award for patented film binding system

KUHN Farm Machinery’s twinreel film binding bale wrapping system has won a silver award in the Livestock Innovation category of the 2019 LAMMA Innovation Awards. The LAMMA Innovation Awards provide a platform for the show’s exhibitors to introduce new machinery, equipment and services to the market, and have gained a reputation for recognising and highlighting some of the best advances in agricultural manufacturing. They are judged on a range of criteria including design innovation, practical impact, the sustainability of the product and its impact on the environment, with KUHN’s twin twin-reel film binding bale wrapping system receiving a silver award in the Livestock Innovation category. Unlike other film binding systems which use wide mantle rolls to perform the bale binding

function, the KUHN system uses two standard 750mm stretch film rolls to fully encapsulate the bale. As well as improving silage preservation and making the recycling of waste plastic easier, this system also reduces plastic usage by up to 30% by pre-stretching the wrapping film by 70% prior to application. Film loading is also quicker and easier as each roll weighs just 27kg, compared to the wider rolls which can weigh between 40-90kg. The film binding system is available on KUHN’s i-BIO+ and FBP 3135 BalePack round baler-wrapper combination machines, both of which also use KUHN’s IntelliWrap system which enables the operator to wrap the bale with 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 layers of film as appropriate. Both machines can also be used with conventional net binding: switching between film and net

binding is quick and simple as the two systems are separate, with enough space available to carry film and net rolls at the

same time, therefore making it easy to switch from one system to the other for different crops or between different fields.

Angus farmers learn about the business behind today’s McCormick tractors Farmers from Angus in northeast Scotland had an inside look at where McCormick tractors are engineered and built when they accompanied Liam Wylie and Andy Mitchell – who run the AL Agri dealership at Forfar – on a

visit to the Argo Tractors industrial complex in northern Italy. They discovered that Argo Tractors is a major global player in the farm tractor market, producing 45-310hp machines at the headquarters factory in (continued on page 80)




Fabbrico and three more plants in the surrounding area. Approximately 70% by value of the tractors built there is also manufactured by Argo Tractors, including cabs, and the gears and shafts that are assembled into


transmissions and front axles for many of the models. “This was our own first visit to the Argo factories and we were extremely impressed,” says Andy. “This is a big and very professional operation. The visit has given

us even greater enthusiasm for supplying the tractors and reinforced our confidence in their design, features and reliability.” Apart from touring the manufacturing and assembly facilities, the Scottish party were


able to drive tractors on a test track surrounding the dispatch area and spent time with Simeone Morra, Commercial Director with responsibility for the Argo Tractors branches, and a member of the family

machinery that owns and is committed to developing and growing the business. By way of a distraction from matters agricultural, the group

finished their tour with a visit to the Ferrari Museum, which is conveniently close to the autostrada between Fabbrico and Bologna airport.

Re-designed SwardLifter from Opico

OPICO has launched a re-design of its popular Sward-Lifter grassland subsoiler: the frame has been strengthened making it even more robust than its predecessor. Most importantly, the cutting disc - which opens the sward in front of the subsoiler leg - is now mounted on a springloaded trailing arm, enabling it to trip out of the way of obstacles more easily and protect the machine from damage. The new design is available with shearbolt or hydraulic auto reset leg protection. Other

features remain the same: a reversible shin to protect the leg from wear, and individual springloaded rollers which follow each of the subsoiler legs to close the slots and level the surface. The new design OPICO Sward-lifters are available in three working widths: 2.7m (3-leg), 3.0m (5-leg) and 4.5m (hydraulic-folding, 5-leg). Sward-Lifters with shearbolt protection retail from ÂŁ7,445 +VAT and hydraulic auto reset leg protection models from ÂŁ10,697 +VAT.

ZA-M EasySet from Amazone For the well-known ZA-M twin disc spreader series, Amazone has developed the EasySet on-board computer that offers simple operation of the spreader from the tractor cab. Via this operator terminal, the shutter slides can be actuated electronically meaning that, on the headland, each aperture can be closed or opened at the

press of a button. In wedge shaped fields, the driver can individually actuate either the right or left hand side. LED lights on the EasySet terminal indicate whether the shutter slides are open or closed. In addition, via the terminal, the application rate can be adjusted individually on the move to either side with the


machinery corresponding aperture size being shown on the display. So, the fertiliser rate can be very easily matched to the needs of the crop on the move. The ZA-M Easy can be quickly mounted on the tractor as no hydraulic services are required for the shutter slide actuation and thus no hydraulic hoses have to be coupled, only the one cable. If a Limiter border spreading device is specified then a double-acting spool valve is necessary. In this case the position of the Limiter is indicated via an LED light in the EasySet box. The ZA-M Easy is the perfect entry in to remote spreader operation at the press a button. The ZA-M fertiliser spreader series includes three basic models with 1,000 l, 1,200 l and 1,500 l capacity hoppers respectively which can be upgraded to a maximum of 3,000 l with the aid of the relevant extensions. The slow-


turning agitators provide a very even, gentle fertiliser flow. Working widths of 10 m to 36 m allow the very flexible application of the ZA-M Easy, making this twin disc spreader the ideal machine for many farms that place a big emphasis on easy handling and reliable fertiliser application.

