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arable editor's bit Another expansion As you will see, we have launched a new magazine title ‘Shooting Scotland Magazine’, which we will now publish three times a year to be on sale free, alongside Farming Scotland from July till December. This covers most of the Scottish Shooting Season, and adds another string to our bow in reflecting and promoting rural life in Scotland. I have never shot a gun or deer stalked in my life, so here goes another learning curve! I have caught a salmon though, once, then happily retired my rod! It is my aim now to upgrade and expand the content of Shooting Scotland while continuing to further establish Farming Scotland through increased retail locations across the land. With this in mind, I am delighted to announce that we are now on sale aboard Northlink Ferries serving the Orkney & Shetland Isles and Caledonian Macbrayne serving the Western Isles of the Inner and Outer Hebridies. With Farming Scotland’s cover price remaining at only £3.00, the ‘double – magazine’ pack will really give our readers great value for money. Rural life and industry in Scotland is wide-ranging and diverse, we are proud to support, reflect and promote that tradition and lifestyle through these pages.
Slàinte, Athole. 6
Target Black-grass in OSR to safeguard subsequent wheats Growers must target a minimum of 97% Black-grass control in autumn-sown oilseed rape crops simply to maintain the status quo. Anything less will result in increasing Blackgrass populations, leaving subsequent cereal crops increasingly vulnerable to yield losses. Research has shown that below 97% control, Blackgrass has the potential to spread and increase in individual plant numbers. With 80% of Blackgrass plants germinating and emerging during the autumn, the months of September and October are therefore critical for implementing an effective Black-grass reduction strategy. “The timeline for establishing oilseed rape doesn’t allow enough time to undertake many of the cultural techniques that are used to combat Black-grass in
cereals, so it is essential to make the correct chemistry choices and to apply those chemicals at the optimal time,” advises Gemma Sparrow, oilseed rape herbicide specialist for Adama. “Oilseed rape growers must approach Black-grass control in the same structured, detailed
and integrated manner as the weed is managed in cereal crops. Cultivation technique, Resistance Status, drilling date and existing weed pressure will all affect the Black-grass strategy, but the best advice is to go early and to stack actives using the best, nonresistant products for the job.
Hot weather triggers Sclerotinia risk rise Sclerotinia sprays will be the key focus for oilseed rape crops over the next three to four weeks. The risk has been low up until now, with soils too cold to trigger apothecia into significant spore release. But, with temperatures climbing and settled conditions, infection pressure is now escalating rapidly. Furthermore, most crops have yet to start significant petal fall that is a key to infection outbreaks. Where petals coated with Sclerotinia ascospores stick on stems, they provide a food source that allows the disease to develop and penetrate into the plant. And that could be further exacerbated by the huge incidence of Cabbage Stem Flea Beetle larvae damage to leaf petioles that create an open entry point for infection.
Syngenta Field Technical Manager, James Southgate, urged growers to make Amistar applications now, if they have not yet already applied a Sclerotinia treatment. “There is still ample soil moisture and damp conditions within the crop canopy to allow infection to develop. All Sclerotinia fungicides work most
effectively when applied prior to infection,” he advised. “The key advantage with Amistar is that, even if infection doesn’t occur, crops still get the benefit of the greening effect and healthy leaf retention that drives economic yield and valuable improved oil content of seed.”
arable Triple active herbicide provides unique meadow-grass chemistry Growers can keep Annual meadow-grass in check this autumn with a three-way coformulation of pendimethalin, diflufenican and chlorotoluron. That is the advice from Alison Bosher, Adama’s technical and marketing director, who warns that while Annual meadow-grass might not have the same potential impact on final cereal yields as Black-grass, heavy infestations can delay ripening and will hinder harvesting efficiencies. “Controlling Annual meadow-grass is an essential element of autumn weed control in cereals, especially in the north and west where populations have reached higher levels,” Ali explains. “Its ability to over-winter means Annual meadow-grass can be found at all growth
stages throughout the cereal calendar. Effective management therefore needs to combat early weed growth at various stages throughout the year, with the application of an autumn preemergence spray the first and most essential control measure for autumn sown crops.” The loss of various key herbicides has made the control of Annual meadow-grass more difficult to achieve in recent years, but three-way residuals, such as Tower, still offer growers a reliable and efficacious way of combating populations. Tower is Adama’s unique three-way residual herbicide: containing 300 g/l pendimethalin, 40 g/l diflufenican and 250 g/l chlorotoluron. Tower provides excellent stand-alone Annual meadow-grass control at 2.0 l/
ha as well as broad-leaved weed activity in winter and spring cereals. “Tower is ideally suited for pre-emergence use where it has no varietal restrictions,” Ali continues. “It also has the
flexibility to be used on most varieties as a post-emergence product, making it especially useful in situations where early season wet weather has prevented pre-emergence treatments from being applied.”
British wheat distillers affirms position in livestock feed protein market Results from an independent four year study have confirmed that British wheat distillers is a viable alternative protein to soya bean and rape seed meal which can save dairy farmers money. The results come after the completion of the £2.6 million
study, titled ‘Environmental and nutritional benefits of bioethanol co-products’ (ENBBIO), which was funded jointly by DEFRA, and a range of industry partners. “The results are a really exciting development for the UK feed industry, as British
arable High-yielding cereals that help growers respond to farming challenges New varieties that not only produce high yields but which also help growers respond to some of the key agronomic and economic challenges faced by arable farming. That was a major theme of the variety plots on the Syngenta stand at this year’s Cereals Event.
wheat distillers has the potential to reduce reliance on imported protein sources such as soya,” explains Richard Cross, Trident Feeds national general manager. “The project’s aim was to investigate how domestic wheat distillers could compete with the protein market in Europe where
27 MT of imported soya bean meal is used every year,” adds Richard. The feed source produced solely from British feed wheat performed well in trials, and has proven to have consistent nutritional value, as well as being highly palatable.
New winter wheat “For winter feed wheat growers, alongside our high-yielding variety Reflection, which achieved a 10% share of the winter feed wheat market in its launch season this year, our newly-recommended hard feed wheat Graham will be making its debut on the stand,” explains Syngenta seeds and seedcare
campaign manager, Mark Bullen. “In addition to delivering strong yields on the AHDB Recommended List, the key
In my view
arable point about Graham is that it provides growers with a step forward in Septoria tritici resistance. Plus it has stiff straw and early maturity, so is set to offer an attractive new option alongside Reflection. New hybrid barleys “Meanwhile for winter feed barley growers, we will be demonstrating our latest line-up of high yielding hybrids. “Over recent seasons, as well as having highest barley yields, the vigorous growth of Hyvido hybrid barley has been proven to suppress black-grass. So as well as our tried and trusted hybrid variety Volume, we will be demonstrating our newly recommended hybrids, Hyvido Bazooka and Hyvido Belfry. These new varieties from the Hyvido stable offer even higher yields and improved agronomic characteristics in a number of areas, including disease resistance and lodging resistance.
New spring barleys “Finally for spring malting barley growers, we will be demonstrating our newlyrecommended varieties Laureate and Fairing. “Laureate is the highest yielding spring malting barley that is under test for both distilling and brewing on the AHDB Recommended List. Also, like the existing spring malting barley Propino, which will also be on the stand, Laureate is being registered across Europe. So we are hopeful that Laureate will help growers maximise their end market opportunities. “Meanwhile, our second newly-recommended spring malting barley variety on the stand, Fairing, is being developed specifically for grain distilling. In addition to having high Rhynchosporium resistance, Fairing is very early maturing, so looks to have great potential for Scotland,” Mr Bullen adds.
Heckley Seeds Heckley Seeds is a family run business that has been supplying high quality seed to farmers for 34 years. Based near Alnwick in Northumberland, we specialise in supplying varieties that perform well in the North East and Scottish Borders. We have built our reputation on value and customer service. This year’s Autumn Varieties; Winter Wheat Costello (New for 2016 ) JB Diego Kws Lili (Yearling available) Grafton Zulu
Winter Barley Kws Cassia KwsGlacier Kws Tower
BLACK GRASS All Heckley Seed is grown under our strict control. We do not buy any cereal seed fro re-sale. Because of this we are extremely confident that HECKLEY SEED IS BLACK FREE GRASS!
For more information or if you would like to come and see any of the varieties we are growing in field conditions please give us a call Office 01665 602 505 Richard Green 07774156568 Lance Green 07796172280 Email email@example.com www.heckleyseeds.co.uk
By John Cameron Balbuthie, Kilconquhar, Fife
Changing times and future plans So, we now have a new Cabinet Secretary for Scottish Agriculture. Richard Lochhead who has held the position for the last nine years stood down. It is unfortunate that the last six months of his reign was tarnished by the financial payments problem which resulted from a faulty or an inadequate computer system. Lochhead fully accepted that the problem happened on ‘his watch’ and that it was his responsibility to find and implement a solution. One of his more positive actions was to set up a fund to help those who had not received any payments at the end of the official payment period. Apart from these last six months however by and large Lochhead did a good job for the industry. He was always approachable and genuinely had the interest of Scotland’s farmers at heart. I’m sure we all join together to wish his wife a speedy recovery and he himself all the best in his political future. Our new Cabinet Secretary Fergus Ewing has hit the ground running. He has a long history in Scottish politics and certainly knows his way about the corridors of power in Holyrood. At his
first public appearance at an industry event – Scotsheep – his remarks went down well with his audience – mostly because he pulled no punches and accepted responsibility for the situation as it is. Lochhead had earlier indicated that he was to meet George Eustice – the DEFRA Minister to try to achieve a better apportionment of the infamous ‘convergence fund’ announced last year by the EU. If Fergus Ewing can negotiate a better deal for Scotland, he would certainly create strong farmer support for the beginning of his reign. The other critical debate – the result of which will be known by the time this magazine is published is the EU referendum. The vital question for farmers of course is will financial support for agriculture be more forthcoming from National Government or from the EU and what would our trading position be if we were outside the EU? Well by the time you read this Britain will have spoken and we will know where our future lies and even – perhaps – a clearer role for Scottish Farmers particularly in our Less Favoured Areas. 9
PERTH SHOW 2016
PERTH SHOW 2016
For generations Perth Show has been showcasing the local agricultural scene - right in the heart of the city. Now in its 154th year, the annual two-day event at the city’s South Inch is set to again put the best of the county’s livestock on parade as the spotlight is focussed on the area’s vital agriculture sector. Held on the Friday and first Saturday in August, the annual showcase welcomes thousands of visitors each year with something for all ages in a programme covering everything from show ring spectaculars to sideshow sensations. This year, the popular show - now the third largest of its type in Scotland - will be held on Friday 5th and Saturday 6th August. Attractions include one of the finest line-ups of would-be champion horses, donkeys, goats, cattle and sheep. Over 1,000 head of livestock will compete in more than 330 classes while others vie for prizes in cooking and handcraft. And throughout the two days, trade stands, sideshows, entertainment, activities, music and parades all add to the vibrancy of this annual crowd-pleaser. A key feature in the city’s annual calendar of events, Perth Show 2016 is set to be a crowdpleasing two-day Equestrian, Agricultural and Food Event. And a range of exciting new attractions introduced this year look guaranteed to pull in the crowds. “For the first time, Perth Show is set to feature a Cookery Theatre and food and drink marquee,” 10
explained Show secretary Neil Forbes. “This will bring a new and popular dimension to the visitor attraction.] “Perth Show 2016 is also delighted to welcome Perthshire On A Plate (POAP) - a major food festival, celebrating the
very best in local produce and culinary talent. “Organised by Perthshire Chamber of Commerce, the twoday festival will run as part of the Show and feature celebrity and local chefs, demonstrations and tastings, book signings, food
Spice king Tony Singh
and drink related trade stands, fun-filled activities for “Kitchen Kids” and a large dining area and pop-up restaurants in a double celebration of food and farming.” Heading the celebrity chef line-up are TV favourite Rosemary Shrager (Friday) and spice king Tony Singh (Saturday), backed by a host of talented local chefs including Graeme Pallister (63 Tay Street) and Grant MacNicol (Fonab Castle). TV’s MasterChef Pro Champion 2014 Jamie Scott will also be cooking up a storm for show-goers. The Cookery Theatre, supported by Quality Meat Scotland, will also stage a fun cookery challenge between students from Perth College and the ladies of the SWI. A range of pop-up restaurants featuring taster dishes from some of the area’s best loved eateries will allow visitors to sample delicious local produce cooked to perfection as they relax in the Show’s new POAP dining area. “Perth Show has also introduced a Food Charter supported by QMS to guarantee the quality and source of meat used at the event,” explained Show secretary Neil Forbes. “Launched earlier this year by leading Chef Tom Kitchin, the Charter will mean that - where possible - suppliers to the public catering and hospitality units at the event will be required to serve only locally-produced food
PERTH SHOW 2016 such as quality assured Scotch Beef PGI, Scotch Lamb PGI and Specially Selected Pork.” Chef Kitchin, whose cooking philosophy is “From Nature to Plate”, has a passion for using the finest, freshest Scottish seasonal produce in his Michelin star restaurant The Kitchin, as well as Edinburgh gastro pub The Scran & Scallie. “My congratulations to all those involved in the Perth Show/Perthshire on a Plate Food Charter initiative,” he said. “Scotland has a fabulous natural larder and it is a fantastic part of the country to showcase to the public all that farmers, and local food producers, have to be proud of. I’m sure this year’s joint event will be a huge success and play a valuable role in improving consumers’ understanding of the care and attention to detail involved in the production of quality ingredients like Scotch Beef and Lamb.” 2016 will also see the reintroduction of showjumping at Perth Show on the Saturday afternoon with those magnificent animals and their riders clearing what look like impossible heights in a race against the clock. “Perth Show last featured showjumping in 2001 and we are delighted to bring it back in response to overwhelming demand,” said Neil “This is great entertainment for everyone and although unaffiliated this year, Perth Show is offering big prize money in a bid to draw some big names and we hope to secure BSJ qualifier status next year.” Friday is also a day for horse followers with all-day judging of ponies and horses proudly shown by exhibitors ranging from tots to adults. “We’re trying to create a wide and varied programme of entertainment, “ explained Neil. “Late afternoon on Friday will see the “It’s A Knockout” challenge with teams from businesses throughout Perth and Perthshire competing against each other. “And the first day’s programme will end with a Beer, Wine and Spirit Festival where teams can celebrate their
achievements and visitors can sample a wide range of locally produced drinks.” Saturday will commence with the judging of Heavy
Horses, Cattle, Sheep, Goats and Donkeys. This year Perth Show is delighted to be hosting the 2016 Crystalyx National Jacob Sheep Show.
Pipe band at the Perth Show
Tom Kitchin supporting Scottish Beef
TV favourite Rosemary Shrager
“The morning judging is completed with the Supreme Champions in the Heavy Horse, Cattle, Sheep and Goats classes all competing for the Champion of Champions Trophy judged this year by Tom Paterson, Dunruchan, Muthill, who has been a tremendous supporter of Perth Show for many years and a very skilled and respected stockman,” said Neil. “Perth Show presents a vast array of some very beautiful and historic silverware and visitors will be able to view the magnificent trophies on display on the Saturday.” The afternoon entertainment commences with the spectacular display of animals in the Grand Parade of show winners. This will be followed by the hugely popular parade of vintage vehicles before the show jumpers trot into the main arena. The two-day festival will draw to a close with the Show’s “Ceilidh In The Park” - another new dimension to the weekend’s entertainment for 2016. “Perth Show attracts thousands of visitors each year,” said Neil. “This year’s show will continue to feature many of the traditional aspects of agricultural shows, valued by generations of farmers, as well as the new and exciting visitor attractions, including the Cookery Theatre and food and drink marquee. “The two-day event promises lots to see and do - whether it be pouring over the latest state-ofthe-art agricultural machinery, admiring the finest fourlegged competitors, watching a celebrity chef in action, trying your hand on a challenging sideshow, enjoying hospitality at one of the many trade and business stands, stopping for a tasty bite or a brew at the Food Marquee, delighting in the show ring stars, shopping from the wide variety of goods and crafts or cheering on your favourite tug-o-war team,” enthused Neil. “There’s something for all ages so get the date in your diary now (August 5th and 6th) and head to Perth’s South Inch for Perth Show 2016 - it’s bigger and better than ever!” 11
potatoes AHDB-funded research partnership set to unearth the secrets of profitable soils throughout the rotation Four new projects addressing challenges in soil and water management across whole rotations have been awarded £1.2m in funding from the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).
Combining investment from AHDB’s Potatoes, Cereals & Oilseeds and Horticulture sectors, the interrelated projects will form a five-year programme of research to help farmers and agronomists optimise soil and water management decisions
and plan environmentally and economically beneficial rotations. A partnership led by NIAB CUF, with Rothamsted Research, the James Hutton Institute and Lancaster University – among 14 other organisations from across the agricultural and horticultural industries – has successfully bid to deliver the programme, following an AHDB call in September 2015. Covering a diverse range of topics contributing to crop performance – including soil quality indicators, optimal rotations, precision technology and water availability – the programme aims to improve understanding of soil structure and equip growers with the knowledge to build resilient, sustainable and profitable rotations. It will tap into an established network of farm-based initiatives, including the AHDB SPot and Monitor Farms, and also commercial sites to enable growers and agronomists access to trials and provide a forum for peer-to-peer learning. Dr Mike Storey, AHDB Head of Resource Management, said: “There has been a lot of work on the impact of soil conditions, cultivations and management on individual crop performance but we believe this new programme is unique in its scale and ambition.
“This research will generate new data and knowledge to answer challenges across whole rotations and provide information and tools to allow farm businesses to make rewarding and sustainable rotational decisions.” The four projects are: AHDB Grower Platform to support resilient rotations AHDB investment: £329,000 Underpinning the programme as a whole, this project will draw on historic data and current rotations to quantify links between rotational management and soil physical conditions with gross output, yield stability and economic margins. It will bring together an alliance of researchers, growers, grower groups and supply chain partners through cloud-based information sharing and existing research and farmer knowledge exchange initiatives. Applications of new technologies to enhance rotations AHDB investment: £354,000 This project will critically assess existing precision farming technologies – including EMI soil scanning, GPS-enabled yield monitoring and infra-red spectroscopy – and investigate the practical benefits of managing fields in zones. The research, which is mainly field based, will collect data on machinery
potatoes use and compaction in order to develop a tool for growers to assess the risk to soil structure of sequential cultivations. Enhancing rotational productivity and resilience AHDB investment: £325,000 This project will address concerns around the detrimental effect on subsequent crops of incorporating root crops into rotations, quantifying the physical and economic cost of soil damage and developing strategies to minimise the risk of damage occurring. Alongside the other projects within the programme, data will be used to develop a ranking system for soils to highlight areas with a need for remedial intervention. Based on field trials with potatoes in the rotation, the project will also develop a model for optimising organic amendments on soils. Linking soils, water and roots with crop productivity AHDB investment: £195,155 This final project seeks to gain a better understanding of how changes in soil conditions affect root growth, water uptake, canopy growth and yield potential in potatoes and other crops. It will develop a cost-effective method for quantifying root length in field-grown potato, carrot and parsnip crops to improve irrigation scheduling, with a view to achieving better yields and more efficient water use. Dr Storey added: “The research partnership has put together a strong set of
proposals with tangible benefits for farmers and agronomists over the programme’s lifespan and beyond. The researchers involved bring a wealth of experience and expertise, access to world class facilities, existing networks of research collaborators and a huge data
resource to help leverage levy investment to the maximum. “Central to this programme is a strong focus on knowledge exchange, giving farmers and their advisors access to trials, tools and data, as well as encouraging a two-way flow of information to help bridge the
gap between robust science and practical on-farm solutions.” AHDB is currently assessing proposals for a second partnership to implement a complementary £1m programme of research on soil health and biology, supported by five AHDB crop and livestock sectors and BBRO.
Protect early rapid growth for a blight free season This season’s late planted potato crops, which have been slow to get going in cool soils, are expected to compensate with rapid growth as soon as conditions warm up. The rapid leaf growth is predicted to coincide with increased blight pressure as temperatures rise. That will make protecting the expanding leaf area with the strongest blight fungicide active, mandipropamid (Revus), more important than ever, according to Syngenta Potato Technical Manager, Douglas Dyas. “When the crop’s initial growth has been held back, the area of a new potato leaf could more than quadruple in the course of a week during the rapid growth phase,” he reported. “That can put immense strain on blight fungicide protection between applications.” When Revus is applied it locks onto the plant’s leaf wax and, as the leaf area expands, the active moves across the
surface to protect it against blight infection. The fungicide is inherently very effective against blight spores, helping to ensure protection between sprays, even where application may be delayed in a difficult season. Over many years of independent trials across Europe Revus has consistently proven the most effective active in protecting against foliar blight. “When comparing results across Europe it’s essential to look at the strains of blight growers are facing,” highlighted Douglas. “In Finland, for example, they too have picked up the A1 Pink 6 strain we have in the UK. In trials there the Revus-based programmes reliably performed the best at keeping the crop clean.” Douglas added it was clearly evident that where the early Revus-based programme had completely kept blight out of the crop, it remained clear for longer when the
trial applications finished, compared to a fenamidone + propamocarb and fluopicolide + propamocarb early programme, where blight established sooner and developed faster, despite relatively low levels of blight infection. “The trials have confirmed the importance of the early blight sprays when potato plants are growing rapidly. Whatever the blight pressure, growers cannot afford to risk letting disease establish in the crop. “Investing in strong blight performance early season pays dividends in producing a cleaner crop at the end,” he added.
PACKAGED POTATO & VEGETABLE COOLING SYSTEMS
D. . LT 2QD ON 7 TI ld S 71 A R ffie 99 GE he 236 I FR d, S 14 81 RE oa D 01 686 R Y 3 LE ale FIEL 4 2 D d F 1 y A 1 WITH OPTIONAL BR bbe SHE ax: 0 A l: F 9 ‘AUTO SWIVEL-HEAD AIR DISTRIBUTION e 92 T WILL FIT MOST EXISTING SYSTEMS Patent Application No 9320628.2
FLAVOUR OF SCOTLAND
Butcher sets new sausage world record An Inverurie butcher set a new sausage-making world record on Saturday at the Taste of Grampian food festival. Two of Scotland’s top butchers took to the stage to undertake the sizzling sausage-making record attempt using a Specially Selected Pork recipe mix to produce as many sausages as they could in 60 seconds. In the battle of the bangers, David Patterson from Yorkes of Dundee went up against Steven Cusack from Davidsons Butchers in Inverurie to attempt to earn the title of Guinness World Record holder. In the end it was Steven Cusack who came out tops, making a whopping 54 sausages which, subject to Guinness verification, is significantly ahead of the existing record of 44 with David Patterson just behind the current record, with 43. A large crowd of supporters witnessed the sausage spectacular arranged by Quality Meat Scotland, and cheered on the two Scotch Butchers Club members as they expertly worked with the quality assured Specially Selected Pork sausages, casing and linking as many as they could in one minute. And to add to the fun auctioneer Colin Slessor, one of
the stars of the very popular BBC series “The Mart”, joined the butchers and made his own attempt at the record, after a very short intensive coaching session with George Sinclair of Quality Meat Scotland’s Scotch Butchers Club. The auctioneer apprentice butcher provided a highly
entertaining attempt at sausagemaking and managed a very laudable seven sausages during his 60 seconds, though there was some debate at whether the sausages would have fully met Guinness standards! To meet Guinness standards a team of officials acted as
witnesses to the attempt including Stuart Donaldson MP, surveyor Rod Andean from Aberdeen and Northern Marts, two timekeepers from the world of sport and two independent butchers including Douglas Scott, Chief Executive of the Scottish Federation of Meat Traders Association.
The Perfect Pairing for Pork Specially Selected Pork has teamed up with popular Scottish cider producer Thistly Cross Craft Cider to demonstrate to visitors at this weekend’s Taste of Grampian festival how pork and cider can be enjoyed together. As the main sponsors of the event, Specially Selected Pork will be showcasing the fantastic qualities of the product and showing just how versatile it can be by starring in two BBQ demonstration sessions with Thistly Cross. The Kilted Chef, Craig Wilson, will be cooking up some 14
delicious pork dishes while Rory Brown from Thistly Cross talks the crowd through the ciders which best complement each dish and the reasons for this. Commenting on the partnership, Graeme Sharp, Marketing Executive from Quality Meat Scotland, who promote Specially Selected Pork, said: “Pork and cider are a perfect pairing and we are bringing together two great Scottish brands at the Taste of Grampian. “We hope the sessions will demonstrate how versatile pork is and inspire consumers
to try something new, whether it’s for a midweek dinner of a celebratory feast.” Rory Brown from Thistly Cross Craft Cider said: “Thistly Cross’s full fresh flavours add a little bit of lightness to heavy meals and the sharp Scottish apples prepare the palate for a new bite. “All the Ciders natural fruitiness pairs well with anything from pork belly to pork chops and pork shoulder making it the perfect accompaniment to the meat.” Quality Meat Scotland is currently running a campaign
urging Scottish shoppers to “Do More With Pork”. The six week campaign, which is set to reach over three million consumers, aims to showcase the quality, affordability and versatility of Specially Selected Pork, which is underpinned by quality assurance schemes which make animal welfare a priority. Specially Selected Pork will be the main sponsor of Taste of Grampian 2016 on June 4 with its high profile involvement ensuring the visitors who attend the event leave with a better understanding of what sets the Scottish pig industry’s brand apart.
FLAVOUR OF SCOTLAND
Thai Pork with Basil and Chilli
225g of lean pork cut into 2 cm strips and flattened 1 cloves of garlic, crushed 1-2 fresh green chillies, deseeded for a milder flavour and sliced finely ½ medium red pepper, diced roughly into cubes 75g of mangetout - leave whole or cut diagonally 2 spring onions, cut into 2 inch strips Handful of fresh basil, shredded teaspoon of ground coriander ½ teaspoon of cornflour ½ tablespoon of soft brown sugar
For more information about Specially Selected Pork, recipe ideas and inspiration visit www.
speciallyselectedpork.com and don’t forget to follow “Enjoy Quality Pork” on Facebook.
Scottish Culinary Olympics Team Unveiled
½ tablespoon of sesame oil ½ tablespoon of Vegetable/Sunflower oil 1 tablespoons of Nam Pla sauce (fish sauce) ½ tablespoon of light soy sauce
Heat the oils in a wok or a large flying pan over a high heat until hot, then toss in the pork or chicken strips, garlic and the chillies, and stir fly for about 5 minutes or until the pork or chicken changes colour. Then add the red pepper, mangetout, spring onions, ground coriander and the sugar and stir fly for another few minutes. Mix the cornflour with the Nam Pla (fish sauce) and the soy sauce until smooth, then pour the mixture into the wok over the meat and vegetables, stirring constantly until the juices thicken. Stir in the shredded basil, then remove from the heat and serve immediately with noodles tossed in sesame oil or just simply with plain rice. Serves 2-3 Also good with chicken or beef.
A team of top chefs from Scotland, who will be competing against 30 countries in the “Culinary Olympics” at the IKA show in
Erfurt, Germany in October, was unveiled recently in St Andrews. The team of six Scots, with an eight strong back-up team,
Sarah Mellersh runs One Day, Two and Four Week Cookery Classes, just 10 minutes from Perth. To find out more :
www.letscookscotland.co.uk Tel : 07932 642605
FARMERS MARKETS IN SCOTLAND Aberdeen Country Fair www.aberdeencountryfair. co.uk Alford Farmers’ Market www.spanglefish.com/ alfordfarmersmarket Argyll Country Markets firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com Campbeltown Farmers’ Market firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org Haddington Farmers’ Market email@example.com Hamilton Farmers’ Market www. lanarkshirefarmersmarket. co.uk Hawick Farmers’ Market firstname.lastname@example.org Inverurie Farmers’ Market e: email@example.com Kelso Farmers’ Market www.kelso.bordernet.co.uk Kirkcaldy Farmers’ Market www.fifefarmersmarket.co.uk Linlithgow Farmers’ Market firstname.lastname@example.org Loch Lomond Shores Farmers’ Market email@example.com Lochwinnoch Farmers’ Market david.oneill@clydemuirshiel. co.uk Lockerbie Farmers’ Market www.lockerbiefarmersmarket. co.uk Milngavie Farmers’ Market firstname.lastname@example.org Montrose Farmers’ Market www.angusfarmersmarket.co. uk Oban And Lorn Markets email@example.com Overton Farm Farmers’ Market www. lanarkshirefarmersmarket. co.uk Paisley Farmers’ Market firstname.lastname@example.org Peebles Farmers’ Market email@example.com Perth Farmers’ Market www.perthfarmersmarket. co.uk Portpatrick Farmers’ Market firstname.lastname@example.org St Andrews Farmers’ Market www.fifefarmersmarket.co.uk Stirling Farmers’ Market StirlingFM@aol.com. Stornoway Farmers’ Market email@example.com
For your market to be listed firstname.lastname@example.org
FLAVOUR OF SCOTLAND aim to showcase the very best of Scottish hospitality and cuisine and will be cooking a carefully constructed menu which will feature Scotch Lamb PGI as the main course. The show, which takes place every four years, was first held in Frankfurt in 1900 and is now regarded as the biggest, most traditional culinary exhibition and the Mecca for cooks and patissiers worldwide. The Federation of Chefs Scotland is co-ordinating the team of chefs from all sectors of the Scottish hospitality industry. They include: team manager Robbie Penman, Peebles Hydro Hotel and Spa; team captain, Orry Shand - Head Chef at the Chester Hotel; Bruce Lawrence, Entier Aberdeen; Darren Seggie, Head Chef at Stravaigin Glasgow; and Pastry Chefs Andrew Mackay from the Turnberry Hotel Resort and Melissa Wood from the Andrew Fairlie Restaurant in Gleneagles The chefs will have their skills and nerves tested fully amid the frenzied atmosphere of the event, which sees nine kitchens running simultaneously. Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) is supporting the Scottish Olympic Team through its Scotch Butchers Club and Scotch Beef Club.
“We are delighted Team Scotland has chosen to showcase Scotch Lamb PGI as the centrepiece for their Olympics menu and we wish them every success in Germany,” said Jim McLaren, Chairman of Quality Meat Scotland. “This is an important signal, from some of the most discerning palates in the country, of the tastiness and versatility of our quality assured lamb which is produced to some of the highest welfare standards in the world.” Kevin MacGillivray, culinary team director with the Federation of Chefs Scotland, said: “This competition is the pinnacle for any chef - competing at this level, on the world stage and having the opportunity to showcase some of Scotland’s fantastic produce, in particular Scotch Lamb PGI which always delivers on taste and quality.” Fife farmer and National Sheep Association Scotland Development Officer George Milne, who joined the chefs at the launch, said: “Scotland produces some of the world’s finest natural ingredients and Scotch Lamb PGI is a shining example of the quality of our natural larder. I’d like to wish Team Scotland all the best for their trip to Germany.”
New Campaign Urges Scottish Shoppers to “Do More with Pork!” Quality Meat Scotland is urging Scottish shoppers to “Do More With Pork” in an exciting new campaign behind Specially Selected Pork. The six week campaign, which is set to reach over three million consumers, aims to showcase the quality, affordability and versatility of Specially Selected Pork, which is underpinned by quality assurance schemes which make animal welfare a priority. Featuring four tantalising ‘Do More With Pork’ recipes,
which are perfect for both delicious mid-week meals, as well as barbecues with friends and family, the Scotland-wide campaign will be supported by online, radio and press advertising. Three hundred independent butchers, who are members of the Scotch Butchers Club, will also receive promotional packs containing recipe cards and resources to help them boost their sales of Specially Selected Pork during the campaign period.
O U R FA R M SHOP Hilary & her father Dean Anderson bought the existing Allarburn Dairy Business in 1996 and ran the Dairy Business parallel to their Dairy Farm Enterprise. The Dairy Sector was sold in May 2007 and now leaves the Farm Shop with all its local produce & the Allarburn Farm Fresh Egg Wholesale Business. The decision was taken in 2013 to expand the Farm Shop into the area where the processing and packaging of the milk used to take place,
making the Farm Shop three times the size and adding on a Farmhouse Kitchen theme Coffee Shop. The demand got so great for our home grown produce and extensive range of local
products it was the next logical step explains Hilary and with the Coffee Shop we can now offer a place to meet friends for a fresh scone or lunch. As all the produce is from the Farm Shop it’s a great chance for people to try before they buy. Allarburn produces all its own Free Range & Barn Eggs, a production of 20,000 a day, with a wholesale side to the business still making up 50% of the egg sales. Allarburn also produce all their own potatoes, four varieties, and the largest percentage of all other vegetables sales are also home grown. The high quality meat available at Allarburn, cut as roasts & steaks, and the world famous Wagyu Beef that is available in the Farm Shop all comes from the family farm,
where Hilarys brother Andrew Anderson has the, naturally reared, native breads, hand selected for the Farm Shop. We also have a wide selection of local butchers products and a large variety of fresh local bakers items available to give our customers lots of choice. The biggest percentage of our farm shop suppliers are local so we can give a wide selection of local produce to our customers. I appreciate local fresh produce and the effort that goes in to producing it says Hilary, who also has some of her photographs showing the farm and the animals hanging from the shop roof and on the walls so customers can see where their produce is coming from. The new Allarburn Farm Shop has had a great first year & won the Grampian Food Forum Independent Retailer of the Year award in 2014. It’s great to know our customer and suppliers are enjoying our new shop. Our “from gate to plate” approach allows us full quality control at the best prices around and allows our customers to have confident in the quality and freshness of what they are buying, explains Hilary The Allarburn Farm Shop is situated in Elgin at Edgar Road and is open Monday to Saturday 8.30 till 5.30 each day.
Garriock Bros expansion Announcing their Manitou dealership arrangement represents another significant investment in the growth of this Shetland based company
Founded in 1975 as a small family joinery firm, Garriock Bros. Ltd. has steadily grown into one of the largest privately owned companies in Shetland. Arguably it is also one of the most diverse businesses in Scotland, providing a range of services from civil engineering, plant hire and house building to contract crushing, machine sales and window manufacturing. Headquartered in the Lerwick, Shetland, Garriock Bros. Ltd. now has depots in Orkney, Edinburgh, Coventry and Inverness, employing over 150 people across its 5 bases and 10 different divisions. A move into plant hire set the wheels in motion and in 1994 the company bought over what was the Hewden Plant Hire depot in Shetland, developing the business into the biggest plant and equipment hirer in the islands. Now with depots in Lerwick and Brae, Garriock Bros. Ltd. has a vast range of machinery available to the commercial and domestic market, all of which is maintained to the highest standards. The company also operates a large retail facility in Lerwick, supplying more than 10,000 product lines to complement its hire equipment. Since then Garriock Bros. Ltd has expanded further purchasing Orkney Tool Hire in 1986, which has since become the major tool and equipment hire company in the islands. Furthering expansion on the mainland in 2002 the company took over a major contract crushing operation in Newbridge, Midlothian where in 2005 they became the official Scottish distributor of Metso Minerals mobile quarrying and 18
View from the Manitou yard of some of the stock machines
Left to right: Peter Smyth (Manitou General Sales Manager), Ian Leiper (Garriock Bros Ltd, Sales Executive), John Strinsek (Garriock Bros Ltd, Director) and Neil Johnston (Manitou Area Sales Manager)
recycling equipment. In 2004 the company bought a vehicle MOT and servicing garage in Orkney, now trading as Orkney Motors, with the firm also operating the Kirkwall based car and van hire firm, Drive Orkney. In 2007 Garriock Bros. Ltd. purchased the assets, which included haulage, transport and the Sullom Mine
quarry. This greatly expanded the company’s civil engineering and plant hire capabilities in the islands. Two years later, when Hanson’s pulled out of Shetland, Garriock Bros. Ltd. bought the leases of their three quarries, their block and ready mix plants, further boosting its position as a major player in the local construction industry.
In 2011 Garriock Bros. Ltd. were offered the official dealership for Metso Minerals mobile quarrying plant in England and Wales and as this was too good an opportunity to miss the company proceeded to open a depot in Coventry. Again in 2015 a depot was opened in Inverness which provides Plant Hire/Sales/Servicing and Repair, currently supplying Tracked and Wheeled Excavators, Dumpers, Compactors, Loading Shovels, Jaw and Cone Crushers. To add to this progression in growth Garriock Bros.Ltd are now delighted to announce an agreed dealership with Manitou for their Agriculture, Construction, Access and Industry range for Shetland. This represents a significant investment in materials handling and powered access machinery for Garriock Bros.Ltd. The Manitou machinery will be incorporated into our Plant Hire fleet and will be actively involved in civil engineering and building projects on Shetland. The Manitou range will be available for sale/purchase from our Head office in Lerwick or our Brae Depot with a stock of the most popular machines being held locally for our customer base. Manitou is an established brand and has a good presence on Shetland already. Together we look to meet the demands and diverse needs of our customers via Manitou’s fully comprehensive range of Telehandlers, forklifts and access platforms as well as the GEHL product range. A full range of sales literature will be available for our customers and we look forward to enquiries on this new range. Contact Tel 01595694765
EU NEWS By Chris McCullough
New secretary pledges to fix Scotland’s poor payment system to farmers Scotland’s new Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing has pledged to fix the government’s CAP payment system and make it his number one priority. Mr Ewing apologised in the Scottish Parliament for the poor delivery of funds to farmers and said Mr Ewing said: “Progress has been made. I can say that most farmers and crofters should have received most of their due payment. “By the end of April past, all eligible farmers should have received a substantial payment from the government unless they chose to opt out of the nationally funded loan scheme. That payment will have been worth around 80 per cent of their estimated entitlement. “However, the resolution of CAP payment problems will not be achieved overnight, nor by any single or simple set of actions. But I believe that we shall substantially resolve these difficulties and pledge to all that it will be my first and foremost priority in my new role to bring about that resolution. “I am determined that, for the 2016 payments, we make clear to Parliament and to the farming industry what the likely timescales really look like. “The farming industry needs to have confidence in the payment timetable, and that we will do what we say. There must be no repeat of the problems faced in 2015-16.” Addressing the calls for a public inquiry into how the new system is managed Mr Ewing said 20
he wanted to focus on getting the final payments out to those still not paid. He said: “I do not wish to distract from the clear and present task of getting the last of the payments out to farmers and crofters. “Now is the time to focus on that, and on meeting the payment deadline successfully. But I can tell you now that there will be a process to learn lessons from this experience.” While welcoming the actions by Mr Ewing, NFU Scotland said a review of the programme’s failings was a must. NFUS chief executive, Scott Walker, said: “The Cabinet Secretary’s frank recognition of the Scottish Government’s CAP payment failures and his commitment to rectify them by the end of June sees him put down a clear marker with farmers, crofters and the wider rural economy that they will be looking for him to fulfil. “There is much unfinished business to be done. We want outstanding support payments delivered to farmers and crofters before the payment window closes in June. Mapping, regionalisation, fixing entitlement rates, national reserve awards and delivery of the new sheep support scheme have also been delayed and must be completed. “For now, getting the outstanding payments to farmers and crofters must be the priority but lessons do need to be learned,
changes need to be made and people need to be held to account. “We understand that the European Commission is giving consideration to extending its June 30 payment window deadline, reflecting on payment delivery problems in other member states.
“Whilst this would provide welcome flexibility in avoiding hefty fines and be a good result for Scottish taxpayers, our position is that this absolutely cannot provide Scottish Government with an excuse to delay payments any further,” he said.
European Union running out of options to save dairy industry Europe’s Farm Commissioner Phil Hogan says he has used almost all the tools in the toolkit to help the ailing dairy industry there. In a further bid to try and strengthen milk prices in the European Union, the ceiling for buying milk powder at intervention prices has been raised. The original limit was hit early at 218,000 tonnes which is twice the year’s original limit which was already doubled in April. There is no improvement in milk prices across the 28 Member States of the EU and Farm Commissioner Phil Hogan is running out of tools to help the situation. The Commissioner recently announced that he was lifting the limit again to 350,000 tonne. Buying into intervention places the produce into some kind of safety net to protect against a crash in commodity prices. Skimmed milk is the most popular product to be put into intervention along with butter at fixed rates.
Commissioner Hogan, speaking to MEPs, said he had now used all the options in his toolkit. That included the activation of article 222, which lets farmer groups work together to cut production. According to the Commissioner, private storage aid and intervention had covered 2.8m tonnes of dairy products last year, when EU production had risen by 3.5m tonnes. The new farming minister in Ireland Michael Creed welcomed Mr Hogan’s announcement. “Intervention is a key EU support tool for dairy markets and is badly needed in this extended period of downward price volatility in the dairy sector,” he said. However, Mansel Raymond, Copa & Cogeca milk working party chairman, said the commission should take more action to help farmers in the short term. He said: “Whilst in the long term prospects are promising, with global demand expected to rise by two per cent annually, the shortterm situation remains extremely difficult.
organics SOPA launches inaugural Livestock In Low Input Systems conference On Thursday 9th June, Scottish Organic Producers Association (SOPA) hosted the inaugural Livestock in Low Input Systems (LILIS) conference at Howside Organic Farm in Cumbria, and we’re pleased to say it was a huge success! There were over 30 delegates attending the day, which involved a series of talks and discussions, followed by a delicious, locally produced organic lunch, and then a farm tour during the afternoon, where farmer Richard Maxwell showed delegates around his flocks of organic Herdwick sheep and continental cattle. Kicking off the talks was ruminant forage specialist and President-Elect of the British Grassland Society Dr Johnny Bax, who discussed the effect of bugs and bacteria in growing grass, making forage, and the digestion of forage by livestock. Following him was Russ Carrington of the Pasture Fed Livestock Association (PFLA), who discussed the current market for grass-fed meats, why it’s appealing to consumers, and how PFLA is continuing to grow throughout the UK. Russ was then joined by Nick Cole from Meadow Quality and David Marshall of Farm Stock (Scotland) Ltd. for a question and answer panel session, which focused on the issues faced by farmers who live in areas where they don’t have easy, direct access to the market, and how farmers working together can reap benefits for each individual. During the farm tour, the attendees were also able to take part in soil analysis and discussion surrounding soil pH and the best way to make the most of their forage. The takeaway message of the day was about farmers taking back control of their businesses; how they can harness the land to the best of its ability for the benefit of their livestock, and make the most of the land
and livestock opportunities presented to them. The discussions ended on how farmers can add value to their product and tell their message to the consumer, taking back control of their product and being able to market themselves
more successfully and effectively than the large companies. We’re hoping to put on more events like LILIS in the future. It was really wonderful to see so many people engaging with the speakers, and each other, working together to find out how they
can continue to improve their businesses, and how they can help others improve theirs. To keep up with all our news and future events, why not follow us on Twitter? We’re @ ScottishOrganic, so pop over and say hello!
TURRIFF SHOW 2016 Sunday 31st July and Monday 1st August
The 152nd Turriff Show is set to take place at The Haughs, Queens Road, Turriff and is again hoping to attract exhibitors and visitors from far and near. The Main Sponsor this year is Morrison Motors, Turriff Limited. There will be a fantastic array of prizewinning cattle, sheep, horses, ponies and lines of impressive farm machinery and much more. There are over 250 quality trade stands selling a wide range of goods, a Food Fayre, Indoor Shopping Mall, Exhibition Marquee, Art and Craft marquee and a huge marquee with a magnificent display of home-based crafts, flowers and vegetables. The exciting ringside programme includes The Royal Signals White Helmets Motorcycle display team, Ore Country Terriers â€“ terrier racing, The Wobbly Wife Carrying Championships to raise vital funds for Funding Neuro, horse jumping, vintage vehicles and sulky trotting.
Britains Natural Strongman Federation 2016 Final is to be held in Scotland for the first time and will be held at Turriff Show on Sunday 31st July and successful athletes from this event will be invited to Final to compete for the biggest prize in sport, Worlds Strongest Man. Beltex Scotland National Show We are delighted to be hosting the Beltex Scotland National Sheep Show for the first time at Turriff Show and it is hoped to attract exhibitors from a very wide area. Mr Matthew Burleigh, Enniskillen, Northern Ireland will start judging at 8.00am on the Monday morning. Two new sheep Sections have been introduced this year â€“ Bleu Du Maine and Ryeland and we look forward to welcoming new exhibitors for these sections. The ever popular marquee disco starts the Show weekend off on Friday 29th July with music being provided by Night Fever Disco.