Order your



See page 70

machinery Sulky UK brings precision technology to mid-range fertiliser spreaders with new DX ECO#6 model Sulky Burel launched a new fertiliser spreader. The DX ECO#6 brings precision control technology to Sulky’s mid-range DX30 models, allowing smaller arable and mixed farms to gain the benefits of greater precision and fertiliser savings that are usually achieved with high capacity spreaders. The DX ECO#6 achieves fertiliser savings of 8-10% and reduces areas receiving under- or over-application by 20%, through more efficient spreading as a result of automatic GPS shut-off and six-section spreading control that minimises overlaps and optimises spread pattern. These



machinery savings have been verified by independent eco-assessments at the IRSTEA (National Institute for Environmental Science and Research) and KEREVAL (independent laboratory of engineering testing) institutes.

Automatic shutter opening/ closing is driven by GPS to avoid under- or over-fertilisation at headlands, gateways and after stopping. It not only reduces fertiliser wastage, but also reduces crop lodging that results

from premature shutter opening and over-fertilisation. Automatic six-section control is managed by changing the flow rate, aligned to Sulky’s patented crescent shape spread pattern, which more

closely mimics the reality of centrifugal spreading. The DX ECO#6 is available to order now from Sulky Burel dealers with a retail prices starting from £17,568 and on-farm prices starting from £13,000.

High specification, purpose built tanker from Hi-Spec

A particular feature of Hi-Spec tankers is the option to be able to have a tanker purpose designed and built to meet the customer’s specific needs. The tanker is based on a Hi-Spec 4000 TD-S tanker, which has a capacity of 4,000 gallons (18,184 litres). This comes as standard with a sprung drawbar and commercial 150x150 sprung parabolic tandem axles, complete with steering, which have been

fitted with 710/50 R26.5 BKT tyres. The specific specification for this tanker includes commercial air/hydraulic 420x180 brakes. To keep turnaround time to a minimum, the tanker has been fitted with a high capacity, hydraulically driven 14,000 litre Jurop pump and a side-mounted, hydraulically operated 8-inch autofill arm, complete with a turbo-

fill system controlled from the cab. The tank, which is manufactured from 6-mm thick British steel, is fitted with anti-implosion rings and internal baffles. For spreading, the customer has opted for a Bomech 6.4 disc injector for injecting into grassland. The injector is carried on a four-point linkage and over its 6.4m working width there are 32 outlets, supplied via a Vogelsang Exacut distributor

with stonetrap. All hydraulic functions are operated via electrohydraulic controls and the tanker has also been fitted with a Krohne flowmeter and a Tanlake DD slurry monitor for complete application rate monitoring and recording. As a finishing touch, in order to match the customer’s tractor the tanker has been painted in John Deere green, complete with yellow wheel rims.

John Deere’s new forage harvester behind today’s McCormick tractors John Deere’s new 9000 Series self-propelled forage harvester recently made its UK debut back in November at AgriScot in the shape of the top of the range 9900 84

model, which is the company’s biggest forager worldwide. The 9000 Series combines the latest forage harvesting technology with several efficiency enhancing

developments to form the basis of John Deere’s new HarvestMotion concept, which significantly increases throughput and enables industry leading fuel economy. Performance


improvements of up to 10 per cent have been verified through numerous field tests conducted by both John Deere and several independent research institutes.

machinery One of four new series SPFH models from 625 to 970hp, the 9900 is powered by a new 24.2-litre V12 Liebherr engine with striking twin exhausts, which provides outstanding torque capacity and copes easily with peak loads at lower engine speeds, even beneath 1400rpm. The large crop channel width of 850mm is designed to handle the foragers’ higher throughput, to ensure the best possible forage quality and chopping efficiency. John Deere has also extended its range of kernel processors by introducing the XStream KP model. This high performance processor has been developed together with the US based company Scherer, an experienced leader in kernel processor technology, and increases processing intensity by 10 per cent at all cutting lengths. Kernel processor rolls are available with a standard sawtooth design on the Premium KP unit, and either the sawtooth or a new XCut

design on the XStream KP, which features a spiral cut groove across the roll surface. Both roll designs

are available with the proven Dura Line heavy-duty coating for increased durability. The kernel


processor can be removed in just five minutes for quick changes between maize and grass.