Judging of the Horse and Pony classes takes place on Sunday. The Grand Parade of Prize winning Horses, Ponies and Donkeys takes place at 2.15pm. The Champion In-Hand and Champion Ridden winners are invited back on the Monday to compete for the Sleigh Family Trophy for the Supreme Champion of Champions of Turriff Show 2016. Also exhibiting on Sunday are Goats, Rabbits, Cavies and Pigeons.
Monday is the day for the judging of the Cattle, Sheep, Clydesdale Horses and Poultry. The Stockjudging competition on Sunday is open to all members of SAYFC and continues to be as popular as ever with teams competing for the Silcock Challenge Shield. Teams have to consist of three members and each club may enter two teams but a third team may enter provided it is an All-Ladies team.
A great day out for the dogs too
A prize winner
Turriff Show hosts the largest Industrial and Horticulture marquee of any Show in Scotland. The Industrial marquee hosts competitive classes for a wide range of produce (eggs, butter, oatcakes etc.), preserves (jams, jellies, chutneys etc.), cookery (scones pancakes, cakes etc.) honey, wine to sewing, knitting and woodcraft to name but a few. There are also classes for local groups
In the kitchen
and organisations including SWRI, Young Farmers, youth groups and children’s section. The Horticulture part is a very impressive display of varying kinds of flowers and vegetables. The Industrial and Horticulture marquee attracted well over 2100 entries last year and it is free to enter. There are well over 250 well-presented outdoor trade stands at Turriff Show. Agricultural trade stands
include machinery stands with tractors and machinery from all the leading manufacturers and there will also be a very wide range of motor vehicle stands and a number of quality stands featuring renewable energy, heating products and alternative technologies. There are also a large number of stands from the agricultural service and supply industry in addition to forestry and the countryside. Other stands include fashion and clothing, horticulture, garden furniture, arts, crafts and toys – something for everyone. This year’s Food Fayre has a wide variety of quality stands promoting the very best of predominantly Scottish food and drink. Take the opportunity to sample such traditional delights as the best of fresh and naturally smoked fish, award winning cheese, jams and chutneys, luxury ice cream, locally produced rapeseed oil, porridge oat flakes and oatmeal, fine wines and real fruit liqueurs or perhaps you might try a freshly made Cornish Pastie or be tempted with luxury handmade fudge! The Indoor Shopping Mall has a selection of stands offering a range of quality goods. Browse through a range of boutiques selling fashion accessories, clothing, and jewellery or something for your home from the selection of cushions, throws and giftware. There will also be original art and prints and stunning Scottish photographs, as well as a selection of signed memorabilia.
The Exhibition Marquee has a ‘lifestyle’ theme and some stands will be promoting good health, complimentary therapies and nutrition whilst others will showcase kitchen planning, professional photography and photographic portrait studies of horses and dogs. The Art and Craft marquee hosts an excellent selection of quality crafts stands. Visitors can expect to find children’s handmade clothing and accessories, tartan kilt bags, stained and fused glass, glass art, original paintings and prints, hand crafted greetings cards, clocks, cushions and straw work. A selection of jewellery stands will have items made from gold, silver, amber, freshwater pearls, gems, semi-precious stones, wood, beads and glass. ESS Support Services Worldwide, part of the Compass Group UK & Ireland is thrilled to be exhibiting at the Turriff Show, showcasing their partnerships with local suppliers and celebrating the fantastic quality of their produce in The Ferguson Hall. Enjoy a Taste of Aberdeenshire from their pop up kitchens or come along to see one of their live cooking demonstrations which includes a children’s challenge for ages 10 -14 yrs. Finish off by shopping at their local supplier market where there’s a range of produce available from Wagyu Beef Burgers, locally caught fish or luxury haggis, black puddings and steaks and handcrafted soft drinks.
Avisit to the Old MacDonald’s InFARMation stand is a must for children. On the stand there will be exciting displays from local schoolchildren taking part in this year’s schools competition with the theme this year ‘Innovation, Architecture and Design in Scotland’ which reflects a Scottish Government initiative to celebrate aweinspiring innovation, breathtaking architecture and brave, bold designs. There will also be handson activities for youngsters to try. There will be an area with mini quads and inflatable Lazer Tag and a host of interactive games and competitions in the forestry area. Codona’s Funfair will again be providing various rides to suit all ages and a selection of amusement stalls. A crèche facility is available for small children for a maximum of 1.5hrs from 10.00am to 4.00pm both days and this facility is kindly organised by Home-Start Deveron. The main ringside entertainment on both days is The Royal Signals White Helmets Motorcycle Display Team who will provide a fast paced action packed display. Wearing the full dress uniform of the Royal Signals along with their famous White Helmets, the riders will perform a combination of high speed crossover, spectacular jumps, skilful feats of balance and numerous reverse rides. Adult British Showjumping and Junior Showjumping classes will be held on the Monday.
The childrens race
Sulky Racing will be back again to thrill the crowds. Some top class horses will be appearing and we look forward to some hotly contested races. Children’s and Adult’s races will take place on both Show days – entry is free for all races with prize money and sweets (where applicable) awarded. Tug of War enthusiasts can look forward to a Tug of War competition confined to members of Young Farmers Clubs (teams of 6) on the Sunday afternoon. Look out for the Open Dog Show also on the Sunday where there are 123 classes including Newfoundland, Miniature Schnauzer to Chinese Crested (under Kennel Club Ltd Rules & Regulations) with the Companion Dog Show on Monday and dogs need not be K.C. Registered for the Companion Dog Show. The Sheep Show is making a welcome return to Turriff Show with their static display. If you are interested in music then there will be something for everyone. On the Sunday afternoon Turriff & District Pipe Band will be performing in the Showfield. Deveron River Brass Band will be performing in the Den Pavilion from 2pm – 4pm and from 2pm – 3pm on Monday afternoon will be the Turriff Junior Silver Band and both Bands are very talented musicians and their programmes will include solos and a mixed repertoire of music to suit everyone.
The finale on Sunday night will be the Vintage and Classic Vehicle Display with over 150 vintage tractors and 50 classic cars making their way round the ring – certainly a sight not to be missed! There will be a Church Service on Sunday at 4pm in the Den Pavilion. If you like to watch Highland Dancing then you
will be treated to an outstanding array of dances, including some National title holders on Monday (dancing under S.O.B.H.D. rules) Harry Fraser Catering Services are the main onsite Turriff Show caterers with Lunches available in the Food Marquee both days from 11.30am and High Tea available
TURRIFF SHOW later on in the afternoon and where possible only ingredients that are locally produced are used in their menus. The Showground is open from 7.00am Sunday and Monday with Trade Stands open at 9.00am each day and Showground closes at 8.00pm Sunday and 6.00pm Monday. Adult Admission is £15: £13 advance, Concession (Senior Citizen/Student/Children 12 – 16) - £10: £9 advance and Family Ticket £45: £42 advance. Children under 12 are free. Discounted Admission Tickets are now on sale – visit website www.turriffshow.org and also online entries are now being accepted. Closing dates for entries are –Saturday 2nd July – All Livestock and Open Dog Show, Saturday 9th July – YFC Stockjudging and Industrial Section, Saturday 16th July – Adult and Junior Showjumping and Vintage Vehicles. All
The Royal Signals White Helmets Motorcycle Display Team Schedules and entry forms are available to download from the website.
We hope to see you at Turriff Show on Sunday 31st July and Monday 1st August
where there is something to suit all ages – come and see for yourself!
IN THE BEGINNING Q1) Where were you born? I was born in Aberdeen but was brought up in Pitlochry. Q2) What is your earliest memory? Playing with our dogs. Q3) How would you describe your childhood upbringing? We lived rural so I was lucky enough to enjoy playing outdoors in burns and stream and coming in when the light faded. All very different now. Possibly I appreciate my childhood more now. Q4) How was school for you? I attended Pitlochry High School. I hated school spent more time looking out of the school window seeing what the neighbouring farms where doing that day! MOVING ON Q5) What were you into during your teenage years? I attend the Atholl Young Farmers (folded long ago) and played the bagpipe with The Vale of Atholl Pipeband. Q6) Who was the first influence in your life? Eddie Stewart (Snr). As a tot I was always escaping to go off round the farm with Eddie. Q7) College, University or straight into work? I attended Elmwood College – Upland Farming and General Agriculture and Perth College at a later date to complete Conservation Management. Q8) Any unusual working experiences from those early years? I am sure someone out there can relate to my pain. Was sent off to get the twine that had unwound From the baler! Head off and after corner, after corner all I could see was an orange line as far as the eye could see. No mobile phones then. What a soul destroying job that was! GROWING UP Q9) What was your first car? Aah a Metro – loved that car, Independence! Q10) Be honest now, did you pass your test first time? Yes defentetaly passed first time. Needed it too much not to pass.
Q15) What is the best advice you have given and would like to pass on to our readers? Go with your gut instinct and take opportunities when they arise.
THE INTERVIEW up close & personal Your Name: Una MacQueen Your job title: Breed Secretary Company name: Luing Cattle Society Ltd What you do for the company? As the breed secretary this covers a range of duties from registrations of cattle to organising events. There is only myself in the office and as the breed continues to grow I find the role evolving all the time.
Q11) Can you remember your first love or passion? Dogs and Sheep. LIFE & LEISURE Q12) Do you have a talent that you would like to share with us? I was an off road driving instructor with Land Rover. Did press launches at home and abroad. Appeared on Top Gear and never got a punch!!
Q13) Away from work, how do you like to relax? Apart from being a taxi service to my 9 year old son. I do like gardening and I’m involved with the local rugby club, Blairgowrie Rams. Q14) How is life today for you? I am fortunate to live in a lovely part of the country with my son Fergus and my parents live nearby also. So we have family time and I have a job I love. Win win.
INTO BUSINESS Q16) Your current job, can you tell us a little more about what you do? This year the society celebrates its 50th anniversary. So it is a busy year. We have just returned from a Scot Sheep which was a success event. The society will attend the Royal Highland Show, Royal Welsh Show and then our Open Day back on the Island of Luing which will be the highlight of 2016 for the society. With increasing interest in the breed this is our shop window for future breeders to visit and hear all the history behind the breed. Also we hope to bring members young and old together and enjoy the craic. For me this will a huge privilege to be involved with and I will be humbled by the gathering of past Chairman’s, Secretaries, Fieldsman and directors. Q17) Is there a ‘dream job’ out there waiting for you? As a child all I had ever wanted to be was a shepherdess. This I achieved and with age experience different combinations in farming. This is when cattle won my interest. I thing I would have liked to work on was the cattle and deer combination in the UK. I was fortunate enough to work with red deer while working at MacAulay Institute now the James Hutton Institute. LAST THOUGHTS Q18) If there was a single person (from today or the past) you would love to meet? Charles Darwin – could you imagine what he would have to say on how far we have come since his death in 1882. Q19) And finally, is there one thing in the world you would like to change? Corruption – think of how much less problems there would be if this was stamped out. Sadly I cannot see this happens anytime soon. 27
Germany A careful balancing act By Fiona Sloan
WORLD FARMING Like most of the EU, the number of farms in Germany has declined since WWII, reducing from around 1.6 million farmers in West Germany after the war to around 630,000 now. Since reunification 25 years ago, the farms have become larger and more efficient in the west of the country and the large collectives of the old Eastern Block have remained as cooperatives and partnerships
or have been returned to their original owner (if they could be found) leaving around 14,000 private farms in the region, most of which are small and family owned with many not being the main source of income for the owner. With varied climatic regions, agricultural production varies from region to region and with a population of over 80 million and climbing and some regions in the West of the
country with a 25% immigrant population, there is a need for farming efficiency to continue to develop. Large areas of flat land in the east allows for large scale grain production, second only to France in EU production terms. Germany produces over 40 million tonnes a year, with wheat taking more than half the market share and the remainder taken by barley, maize and rye. It is the third largest producer
of rye in the world and is also a major importer of grain from the rest of the EU. It is also a leading exponent of the importance of biofuels and their sustainability, an initiative which German consumers are insistent on. With 12 million hectares of arable land, 60% of which is used for cereals, there is a careful balancing act between fuel shortages and feeding an increasing population and
Improving grassland performance By Chloe McCulloch, SAC Consulting
with a commitment to the production of organic food sources and environmental projects, the use of productive land is a delicate balancing act. Germany has long been known for its famous sausages such as the Frankfurter and is the largest producer of port in the EU by some margin and only behind China and the USA globally. Pig breeding in Germany involves a large number of breeds, ranging from high performance Landrace cross to numerous traditional breeds. As in other sectors, pig farmers are fewer but specialisation has increased and 29 million pigs are reared in 70,000 pig farms, 60% of which have more than 1000 pigs. The diverse climatic regions of the country ranging from the Bavarian Alps to The Baltic Coasts, encourages a diversity of cattle breeds, with 180,000 cattle farms carrying around 13 million animals. In general, the main dairy herds are dominated by Holsteins, which can be found mainly in the north, with the mountain and dual purpose breeds like Fleckvieh (similar to Simmental) found more often in the mountains of the south. The milk production
around Cologne and the countries propensity for food development and production, produces the world famous chocolate of that region and has contributed to making Cologne one of the wealthiest cities in the world. Most of the large cities are surrounded by vegetable farms and orchards and the country also has well- respected wine production in many areas. With such diverse regions and agriculture within them, Germany has developed many local and overseas markets and it can trace its history of Christmas (Farmers) Markets back to the 13th Century, with every region running markets throughout advent and many continuing into the New Year. The produce is unique to each region and these gatherings were originally used as a means of selling produce to locals as well as a welcome break in the cold winters. Now people from all over Europe visit the famous German Christmas Markets. In an ever changing agricultural climate, it is good to see that tradition still works in many areas of agriculture all over Europe even when your country is one of the most developed in the western world.
Applying lime is one of the most beneficial but also the most under-valued things you can do for grassland. Soils naturally become acidic over time, the process greatly hastened by application of ammonium nitrate fertilisers. As soil becomes more acidic the availability of elements, both good and bad, becomes greater. The optimum pH is a balance between sufficiently acidic to allow uptake of important elements, but not so acidic as to have toxic levels of others, such as aluminium. Plants have varying tolerance to both deficiencies of important trace elements and toxicity and unfortunately it tends to be the most productive grasses (which in plant breeding trials are grown in optimum pH conditions) that are the most sensitive, whilst weeds and less productive grasses cope with acid conditions, gradually taking over a sward. It is not inevitable that grass swards need regular reseeding – if cared for they can be highly productive for many years. The purpose of a reseed should be to take advantage of advances in plant breeding and genetics to improve a sward rather than because the grass has died out. On many farms the practice is to only apply lime before reseeding, and it is little surprise that the useful grass species gradually start to struggle to compete with weed plants - not because they are inherently short-lived, but because the conditions in which they are expected to grow steadily deteriorate.
The target pH range for productive grass swards (i.e. any grass which receives bagged fertiliser, slurry or manure) is 6.0 – 6.2. It’s important that soils are tested on a three to five year basis to correctly balance nutrients and pH. The soil type dictates how much and how often lime is required to maintain optimum pH – generally light soils need limed little and often, whilst heavier soils need larger applications but less frequently. Of the liming material available the most costeffective is the most basic – ground limestone. Allow at least 12 months for it to work fully, so apply the year before you intend to reseed. Prilled/ granular lime is limestone which is ground into a very fine dust and then prilled to facilitate spreading – you will need the same overall quantity as ordinary ground lime but you apply a little each year. Since the finer the material the quicker it acts, prilled lime, despite being relatively expensive, is excellent in an emergency or for use on short term lets. See www. farmingforabetterclimate.org for other practical measures to improve farm efficiency. Find us on Facebook and Twitter @SACfarm4climate. Farming for a Better Climate is funded by the Scottish Government as part of its Climate Change Advisory Activity. 29
Bringing in the harvest
A look at new and current combines available for 2016 New Case IH Axial-Flow 140 combines
AGRICULTURAL SERVICES LTD. Main Dealers for JOHN DEERE Combines
D-K-R AGRICULTURAL SERVICES LTD. Westfield, Coulter, Biggar, Lanarkshire ML12 6HN 4EL s &!8 E-Mail: dkrcoulter@hotmail-com 30
Case IHâ€™s mid-range AxialFlow 140 series combines, which span the 312-449 hp power bracket, have undergone a number of changes for this season to increase performance, comfort and grain sample quality. Scottish farmers on hilly land are among the key targets for the new automatic side-hill compensation system, which prevents cleaning losses on side slopes. This Cross Flow cleaning feature is activated automatically when needed, compensating for up to 12 degrees of lateral slope, to enabling operators to improve cleaning and grain retention. Several changes provide a further boost for straw quality, and more precise spreading of chopped straw and chaff, according to Fiona Ross, Case IH sales area manager for Scotland. â€œChanging from swathing to chopping and back can now be done within a minute from the comfort of the cab or with electrical switches mounted on the right hand side of the combine,â€? she says. â€œMeanwhile, the larger 6140 and 7140 models are now
available with front tracks, improving comfort, reducing compaction and providing better support for large headers. They also aid road movement, with track widths of 610mm and 762mm keeping the combine within the 3.5m width limit, while 900mm tracks are also available.â€? Further improvements, many suggested by Case IH customers, include a halving of concave section size, creating six smaller and lighter elements to ease and speedup the changing of concaves between crops. New composite bottoms on the clean grain and tailings augers improve ease of cleaning, a feature likely to be of particular appeal to seed growers, while grain tank capacity on the 6140 and 7140 models has been increased to 10,570 litres. Beneath the rotor, a new six-auger bed replaces the former five-auger unit to convey grain at a higher capacity to the sieves, while the elevator chain drives can now be tensioned in parallel from ground level. A new factory-fitted yield sensor provides greater yield monitoring accuracy, while 140 series Axial-Flow combines also feature a pressonce function for grain tank lid opening and closing, to help when working on headlands under trees. Case IHâ€™s pivoting spout option is now available on Axial-Flow 140 series combines to improve trailer filling accuracy, while operator comfort is further improved by two new seat options and the possibility of fitting up to three external cameras on the rear of the combine, the unloading auger and in the grain tank.
The Claas 2016 LEXION 700
From the early days of the development of the first combine in 1936, CLAAS has concentrated on developing machines specifically designed to achieve optimum performance in European conditions. When it was launched in 1996, the LEXION set a completely new standard for combine harvester productivity and 20 years later, the current LEXION 700 and 600 ranges still set the standard for high output, cost effective harvesting performance. 2016 will see the LEXION 700 range further evolve with the introduction of a number of new features and improvements to the cleaning and residual grain separation systems, the straw chopper and electronics, including the roll-out further down the range of performance enhancing features previously only available on top-of-therange models. Through the further development of the systems that surround the LEXION’s long established and well proven HYBRID threshing system, this results in further increases in combine performance, operational reliability, efficiency and driver comfort. In addition to these new features, CLAAS has also
increased the LEXION 700 range with the addition of a new hillside MONTANA version of the LEXION 750, which like the larger LEXION 760 MONTANA will automatically self-level on slopes of up to 17 degrees. Under the bonnet, the latest LEXION 700 series combines will from 2016 be powered by engines that are TIER 4f emission compliant. Currently the LEXION range is powered by either Mercedes Benz (780/770) or Caterpillar engines, but all these latest models will be powered by Mercedes Benz engines, with the exception of the LEXION 760 which will be powered by a 12.5 litre Perkins engine.
available for other components. One of the best examples of this is the DYNAMIC COOLING system originally introduced two years ago on the LEXION 780/770/760, and from this year will now also be
fitted on the LEXION 750 and 740. DYNAMIC COOLING features a variable fan drive which provides ‘cooling on demand’, so only ever provides the cooling output that is actually required by the machine. As a result, power requirement is reduced by around 15hp and up to 20hp on higher powered LEXION models. The DYNAMIC COOLING package incorporates a chargeair pressure cooler, hydraulic fluid cooler and engine radiator. Unlike ‘standard’ cooling systems which are vertically mounted, with DYNAMIC COOLING the cooler package, complete with the variable fan and a 1.60m diameter filter, lie horizontally behind the engine in order to achieve a larger surface area.
The top-of-the-range LEXION 780 and 770 models will be powered by the latest state-of-the-art 15.6 litre Mercedes engines, with maximum power outputs of 625hp and 585hp respectively, compared to 598hp and 551hp on current models. LEXION 750 and 740 models will be fitted with a 10.7 litre engine. A particular feature of recent LEXION models has been the development of systems and components designed to increase performance, but use less engine power, so saving fuel and making more power www.farmingscotlandmagazine.com
DEUTZ-FAHR C9000 Combine Harvester
The C9000 series, with its new technical innovations has been designed to bring a new dimension to harvesting efficiency and operator comfort and, in collaboration with Giugiaro Design, the style of the new machines has been completely reworked in line with the latest Deutz-Fahr tractors. The new range comprises four models: The C9205 TS and C9206 TS with 5 and 6-straw walkers, and the C9205 TSB and C9206 TSB hill models
having the slope compensation Balance system (20% lateral and 6% longitudinal). The hill modes are also equipped with new adjustable rear axle and 4WD traction, with the proven and exclusive Anti-Skid system which maximises productivity on all working terrains. Powered by Mercedes Benz engines (7.7 litre Teir 4F) to guarantee optimum performance in the field with 334hp output for the C9205 and 395hp for the C9206, fuel consumption is one of
the lowest for this power category due to the use of SCR technology and the advanced technical design of the machine which, uniquely, employs transmissions positioned on each side of the engine. All models are equipped with the high-performance cutter bar, now also available in the 9.0 metre version. A one-piece construction, the Autocontrol device and the Schumacher Easy Cut II system ensures safe and efficient operation in all conditions, providing a uniform cut with minimal wear. In addition to the new and improved Maxi-Crop threshing system and the exclusive concave with adjustable sections, the hydraulic feed passage inversion system and the Extra Feeding supply system (along with other specifics) have been redesigned by the Deutz-Fahr engineers. The new and exclusive electro-hydraulic bearing control system on the header is just one of
several innovative developments on the new harvesters which help to ensure there is a continuous and uniform feed delivered to the threshing components. Separation capacity, performance is optimised by the Maxi-Crop system and also by the long straw walkers. Cereal cleaning and integrity are guaranteed by other exclusive proven DEUTZ-FAHR systems, including the grain pan with its 2-step removable sections, the turbo-ventilator, the wide sieves and the DGR (Double Grain Return) recovery system on each side of the machine. The high visibility driverâ€™s cab is integrated into the new design, with an array of lights and mirrors with dual-reflectors and electrical adjustment. The soft, welcoming driver and passenger seats are equipped with a capacious 21 litre integrated thermo cooler, offering maximum comfort and convenience during long working days.
New John Deere W and T-Series combines for 2016 Featuring new Stage IV compliant PSS engines with more power and lower engine speeds, John Deereâ€™s new W and T-Series combines have been comprehensively redesigned for the 2016 harvest season. Many components have been changed to achieve the best straw walker combine performance possible. The combination of the largest active separation area on the market and an enlarged cleaning shoe area will enable operators to achieve an increase in output of up to 15 per cent, says the company. Other class leading features include the fastest unloading rate and header conversion for different crops; exclusive 40kph top speed and track options; and the latest FarmSight precision farming developments with ConnectedCombine and MyJohnDeere.com. On both ranges, the design changes provide increased separation capacity even under 32
tough and wet harvesting conditions. Featuring a sieve area of more than 6m2, the redesigned cleaning shoe is now among the largest in its class. Tests have shown that the combines can now operate at a high performance level with low losses across a wider range of fan settings. This makes it easier to get the maximum out of the combine with minimal losses, even for less experienced operators. The unloading rate of up to 125 litres/sec allows an 11,000-litre capacity grain tank to be emptied in less than 90 seconds. The new 600X Series combine header can also be converted from barley to rape harvesting in just three minutes, while the rape knife features a quick coupler for faster conversion. In addition, John Deereâ€™s new quick-engage Booster Bar is a rasp bar that can be swung into the crop flow in less than three minutes in situations where more aggressive threshing is required, for example in barley.
The ConnectedCombine package is designed to enable operators to get the maximum performance out of the harvester, to adjust it properly and manage the recorded data with the support of GPS. AutoTrac hands-free steering allows the driver to concentrate on combine adjustments, while Interactive Combine Adjustment (ICA) helps with the optimisation of machine settings. If required, Remote Display Access (RDA) connects the operator to a dealer specialist on the go, giving access to 24/7 product support and training.
Machine data such as fuel consumption, yield maps and area harvested on multiple fields can be transmitted via wireless data transfer (WDT) to the safe online web portal MyJohnDeere.com. Here an operator can view or download data instantly, as it is updated automatically on the move. Further data processing with agronomic software packages is also possible, while JDLink allows fleet management logistics to be optimised for greater efficiency and productivity.
Massey Ferguson’s new four and six cylinder combines
Massey Ferguson has introduced a raft of improvements to its combine range for the 2016 season – including the launch of its new MF Activa 7340 and MF Activa 7344. The five straw-walker MF Activa 7340 is powered by the latest four cylinder AGCO Power 4.9 litre engine – offering all the benefits of a six cylinder engine but in a lighter, smaller package with less moving parts, lower fuel consumption and quieter operation. The model replaces the MF Activa 7240 and is regarded as a superb entry level machine for
those wishing to secure their own harvest. The engine features Fourth Generation common rail fuel injection and controls, while employing maintenance free Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology to meet the latest emissions standards. There is also a new CANbus linked control panel in the cab – including a colour screen to show various engine and combine operating information. A new sectional concave, which can be changed through the stone trap, further improves
the combine’s harvest quality in a range of crops – allowing operators to switch the front section of the concave to, for example, a wider maize unit without the need to remove the elevator. The 600mm x 1,340mm cylinder provides the largest separating area in its class, with narrower wires at the front that widen at the rear to increase separation. Independent adjustment, front and rear, offers added control of threshing performance. An extra 14° of concave wrap is provided by the Active Rear Beater Concave, which also uses a rear beater to control the straw flow to the walkers. The air-conditioned cab is equipped with a deluxe suspended seat, electric mirrors and heating as standard. A new multifunction lever provides convenient and comfortable control of all the commonly-used combine functions. The five straw-walker MF Activa 7344 – which replaces the
MF Activa 7244 - is powered by a new, advanced 218hp AGCO Power 7.4 litre, six cylinder engine. Benefitting from the same drum and concave with independent adjustment as the MF Activa 7340, the model also has an Active Rear Beater Concave for optimum threshing in a wide variety of crops and conditions. The MF Activa 7344 is available with the option of a 5.5m wide PowerFlow header, improving cutting and output in a wide range of crops. PowerFlow is proven to boost output by up to 73% in oilseed rape, 15% in wheat and 12% in barley. The existing range of FreeFlow cutterbars, with Terra control auto-levelling option, is still available in widths from 4.2m to 6.6m. The MF Activa 7344 features the same new, multi-function lever and terminal as the MF Activa 7340 and is topped off with new styling and cab.
New Holland’s CR Combine Harvester Range New Holland’s CR combines raise harvesting to a whole new level: up to 15% more productivity in small grains, grain crackage as low as 0.2%, and the ultimate comfort cab. The new Harvest Suite™ Ultra cab is larger and offers more glass area than previous models. The six model range is topped by the CR10.90, the first combine to enter the class 10 segment in Europe and the most powerful CR ever, that delivers the highest capacity in the industry and truly outstanding performance. “The new CR range is the culmination of 40 years of Twin Rotor™ technology,” says Nigel Honeyman, Hew Holland’s UK and ROI combine specialist. “It offers the best of New Holland’s harvesting technologies: Twin Pitch Rotors, Dynamic Feed Roll™, SmartTrax™ rubber tracks, Terraglide™ suspension, ECOBlue™ SCR and Hi-eSCR engine technologies – all working
together to deliver the best performance. All this is coupled with the Harvest Suite™ Ultra cab that redefines harvesting comfort.” New Holland continues to improve and refine its proven Twin Rotor technology, which is designed for high capacity harvesting and delivers high outputs combined with grain quality without equal. The Dynamic Feed Roll onthe-go mechanical stone protection system further raises the CR’s massive capacity by feeding the rotors faster and more smoothly while removing stones with no stopping or hesitation. The new serrated blades on the roll are gentle on the crop, resulting in highquality straw. This is achieved with no additional power consumption, resulting in higher capacity as well as better grain and straw quality than with the equivalent model of the same horsepower in the previous range.
CR combines work seamlessly in variable crop conditions with the Twin-Pitch rotors, which can raise productivity by up to 10% in damp conditions. The redesigned adjustable rotor vanes require less power in high volume crops and consistently deliver high quality straw. The SmartTrax™ rubber tracks with Terraglide™ suspension system, standard on the flagship CR10.90 and available
on the other models as an option, ensure excellent traction and low soil compaction while providing a silky smooth ride. The CR combines offer more horsepower than ever: from 449hp of the CR7.90 to the massive 652hp of the flagship CR10.90. Five models feature New Holland’s Tier 4B ECOBlue™ Hi-eSCR technology, with the CR7.90 remaining at Tier 4A for the coming season. 33
People Volunteer Tutors Important Contributors to SRUC English Language Service for Newcomers Have you thought about volunteering to teach English to those who speak other languages? Once trained, volunteers play an invaluable role in the service offered by Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) at their Elmwood campus in Cupar. The English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) provision at SRUC is helping over 40 people, aged six to 50. At Elmwood ESOL co-ordinator Pauline Blake-Johnston has over 20 learners from the area and has rolled out the service to two local primary schools where 23 pupils are being helped to improve their English. Now, in order to offer a supplementary service and provide learners with access to more tuition, Pauline is seeking to train Volunteer Tutors. Volunteers would receive their Introduction to Teaching ESOL training through a Scottish Qualifications Authority, Professional Development Award. It is designed to train volunteer tutors or classroom assistants and SRUC has now developed it as an on-line course which provides the basics for teaching general everyday English. This is the first time it’s been run at the college. Pauline comments, “Volunteers are an invaluable part of the service we provide and we have found that they get so much out of it. Volunteering provides the unique opportunity to meet people and make lasting friendships with students from different cultures and backgrounds.” Myra Todd (61) from Craigrothie is a typical volunteer. 36
She recently retired after 25 years working as a Community Support Co-ordinator and Community Support Worker. Myra completed the online training from home, spent time observing Pauline’s classes over a four month period and has now been in her new role for 9 weeks. “I enjoy meeting people and I feel there is a real need to help people settle into the country,” she says. “Every Friday morning I work with Tatijana (58) and Aleksandra (31) and would definitely recommend it to others. It fits in well into my lifestyle and the times are
convenient for me and my learners”. Tatijana, who is originally from Estonia, is making the most of the opportunity to improve her life here through better communication and dialogue skills. “I attend the class two times a week,” explains Tatijana. “I work with Pauline in one class and Myra in another. I would recommend this course to others, it has improved my vocabulary”. Aleksandra and her young family moved to Scotland from Kunashir in Russia during 2015.
(L-R) Tatijana, Myra Todd (standing), Aleksandra
She finds the class invaluable, particularly the exercises surrounding different real-life scenarios, like going to the doctors. It also means she is able to help her children with their English. Aleksandra commented, “I have gained a lot of useful knowledge from the classes, and enjoy learning from Myra. I have found my speaking, listening and writing skills have improved”. Anyone interested in Volunteering and helping others with their English should contact Pauline Blake-Johnston at SRUC Elmwood on 01334 658939.
It’s time to ask “Are Ewe Okay?” The Scottish Association of Young Farmers’ Clubs unveiled their new mental health campaign “Are Ewe Okay?” to an audience at Ayr Show in May. The association will now focus on raising awareness of mental wellbeing over the next twelve months by encouraging rural youth to listen, talk and share. Mr Jamieson commented “One in four people in Scotland will suffer from poor mental health at some point during their life. Everyone has mental health, it can be good, it can be less than good but everyone’s mental health is different as well as constantly changing, depending on many different aspects.” He continued “SAYFC has 3500 members who are aged between 14 and 30 years old so there are so many different life events and pressures going on during this period that can influence how they feel including education, relationships, employment, health and finance.” 9 out of 10 young people facing poor mental health said they received negative treatment from others with nearly half noting this happened monthly, weekly or daily. Mr Jamieson said this was key to why “Are Ewe Okay?” would be a focus for Scotland’s largest rural youth organisation.
“This statistic is one of the reasons SAYFC has chosen to encourage those all-important conversations and break the stigma surrounding mental wellbeing. It’s about looking out for each other by taking the time to listen, offering a situation where someone feels confident enough to talk or by sharing information to aid our members. Everyone can get involved by just asking “Are Ewe Okay?” The campaign will be delivered regularly through social media with the aim of specifically targeting the associations audience of young people living in Scotland’s
rural communities. By raising awareness of poor mental health triggers and conditions, the association hopes to aid members with the knowledge they need to recognise the signs, and how to seek help if someone is suffering. Mr Jamieson concluded by highlighting the impacts of poor mental health across Scotland “Scotland’s population continues to rise reaching the highest ever total in 2014 with the National Records of Scotland (NRS) estimating a population of over 5.3 million. We already know that one in four people in Scotland will suffer from poor mental health
but to put it into context, more than 1.3 million individuals in Scotland will face mental health challenges during their lifetime. And at SAYFC, 25% of our membership equates to over 800 members. It is therefore more vital than ever that we raise awareness showcasing the help and support available whilst highlighting how others share the same mental health challenges.” You can follow the campaign and pledge your support via the SAYFC website at http://www.sayfc.org/areewe-okay or keep up-to-date via social media using the #AreEweOkay?
Working in high places
There is a wide range of telehandlers to choose from Bobcat’s New Compact Telescopic Handlers
Agricultural Merchants Main dealers for MANITOU telehandlers
Bobcat has launched the company’s new TL358 and TL358+ telescopic handlers, two new compact 6 m models ideal for farming applications that complete the company’s new generation of compact 6 to 7 m machines, complementing the existing TL360 and TL470 telehandlers. The TL358+ telehandler is also available as a premium version for the agricultural market, the TL358+ AGRI model, incorporating a number of additional features compared to the standard TL358+ model. The TL358, TL358+ and TL358+ AGRI models are all powered by the Deutz TCD 3.6 L4 Stage IIIB diesel engine providing 74.4 kW (100 HP) of power at 2300 rpm [the Perkins 1104D-44TA Stage IIIA engine providing 74.5 kW (100 HP) of power at 2200 rpm is used for less regulated countries]. Capable of operating in very confined spaces and at great
speed, the maximum lift capacity of the TL358 is 2.6 tonne, whilst the TL358+ and TL358+ AGRI models have a maximum lift capacity of 3.0 tonne. The maximum lift height of all three models is 5.88 m with 24 inch tyres. The hydraulic system in the new telehandlers is controlled by a single Bobcat joystick in the cab linked to a Load Sensing Valve block to allow flow sharing depending on the operator choice and the application need. The TL358, TL358+ and TL358+ AGRI are very compact machines, thanks to the narrow frame design with a width of only 2.1 m compared to 2.3 m in the TL360/TL470 models. Combined with a height of just 2.1 m, they provide exceptional performance, comfort and visibility for machines of their size. They are also short machines, only 4.5 m long with an optimised 2.8 m wheel base for enhanced stability and a short turning radius of just 3.77 m.
Cat TH3510d telehandlers
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: email@example.com
The new Cat TH3510D Telehandler, with a rated load capacity of 3500 kg (7716 lbs.) and maximum lift height of 9800 mm (32 ft.), features a compact design for optimum job site maneuverability and a three-section hydraulic boom with a low pivot pin mounting for maximum all around visibility. The new model combines field-proven Cat drive line components with a simple, highly efficient gearpump hydraulic system to deliver long term durability and reliable performance at low operating costs. The TH3510D uses a new fuel efficient Cat C3.4B diesel engine rated at 100 hp (75 kW) which meets U.S. EPA Tier 4 Final/EU Stage IV emission standards. A Cat C4.4 ACERT™ engine that meets Tier 3/Stage IIIA equivalent emission standards is available for
lesser or non-regulated countries. A Cat four-speed power-shift transmission drives both of the TH3510D axles for permanent four-wheel drive, providing excellent traction in all conditions. A limited-slip differential in the front axle further aids traction in wet conditions. Oil-immersed dual axle disc brakes are used, and a parking brake works in conjunction with the front brakes. The braking system is designed to provide trouble-free performance in the harshest operating conditions. The TH3510D operator’s station is designed for simplicity and durability, with all hydraulic functions controlled by a single lever joystick with F-N-R, allowing simultaneous drive and boom functions. Switches are clustered by function, and a
new instrument panel and dash allow at a glance monitoring of machine performance. An optional advanced display monitor provides load charts as well as the feed from the rear view camera when
activated, and can be used to set operator preferences and perform diagnostic checks. Flat glass throughout simplifies window replacement, and the floor design allows quick cleaning with hose.
New 4.8 tonne capacity Claas Scorpion
The latest addition to the CLAAS SCORPION telescopic handler range, is the mid-range SCORPION 7050, which has a lift height of 7.0 metres but also incorporates a number of new features that will eventually be extended across the whole range. With a maximum lift capacity of 4.8 tonnes, the new SCORPION 7050 is ideal for larger farms and contractors needing a high lift and reach capacity machine, but it combines this with the fuel efficiency of being powered by a 122hp Deutz engine. The new SCORPION 7050 fills the gap between the current SCORPION 7044 and 7055, and is a natural replacement for the popular SCORPION 7045 which was discontinued when the current SCORPION range was launched in 2013. As on all larger SCORPION models, drive to the axles is through the highly efficient VARIPOWER
PLUS transmission. Depending on the operation, the driver can select one of three driving modes: Snail (0-7 kph), Tortoise (0-15 kph) or Hare (0-40 kph). The SCORPION is also fitted with SMART ROADING which automatically drops the engine revs to 1800rpm when the SCORPION reaches 40kph on the road. To further improve efficiency and reduce fuel use, the SCORPION 7050 is the first in the SCORPION range to feature a new CANBUS electronic communication system between the engine and the transmission, which will become standard in the rest of the SCORPION range later in 2015. As driving conditions change, this new coordination system between the engine and transmission will ensure that the engine always operates at peak efficiency, which will help to reduce fuel consumption, but also noise levels.
JCB expands compact telehandler choice Farmers wanting a compact telescopic handler with efficient and lively performance have more choice in the JCB range with the launch of an Agri version of the Loadall 525-60. The new model caters for users who do not need the full suite of features available on the high specification Agri Plus but will benefit from the class leading attributes of the 525-60 design. With a genuine lift height of six metres, 2.5 tonnes of lift capacity and a choice of transmissions and hydraulics, the 525-60 brings efficiency and productivity features from the latest full-size Loadall handlers into the compact sector. JCB Agriculture General Manager John Smith said: “Demand for compact telehandlers capable of working efficiently in and around
buildings has previously been met by machines with tight dimensions but also some compromises in terms of equipment and performance. “The new Loadall 52560 Agri and Agri Plus are thoroughly modern, high-spec, no compromise machines that are easy to use, have exceptional rear three-quarters visibility, and can deliver a full-size machine’s performance despite their remarkably small overall dimensions.” Measuring just 1.97m to the top of the spacious cab and only 1.89m over the tyres, the Loadall 525-60 Agri and Agri Plus will slot into the smallest of buildings and can be worked with ease around ‘traditional’ and modern farm yards thanks to unmatched all-round visibility. In particular, the low engine cover and boom pivot, which is set at the same height as a seated driver’s waist,
results in exceptional right rear three-quarters visibility. A short wheelbase provides the ultimate in four-wheel steer agility so that operators can make the most of the 2.5 tonne lift capacity and 6m lift height. The Loadall 525-60 is powered by a 2.5-litre JCB Diesel by Kohler compact fourcylinder engine developing 74hp (55kW). Service-free emissions control results from the engine’s
highly efficient combustion – there is no need for selective catalytic reduction (SCR) to deal with NoX or a diesel particulates filter (DPF) to meet European Stage IV / US Tier 4 Final standards. The new engine also promises improved fuel economy, which is helped by the variable speed reversible engine cooling fan positioned behind a wide-core radiator.
New Dieci Agristar EVO2 Dieci have launched a new Telehandler. The new Dieci Agristar EVO2, this new Telehandler is available in 4 ton 7 metre, 3.8 ton 8 metre and 3.8 ton10 metre. It is fitted with an all new transmission that offers superb pushing power though a new single speed vario transmission. Fitted with a Kubota engine, best in class head rotation, wet inboard brakes with double limited slip differentials offer a great all round package. For ease of operation a forward and reverse shuttle is fitted to the left hand side of the steering column and additionally to the new touch sensitive fully proportional joystick. Self cleaning air filters are fitted as standard together with reversible fan for cleaning the radiator in extreme working conditions. All Dieci 40
Telehandlers for the Agri market come standard with a 2 year, 2000hrs Gold product support Warranty together with a 0% finance scheme through Dieci finance.
The Manitou MLT 629
The MLT 629 benefits from a large capacity for its class, of 2900kg. The rear engine layout offers excellent all round operator visibility and the large ergonomic cab provides high comfort even during long working days. This machine has very compact dimensions allowing you to reach even the most confined area on a farm, with widths ranging from 2m to 2.16 m, allowing access to areas that others cannot reach The machine is fitted with a Perkins Stage 3B 4 cylinder 3.4 litre Turbo engine which is designed to reduce emissions and lower fuel consumption, all part of Manitouâ€™s total cost of ownership reduction plan.
The MLT 629 also benefits from the user friendly JSM (joystick, switch and move) controls which is fitted as standard on all MLT models, allowing the operator to control all movements with one hand leaving the other hand free to maintain full control of the steering. Like all Manitou MLT models it has a unique a bucket mode that allows an operator to achieve the best performance whilst still conforming to the strict requirements of EN15000. The MLT 629 is a powerful, high performing machine which continues to lead the Manitou range as one of the best selling telehandlers on the market place.
New compact telehandler from Kramer Kramer has recently announced the introduction of the 2706 compact telehandler to replace the 2506 model launched in 2010. With both an overall width and height of under 2 m, the new model is ideal for many farm applications where access or space is limited. The 2706 is powered by a Kohler KDI 2504 TCR engine with an output of 55.4 kW (75 hp) meeting the 3B emission requirements and features a new hydraulic system with a flow rate increased to 110 l/ min, electro-hydraulic controls 42
and load-independent flow distribution which provides characteristics similar to those of a load-sensing hydraulic system. This engine comes complete with a four year/4000 hour warranty. The new machine also offers a new generation of overload control, Smart Handling, with three operating modes of bucket, forklift and manual. This system is a very useful driver aid which ensures safe operation at all times, allowing the driver to concentrate on the job in hand.
Massey Fergusonâ€™s new mid-size machine
Massey Ferguson has added even more versatility to its MF 9000 series telehandler range with the introduction of the new MF 9305 Xtra. The MF 9305 Xtra uses proven technology to offer farmers the ideal mid-size machine with a more compact option for buildings with restricted access. With lift capacity of 3,000kg and maximum lift height to 5.8m, the machine can be used for a wide range of loading tasks on livestock and mixed farms. Its compact chassis, at just 2.1m wide and 2.1m tall, on 20in wheels and in its low cab format, means that it can easily access buildings for feeding or mucking out duties. Where height is not an issue, the higher cab and 24in tyres offer maximum ground clearance and visibility.
Powered by a 100hp Deutz 3,6l Tier 4i engine, the MF 9305 Xtra has plenty of muscle for demanding tasks, with a two-range hydrostatic transmission giving a top speed of 40kph for efficient transport. Open centre auxiliary hydraulics offer a punchy 100 l/min, the same as on the larger MF 9306 and MF 9407, ideal for demanding attachments such as bale shredders or sweepers. Four electro-hydraulic load sensing spool valves allow the operator to simultaneously use three functions with high precision. Optional boom suspension provides outstanding comfort for all transport applications. Three semi-automatic selectable steering modes ensure optimum manoeuvrability and users can easily swap between two-wheel steer, four-wheel steer and crab steer by pressing a switch in the all new cab.
The 2706 has a payload capacity of 2.7 tonne and a maximum lift height of 5m and is available with a choice
of two cab heights, giving an overall of either 1.98m or 2.10m for enhanced all-round visibility.