machinery Honda leads the rural crime revolt with all-terrain tracking

The Air Compressor and Pressure Washer Specialists

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Honda has partnered with security specialist Datatool to tackle the rising issue of rural crime. Customers will have the option of adding on Datatool’s TQA-approved TrakKING Adventure package, which uses GPS chip set technology to offer theft protection, instant notifications and full journey history logging. The only cost to the customer is a nominal monitoring subscription of £9.95 per month or £109 for a year (incl VAT). A key safety feature in the Datatool package is the ‘G Sense’ impact alert notifications, which use a highly-sensitive 3D accelerometer to detect rollovers or high g-force impacts and alert an emergency contact via SMS – ideal for those working by themselves in remote locations. The system also includes location-based alerts, which automatically send a notification when the vehicle leaves a specified area. To celebrate the partnership, Honda is offering Pioneer customers a half-cab for just £999 (excluding VAT) outright -


a saving of up to £880 - until the end of March 2019. Comprising a hard roof, glass windshield, hard rear panel and windshield wiper/washer kit, the option adds additional comfort and usability to Honda’s versatile utility vehicle. Andrew Parr, Sales Operations Department Manager at Honda (UK), commented: “According to insight from NFU Mutual, the cost of rural crime has increased by 13.4% since 2016 alone – costing the UK some £44.5 million every year.* The problems faced by rural communities are growing, meaning more needs to be done to improve crime prevention measures. “We take security incredibly seriously and wanted to highlight the positive role manufacturers can play in tackling rural crime. Our partnership with Datatool is the latest in a long line of initiatives to lead the way in allterrain security. “This, along with the incredible half-cab offer on Pioneer, means there really is no better time to purchase a Honda ATV or utility model.” Accredited as a ‘Secured by Design’ product by the Police Service, TrakKING meets the highest security standards and has been specifically developed to deter theft, provide aroundthe-clock location visibility and aid recovery. Typically retailing at £349 (including installation), the system sets the standards in state-of-the-art 24/7/365 monitoring.


machinery Vaderstad launches largest high speed small seed precision planter Väderstad has launched the new high-speed precision planter Tempo L 24, which is the largest high-speed precision planter for sugar beet and oilseed rape to date. Tempo L 24 has 24 row units and 450 to 508mm row spacings. Each seed hopper holds 25 litres and the machine can be equipped for fertiliser metering with a 5000 litre fertiliser hopper. With patented seed metering using PowerShoot technology, Tempo delivers an unmatched precision at very high speed. Tempo L 24 went into production in November 2018 with new machines being available for the autumn in the UK.



machinery New variable chamber wrapping balers from John Deere Built for high productivity and output, John Deere’s C451R and C461R variable-chamber wrapping balers are the latest additions to the company’s round baler range. These new models combine Deere’s most productive variable chamber baler design with proven, premium wrapping components, to provide a wrapping baler that fully meets the needs of all farmers and contractors. As with the existing C441R fixed chamber model, the C451R and C461R feature a full-frame chassis built for reliability and strength. They also use the revolutionary Fast Release System first introduced on the 900 Series round balers in 2012 – which have since been replaced by the V451R and V461R models – in conjunction with a high capacity feeding system. Building on these strong foundations, the main focus in the balers’ design has been placed on their performance and ability to work in heavy, wet grass crops in addition to meeting today’s customer needs for dry straw. They are true all-rounders when it comes to producing both high output and up to 1.85m bales with consistent density, chop quality and shape in all crop types. There is a choice of feeding systems using a high capacity


MaxiCut HC rotor with 13 or 25 knives, controlled from the cab. The pick-ups feature a five tine bar cam track design with 6mm tines and stainless steel stripper bands to increase durability. A new, reinforced wear-resistant Hardox steel rotor also adds to the machine’s overall high performance and strength. Like the rest of the John Deere round baler range, the C451R and C461R utilise the well proven in-line rotor concept which efficiently transfers all types of crop through to the bale chamber, reducing any possibility of crop build-up and uneven feeding. Both versions also incorporate a full width parallel drop-floor system operated from the tractor cab, which enables blockages to be removed instantly.

As on the C441R wrapping baler, the C451R and C461R now feature a 15 per cent faster wrapper working at 40rpm and an 18 per cent faster table transfer system compared to the previous C440R

model, to deliver an enormous increase in productivity. These new wrapping balers are also available with a tandem axle as standard for improved stability and reduced ground compaction.