Merlo 35.7 Telehandler
The Merlo brand has always been synonymous with advanced technology in the telehandler field and their history, since 1964, is hallmarked by experience based on determination and passion. The development of complex products, from the idea to the result, from design to sales, means being able to propose orientations for the most competitive markets. The outcome of their efforts are compact, easy to handle telehandlers
ensuring incomparable operating performance, comfort, efficiency and safety. Spec includes 122hp Tier 4 Interim engine, 2-speed Hydrostatic transmission, 3500kg Load Capacity (max), 3500kg, Load capacity at max. lift height, 1350kg Load capacity at max. reach, 6.7m Lift height (max), 6.7m Lift height at max. load capacity, 3.5m Reach (max) and a 1.3m Reach at max. load capacity.
Schaffer 9630 T telescopic loaders New Holland’s new generation LM telehandler
New Holland has completely redesigned the heavy duty six to nine metre LM range of telehandlers, which now delivers substantially improved performance together with premium operator comfort. The five model range features the LM 6.32, LM 6.35 Elite, LM 7.35, LM 7.42 Elite and LM 9.35 models, can lift up to 4,200kg and has a maximum lift height of 9.1 metres. The range benefits from in-house design and construction, and is set to offer the world’s medium and large scale livestock farmers, large arable operations and contractors, high performance material handling capabilities. The new range replaces the existing LM5040, LM5060 and LM5080 models. In order to highlight this, the LM range benefits from New Holland’s evolution in product numbering.
The first digit indicates the maximum lift height in metres, and the second two numbers denote the maximum lift capacity in hundreds of kilos. “The new LM range is the fruit of extensive customer consultation and the LM has been redesigned from the ground up.” Stated Luca Mainardi, Head of Tractor, Telehandler and Precision Farming Product Management . “We have combined impressive output in terms of lift capacities and power with a best-in-class operator experience and class-leading visibility. Furthermore, machine flexibility has been engineered by design as both standard and highperformance Elite versions are available on 6m and 7m models.” Outstanding performance: up to 9.1 metre lift height and up to 4,200kg lift capacity
Combining precision performance on any terrain with lifting heights and loads that can’t be matched by comparable machines from our competitors, Schäffer telescopic loaders’ compact design makes them easy to use in particularly hard to reach areas. A very popular model within the range is the 9630 T (90kW 123HP) – a telescopic loader with real added value and a lift height unique to its class. The 9630 T has an operating weight of 8t, a lift capacity of 4.2t and max load height of 5.3m – impressive statistics but it’s in the finer detail that this machine’s superior class shines through. The 9630 T has an oscillating rear axle which contributes to the excellent stability of the machine even on rough terrain. The articulation joint is extremely heavy duty – you’re unlikely to find a stronger one on the market. The tilt cylinder is protected within the telescopic boom, which helps prevent damage and wear to this otherwise vulnerable area, whilst the sliding elements in the telescopic boom are made
from Ferroform – a special material that does not wear. The 9630 T is equipped with an oil-immersed, capsule, multi-disc brake, standard on all Schäffer telehandlers. This means they are totally maintenance-free – dirt, dust and humidity don’t stand a chance, so you get optimal deceleration values from brakes you can always count on. As with all Schäffer models, the 9630 T is developed with the operator’s safety and comfort in mind. The driver has an excellent all-round view due to the low boom pivot and the Schäffer SCV-cab (Silence/ Comfort/View), which offers more comfort for longer working days. You get easy access and well thought through interior design, plus adjustable seat and steering wheel positions, while the operating elements and displays are clearly and logically arranged. All hydraulic functions can be controlled precisely using the joystick, which forms a unit with the armrest and seat giving perfect ergonomics whatever the seat position. 43
beef Scottish Farmers Urged to Embrace Beef Efficiency Scheme Opportunity Scottish beef cattle farmers are being urged to embrace the Scottish Government’s Beef Efficiency Scheme (BES) as an opportunity to drive their businesses forward. Jim McLaren, Perthshire beef farmer and chairman of Quality Meat Scotland, urged all producers of beef calves to sign up for the scheme before the application window closes “This is a great opportunity for the Scottish beef industry to take a concerted step forward. It has the potential to deliver real benefits for the bottom lines of individual farm businesses and our national herd and I strongly encourage producers to act now so they don’t miss out,” said Mr McLaren. Recognising the scheme has generated considerable comment and discussion in recent weeks, Mr McLaren said it was vital producers are aware of the benefits of this new initiative and do not choose not to apply because of uncertainty or confusion. “It is important to remember that the history of this scheme dates back to the Scottish
Government’s announcement of a £45 million aid package for the Scottish beef sector way back in 2014,” said Mr McLaren. “The announcement stated that the aid would be delivered through the next round of Rural Development funding and that is what is now happening. It is also worth remembering that this is entirely new money to agriculture which Ministers found from elsewhere in response to the industry’s requests for assistance.” The makeup of the scheme sees the inclusion of some of the recommendations of the industrywide Beef 2020 report (put forward by an industry steering group chaired by Mr McLaren) and includes the creation of a central database of information which farmers and others will populate. The scheme also has to be approved by the EU as an agrienvironment climate change measure. “It is important to bear in mind that any activity which reduces emissions will also reduce waste and help with farmers’ bottom
lines. In many ways this scheme could be viewed as effectively a waste reduction exercise with
a three year annual payment for farmers to go with it – a win-win scenario,” Mr McLaren said.
Quality grass silage key to cutting feed costs for beef finishers Grass silage offers beef finishers a significant opportunity to boost returns, with relatively small, simple and low cost adjustments potentially helping many units
make better use of their cheapest and most valuable feed resource. This was the view of Germinal’s Ben Wixey at Beef Expo 2016, who said that the
impact of sub-standard silage could be increasing as more beef finishers turn to indoor systems for higher growth rates or greater precision in finishing. “We are seeing more cattle finished on total mixed rations akin to dairy farms, with grass silage more often than not being the basis of diets,” he said. “But as on so many dairy farms, grass silage is the weak link, lower in quality than it could be and requiring more bought-in supplementary feed than should be necessary.” Mr Wixey pointed out that average reseeding rates across the country are too low, which means many silage leys will
be underperforming. However, even with older leys, there are some management decisions that could pay dividends as the grass harvesting season approaches. “First and foremost, it is vital that silage leys contain the best quality ryegrasses,” he said, “but whatever the state of your swards going into this current season, there is still a lot that can be done to maximise the feed value of grass silage. “Simply cutting at the optimum stage of growth can mean a difference of several D-value points, raising the ME of the silage and boosting the growth rate potential.
Analysing data is something we all do nearly every day in farming. I have been doing a lot of analysis over the last few months. I am chuffed that the shorthorn cows this year managed to produce 28 live and healthy calves from 27 cows. This has also been the first year since I started here in 2003 that we have not lost a calf and the final analysis tells me that we are 1 short of having 100 calves. We do record cattle weights and use Signet Breeding Services to record, analyse and provide us a report detailing the Estimated Breeding Value (EBV) for each one of our Pedigree Highland Cattle. The data is also meant to be used as a marketing tool for pedigree stock, but being truthful EBV’s are not really accepted in the Pedigree Highland world. We use EBV’s for our own stock selection and to aid continual improvement of the herd. We do not record all the traits that are possible to record, we use it mostly for “Beef Value” to try and improve the quality of our end product. When studying the data it is often the case that cows I like are the ones that are producing the better calves, but occasionally there is one that I don’t spot in the field; for instance one of the smallest and being blunt, ugliest cows we have rates as the folds 2nd highest performer. She does not have a particularly nice nature but does produce a great calf every year and if we had not been retaining all our cows to build up our numbers she would have been down the road years ago. I have also not forgiven her for kicking my dog and knocking him unconscious several years ago.
Checking out the ‘nutters’ By Ken Headspeath Highland Drovers & Borland Farm By using EBV’s it is also possible to analysis docility, which I have not been doing but I am going to start recording this trait this year. This is done by giving a score between 1 and 5 on animals that are between 350 to 500 days old when they are in the cattle crush and assessing their behaviour. I have noticed that an increasing number of our young stock that are becoming “head bangers” as my dad calls them. These are cattle with wild or aggressive nature. In one particular batch, it was
easy to notice that they were all sired by the Simmental bull I bought 2 years ago. Sadly by the time I noticed his calves were trouble, I had used the bull again! So this year we have another batch of nutters! The solution to this problem was easy and the bull has now gone. We have a number of highland pedigree lines and noticing where the head bangers are coming from involved a bit more in-depth analysis. It now appears that heifers kept from Eve, who we bought 10 years ago in-calf
and she has had 7 heifers since are quiet and easy to handle, but offspring from the 2nd generation nearly all tend to produce stock that are difficult to handle. It has become very clear that the worst of the young stock we have on the farm all have Eve as their grandmother. Especially at calving time I work alone much of the time and the older I get the less keen and gung-ho I become in tackling difficult animals. So already, Eve has been moved to the crossing herd and one of her daughters has been sold with a Simmental calf at foot. We will quietly phase out the Eve pedigree line. However, being docile is not a guarantee of safety. A couple of years ago one of our quietest cows who is old and saggy, and I need to teach her calf how to suckle the low slung teats, which is not a problem as she happily stands in the field while you teach her calf. One day while being bent over with the calf between my legs, my young dog that had been lying away got bored and came over to see what I was doing. I noticed her sneak up at the same moment as the cow. Instinctively I stood up and before I could tell the dog to go away, the cow swung her head round with enough force that her horn went into my lower abdomen missed all my vital organs, the horn went so far in that I had a bruise and scar tissue on my back! There was a 2inch hole and the doctor who sewed me up said that it was lucky I am a big bloke, and I was carrying a bit extra weight. I know my wife would agree, but perhaps I should do my own weight analysis! 45
livestock BVA welcomes announcement on Scotland’s laboratories In response to the announcement from the Scottish Rural College (SRUC) that confirms a postmortem laboratory will be retained at Inverness, the British Veterinary Association (BVA) issued a statement welcoming the retention of this facility. SRUC announced that the Drummondhill site will be placed on the market and consulting staff are in the process of moving to An Lòchran, a state of the art facility on the Inverness Campus. Veterinary staff are expected to move to the new post mortem facility by the middle of 2017. In Ayr, the SRUC are significantly investing in the renovation and upgrading of the Nellies Gate
facility on the Auchincruive Estate in order to relocate veterinary and consulting staff. The announcement means that the threat of Scotland being without any disease surveillance has been prevented and offers laboratory staff more certainty about the future. Grace Webster, BVA Scottish Branch President, said: “It’s vital that Scotland continues to have an effective disease surveillance structure in place. BVA called for the retention of post-mortem facilities in our recent election manifesto and we are pleased that the concerns of veterinary surgeons have been heard. Maintaining good access to
diagnostic services and feasible carcase collection as well as a coordinated network of disease control and surveillance is of immense importance
to veterinary surgeons and farmers, particularly those working in remote area, in order to safeguard animal health and promote animal welfare.”
Cogent Breeding announces important partnership with Blondin Sires Inc The market leader in bovine genetics, innovation and selection, Cogent Breeding Ltd, has announced an important partnership with the newly formed, type merit specialist, Blondin Sires Inc. The move, which creates a dedicated partnership in the supply of breed leading Holstein type sires, follows Cogent’s recent expansion in the global market Commenting on the announcement, Owain Harries, Genetic Procurement Manager
at Cogent said: “With this newly formed partnership, what we now have is a dedicated supply of breed leading type sires exclusively available through Cogent. The Blondin name is synonymous with farmers and breeders not only in Canada but globally and we know that through our growing international presence we will be able to bring these leading genetics to customers all over the world.” He continued: “In a world where many of our competitors
livestock Scotch Beef PGI Campaign Delivers Strong Results
Michelin-star chef Tom Kitchen launched the 2016 Scotch Beef campaign.
are closing the link between breeders and their companies, Cogent values the importance of working with the best Breeders to supply top end genetics. A common theme between the two companies is the belief that even with genomics, we must also place focus on the sire
stacks and especially the cow families that bulls are selected from. Strong cow families that are proven to deliver results will be a key feature of this elite offering, based on evidence both companies have experienced through their mainstream programmes.”
Summer Flies – It’s Time To Take Control Of Costly Summer Mastitis & Pink Eye With warmer days and longer evenings announcing the arrival of summer and good silage weather, most stock owners do not need reminding of the problems that they may face from now until well into the autumn, with the arrival of summer flies. Whether your main enterprise is dairy, beef or sheep, flies are more than just a nuisance to your livestock and are often the vectors for disease that can result in reduced productivity and profitability, as well as animal welfare issues. This means that fly control over summer is vital. By reducing flies’ contact with livestock, we can better control key diseases such as Summer Mastitis, Pink Eye and Blowfly Strike. These common fly-borne diseases will reduce animal productivity and your profit margin, so it’s
vital that we take a proactive approach to prevention. The good news is that we can introduce simple protocols to reduce the impact of summer flies. Bimeda Professional Services Veterinarian, Rachel Mallet, here takes a look at how you can take back control. Summer Mastitis in particular is a disease which causes huge stress and expense for UK farmers. Painful and debilitating, summer mastitis is a fly-borne disease resulting in the infection of the non-lactating mammary gland which affects dry cows, young calves and heifers. Where animals are affected by summer mastitis, veterinary intervention will be required as antibiotics and antiinflammatories will be needed. However, prevention is always
Quality Meat Scotland’s recent marketing campaign behind Scotch Beef PGI has delivered strong results for the industry. More than 70% of QMS’s external spend is allocated to marketing and consumer-facing activities such as the recent Scotch Beef campaign which drove an 8.8% increase in the volume of sales of Scottishorigin beef. Analysis by independent market research organisation Kantar Worldpanel, reveals the increase in sales during the campaign was worth £1.3 million. Notably the results of analysis by independent market research organisation Kantar Worldpanel reveal that Scottish-origin beef maintained an average price differential of 15% over home-produced beef – ie shoppers were willing to pay 15% more. During the campaign the penetration of Scottishorigin beef in the GB market also increased by 12%. The 13 week campaign showcased Scotch Beef and the flavour, provenance, traceability and integrity which underpin the brand’s PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) status. With the strapline of “There’s beef, there’s Scottish beef, then there’s
Scotch Beef”, the campaign targeted 10 million consumers across Greater London and the Home Counties during February, March and April and aimed to inform, educate and inspire them to use Scotch Beef when they cook. The campaign also ran in Scotland during March and April. A key objective of the 2016 campaign was to clearly differentiate Scotch Beef, and the marketing push included billboard and press advertising as well as on-line activity. Three hundred independent butchers, who are members of the Scotch Butchers Club, also received promotional packs with steak sauce recipe cards and resources to help them boost their sales of Scotch Beef steaks. Suzie Carlaw, Marketing Controller with QMS, said that the results confirmed that the campaign had delivered strongly for the industry. “One notable group of shoppers who were particularly influenced by the campaign were those under 45 years old. “We saw an increase in demand from this group of 26%, with beef grilling cuts and mince being particularly sought after by these buyers,” said Ms Carlaw.
livestock better than cure as, in reality; most affected quarters will not recover. Taking Control Now is the time to act to reduce the risk on your farm. Many farmers use teat sealants and antibiotics to prevent summer mastitis. Fly control is also vital to prevent the disease from spreading from cow to cow. Fly control ear tags, insecticides, pour-ons
and weekly application of stockholm tar can all play a role in fly control. In most cases, successful prevention of fly-borne diseases is very reliant on the repelling the adult fly and pour-ons/ spot-ons, such as those containing deltamethrin are an effective tool in the control of fly-borne diseases. For Pink Eye, flies are the biggest risk factor for the irritation to the eye necessary
for the disease, and for spreading the disease from one animal to another. Aside from the obvious animal welfare implications resulting from the inflammation and ulceration of the eye, Pink Eye is of major economic significance through; - Decreased weight gain, -Decreased milk production, -Treatment costs. As with summer mastitis, prevention of Pink Eye is
Anti-Inflammatory Pour-On For Cattle Now Licensed For Mastitis*
FINADYNE® Transdermal from MSD Animal Health (known as Merck Animal Health in the United States and Canada) can now be used as a single application to reduce pyrexia associated with acute mastitis. This new claim adds to the already proven efficacy to reduce pyrexia associated with bovine respiratory disease. The innovative technology behind the first and only Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory pour-on for cattle brings enhanced penetration through 48
the skin coupled with rapid absorption into the blood system. The peak plasma concentrations remain higher for longer than those typically observed when using the injectable formulation. “Uniquely, FINADYNE Transdermal is a pour-on formulation combining rapid efficacy with this novel, needle-free administration route. After applying to the skin it works fast, as quickly as two hours after treatment, and has a short (36 hours)
milk withdrawal requirement,” explains Dr. Martin Behr, technical manager at MSD Animal Health. “This latest license claim gives veterinary surgeons and farmers a new option in the treatment of mastitis. The single pour-on application means less stress for the animal and milk from lactating cows can go back in the tank in just 36 hours. In addition, use of a pour-on NSAID means reduced use of needles and better animal well-being.”
vastly preferable to treatment, which will require veterinary intervention. Management practices that reduce the risk factors associated with Pink Eye are the most effective tools in decreasing the incidence of disease. With a lower incidence of disease, the overall concentration of bacteria on the farm will be lowered, reducing the risk of a severe pinkeye outbreak.
Bluetongue vaccine expected mid-July A batch of the bluetongue vaccines, Zulvac® 8 Bovis and Zulvac® 8 Ovis, is expected to become available to veterinary practices in mid-July. Manufacturer Zoetis urges interested farmers to speak with their vets “sooner rather than later” to discuss disease risk and help practices get an indication of likely demand. The company says the quantity of vaccine will not be unlimited and that it will strive to achieve as widespread availability as possible. The two vaccines (Bovis for cattle and Ovis for sheep) are licensed to “prevent viraemia” caused by bluetongue virus serotype 8 (BTV-8). Prevention of viraemia, the presence of bluetongue virus in the blood, ensures no onward spread of infection via the blood sucking Culicoides midge. The vaccines can be used in cattle from three months of age, or six weeks in sheep, requiring two doses three weeks apart in either species. Each dose is 2ml administered intramuscularly in cattle or subcutaneously in sheep, and onset of immunity is 25 days after the second dose. The vaccine provides immunity for a full 12 months.
Captive – Bolt Humane Stunner from Entwistle Adler
Oh the Summer time is coming… By Andy Cant Northvet Veterinary Group Features a robust economy model captive-bolt tool tried and tested by farmers and vets over many years Takes any strength of .22 long blank. Unique firing mechanism, cocks and fires in one movement ensuring that it cannot be accidentally fired or left cocked. Suitable for farm animals of all sizes. No firearms permit required.£199.00 ex VAT
Optional extra – Breech Adapter to take .38 blanks for older cattle, bulls, horses, large sows and boars £39.00 Ammunition: .22 blanks: Pink (1.25 grain) for lambs and calves; Purple (2.5 grain) for adult sheep and pigs; Green (3 grain) for larger animals £17 per hundred; .38 blanks £35 per hundred.
Importance of Open and Transparent Flow of Communication Highlighted The importance of good communications between the different parts of the red meat industry was emphasised recently by Uel Morton, Chief Executive of Quality Meat Scotland (QMS). Welcoming around 140 delegates to QMS’s “Rising to the Challenges” conference at Airth, Mr Morton highlighted the value of open-ness and twoway communication. “This flow of communication and transparency is vital to set the scene for a sustainable industry which is willing to change, rise to the challenges and respond to the opportunities in a changing 52
marketplace,” said Mr Morton. He also pointed out the importance of recognising the value which is added by each link of the red meat chain, from one end to the other. “For this value to be maximised for everyone’s benefit it is important there is a willingness to listen, understand and work closely with the other parts of the chain,” said Mr Morton. “It is well recognised that the most successful value chains are those where recognition is given to the value being added and the rewards shared accordingly.”
…. and it seems to get shorter and shorter. A lot of cattle are still inside at the start of June again this year. However with land drier and grass further on by comparison to last year hopefully our summer will be productive. And the trees are sweetly blooming… …. and providing a fine environment for flies. One of the downsides of summer is the upsurge in flies and the diseases they can bring. Fly strike must be one of the worst scourges that can afflict animals and can often go unnoticed until its too late. Apart from laying their eggs and the consequent maggots that cause fly strike, flies also can spread infection, as they are attracted to any wound or secretion oozing from the body. Summer mastitis in dry cows starts this way with flies feeding on teat canal secretions. Prevention with fly repellants and teat sealants will be required in areas where this is prevalent. Up here in Orkney it is one of our few
advantages that flies are not much of a problem. This is mostly due to a lack of trees and shrubs and a good wind to blow them away! And the wild mountain thyme grows… … which is just as well if the antimicrobial lobby get their way and we are limited in our choice of antibiotics. Thymol, which is derived from thyme has antiseptic properties and is still used in some well known mouthwashes for that purpose. It also used to be used to medicate bandages. We may need to go back to it! All around the blooming heather… ….which nearly defines a less favoured area and whatever your take on subsidies means more cash circulating around for farmers, service industries and communities in general. Which leads to the question of whether you would risk all that and vote for the unknown of leaving Europe. By the time you are reading this you will know the answer. Will you go lassie go?
dairy How much can the ADF Milking system save you? With the current milk market it has never been so important for dairy farmers to reduce costs and further improve their efficiency. The ADF system dramatically reduces labour whilst improving cow health and increasing milk yield – all of which increases profitability for the farmer. 750 farms across the UK have now installed the ADF system to increase their milk profit. The award winning ADF Automatic Dipping and Flushing System applies dip to cow’s teats immediately after milking, with consistent teat coverage the ADF system prevents residue and bacteria from being drawn up the teat canal when most vulnerable, which is a major cause of mastitis. The cluster is removed and the ADF system thoroughly sanitises each teat cup with six cycles of sanitised water and compressed air, every cow is milked with a clean and sanitised liner doing the utmost to prevent cross contamination of mastitis Minimising the cost of clinical mastitis can make huge savings on veterinary costs and greatly
reduce your Somatic Cell Count improving your milk quality. A staggering amount of labour can be saved by automating manual dipping, giving you back valuable time to spend elsewhere on the farm or however you want. ADF Milking have developed a Savings Calculator which lets you find out how much you could save by installing the ADF
System. Many farmers are saving more than 2 pence per litre on their milk price since becoming ADF dairy farmers. ADF Milking will be exhibiting at the Livestock show on stand MK444 in the Milking Zone. They will be providing demonstrations of the ADF system in action and offering you the chance to try the Savings
Calculator to find out how much you could be saving by milking with an ADF System. At the Livestock event, head towards the yellow tower of signature ADF Milking clusters looming above the exhibition hall, where you will be greeted with award winning cheeses and vodka made on their customer’s farms.