The Horned Beef Company take on a silent beast Pioneering husband and wife team, David and Bekka CorrieClose, chose the Polaris Ranger EV to help run their sustainable farm. Sat within the powerful Polaris Ranger Electric Vehicle

whilst driving through the flowerfilled meadows surrounding Sizergh Castle in Cumbria produced a majestic and peaceful feeling of contentment for both. With only the sound of the long, lush grass being flattened by the


wide, low pressure tyres, the native, horned cattle turned lazily to see who was approaching. The Ranger EV is used as the farm’s work horse and provides David and Bekka with a utility vehicle that far outweighs the

machinery benefits of a tractor or 4x4 pickup truck; capable on the exposed and rough terrain yet with the lightest footprint. The electric powered vehicle is both strong and quiet, with its single 48-volt, High-Efficiency electric power drive producing 31 HP/ CV and its all-wheel drive covers the wonderful Cumbrian countryside without generating unnecessary noise. David and Bekka’s start in farming was not via the usual route with them both starting from very different backgrounds. After a move to Cumbria 10 years ago, they each tried parttime voluntary work to find their calling. It wasn’t until David landed a farming apprenticeship that things really got going. “It turns out farming was the career I really wanted!” He said. Later, in 2015, The Horned Beef Company was formed, farming land in small plots scattered over the Cumbrian countryside.

It wasn’t easy. Bekka recalled “Home was a yurt, with no mains water or electric.” The couple has received overwhelming support from the public for their commitment to ecologically sound farming and land management methods. “We wouldn’t be where we are today without our community investors and those that buy our beef.” She said Working with the National Trust, the Princes Trust, RSPB and Cumbria Wildlife, and with David taking vice chair of the Nature Friendly Farming Network, the pair are now managing over 1000 acres on top of their 150-acre farm site. ‘Farming with Nature’ is the new direction of travel for UK agriculture.” David asserted, “Electric powered utility vehicles will play a big part with this as they are non-polluting and sustainable. Quietly managing our animals and going about our day-to-day jobs makes the job nicer for all those involved.”

“Electric power interests us and we try to use the technology wherever its available. We are currently installing a solar panel water pump system to supply drinking water across the farm as our local water pressure does not provide access to the whole land.” He adds, “I couldn’t believe it when I found out that a fully electric Ranger was available. With a large bed box and capacity of over 225kg it helps us move


whatever we need around the farm. The next challenge is to see if we can charge our Ranger EV using a solar array on the farm.” As we headed back to the farm after David and Bekka had checked the cattle, the Polaris quietly took us up the meadow and you could easily see why this electric power work horse was just right for their farm and the future of The Horned Beef Company.



A sense of style & warmth… A Countryside Tale From The City

Timothy Foxx Isla Jacket In Duchess Tweed

With tweed returning as a significant trend for winter, British heritage label, Butler Stewart shows how to ‘do’ tweed with a twist on a classic. Styled along elegant lines, the Butler Stewart collection for men and women, adds a fresh, contemporary twist to this traditional fabric, synonymous with the countryside. Jackets are tailored to flatter, with a cut that elongates the body on their three quarter length coats, and their collection of shorter length garments have an elegantly feminine silhouette that runs as a theme throughout the collection. Pencil skirt hemlines skim the knee for the perfect length, and their growing collection of accessories make Butler Stewart the ultimate destination for tailoring and tweed. This exquisite Butler Stewart Eleanor Coat will take you from city to country retreat with ease. With its welcoming cornflower blue hue, it’s guaranteed to blow away those winter blues with its simple, striking good looks and ability to instantly update your look. Styled in quality British Tweed, this coat features slant jetted side pockets, four button cuff details with contrast stitching and finished with a beautiful powder blue inner lining. A simply stunning garment offering a fresh take on traditional tweed. Sizes: 8 - 16 RRP: £425.00 www.butlerstewart.co.uk

This gorgeous Isla jacket in Duchess Tweed combines exquisite attention to detailing, equestrian style and practical wear ability whilst keeping its chic feminine shape which is classic Timothy Foxx designing. In true Timothy Foxx eccentric designing we have formed the Isla jacket to be a fashionable and pretty take on the classic hacking jacket. The front of the jacket has a simple lapel with an upright collar which is lined with soft corduroy and contrast button hole detailing. The front is fastened with three Timothy Foxx buttons and angled button holes, the true front jet pockets are edged in corduroy with a subtle ticket pocket in tweed and the bottom of the front slopes away dropping at the back which is a flattering length over the bottom. The sleeve is slightly lengthened to allow the cuff to be folded back to reveal the burgundy corduroy and to show off the contrast button hole detailing. It is lined with a bright purple viscose lining which is edged in gold viscose and contains an inside pocket. There are three knife pleats at the back of the jacket to allow movement and to create a lovely shape with the back waist band detailing as the jacket is shaped to follow your curves without being too tight on the body. This jacket complements their Heidi Skirt in Duchess tweed and looks great with jeans and boots. Sizes: 8 - 16 RRP: £335.00 www.timothyfoxx.co.uk



lifestyle Tweed Weekend Bag from La Di Da

RS rural

STYLE By Helen Burness

A Moleskin Classic

A true British classic - this stylish weekender bag is perfect for those overnight stays or weekends away. Made in England in green tweed it measures L46 x D24 x H32 cms. With an internal pocket, removable shoulder strap and carry handles, this handy bag would suit any man or woman about town. RRP: £82.00 www.ladida-andover.com

Winter warmers from Equetech Extreme winter weather calls for extreme clothing and British equestrian fashion brand, Equetech have some warm legwear all sewn up” The Equetech Arctic Thermal Under breeches offer a toasty extra layer underneath your breeches this winter. Featuring a plush cozy lining, soft seam free seat, non chaff leg trim, wide comfort waistband and stirrup foot (To prevent the garment riding up), these breeches are to set to be a ‘hot’ favourite this season! Available in Black or Beige and are ideal for hacking, schooling, training or competing, these under breeches are bound to be your best friend when it comes to winter riding! Sizes: S/M – L/XL RRP: £16.75 www.equetech.com

British heritage brand, Butler Stewart is the home of beautiful tailoring utilising tweed but their Moleskin Jeans are also one staple, every gentleman needs in his wardrobe. Infinitely more respectable than jeans and classier than cords, they bridge the gap between casual and smart perfectly.

RRP: £79 Sizes: 32”, 34”, 36”, 38”,40” Available in Regular & Long Colours: Cranberry, Country Tan, Midnight, Olive & Stone. www.butlerstewart.co.uk




Let there be light! Ideas to create a cosy and warmly illuminated home during these dark winter evenings… Moooi Coppelia suspended lamp

A Paper Chandelier?

With a graceful sense of wonder, a beautiful mechanical doll appears to magically come to life in the famous ballet Coppélia. In the performance the ballerina traces, with sinuous movements, a delicate after-image in the air, which inspires the fluid motion in the design of Miyake’s Coppélia suspended lamp. Price: £2957.00 www.rume.co.uk

Hereford Contemporary Bathroom Wall Light

From Fritz Fryer, how about this Hereford Skinny Ribbed Glass Bathroom Wall Light with Metal Finish Bronze? Price: £240.00 www.fritzfryer.co.uk 92

Well yes of course it’s another light by Moooi. What gave it away? Is it the fact that it is made of paper? Or the size of a small hot air balloon? Or looks like it might come to life and chase you around the lounge? Moooi make things that no one else would dare to and more often than not they get away with it. The Paper Chandelier which comes in two sizes, large and extra large and is so called because it is a chandelier and really is made of paper, is part of a collection of monumental, experimental papier mache chandeliers and lights by Studio Job. They are designed to amuse and provoke in equal measure, job done I’d say, they are not easily ignored and not remotely practical but who cares? They are marvellous, redolent with nostalgia and whimsy, they overwhelm us with reminiscence, make us feel like children again with our hands deep in a bucket of torn up newspaper and paste, give us the sense that we could do anything, make anything, a five foot tall chandelier even. Price: Large: £2110.00 Price: Ex Large: £5341.00 www.rume.co.uk


@home Moooi Prop light

Coltrane Floor Lamp Inspired by the American jazz saxophonist and composer John Coltrane, Coltrane floor lamp embodies the avant-garde jazzy vibe that this legendary musician transmitted in every music concert. Handmade in brass and aluminium, the minimal black floor lamp has a matte black finish on the three lamp shades with a gold powder paint on the inside, that provide a smooth lighting effect. This functional floor lamp is ideal for minimalist settings, as well as for, midcentury modern reading nooks. Price: poa www.maisonvalentina.net

Meshmatics Chandelier

This is the Prop Light Round so called because you can prop it up against the wall, and it is round. Moooi can be surprisingly literal for such a bonkers company. It has to be said that you are unlikely to prop it anywhere as it looks so fab when you hang it horizontally or vertically overhead, but then ‘Hang It Horizontally Or Vertically Overhead’ doesn’t really work so well as a name, so Prop it is. The light is by Bertjan Pot the mercurial designer of the Random, non Random and Heracleum, also for Moooi, and continues his recent foray into all things LED. Each bubble contains a dimmable specially designed LED optic that creates a warm, ethereal glow and is guaranteed to brighten your mood regardless of it orientation. Perfect for over a kitchen counter, dining table or even public spaces the Prop Round is available as a single, a double and a double vertical. There is also a rectangular version called simply Prop. Damn it Moooi stop being so contrary. Appearance: Clear bubbles of warm, ethereal glowiness. Design: 2013. By Bertjan Pot for Moooi. Material: HIPS housing. Glass bubbles. Cable: 4m clear cable, hanging wires and white pebble ceiling rose. Size: Round H 19cm. Dia 74cm. Double/Vertical max hanging drop 400 cm. Bulb: 48 LED optics. Please contact us for dimmer compatibility info. Price: £2784.00 www.rume.co.uk