Bulk milk tests show high gutworm exposure on UK dairy farms Almost three quarters of dairy farms sampled in recent bulk milk tests showed some level of exposure to gutworms – significantly compromising herd health and productivity. The tests were conducted by Norbrook on nearly 300 farms across the UK, from July to December 2015. Results showed a high or very high level of exposure to gutworm in 73% of samples. Rebecca Laborne, Product Manager at Norbrook, says these latest results from the company’s Bulk Milk Tank Testing highlight a worryingly high exposure to gutworm in adult dairy cattle. “The results are quite staggering because gutworms have a substantial impact on herd health and negatively impact milk productivity in dairy cattle. www.farmingscotlandmagazine.com
As well as decreasing milk yield, these intestinal parasites decrease appetite, and can have a long term negative impact on herd fertility.” Norbrook offers free bulk milk samples to gauge levels of infection by measuring the antibody to the gastro-intestinal nematode, Ostertagia ostertagi. High antibody levels have been associated with a drop in annual average milk production of up to 1.2kg/day. Mrs Laborne says there are many benefits to using an anthelmintic treatment in adult cattle – and these are typically more dramatic in herds with a high proven antibody level. “When appropriate, treating adult cows with anthelmintics has many proven benefits on performance. This includes increased dry matter intake of 53
dairy up to one kilogramme per cow per day and improved fertility – one study suggests that might be as much as a 20% increase in conception rate at first service. Other studies show improved fat, protein and milk solids. Yield improvement after treatment can be up to two litres per cow per day,” says Stephanie Small BVSc MRCVS, Veterinary Advisor at Norbrook.
Eprizero is a pour-on solution for beef and dairy cattle for the treatment and prevention of gastrointestinal roundworms, lungworms, warbles and treatment of mange mites, lice (biting and sucking) and horn flies. The solution has a zero hour milk withdrawal period and 10 day meat withdrawal period. It is estimated that outbreaks of lungworm cost £50-£100 per
head in growing cattle, and lost milk production cost in adults could reach £3 per cow per day, resulting in losses of millions of pounds for the UK herd annually. With a 28 day persistency for both gutworm and lungworm infections, Eprizero gives dairy farmers the confidence of treating both infections simultaneously and is convenient to apply.
Mrs Laborne adds that there is often a misconception that exposure to gutworms and lungworms in adult dairy cattle has no effect on productivity but multiple studies have shown this to be untrue. Bulk Milk Testing is available from Norbrook Laboratories (GB) Ltd, free of charge. For more details, contact your vet or animal health advisor.
AFBI Research Highlights Value of Grazed Grass In recent years there has been an increasing trend towards less reliance on grazing in dairy systems, with many herds now adopting part or full time housing of cows during the summer period. One reason normally given for the move away from full-time grazing is ‘’difficulties in meeting the nutrient requirements of highyielding cows within grazing systems’’. Increasing herd size has also contributed to the increased adoption of ‘summer housing’, as in some cases there is insufficient grazing area readily accessible from the milking parlour. This can be a particular issue on farms with fragmented land blocks, where walking cows to and from grazing areas has become increasingly difficult due to increasing traffic on many rural roads. One of the key factors that needs to be considered in adopting a system with increased reliance on housing during the grazing period is the very significant increase in costs, and whether this can be justified in terms of improved cow performance. A recent study at AFBI Hillsborough examined cow performance with housed and grazing cows offered the same amount of concentrates. Details of study Sixty-six mid lactation Holstein-Friesian cows, 22 in first lactation, were managed on one of three systems from early May to late September: Full-time grazing: Cows grazing both ‘day’ and ‘night’. Day-time grazing: Cows grazing by ‘day’ (between 54
morning and afternoon milking) and housed at ‘night’ and offered grass silage. Full-time housing: Cows housed both ‘day’ and ‘night’ and offered grass silage. The silage offered was good quality, and had a dry matter of 33%, a crude protein content of 14.3% DM and a D value of 720 g per kg. All cows were offered 8.0 kg of concentrate per day inparlour (4 kg at each milking), with the concentrates offered with each system designed to supplement the forage offered. Results The performance of cows on the three treatments are summarised in Table 1. Cows on the full-time grazing treatment had a much higher grass intake (10.5 kg DM/day) than those on the day-time grazing treatment (3.0 kg DM/day). This was despite the fact that the cows grazing by day only had a higher post-grazing sward height (6.0 cm) compared to those grazing full-time (5.2 cm). The low grass intake of the day-time grazing cows was reflected in their high silage intakes (9.3 kg DM/day), which was only 2.7 kg DM/day lower than for cows housed fulltime. All three groups of cows had similar milk yields with similar milk protein content. However, cows on full-time grazing produced milk with a lower fat content, and as a result these cows had a lower fat plus protein yield than those housed full-time or only by night. The lower milk fat content with full-time grazing reflected the lower fibre content
of grazed grass compared to grass silage. An economic analysis was undertaken based on a milk price of 18 pence per litre, a concentrate cost of £230/t, and with grazed grass and grass silage costed at £110 and £140/t DM, respectively (Full economic costs, CAFRE forage costs). The value of milk produced was 36p per day lower with fulltime grazing compared to fulltime housing, largely due to the lower fat content of the milk produced. However, the margin over feed costs was 17 pence/ cow/day lower with the full-time housing treatment, compared to the full-time grazing treatment and 28 pence/cow/day lower with the day time grazing treatment. . Whilst labour and machinery costs associated with the different systems will vary greatly from farm to farm, depending on facilities and equipment available, the daytime grazing system will have the highest costs as it incorporates all aspects of both the full-time
grazing and housing systems. In addition, previous research has also shown that housed cows are likely to have more health problems than grazing cows. Conclusions The performance of cows on each of these different management systems will vary between individual farms depending on the silage quality available, grassland management practices and weather conditions during the grazing period. However, the results of this study demonstrate that the difference in performance between well managed grazing systems and those involving part or fulltime housing over the summer are very small and did not compensate for the significant increases in feed, labour and machinery costs associated with housing. With current low milk prices, getting more grazed grass into the diets of dairy cows and minimising costs of production makes economic sense and so remains the most cost efficient option.
Work to be done
New product proven to significantly increase calf growth rates and improve health With a staggering 15% of dairy heifers born alive failing to make it through to rearing, producers are being reminded that small changes to infant diets can have a huge impact on not only survival rates but also overall health. The addition of Downland’s Fresh Start Improve into milk diets, has been trialed successfully on-farm and has been proven to reduce scour and improve growth rates. “We know that it’s essential for a calf to develop and maintain a healthy and strong gut wall, to maximise daily weight gain and reduce any growth checks at weaning. “Fresh Start Improve is a unique combination of natural ingredients specially formulated to maximise calf growth, immune response and gut health,” says
Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity Mark Lowden, chief executive at Downland. “Added to either powdered or whole milk, the product fed at 7g/calf/day, not only binds harmful bacteria in the gut reducing the risk of scour, but also provides antioxidants which have been proven to increase antibody levels and reduce the number of days the calf is sick. “Additionally, it supplies functional proteins directly to the gut wall and also contains a unique source of DHA omega-3 essential for calf development.”
Dairy farmers need to focus on the cause of transition disease rather than ‘fixing broken cows’ Dairy farmers focus more on the consequences of immune suppression around calving, rather than addressing this leading cause of problematic transition diseases, nationwide survey results have revealed. A series of surveys commissioned by Elanco Animal Health found that 98% of UK dairy vets and 72% of producers rank mastitis as the leading herd health concern for dairy producers, with almost three quarters of farmers correctly identifying immune suppression as a core cause of the disease. For example, while mastitis is directly related to immune suppression, ketosis, milk fever and displaced abomasum are
not. However, the latter illnesses were consistently cited among survey respondents as leading consequences of compromised immunity. Alistair Macrae, vet and lecturer at the University of Edinburgh, thinks a shift in approach is needed: “Most dairy producers are aware that their cows are more vulnerable around calving but don’t focus on why this is the case. At the moment, we spend far too much time fixing ‘broken cows’ rather than focusing on prevention. To read the full survey findings and to find out more about monitoring stressors that may lead to immune suppression, visit www.vital90days.co.uk
“It is an honour and privilege to take on the role of Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity. First of all I wish to pay tribute to Richard Lochhead who held the post for nine years during which he proved to be a committed, effective advocate for Food and Drink and Rural Champion. I know there is more to do to resolve the payment problems many have experienced with the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and that is why I am making it my first, and foremost, priority. I will devote all necessary time and attention to that task. Most farmers and crofters should now have received most of their due payments, and the Scottish Government is doing everything possible to ensure the remaining payments are made before the end of June. I am well aware that the resolution of the CAP payments will not be achieved overnight, but I do not want to see a repeat of the problems we have faced over this past year, and it is one of my main objectives to see that the 2016 payments are on a proper footing Rest assured we have already started to address this and I have two other objectives in mind: to complete 2015 payments so farmers get their money as soon as possible, and to
deliver compliance and minimise any financial penalties. Progress is being made. By the end of April, all eligible farmers should have received a substantial payment from the Government unless they chose to opt-out of the nationally funded loan scheme. That payment will have been worth around 80 per cent of their estimated entitlement. I am determined that the Government learns lessons from the Futures programme – however, I do not wish to distract from the immediate, pressing task of getting the last payments out of farmers and crofters. Now is the time to focus on that, but I can confirm there will be a process to learn lessons. I am also determined to oversee and drive forward the work necessary to bring this payment regime back onto an even keel. I have represented for seventeen years in the Holyrood Parliament a constituency with substantial farming communities in Nairnshire, in Strathspey, and formerly before boundary changes removed it in 2011, in Lochaber so I have sought to support the rural community and farming in particular and now am delighted to have the chance to do so as Cabinet Secretary.”
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“Isolation Shepherd” A three-day cattle drive in June made a welcome break to the shepherding life at Strathmore – but it was not without its dramas, as Iain R Thomson explains in our excusive extract from his memoir Isolation Shepherd
Summer days found Strathmore at its most idyllic. The full-some green of the hills were patterned in vagrant shadow, cast by aimless clouds that sailed through blue-skyed days, when all life relaxed and strolling time took its step from the sun. Though much work needed to be done, no sense of urgency pressed on the weeks that slid easily by. Although we were all employees, nobody planned our days. Few people arrived without our knowledge of their coming, and this relative security from intrusion encouraged a lifestyle which in many respects resembled that of the days of a now-forgotten era. Work did not seem arduous or boring. Often myself and the Kenny and Iain MacKay, our neighbours across Loch Monar, would share tasks in the old communal way with much fun and banter. Peats cut in May had to be turned and stacked. The winter’s accumulated midden of dung at the byre I harrowed down to the croft and spread over the acre of grass which later in the season became hay crop. Repair jobs of a variety of kinds: fencing, the pier or the paths, all were tackled according to the day and one’s own inclinations. Early in June there came word from the home estate that the hill cattle which grazed annually in our glen would be moving out from their winter quarters on a certain day. Could we come so far along the route 58
to meet the Fairburn boys and help with the drive? In our customary fashion the MacKay boys and myself decided to turn work into play and planned an expedition accordingly. The route the cattle trek took from the home farm at Fairburn led up Glen Orrin past Corrie Hallie lodge, and thence to the Bealach over into the east Monar ground at Corrie Dhomhain. This long, narrow, steep-sided glen bought them down to the Monar lochside for the final trek west to Strathmore. Dandy the pony was commissioned and fitted out for the trip with a deer saddle, hung either side with roomy panniers filled with enough requirements for a modest expedition to the Himalayas. We left after breakfast on a breezy morning of light rain which promised to clear - three lank, lean figures striding out down the lochside in high good humour. The day brightened as we climbed out of Corrie Dhomhain and made the steep descent into the head of Glen Orrin. The fresh clean wind held a taste of the snows which still lay on the highest ranges stretching away to the north. Our spirits soared with a touch of adventure as we followed the river to where the glen broadened out into grazing flats beside a bonnie lochan. In these pleasant surroundings had been built Corrie Hallie lodge, now empty and disused, where we stopped for the night, joined by the two tired Fairburn boys, Sandy Thomson and Willie Pirie, whose pony Shean, like ours, was also kitted out with loaded panniers In pseudo Wild-West style, we kindled a cooking fire and made a chuckwagon meal: salt
venison, potatoes, milk and rice pudding - plain fare but wholesome. A good supper, a sharp evening of long summer light and, to the Fairburn boys’ surprise, we took a football from our panniers. No persuasion needed, we drove some loitering cows from a level area and the glen echoed to a good hard game. A half moon peeped over an eastern ridge as, tired and happy, we rolled into blankets on the old lodge floor. Next morning, we got the cows to their feet ready for the main part of the trek. Checking round the herd, Willie the cattleman found one of the cows had calved overnight. A cross Aberdeen-Angus calf, small but lively, Willie told us he doubted if it would make the journey but, ‘like the rest of us,’ he said, ‘it can take its chance.’ Kenny and I saddled the ponies. Shean seemed to catch the excitement of moving on and skitted about as we tugged at belly bands and tail straps. Whoops and shouts, waves and sticks, agitated cows called up their calves, bawling and milling a little until some of the lead animals picked up the path away from the river flats to head west up the long glen. We were, in fact, travelling an old drove road, the baring of the stones over a broad area told of many hooves passing that way before us. A pleasant
day of cloud floating south, a west wind warm and growthy, pulling the cattle back to sweet hill pastures that surely they recalled. Moving along with willing step the lead cows picked out the winding route. Men and ponies followed a cacophony of calls, anxious staccato calves against a background of throaty answering mothers. The herd swung along to a clip and rattle of stepping hooves, swinging tails and rolling backs strung out ahead of us. The air hung with the smell of the cattle, strangely appealing and attractive to those who make it their job to tend the bovine world - until it came to persuading the cattle to make the steep climb out of Glen Orrin. At this point some glamour evaporated as we resorted to beating and cursing the stubborn brutes as they milled at the foot of the climb. Eventually a small cut had to be driven ahead to lead the remainder. Sandy stayed below holding the ponies and shouting advice. Once over the high Bealach, the herd stepped onto Monar ground. Knowing they were heading for clean, unmolested summering, they toddled off in good form. The calf born that morning kept up all the way, running tight to its caring mother’s side, a credit to the hardiness of a native
Forcing the cattle to swim the corran at the head of Loch Monar
Glen Dhomhian of droving days
Scottish breed of cattle. Both a Shorthorn and an Angus bull also trundled in the herd. They seemed always in the rear rank of the column, eyeing and occasionally grumbling at one another. Down onto Loch Monarside and over the river at the halfway house. The cattle, thirsty and empty-sided, made it clear that they wanted to stop and graze, the whole journey being the best part of 30 miles, with by far the bigger half undertaken that day. We left the tired herd on the slopes of Maoile Choill-Mhias and made for home knowing we could complete the job next morning. Reaching Strathmore that evening, we also felt ready for a rest. The ponies’ kit and the Fairburn boys were loaded into a boat and I rowed them over to Pait. Iain and Kenny took a pony each and swam them over the corran. We watched from the rowing boat as the MacKay boys, standing on the backs of the swimming ponies, balanced with the reins. Our drove had yet to reach its destination, the broad grassy flats west of Pait and surrounding the Gead Lochs. Duly next morning the drovers boated down to the halfway house, there to pick up the herd again. Large piles of dung and flattened grass beds told us the herd had not moved much after we left them the previous evening. Counting as best we could, there were 120 cows, many with calves at foot, leaving us reasonably certain of a correct muster, and with little difficulty, we drove on as far as the corran
crossing on the Strathmore side. Here, on the steep bank down to the swim-over crossing, fun really commenced. The herd obstinately decided that to the Strathmore glen they must head. Our firm intention was to swim them across to the Pait shore. A battle of bovine perverseness versus sheer human determination commenced.
‘Head to head, bellowing and pushing, sidestepping and rushing, down into the loch the two bulls went’ To heighten the fracas the bulls, electrified by the rodeo, decided to fall out in earnest. Head to head, bellowing and pushing, side-stepping and rushing, down into the loch they went. We tried to stop them but nothing halted or broke their anger. Soon their noses gushed blood, the water foamed red. All, including the cows, turned spectator to watch this awesome display of power and venom. They fought many minutes, heaving, bellowing and bashing heads together with resounding thuds as they wheeled about amidst rock and stone. Belly deep in water, splashing and snorting, little wonder the Shorthorn slipped. In a flash the Angus’s head went under the rolling belly and, using all the rippling power in his huge neck, he literally threw his opponent out into the loch. The poor Shorthorn landed with a wallowing splash. Fear lent speed and before the victor could take further advantage he shot to his feet and fled round the shore.
Glen Orrin head with Loch na Caoidhe. The tracks marking the hillside on the left foreground are ample evidence this pass has been used as a drove road for generations
After this highlight, our own battle still remained. We went back to the herd which now stood glumly looking at the unpleasant prospect of a swim. ‘How about the boat?’ Iain suggested. I ran round to the pier and took out the Spray, towing a rowing boat round to the corran channel. Taking a long rope out of the Spray but leaving one end secured to the stern ring, Kenny fashioned a loop and I rowed him in the little boat towards the cattle. He stood balancing on the stern seat as I held the rowing boat to the beach and threw the loop with a dexterity to be admired, or perhaps luck to be envied, over a cow’s head. The panicking animal started back, fighting the tightening rope. ‘Full speed ahead,’ Iain yelled to the Spray. Betty raced the engine, pulling the choking beast into the water. Watching the straining rope, I put Kenny alongside her and over the gunwale of the rowing boat he reached out to keep her head up.
‘For what reason I don’t know, but many of the cows swam with their tails held straight up in the air’
To see a large herd of cattle all swimming was a fine spectacle. The cows lunged into the water, heads up, eyes wild and rolling, before they struck out boldly, their fat bellies keeping them afloat like bobbing barrels. Most amusingly, and for what reason I don’t know, many swam with their tails held straight up in the air. The calves were equally comical, diving in, their heads up, terrified, bawling for their mothers, before swimming frantically as they took a first lesson in an element they only knew as a drink. We wondered about the two-day-old calf, but again left him to take his chance, he couldn’t be caught anyway, and the tough little fellow appeared on the far side as good as the rest. Betty and myself positioned the Spray on the east side of the swimming mob to guide them onto the sandbank. They clambered out, dripping, each standing a moment to shake itself dry before, fresh and frisky, they cantered along the sand to the flats about Pait boathouse. Their three-day trek was virtually over as the herd picked its way up the road to Pait, away for the summer to thousands of acres of clean, empty country.
The lassoed cow began to swim. It only took one to show the way and the herd began to pour into the water and swim.
This is an edited extract from Iain R Thomson’s Isolation Shepherd, which is published by Birlinn, price £8.99
sheep Key to the Future of UK Sheep Farming is Meeting Market Demands The Scottish sheep industry needs to be able to react to market demands if it is to have a profitable future, according to Ian Campbell, Managing Director of Glenrath which is hosting Scotsheep 2016 next week. The Campbell family, who are hosting the biennial event on June 1st at Blythbank farm, Penicuik, near Edinburgh, run around 15,000 acres primarily in Peebleshire with one sheep farm in Ayrshire. Glenrath is also Scotland’s biggest egg producer and, while the sheep side of their enterprise must stand on its own merit in terms of profitability, the Campbell family clearly draw from their poultry experience in the way they manage their livestock. Meeting the specifications being demanded by the market is one example of this with 95% of the Campbell’s lambs meeting abattoir target specifications. According to Ian Campbell, Managing Director of Glenrath, who is very much hands-on in the day-to-day management of the family sheep business, meeting customer demands in areas such as animal welfare is also crucial.
“There is still a great future for farmers in the UK but we’ve got to react to what the market wants. One example is the quality assurance schemes which have a very important role in giving our customers, the major retailers, the assurance we are producing livestock to the highest standards and to the highest welfare standards,” said Mr Campbell. “As an industry we have to keep on improving because the only way we will get a premium for our product is if we can prove what we are producing is better than what is being produced elsewhere in the world.” The Campbell family came to Glenrath in 1961 from Argyllshire and quickly found themselves in financial difficulty. “My parents were traditional hill sheep farmers but to succeed they had to diversify as the bank at that time told them they would not be able to carry on. “So my mother diversified into growing pullets from day old chickens and went round Scotland in a transit van selling pullets and became known as the ‘hen lady’!” said Mr Campbell. The family now has two million laying hens and pack and grade all the eggs which are sold to the major retailers in the UK.
They are currently looking for Scottish hill farmers who might be interested in working with them to run free-range poultry units, alongside their livestock operations. The Campbells’ sheep enterprise totals 10,000 ewes with their main breeds being 6000 Blackface ewes and 4000 Mule ewes. Around 2000 of the older Blackface ewes are crossed with the Bluefaced Leicester to produce the Mules kept on the lowground farms. They also run a small flock of 50 Suffolk ewes which are kept to produce a terminal sire for Mules. They also have two
flocks of Texels – one based at Glenrath Farm near Peebles with the other flock at Blythbank originating from one of the original importations of Texels to the UK, in the early 70s. The hill farms are very extensive, with a typical stocking rate of one ewe per three acres, and careful grassland management is something the Glenrath team view as extremely important. The goal is to produce as much red meat from grass using as little cereal as possible. The ewes regularly pregnancy scan at 200% with the aim being to wean them at 175% and flock health is viewed as key.