Whoever sets eyes on the Meshmatics Chandelier will never guess what hides behind its sophisticated exterior… Inspired, Rick Tegelaar elevates the nature of humble wire netting by developing a machine and a set of tools to model it with accuracy. The full potential of this thin and flexible material is then stretched and captured within three layers of beauty. The clever wire mesh structure reflects and diffuses the light of the integrated LED with poetic grace, contributing to keep the light source cool by absorbing some of its heat. Price: £2743.00 www.rume.co.uk



cars Success for Vauxhall Como Life Vauxhall’s all-new Combo Life is AUTOBEST’s Best Buy Car 2019, highlighting the family car’s excellent value for money and outstanding practicality. The AUTOBEST awards are highly regarded among the most important European accolades, with an independent judging panel composed of expert motoring journalists from 31 countries. Every year, AUTOBEST judges a range of cars against criteria such as efficiency, technology and safety to determine the Best Buy Car of Europe.

“We had a very tough competition between the finalists, a record number in the AUTOBEST history,” said Dan Vardie, founder and chairman of AUTOBEST. “The Vauxhall Combo Life managed to impress the jury members and deserve the ‘Best Buy Car of Europe’ title. The winning models are simply an efficient solution for the European customer.” “We are thrilled with the decision of the 31 independent members of the AUTOBEST jury,” said Vauxhall/Opel CEO, Michael Lohscheller. “The

Combo simply offers a lot of car for the money – the key

to winning ‘Best Buy Car of Europe’.

Ford SUVs Achieve Record-Breaking 259,000 Sales in Europe Sales of the Ford EcoSport, Kuga and Edge reached nearly 259,200 year to date through the end of November – making 2018 Ford’s best-ever year for SUV sales in the region with one month still to go. In the UK, Ford SUV sales accounted for almost a quarter of the total European SUV sales with over 60,000 sold. “SUV sales are rising faster than any other type of vehicle in Europe, and our comprehensive range of EcoSport, Kuga, and

Edge SUVs is attracting carbuyers like never before with bold and sporty styling, and advanced technologies such as Intelligent All-Wheel Drive that help deliver confidenceinspiring driving experiences,” said Roelant de Waard, vice president, Marketing, Sales & Service, Ford of Europe. Ford’s SUV market share has continued to grow in 2018 for the third year in a row, and SUVs now account for more than one in five Ford vehicles sold in Europe.

Volvo XC40 wins Japan’s Car of the Year 2018 At the 2018 awards ceremony inside the Tokyo International Exchange Center, all 60 jurors, 40 of Japan’s most influential automotive publications as well as car manufacturer executives gathered to witness the vote counting and prize-giving ceremony for this year’s Japan Car of the Year awards. The vote counting started off as a battle between the Volvo XC40 and the Toyota Corolla


Sport. After the XC40 picked up an early lead, the Corolla came back midway through counting to briefly overtake the Swede before the Volvo accelerated away to win by 49 votes, 363 to 314 votes respectively. The VW Polo picked up third with 197 votes, the Toyota Crown came fourth with 170 and the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross polled fifth with 165 votes.


cars New Renault Megane R.S. Trophy opens for order Renault Sport’s New Mégane R.S. 300 Trophy goes on sale today with deliveries starting from February 2019. An increase in power to 300hp makes the New Mégane R.S. 300 Trophy the most powerful Renault Sport production car ever. The new model features a variety of advanced technology that enhances its performance and brings a new look to the top end of the Mégane R.S. range. Pricing for the New Mégane R.S. 300 Trophy

starts from £31,810 OTR for the six-speed manual gearbox model. Equipped with the sixspeed automatic EDC (efficient dual-clutch) gearbox, the New Mégane R.S. 300 Trophy is £33,510 OTR. New Mégane R.S. 300 Trophy celebrates 15 years of the Renault Mégane R.S. line and builds on the advanced technology in the Mégane R.S. 280, which was launched in the UK in May. This includes the clever 4CONTROL four-wheel

steering system, which brings high speed stability as well as enhanced cornering agility, and

the hydraulic bump stop shock absorbers that increase tyre contact with the road surface.

All-new Peugeot 508 first edition The first set of keys for the all-new PEUGEOT 508 First Edition were handed over to customers at Palmers PEUGEOT in Watford. To mark the inaugural occasion, Mr. and Mrs. Barnes from Northwood, London, were given the keys to their all-new PEUGEOT 508 First Edition by David Peel, Managing Director of PEUGEOT UK. Revealed at the Geneva Motor Show 2018, the all-new PEUGEOT 508 First Edition was made available to order to the public from the 6 March with only 200 models available to UK motorists.

The limited edition model comes as a high-spec version of the all-new PEUGEOT 508. The all-new PEUGEOT 508 First Edition features a range of style cues including front grille trim in gloss black and 19” ‘Augusta’ wheels featuring an exclusive tinted varnish, multipoint massage driver and front passenger seats with Alcantara® and part Nappa Mistral full grain leather seat trim. The all-new PEUGEOT 508 First Edition also provides a diverse range of innovative on-board tech for the driver, including fully automated parking assistance, a 360° colour

camera system and a wireless smartphone charging plate to

keep your mobile’s battery topped up during long drives.

Mitsubishi Shogun Sport Commercial wins what van? The Mitsubishi Shogun Sport Commercial has been named 4x4 Light Commercial Vehicle of the Year 2019 by the influential commercial vehicle title What Van? during a presentation ceremony at The Brewery in central London. The What Van? Awards, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, consists of 21 categories split between commercial vehicles, industry suppliers and reader-voted awards. All of the What Van?

Awards recognise the very best vehicles, companies and individuals in the light commercial vehicle sector. James Dallas, Editor, What Van? Said, “The Mitsubishi Shogun Sport offers great off-road abilities, paired with comfortable on-road manners that come close to matching more expensive SUVs. This is an impressive new commercial vehicle package for off-thebeaten track operators to consider.” www.farmingscotlandmagazine.com


cars SEAT opens for ordering on its new flagship model SEAT has now opened for ordering on its first large SUV and new flagship model, Tarraco. The seven-seater, which sits above Arona and Ateca to complete the Spanish brand’s award-winning SUV line-up, is attracting attention with its high level of standard spec: metallic paint, 17” Alloys, DAB, alarm and Full Link for just £28,320 OTR. Tarraco mixes state-of-theart technology with dynamic and agile handling and is produced in Wolfsburg on the

MQB-A LWB architecture. Combining practicality and functionality with an elegant and progressive design, it is the first model to show the new direction being pursued by the Martorell-based team led by Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos. Richard Harrison, Managing Director of SEAT UK, said: “We are thrilled to close what has been a fantastic year for SEAT UK by opening for orders on our new flagship model, Tarraco. Our first-ever large SUV is a cracker, and the

perfect way to complete our full range of SUVs, joining the

multi-award winning Ateca and Arona.

SsangYong Musso wins ‘Best Value Pick-up’ award The SsangYong Musso pickup has been named as the ‘Best Value Pick-up’ in 4x4 magazine’s Pick-up of the Year awards, and follows on from the SsangYong Rexton winning the ‘Best Value Off-roader’ and ‘4x4 of the Year 2018’ awards in 4x4 magazine earlier this year. Commented Alan Kidd, editor of 4x4 magazine: “SsangYong has muscled in on the pick-up market this year with the new Musso, and the company now has a truck that deserves to be spoken of in the same breath as the

segment’s big hitters. As well as having the most SUV-like cabin design you’ll find anywhere, its combination of payload and towing capacity means it’s also a brutally strong work truck. “For a long time, SsangYong built vehicles noted for being cheap. Now there’s a real quality to them, yet they’re still cheaper than the opposition. The Musso is a perfect example of a truck with a good purchase price which also comes with a warranty the likes of which we never thought we’d see in the UK

Three major titles for Hyundai Hyundai Motor UK has won three major titles at the annual Next Green Car Awards, including the flagship Manufacturer of the Year and Car of the Year awards. These most recent wins come hot on the heels of Hyundai being named Electric Vehicle Manufacturer of the Year at the GreenFleet Awards. It was the revolutionary Kona Electric singled out by Next Green Car Awards judges for special praise, picking up both Car of the Year and Family Car of the Year awards. Its 96

extraordinary value for money and family-friendly practicality elevated it above all other contenders in the eyes of the Next Green Car experts. The Next Green Car Awards team said: “With its 279-mile range, the Hyundai Kona Electric represents outstanding value for money when compared with rival offerings. As the first to bring a long-distance EV to mass-market customers – and with such a capable package – Hyundai’s Kona Electric is NGC’s Car of the Year 2018.”

KONA Electric is the latest electrified model from Hyundai, joining the IONIQ in the line-up – the world’s first


car to be available with three separate electric powertrains; hybrid, plug-in hybrid or fully electric.