Lairds Recognised for Dedication to Genetic Improvement The Cambwell flock of pedigree Texels has seen huge improvements genetically in recent years thanks to careful recording and analysing of data, followed up by excellent management decisions and good husbandry. Robert and Joyce Laird, who run the flock at Cambwell Farm, Biggar with the help of their two daughters, Amy and Kim, are delighted to have their hard work recognised by the industry. 60
The family will be awarded the Quality Meat Scotland Johnston Carmichael Trophy for the Best Recorded Flock which will be presented at Scotsheep on June 1st. The Lairds have around 400 acres of mostly LFA grassland where they run 60 suckler cows, 80 pedigree Texels and 240 commercial ewes. The Texel flock is one of the oldest in the UK with Robert’s father, Tom, taking sheep from the very
first importation in 1973, and they have been performance recording for 30 years. “We use recorded Angus bulls on the suckler herd and sell the steers deadweight. I think you really see the value of performance recording from the carcases and can see the genetic improvements. I have adopted the same principle with the sheep and can easily see the benefits to the flock,” said Mr Laird.
The Lairds are particularly keen on positive fat and muscle EBVs. “Growth is important too but I feel that performance recording can be too geared towards growth rates. I am mindful of keeping easy-fleshed, medium-sized sheep, which is what the commercial market wants.” Mr Laird is convinced there is a link between positive fat and longevity and has seen improvements in his flock in
My new Kiwi helper By James Rhys Baylis
many areas such as growth, milk, fleshing ability and longevity. Indeed he has some ewes which are eight years old. The Lairds have also paid great attention to detail in terms of the health of both flocks which are scrapie monitored and MV accredited. This, along with the performance recording,
has opened up the world market to them and the first shipment of 10 Cambwell Texels were exported to Switzerland in 2014. Last year they sent 26 sheep to Holland, Switzerland and Italy and have benefitted from semen sales to Brazil, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, Canada and the US.
New mobile sheep handling systems launched for small flocks Two mobile sheep handling systems, designed to meet the needs of smaller flock owners and new entrants to sheep keeping, have been launched by Fearing. The Smallholder range builds on the Alligator mobile sheep handling system, popular in larger commercial setups for its modular design, engineered for strength and durability. The Smallholder Mini handles up to 10 adult sheep at a time and is suitable for oneperson operation, according to Fearing Lifestyle manager Claire Irving. “The lightweight
aluminium modular design makes it robust and easy to assemble and transport,” she says. It includes sheeted and barred hurdles, head yoke and backing gate. For flocks building up numbers or with groups in different locations, a larger trailer-mounted version includes a three way drafting gate and guillotine gates and uses the same light-weight and strong design. It can be towed behind a car or quad bike and is Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) approved as road legal. Fearing’s Claire Irving adds:
Since returning from my lambing job in Macclesfield, I’ve been kept busy with plenty of extra work off the farm. The last few months have seen me travel across the country, docking lambs, crutching and dosing ewes and more recently assisting with shearing. Working on other farms is a great way to explore different farming systems, gaining practical experience as well as knowledge at the same time. It can also be a real eye opener, as working with mobile yards has recently proved how quickly and efficiently some jobs can be done by simply taking the system to the sheep rather than vice versa. Despite the purpose of the work being to bring in a wage, I often come away from these fantastic farms with a very large shopping list! I’ve barely stopped in the last few months, and have thoroughly enjoyed the contract work, so the aim now is to grow this in to a successful contract shepherding business. My one year old Welsh sheepdog Non is coming on in leaps and bounds and can now gather in our ewes if she’s in the right mood. Her mind can wander on occasion but she’s still very young, so I’m sure she’ll settle down as she grows older and gets more
experience. I had been thinking about purchasing an older trained dog to help her progress, but have instead bought a New Zealand Huntaway pup from Tom and Liz Jenkins on the Glenapp estate. Being a Kiwi dog, he needed a good Kiwi name, so we’ve opted for Dane, after the All Blacks and Hurricanes hooker Dane Coles. He’s good as gold, and much calmer than Non was as a pup and he has helped calm her down a little already. These two will hopefully make a great working team. I’m always looking for more work, so if you’re in the need of an extra pair of hands to assist at busy times, with either sheep or cattle, don’t hesitate to contact me either via my website www. solwayshepherd.co.uk or on social media (you’ll find me by searching for SolwayShepherd on Facebook or Twitter!)
sheep After another successful Scotsheep…onwards we go by Euan Emslie NSA Scotland have had a couple of busy months what with their flagship event just past. Glorious sunshine throughout the day attracted a record attendance of sheep enthusiasts to NSA Scotsheep 2016 on June 1. Visitors enjoyed a packed programme which included the opportunity of viewing one of Scotland’s leading sheep farms, 43 breed exhibits, 150 trade stands, Scottish Young Shepherd of the Year competition, a range of demonstrations, stockjudging, sheepdog trials, sheep shearing competitions, seminars and show & sale ewe hoggs The event was held at Blythbank farm, West Linton part of the Campbell family’s extensive Glenrath Farms farming empire. RBS (Major Sponsors of the event) chief executive, Ross McEwan, who opened the event, highlighted the importance of agriculture to Scotland with sheep playing a key part in maintaining the fabric of the countryside. More than £19 million of bridging funding had been loaned to 800 farmers to tide them over following the delay in the payment of EU
support from the Scottish Government. Scotland’s new Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity, Fergus Ewing, attended the event, and said his priority since his appointment 10 days earlier was to fix the flawed IT system which had been the cause of delayed support payments to farmers. “Most farmers have received 80% of the payments due to them and the computer problems are either already fixed or in the course of being fixed,” he said. “I know the delays have put many farmers in a difficult financial position and caused anger and frustration. But we are fixing it as a matter or priority.” He said he has a keen appreciation of farming and the rural sector. Farmers did not get the credit they deserved producing food for the nation, which was their primary role. By the time you read this we will have had four days at the RHS where this year, we are educating the public on different cuts of lamb for the BBQ with tastings for visitors under the theme “Simple Easy BBQ Lamb”. Hopefully this will lead to increased consumption.
“The need to handle sheep calmly for routine management tasks is important, whatever the flock size. These systems offer the benefits of a handling system, proven by commercial farmers, configured specifically
for use on a smaller and more manageable scale. “Modular design means it can be expanded as flock size grows over time, which could be a real advantage to someone establishing a flock.”
Trace element deficiencies knock lambs at weaning
Practices such as liming and spreading slurry have led to many trace element deficiencies in grazing around the UK. With many farmers thinking about weaning lambs, a deficiency could cause major losses of up to 200g/day growth rates. My advice would be to provide additional mineral supplementation to recently limed fields, in order to avoid an
impact on lamb growth rates at this crucial time. “A growth check at weaning could mean lambs drop in daily live weight gain (DLWG) from around 300g/day to around only 100g/day. This is equivalent to around 1.4kilos/week, which could make up to a month’s difference to slaughter time. “All the extra days add up to a big difference on the bottom line.
sheep Say hello to the ‘Blacknose Beauties’
crofting The inexplicable case of a public body confusing legal dogma with good sense By Patrick Krause, Chief Executive, Scottish Crofting Federation
It has been announced that the Valais Blacknose Sheep Society UK is to host the UK’s very first National Show and Sale dedicated to the Valais Blacknose Sheep – ‘Blacknose Beauties’. This, their first ever Valais Blacknose National Show and Sale will be held at Harrison & Hetherington’s Borderway Mart, Carlisle, on Saturday 20th August 2016. ‘Blacknose Beauties’ will commence at 10:00am, and will include free admission and parking for all visitors. Showcasing the very best of the renowned Swiss breed, this will be a highly spectacular event which the society have formed by combining elements from elite Swiss shows such as Miss Visp and Widdermarkt which are known to attract visitors in their thousands. Alongside the show and sale, as part of the ‘Blacknose Beauties’
event, there will be a grand parade of the Valais Blacknose sheep, and a variety of exhibitors providing the latest industry information on breeding and genetics, as well as, nutrition and up-to-date technical developments. It is anticipated that there will be in the region of 120 entries, with 16 classes in total. Included are classes for Ewes and Rams, as well as, a Young Handlers class and Overall Championships classes. As with the Swiss ‘Miss Visp’ competition, class winners will receive a traditional Swiss cow bell. The winners of each class will then compete to take home the Supreme Champion title. For more information on sponsorship opportunities, visit www.valaisblacknosesheepsociety. co.uk Email: info@ valaisblacknosesheepsociety.co.uk
Following the summary dismissal of two (or more) grazings committees; the possibly illegal foisting of grazings constables upon the dismembered grazings; the demolition of crofters’ characters; the contradiction and confusion, it is no wonder that crofters and those with crofting interests are standing agog and are asking “What is going on in the Crofting Commission?” Common grazings are the epitome of communal working, yet this is a spectacularly detrimental exercise in public relations by the Commission that threatens the very core of crofting communities. One committee was summarily dismissed for not presenting fully audited accounts, although an Independent Examination is accepted by HMRC, Companies House and the Charities Regulator. This has naturally caused fear throughout regulated grazings that they also are in breach for not having fully audited accounts. A second committee was also summarily dismissed, in this case for
not distributing income to shareholders. The law is not prescriptive in saying when or how the distribution of income is to take place. The Commission has added in its regulations the word “immediate”. As in any business, expenditure on carrying out maintenance or improvements to common grazings has been deducted before any profit is dispersed to shareholders. If a grazings clerk was expected to take all income and pay it out as dividends to shareholders immediately, only to then have to recover from all shareholders their share of the expenditure, it would be a complete nonsense, wouldn’t it? This could not have been the intention of the law, but this is what it seems the Crofting Commission is trying to enforce, presumably at considerable public cost. If it is enforced, grazings committees cannot comply so will resign (or be dismissed) and the grazings will leave regulation – unless the Commission then imposes constables on all grazings. Is that the intention?
An estate of your own Held between Loch Striven and the Firth of Clyde and harnessing the beauty and seclusion of three glens, Glen Massan Estate is a spectacular property in the heart of the Cowal Peninsula. The rugged mountainous landscape together with a mild west coast climate has helped create a special forestry and sporting estate which is being brought to the market by Bidwells. Situated beyond the end of a public road, with no through traffic, Glen Massan is a very private property yet can be reached within one hour of Glasgow airport. The estate boasts large areas of excellent quality conifer forestry and interesting and challenging hill and woodland red deer stalking as well as an agricultural element. Perhaps one of the most charming aspects of this 3,280-hectare (8,100 acres) estate is that it offers great potential for its new owners to really put their own mark on it in the form of a principal residence or traditional shooting lodge. In addition to a recently renovated (to a very high standard) fourbedroom cottage (Corrie Massan), Glen Massan offers a second cottage (Garrochra) in a stunning location which is ripe for development into a substantial dwelling. There is existing planning permission to transform this cottage into a lodge, ideal for sporting guests and entertaining. 64
Indeed, such is the prospect of Glen Massan, that Bidwells is expecting keen interest from both UK and overseas parties. Raymond Henderson of Bidwells is managing the sale of this unique property: “Glen Massan is a large, very private estate with excellent accessibility and real commercial prospects. It is not just a stunning landscape to be enjoyed but is a sound commercial proposition with the majority of its value being in really prime quality conifer forestry – much of it in its second rotation. Well proven forestry road infrastructure
is in place and there is good access to timber markets, which makes this property a first class investment prospect.” Situated 10 miles from Dunoon, Glen Massan Estate is comprised of three lots: Glen Massan, Glen Lean and North Tarsan and includes: 1,660 hectares of forestry and associated open ground, including 50 hectares of felled land for replanting, 1,570 hectares of open hill and grassland, 46 hectares of agricultural land, 3.5 hectares of water, Challenging red and roe deer stalking, Trout fishing on the River Massan, Garrochra
– a three-bedroom cottage with planning permission and Corrie Massan – a renovated fourbedroom cottage This is a truly unique part of Scotland that is renowned for its exceptional scenic beauty and cultural heritage, and has provided many artists and photographers inspiration for their work. Glen Massan is on the market at offers in excess of £9,100,000. For more information, please contact Raymond Henderson or Rebecca Boswell, tel: 01738 630666. Property details are now available at bidwells.co.uk
estate SAAVA Annual Field Day explores Land Reform Act Blackbirds top the poll in Scottish Big Farmland Bird Count
Speaking at the Scottish Agricultural Arbiters Valuers Association (SAAVA) Annual Field Day near Kelso, Jeremy Moody, Secretary and Adviser to the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers (CAAV), briefed Scottish valuers on the position for agricultural tenancies under the new Land Reform (Scotland) Act. “While we now have the Act, much of its practical detail waits on work to be done in the new Parliament before we can know how it will work. There are some two-dozen regulations to be developed, agreed and implemented over the next couple of years. In particular, the rules for rent review and relinquishment of tenancies will take much work. “While waiting for these important details, people are naturally jumping to conclusions which may prove to be wrong. There is no rule that says relinquishment will be for a quarter of vacant value. “Productive capacity” will simply identify the farm’s likely physical output; it will then be for the Land Court to find a rent that is fair in all the circumstances of the case. “However, one early step in that process will be the amnesty
for tenant’s improvements. Both tenants and landlords will find it useful now to gather their information on buildings, drainage and other works to help understand who did them and whether they might be recognised as tenant’s improvements or not. Very often, the history has become obscure but will need to be proven to help with rent reviews as well as end of tenancy claims.” More widely, Mr Moody saw a strong policy push from the Government not just to change the law but also to promote better and more imaginative relationships between landlords and tenants. “The Tenant Farming Commissioner will have a duty to promote better practice on range of issues with Codes and adjudication of complaints. If drafted practically, those Codes could encourage parties to look at issues more widely, see chances to unlock value and use alternative ways to resolve differences between them “Valuers will have a key role in helping clients, whether tenants or landlords, maximise the potential of their businesses for the health of the rural economy.”
The Big Farmland Bird Count was launched in 2014 and encourages farmers, gamekeepers and land managers to spend one hour on one day in February identifying and counting the birds on an area of their land. The count extends across the whole of the UK, and the results this year showed more than 1000 participants spotting some 130 species including a total of 25 Red List species. In Scotland, the count took place on 55 farms covering a total of 35,700 Ha. 120 different species were counted, including one Golden Eagle – not a regular farmland bird, but certainly of great excitement to the person who saw it and recorded it on the day. The Scottish count featured 23 Red List species with five species in the top 20 – House Sparrow (11), Starling (16), Tree Sparrow (17), Yellowhammer (18) and Fieldfare (20). In terms of most abundant species counted in Scotland, Barnacle Geese and Pink Footed Geese were recorded in the largest numbers, although not featuring in the “most commonly seen” list. Woodpigeon, chaffinch and rook made up the top five most abundant. The GWCT’s Nationwide Big Farmland Bird Count coordinator, Jim Egan, said: “It’s really exciting to see so many people taking part in the count. Despite the horrible weather at the start of the week of the count, we have nearly doubled the number of participants since the start of the project, and
many of those who took part in the first year have continued to submit their results every year since. It really does show that farmers and gamekeepers have a long term commitment to conservation management.” Dr Dave Parish, GWCT’s Head of Scottish Lowland Research, said: “These are really good results and continue to provide us with some very useful data. A lot of our work at present including our Whitburgh and Balgonie Projects, and at our new demonstration farm at Auchnerran on Deeside, focuses on encouraging, maintaining and enhancing healthy populations of farmland birds, whether these are game species or songbirds, and providing advice to farmers, land managers and to Government regarding suitable measures to achieve this, based on science. The Big Farmland Bird Count is a great way of measuring the health of those farmland bird populations and giving us another important opportunity to engage with those managing the land at another level.” The fourth Big Farmland Bird Count will take place from 4 – 15 February 2017, with a series of Bird ID days in January for farmers and land managers. The count is run across the UK in partnership with FWAG, LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming), NFU and the CLA, and is sponsored by BASF. Other partners supporting the project include RSPB, Kings, Waitrose, Songbird Survival and the Countryside Alliance.
estate Scotland’s prime sporting pursuits in high demand
Plenty to talk about By David Fyffe, Fetternear Estate, and chairman of Scottish Land & Estates’ North-east committee
The sporting season for 2016 will remain resilient, according to Scotland’s pre-eminent Sporting Lets agency, part of CKD Galbraith, which has witnessed strong demand for grouse shooting, fishing and stalking. Robert Rattray, partner at CKD Galbraith and head of the firm’s Sporting Lets agency, said: “May marks the start of the critical grouse breeding period and keepers across Scotland will have welcomed the warm sunny weather. Whilst 2015 was a challenging season for many of Britain’s moors, a number of Scottish moors enjoyed near record seasons. “Looking forwards it is still too early to make accurate predictions for the season ahead but most moors have excellent stocks of birds, a product of judicious management through 2015, and with a continuation of the clement weather hopes are high for an excellent season. “On our rivers salmon fishing is already well under way and the spring period is shortly drawing to a close. There have been the usual tales of leviathans hooked, landed and lost and some rivers and particular beats have enjoyed strong runs of prized springers. Temperature and river levels have played a part and as in 2015 the picture is mixed and there have been rivers and beats that have missed out. 66
“As always, however, we look forwards with great optimism. Netting has been significantly reduced, runs of sea trout are building and the arrival of our summer salmon and grilse will not be far away. “Red deer stalking is part of the fabric of rural Scotland and a day on the open hill remains a powerful draw for both the experienced and for those looking to access the sport as a beginner. Sporting Lets is experiencing growing demand from both domestic clients and from nationalities perhaps not traditionally associated with field sports. It is wonderful to welcome new faces to our wildest places and we predict that this trend will continue.” The dedicated team at Sporting Lets, which was been strengthened with the appointment of former golf-pro Ted Innes Ker, provide tailored packages to suit specific requirements whether it be a grand lodge and mixed week of sport to try and bag an elusive Macnab, a week long or single day’s grouse shooting, partridge or pheasant shooting, salmon fishing or red deer stalking. The new 2016/17 Sporting Lets brochure has now been launched and a full online version is available to download at www. sportinglets.co.uk
With the agricultural show season about to get into full swing, I am sure that there will be no shortage of topics for discussion around the showgrounds. For many, one of those topics will be the newly re-elected Scottish Government’s attitude to agriculture. Certainly, confidence has been badly shaken by the Basic Payment Scheme fiasco and while the anger and frustration felt across the farming sector is not something that can be underestimated, we can only hope that no effort is being spared to ensure there is no repeat. The appointment of Fergus Ewing as Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity has sent out a message about the importance of the wider rural economy. Mr Ewing’s portfolio includes agriculture and, as a veteran of the Scottish political scene, he is acutely aware of the role that agriculture plays in the rural economy. He will also be cognisant of the benefits a fully implemented land use strategy. With average farm incomes remaining at such a low level, there is a pressing need for agriculture to become more dynamic, innovative and flexible. There are outstanding examples of farmers and estate businesses all over Scotland readily embracing technology and diversifying and the more they are
made to feel central to the performance of the rural economy the wider the benefit. During the last parliamentary session, there was a heavy focus on tenant farming issues as the Scottish Government bound them into the Land Reform Bill process. I believe this was a mistake for a number of reasons. First, it did not afford tenant farming matters the parliamentary time and space they merited - on their own and under separate legislation. Second, it detracted from the major economic challenges that the entire farming sector faces. When Mr Ewing said candidly ‘we are fixing it’ in relation to payments to farmers and crofters, he also talked of the impact on ‘businesses’. It was encouraging to hear him use the term business when referring to farming as all too often that aspect tends to be overshadowed in the political debate. Farming businesses, whether they be tenants, owner-occupiers, crofters or estate businesses are valuable components of the rural economy. It is going to take an enormous collective effort to make the most of Scotland’s natural capital. The Scottish Government has signalled that it is prioritising rural Scotland and that – at least - is a step in the right direction.
For more information www.scottishlandandestates.co.uk Telephone : 0131 653 5400
by Linda Mellor This spring I had three trips to southern Scotland. It is an area of the country I do not know very well as I usually drive through it on my way south or when heading north back home to Fife. My first trip was to the Raehills estate near Lockerbie for a simulated game shoot where the birds are replaced by clay targets. Upon arrival at the shooting lodge we were greeted by Organiser Frank Pearson with coffee and a hot bacon roll. It is hard to beat that sort of welcome especially after the early start and drive from Fife. With all the guns present, Frank delivered the safety briefing then we walked to the first drive by the Mollin burn not far from the lodge. It was a thrilling start to the day with lots of challenging high clays. We were in the trucks and further into the estate for two more pheasant drives with a stop-off in between for elevenses. It was my first time out on a simulated game shoot so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. If you love clay and game shooting this has to be the best way to combine the two and enjoy it with a group of friends or work colleagues. We had the added bonus of springtime sunshine and spent most of us spent the day without jackets on. Back at the shooting lodge we all tucked in to a delicious lunch of locally stalked venison from Frank, a long-time deer stalker. After cheese, biscuits and coffee we were back out in the trucks to a distant part of the estate for a challenging partridge drive before finishing 68
SCOTTISH COUNTRY LIFE on a grouse drive with spectacular open views of the Southern Uplands. We drove back down to the shooting lodge for tea and cakes before everyone departed for home. It was great fun with lots of shooting for everyone. We had the usual good natured banter of a shoot day, the familiar structure of 3 drives and lunch followed by 2 afternoon drives with lots of varied targets to shoot. It was great value for money and only £150 per head. The customer service was exemplary, it stood out a mile. Frank and his team ensured the shoot ran smoothly and they looked after everyone. The entire shoot from start to finish was a joy, and I am going back. My second trip down to the south of Scotland was for a weekend’s fishing at Tinto trout fishery in the Clyde Valley,
about 10 minutes south west of Biggar. Tinto is a gem. It is run by Munro Reid and his mum, Gwen. It is set in a peaceful and scenic location at the foot of Tinto hill. There are 2 comfortable self catering cottages on the fishery and 2 Lochs approximately 5 acres each. Loch Lyoch, 960 ft above sea level, is stocked with rainbow, blue and brown trout. Loch Cleugh, 1020 ft above sea level, is brown trout only. There is a lot of history in the area; Tinto hill is popular with walkers and the neighbouring Loch Lyoch farm was where the first Clydesdale horses were bred in 1723. The fishery is known for its quality of fishing. The lochs are kept very natural and have an abundance of natural food so anglers need to ‘match the hatch’ when fishing. I made the most of my time there by getting
up for a colourful sunrise. There is no better way to start the day and it is worth making the effort to get up and out half an hour before the sun appears as the colours in the sky can be rather magical. I stood by the bank of Loch Lyoch watching the sun appear over the horizon as everything stirred into life, including the trout in the loch. I spent the day fly fishing and taking photographs, it is such a scenic, peaceful spot. I did see some big trout rising but sadly, I didn’t catch one. The fishery has a great reputation and I have heard so much about the big, strong monster trout lurking in the lochs. Munro has ensured he has carried on his late father’s work ethics in keeping the lochs a haven for anglers and the fish. The family run fishery are ambassadors of customer service and, like Raehills, they make sure you are very well looked after. I think a warm welcome and attention to detail makes a difference to our experiences on estates, rivers and lochs. Tinto Fishery is nurtured, cared for and spotless. You could easily loose yourself there for a week. It is open all year round and evening sessions are available during the summer months. Tinto and Raehills are places I would recommend with 100% confidence. My third trip was to Drumlanrig Fishings on the Queensberry esate, you can read all about in this supplement.