Gemma Cooper NFU Scotland has appointed Gemma Cooper as Head of Policy Team. Gemma has taken up the new Head of Policy Team post, which will see her manage fellow policy team members at NFU Scotland. She will also continue in her existing role as lead on Legal and Technical issues – a diverse portfolio that includes responsibility for the Legal and Technical Committee, Tenants Working Group, Tenancy Working Group, and Crown Estate Tenants Working Group.

Page Turner’s

BOOK REVIEW Whisky Galore

‘Love makes the world go round? Not at all. Whisky makes it go round twice as fast.’ - Sir Compton Mackenzie

Ian Muirhead Ian Muirhead from West Stirlingshire has been appointed as Scottish Policy Manager for the Agricultural Industries Confederation which represents agrisupply businesses involved in animal feed, crop protection, fertiliser, grain marketing and seed. Mr Muirhead is a fifth-generation farmer who in partnership with his father runs a beef and sheep farm near the village of Arnprior in West Stirlingshire. Nick Constable Pottinger has announced the appointment of Nick Constable to the position of Northern Territory Manager. Nick joins Pottinger UK from TRP Imports where he managed sales and support for a wide range of agricultural products in the North of the UK. Based in Newbridge, close to Edinburgh, Nick is well placed to serve the territory that covers all of Scotland, Northumberland and County Durham. Dave Clarke Tong Engineering, has announced a number of key new appointments as part of an ongoing commitment to its growing customer base. Dave Clarke joins the team with over 23 years of experience in mechanical and electrical engineering, completing roles for manufacturers and end-user companies within the automation, robotics and food industries.

Elliot Stones Tong has also recently appointed Elliot Stones within the growing project management team. He joined Tong’s design department in 2013, working on 3D design and product development, before increasing his relations with Tong customers at the technical design stage. “Our vision is to work together with our customers to build progressive solutions and dependable partnerships,” added Edward. “I am very pleased to have Dave and Elliot on board the projects team; the new structure ensures that at every step of the way, Tong customers have a dedicated contact on hand,” adds Edward.


Say the words Whisky Galore and many of us will recall with a smile the Ealing Studios film of 1949, filmed on Barra in the Outer Hebrides (released on DVD to the delight of fans ¬– new and old – in 2011 and remade with Gregor Fisher in the lead role in 2017). The original was the film that cemented the Ealing reputation and it in turn was based on this wonderfully rich, detailed novel from Compton Mackenzie – first published in 1947 – and a real-life incident off the Isle of Eriskay much reported at the time. But be warned, quiet chuckles will quickly turn to tearbringing laughter as you read this gloriously detailed story set in 1943 when war-time rationing has hit the Hebridean islands and food is in short supply – but worse still there is no whisky. ‘When food is in short supply, it is bad enough, but when the whisky runs out, it looks like the end of the world.’ The morale of the tight-knit island community lies as low as the ancient rocks that litter the island but these same rocks could offer salvation. A shipwreck off the coast brings with it good fortune in the form of many thousands of bottles of Scotch. Can the locals reach it before the officials? Compton Mackenzie – actor, soldier, Oxford graduate, Government spy, political activist, journalist, Jacobite supporter, cultural commentator and great friend to Hugh MacDiarmid and Robert Cunninghame Graham – wrote

a number of political novels (to the anger of the governments of the day) and a six-volume novel, The Four Winds of Love, but it is the humour of Whisky Galore that makes this one stand-out still. Publication brought him legions of fans across the UK and beyond. He also wrote Monarch of the Glen. His biographer, Andro Linklater, commented “(He) wasn’t born a Scot, and he didn’t sound like a Scot. But nevertheless his imagination was truly Scottish.” He, along with Hugh MacDiarmid and Robert Cunninghame Graham, went on to help establish the National Party of Scotland. The Scotsman reviewer summed this book up: “So what if it perpetrates the old, cliched ‘Brigadoon’ myth? Scots, English, American or Martian, no-one can resist this tale of illgotten whisky gain on a Scottish island in wartime. It’s simply hilarious.” Looking for a dram to enjoy as you read this novel? You’ll find just the right one in Charlie Maclean’s Whiskypedia (new edition published this year) – a book to entertain, inform and encourage enjoyable bad habits! Whisky Galore by Sir Compton Mackenzie, introduction by Roger Hutchinson (Bilrinn, £9.99 hbk) Charles Maclean’s Whiskypedia (Birlinn, £14.99 pbk)


Profile for Athole Design & Publishing Ltd

FARMING SCOTLAND MAGAZINE (January - February 2019)  

FARMING SCOTLAND MAGAZINE (January - February 2019)  


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