Beatha an eilean (Life on the islands) Be da day ever sae lang, i da end comes Evensang (After a hard day’s work be thankful for the rest of the evening.) By Kathleen Sinclair, Commissioner Crofting Commission
I was born and brought up on the family croft in Scousburgh, Shetland which I continue to work, in partnership with my husband, and with the help of our two daughters. We have both sheep and cattle on our crofts. Along with many crofters we are entering a busy time as the first signs of spring are signalled by the call of the “shalder”, or Oyster Catcher. After the long, wet, dark and windy winter which is mainly taken up by feeding cattle inside and sheep outside, I did start to think that spring would never come. Lambing mostly starts mid-April here, with the more
northerly parts of Shetland starting in May. We keep our sheep inside for lambing which gives the fields a rest and a chance to green up. However, as I look out the window a flock of approximately 70 Grey Lag Geese are happily enjoying the first green peck. Geese numbers have increased over the past few years, with more wintering and breeding on the island. They, along with rabbits, are our main predator on grass and crops. It reminds me that it is time to apply to Scottish Natural Heritage for an out of season license to control these destructive birds. Ravens are also on the increase here and a
real nuisance at lambing. Weak lambs, and even the not so weak, on the ground stand no chance from their vicious talons. Like many others across the crofting counties, crofters in Shetland rely on farm subsidy payments to supplement their business. Costs are significantly higher in Shetland than other areas, with most animal feed brought in by ferry from Aberdeen - a distance of 180 miles. The majority of cattle and sheep are shipped to the mainland to be finished. However, some are slaughtered at our local abattoir. I sit on the Cunningsburgh Show Committee and our
meetings have begun to start planning this year’s show which is taking place on the 10th August. The show preparation is an opportunity for folk to work together, young to old. The show attracts people from all parts of Shetland and it is a good time for folk to meet up and have a yarn. It’s also good to see young exhibitors show off their stock and it provides encouragement for them if they win. Crofting is hard work and many young crofters in Shetland, as in other areas, have to have a full time job and attend to their crofting duties when they come home. This I admire.
Blair Castle Equi-Trek International Horse Trials and Country Fair Blair Castle Equi-Trek International Horse Trials and Country Fair is Scotlandâ€™s leading equestrian event, attracting competitors from throughout the UK as they seek to win one of the coveted prizes on offer. As one of the last big events of the season, running from the 25th to the 28th of August, Blair acts as a capstone and culmination of the summer before the countryside community is beckoned towards indoor pursuits over the winter months. The popularity of the event has been proven year on year as more than 40,000 people
make their way north to the spectacular Highland setting of Blair Castle, causing the small village of Blair Atholl to spring to life with the kind of hospitality which is only found in Scotland. Although equestrian action lies at the heart of the event, Blair has much more to offer and should be bookmarked by any countryside enthusiast as a great day out for the whole family. Three day eventing takes centre stage across all four days of competition, beginning on Thursday and Friday with the dressage phase of the CCI
three star competition. As the only competition of this calibre in Scotland, spectators are guaranteed to see some of the most prolific riders in the sport of eventing partnering with their top horses. Dressage, the only phase not involving fences, tests the years of training necessary to perform a complex sequence of movements in perfect harmony and decides the individual standings going in to the cross country phase on the next day. On Saturday the parkland around the castle will play host to the rumble of hooves as horse and rider gallop over obstacles including water, ditches, logs and even, in previous years, a miniature replica of the Forth Road Bridge. After this gruelling test of speed, accuracy and courage the riders must come out fighting fit to contest a round of delicate showjumping fences in the main arena on Sunday, after which the winner will be crowned in front of a packed
grandstand. Two star and one star sections will also run over smaller fences, giving amateur riders the chance to compete alongside the top professionals. In 2015 the event played host to the FEI European Eventing Championship, the first time this championship had been held in Scotland and a landmark year for public engagement with the sport of eventing. A high profile visit from Her Majesty the Queen to present the medals captured the public interest and meant that all eyes were on Blair as the British team were narrowly beaten into the silver medal position by the footperfect Germans. In 2016 the legacy of this amazing weekend of world-class competition is being put to use through continued partnerships with EventScotland, and other key sponsors, who have glimpsed the beauty of Highland Scotland through the extensive TV coverage received last year.
BLAIR CASTLE HORSE TRIALS & COUNTRY FAIR Although the once-in-alifetime opportunity to host a major championship has passed 2016 promises another exciting challenge as the penultimate leg of the Event Rider Masters Series comes to Blair. A huge injection of money from the ERM organisers has resulted in an unprecedented £50,000 prize fund for this new class, which runs at the event for the first time this year. The introduction of sophisticated live streaming, complete with analysis and commentary from the likes of Mark Todd and Alice Fox-Pitt, and a nail-biting podium finish is sure to create even more drama out on the cross-country course, ensuring that there is a choice of entertainment all the way up to Sunday evening. Outside of eventing the Bruadar Country Fair on Saturday and Sunday provides a haven for foodies and shopaholics alike. More than 190 different vendors will make the trip north with an incredible selection of garments, crafts, nibbles, homewares and animal accessories. Joules is set to supply a range of official branded clothing to volunteers which will also be available to purchase from their trade stand. The friendly atmosphere which encompasses the entire event can certainly be found in the Country Fair Arena, which runs a jampacked schedule of stunt riding, falconry displays and even giveit-a-go terrier racing, providing great entertainment for all ages. Travelling all the way from France, the d’Onno Les Amis
One of the many contestants
Stunt Riding team is sure to prove a particular highlight as beautiful Friesian and Andalucian horses perform daring tricks at a full gallop whilst their fearless riders juggle with swords and sabres. Camping and glamping packages are available on site for the duration of the competition, and those who travel from further afield may wish to explore more of the beautiful surroundings in Perthshire and the Cairngorms National Park. The area is fast becoming one of the most attractive tourist destinations in Scotland thanks to its wide array of things to see and do. Explore Blair Castle and discover the history behind the seat of the Duke of Atholl, or venture slightly further afield to Castle Menzies where Bonnie Prince Charlie stayed before the Battle of Culloden. Many whisky distilleries are within easy reach of Blair Castle, including Blair Athol, one of the oldest working distilleries in the world, or for those with a sweet tooth, the Highland Chocolatier, who offers tasting tours. The great outdoors remain as the main attraction, however, and many fantastic walking and mountain biking trails can be found within easy reach of the event site. For those who don’t wish to camp the nearby town of Pitlochry has a multitude of accommodation from simple B&Bs to five star hotels. The equine attractions continue beyond the eventing competition to the more
traditional Highland Pony showing classes on Thursday. This is fantastic opportunity to see the best of the breed on display as they compete to be crowned Champion Highland Pony. A particularly special class harks back to their roots working on the mountains with a display of traditional harnesses and panniers. The action ramps up as we move into the weekend with a full schedule of British Show Jumping classes, including a Speed Horse class which will be sure to thrill audiences. On Sunday it is the turn of the golden oldies, speed demons and giants as veteran horses, ex-racehorses and ridden Clydesdales compete for an array of prizes in their own programme of showing classes. Blair Castle remains a friendly event which recognises the opportunity to give back to the wider community while promoting top class competition. To this end it has supported several charities over the years. In 2016 the nominated charity is Barnardos, who work tirelessly to help children who have found themselves in vulnerable situations throughout the UK. As this is the 150th year since the charity was founded they are aiming to raise £150,000 by December, an ambition which will be aided enormously by the involvement of spectators at Blair. The most exciting event planned is a zip-wire, running from the highest point in the castle over the cross country course, which participants can
fundraise for before taking the plunge and soaring over the action. Promoting the fantastic work of Barnardos while offering spectators a once-in-alifetime opportunity to leap off the castle ramparts is a winning combination for the event and for the disadvantaged children who benefit from Barnados’ sterling work. Whether you are seeking to cheer on a favourite rider as they challenge for one of the eventing titles on offer, spend a relaxed afternoon perusing the tented shopping village or catch the wide array of show jumping and showing classes in the Banvie or Tilt arena, Blair Castle Equi-Trek International Horse Trials & Country Fair has something for people from all walks of life. Tickets can be purchased by the day, for the weekend or for all four days and are completely customisable to individual requirements. General admission allows entry to the event, cross country course and Country Fair whilst Membership admission allows spectators to enter the member’s enclosure with its own ringside garden affording the best views over the main arena. Having passed the 100 day countdown excitement is mounting around the estate for the annual celebration of countryside pursuits; truly offering entertainment for all. The online box office is open from now until the week before the event at www. blairhorsetrials.co.uk/box-office
The Queen presenting one of the many winners
horses Houston – a jewel in the eventing training Houston cross country course, in Renfrewshire, was the brain child of Muriel Colquhoun MBE nearly 20 years ago. At that time Muriel was the District Commissioner of the Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire (L&R) branch of the Pony Club. She realised that cross country training facilities were few in Scotland particularly in the Central Belt and set out to rectify the situation. With the help and backing of many local businesses, parents of members of the L&R and Mark CrichtonMaitland, owner of Elderslie Estates, Muriel applied for lottery funding to build the cross country course. Strict criteria was met including a producing a business plan to show viability, upkeep and maintenance of the course as well as the benefits to the horse riding community, coaches and volunteers. Muriel’s successful application was the first of its kind in the UK and her format was followed by others in the equestrian world.
The course was initially built to give confidence to horses and ponies of all levels, with technical difficulty for the riders to ride the correct lines at all manner of fences on undulating ground. Houston House Horse Trials ran as affiliated British Eventing event for 10 years which was the term of the lease with the Lottery Fund and Elderslie Estates. Under Muriel’s supervision the L&R Pony Club horse trials team went onto to win at the UK Pony Club Championship, one of Muriel’s milestone memories. In 2008 Kilmacolm and Kilallan Riding Club took over the lease from Elderslie Estates. Over the following years a dedicated team of enthusiastic volunteers have refurbished the jumps and have now added a 75cms and 90cms course under the watchful eye of one of the original course builders, and course designer Muriel Colquhoun MBE bringing the total of jumps to 89. This includes drop fences, a ski jump, numerous ditches and
water complexes at all levels. A Lottery grant in 2012 assisted with the purchase of technical fences from Willis Brothers, the builders of the Badminton fences. Additionally thanks to the support of Andrew and Fiona Malcolm, ‘Duncan and the Digger’ assist with the maintenance and construction of the fences and course. Also several local businesses support the work. This year the Bridge of Weir Leather Company
are funding the rebuilding of ‘The Tannery Chairs’. The emphasis is now on training. British Eventing, British Riding Clubs and The Pony Club all train in the beautiful surroundings of the estate. Kilmacolm and Kilallan Riding Club appreciate the support of Elderslie Estates owner, Mark Crichton-Maitland in permitting the on going development of one of Scotland’s best training venues.
Dressage sponsorship for Childeric Childéric Saddles UK is proud to announce that they will be sponsoring the Elementary Championships at the LeMieux National Dressage Championships (15th – 18th September 2016) The sponsorship of the Childéric Saddles Elementary series will see the brand supporting all seven Regional Championships, in the lead up to the finals at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire in the autumn. The brand already has a growing presence on the UK dressage scene, but this development takes their association one step further, as Tricia Bracegirdle, MD of Childéric Saddles UK explains: “We have an increasing band of dressage riders choosing to ride in Childéric, but this is our first dressage specific sponsorship of it’s kind. We are thrilled to be involved with 72
horses what is the highlight within the dressage calendar. Childéric riders include Paradressage rider Heather Bennett and international dressage riders Fiona Bigwood and Becky Moody
Equine Angle to name just a few. Childéric will also have a visible presence in the shopping area at the Nationals for the first time this year. For further information: www.childericsaddles.co.uk
Dressage Deluxe signs gold medallist Olympic year – who’ll be selected? By Melanie Scott
Premium online retailer Dressage Deluxe are delighted to announce that they are now sponsoring international ParaDressage rider Natasha Baker. MD Alison Nye-Warden said: “We’ve known Natasha personally for many years and are delighted to have the opportunity to work with her. Her down to earth personality, reputation, world-class talent
and profile is another great addition to ‘Team Dressage Deluxe’ and we are thrilled to welcome Natasha on board.” The MBE and Gold Medallist joins fellow dressage riders Bobby Hayler, Paul Hayler, Damian Hallam, Shiwon Green, Jane Lavington and grass roots ambassador Danielle Bott. www.dressagedeluxe.co.uk
Grass Sickness Season Be aware during this changeable weather that it is ‘grass sickness season’ and sadly several horses have already lost their lives. The signs can be very subtle and the disease is often mistaken for colic in the early stages. Be on the look out for depressed behaviour, reduced appetite or mucous coated dung. There may be a foul smell, salivation and gastric reflux, patchy sweating and muscle tremors. There could also be a very high heart rate, a lack of gut sounds and a distended abdomen. The onset of the disease can be terrifyingly quick - if you suspect grass sickness please call the vet immediately.
As yet there is no sure way to prevent the disease, but feeding a daily ration of hay, making any changes to feed or management regime very slowly (particularly the change to summer turnout) and manual poo picking are all thought to help reduce the risk. Do worm egg counts to see whether your horse or pony actually needs worming rather than administering a wormer ‘just in case’. Try and keep your fields in good condition, avoiding over grazed, poached ground and keeping the grass evenly topped. For information and advice about the disease please visit www.grasssickness.org.uk
2016 is all about the Olympics and who will get a Great Britain call up and by the time you read this the teams should have been announced for the August competition. Britain’s team selections are a closely guarded secret and the only discipline we’ll see a Scot is in the showjumping where Scott Brash cannot be overlooked. Part of the victorious British showjumping team in London 2012 and the winner of the Rolex Grand Slam of showjumping last year his horses are on fire. The world number two has been contesting the Longines Global Champions Tour in Madrid, Mexico, Shanghai. Although his top horse Hello Sanctos hasn’t been seen out since March, Scott has a superb young horse in Hello Forever standing second in the Rolex world horse rankings list. Other contenders are fellow London team mates Ben Maher and Nick Shelton, while John Whitaker’s clear at the Rotterdam Nations Cup makes him look likely to get a call up.
In the eventing section I think Britain’s disappointment at the European Championships at Blair is still pretty raw. However Gemma Tattersall was the best of Brits at Badminton, conjuring a cracking showjumping round to finish third with Arctic Soul. Other possible team members include William Fox-Pitt, but he decided to miss Badminton after his serious fall in France last year. Pippa Funnell also missed Badminton but has came to form with a good result at Tattersalls, and Nicola Wilson, another possible contender, crashed out in the cross country at Badminton. I think Britain could see some new names in the team; there’s certainly places up for grabs. Reigning Olympic team and individual dressage champion Charlotte Dujardin looks set to defend her title. Her mentor Carl Hester is almost certain to be there and I think Fiona Bigwood and Michael Eilberg both might get a call up. 73
horses BEF Futurity 2016 dates and venues first step in the careers of many potential top level horses and provides a valuable marketing took for breeders. The 2016 Futurity evaluations will run from the 15th to the 31st August, covering 11 venues nationwide with a total of 12 days of evaluations. Entries are taken online and will open on the 1st July 2016. For more information, visit www.britishbreeding.org.
Courtesy of Kevin Sparrow
The dates and venues for the 2016 Baileys Horse Feeds/ British Breeding/BEF Futurity evaluation series have been announced. The Futurity evaluations aim to identify British bred young potential sport horses and ponies destined for top level careers in dressage, eventing, showjumping or endurance. The Futurity is fast becoming recognised as an important
Futurity dates and venues 2016 15th August - Valeview EC, Leicestershire
23rd August- Hartpury College, Gloucestershire
16th August - Richmond EC, North Yorkshire
25th August - Writtle College, Essex
17th August - Myerscough, Lancashire
27th August - Brendon Stud, East Sussex
18th August - Reaseheath College, Cheshire
28th August - Catherston Stud, Hampshire
19th August - Keysoe EC, Bedfordshire
30th August - Solihull RC 1, West Midlands
22nd August - Tall Trees Arena, Cornwall
31st August - Solihull RC 2, West Midlands
Equestrivan latest brand to join Trailblazers Equestrivan are the latest brand to join Trailblazers as sponsors of the 2016 Trailblazers Showing Championships and to support the Master Class in the Park. Equestrivan join other top brands SEIB Insurance Brokers, Countrywide, Dodson & Horrell, Snowflake bedding and Solution Saddles as sponsors. Equestrivan are a family owned business based in Berkshire manufacturing quality 2 horse horseboxes. Owned and run by horse lovers, they understand the importance of safety when transporting your best friend and will only ever sell vehicles in which they would confidently transport their own horses. Equestrivan are the perfect partner for the Trailblazers Showing Championships as they understand the special partnership between horse and rider, especially at the grass roots level. The Trailblazers Equestrivan Showing Championships offer in-hand 74
and ridden classes as well as working hunter. New to the Championships last year, which proved to be very popular, the Equestrivan Master Class in the Park consists of a dressage master class on Friday 29 July and a show jumping master class on Thursday 4 August, both are free for all at the show to watch. “Equestrivan are so excited to be sponsoring the Trailblazers Championships. It is a brilliant series and we are proud to be involved.” said Equestrivan Director, Sharon Matthews. The 2016 SEIB Trailblazers Championships will take place at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire from the 29 July – 6 August 2016. With the superb facilities at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, finalists will enjoy that unbeatable championship atmosphere, the thrill of riding in the grand arenas and the prospect of completing a lap of honour in magnificent style.
futurefarmer Inspiring words and Inspiring Students at SRUC Elmwood Awards Ceremony Students attending the annual prize giving at the Elmwood campus of Scotland’s Rural College were reminded that a commitment to lifelong learning ensured they always had the right skills at the right time. Speaking in Cupar at the College award ceremony SRUC Head of Further Education David James congratulated 26 award winners and outlined a year of success for many other students at SRUC Elmwood. “We aim to provide students with as many opportunities to broaden their horizons and stretch themselves as possible,” he said. “It is all part of developing skills, knowledge and experience, whether moving into work or progressing further with their studies. But remember, today is not the end of your education and training.” David James spoke of successes achieved by students, including the first prize for a new product developed by Hospitality and Gamekeeping students taking part in an event organised by Scotland’s National Larder and the British Association of Shooting and Conservation which added value to small game. He mentioned the potato-based dish which won a competition organised by the
SAC Potato Producers Association who tasted it at their Conference. Meanwhile SRUC student chefs had worked with professionals in many prestigious venues such as the Fairmount Hotel St Andrews, the Peat Inn and the Scottish Parliament. The Horticulture Department had not only worked on the college grounds in Cupar but
various parks and special gardens in Fife and beyond. Some students had helped schools with their programmes. Practical experience for Countryside Management students and those following Rural Skills courses included projects with SNH, the National Trust for Scotland and the John Muir Trust. They had established paths, built ponds and
hides while another group erected an industrial scale polytunnel where NHS Fife can help those with mental health issues. Achievements by Sports students included time spent at both national and international venues, taking part in coaching programmes, working on international golf courses and winning golf competitions.
25 New Holland dealer apprentices graduate from Reaseheath College The latest crop of New Holland dealer apprentices have graduated from Reaseheath College with a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Land-based Technology. The 25 students, who have each completed three years training in agricultural engineering, have gained a broad range of technical skills which are required for a successful career in the agricultural machinery and equipment industry. The Level 3 Block Release Diploma in Landbased Technology, provided by Reaseheath College in www.farmingscotlandmagazine.com
futurefarmer Cheshire, includes modules in fabrication and welding, computing applications, and engineering drawing and design. Each module is delivered on both a classroom and workshop basis, ensuring apprentices gain relevant workplace skills, including getting hands-on with the latest New Holland machinery and products. Delivered as a part-time course, apprentices are required to attend college for twelve weeks per year in four-week blocks. After each study block, students representing more than fifteen dealerships across the UK return to the workplace with updated skills and knowledge. Apprentices then receive five weeks training from technical trainers at their respective New Holland dealerships in electrics, hydraulics, electronic power tools and power trains. Mark Barnes, Technical Training Manager for Agriculture at New Holland said: “The New Holland Dealer network has been bolstered once again by the addition of 25 newly-qualified
apprentices. The combination of a professional qualification and hands-on experience means apprentices have developed a wide range of skills, essential for a successful career in the agricultural machinery industry.” Edward Hughes, an apprentice at the Russell Group, was awarded Apprentice of the Year 2016 by Reaseheath College lecturers. This award recognises outstanding learning and enthusiasm, and is presented to the student who has achieved the highest level of learning outcomes across all machinery brands. Speaking of his award, Edward said: “I’m delighted to have been awarded the Apprentice of the Year 2016. Working alongside other New Holland dealer apprentices and being able to access the latest technology and machinery at Reaseheath College makes the course highly valuable. I’m looking forward to putting everything I have learned into practice as I continue my career with the Russell Group.”
NFUS and SAYFC look to strengthen ties in Dumfries and Galloway An innovative event looking at the future of farming has seen Scotland’s farming union and young farmers look to further strengthen ties in the future. The McConchie family, who have developed the Laggan Outdoors activity centre at Gatehouse of Fleet, played host to a NFU Scotland event, stage in conjunction with the Scottish Association of Young Farmers Clubs (SAYFC) looking at: ‘Future Farming for Success – What’s the future for young farmers in Dumfries and Galloway?’ Innovative young farmers Duncan McConchie of Laggan Outdoor, Alan Blackwood of Ayrshire, Robert Craig of North East Cumbria and Duncan 76
McEwan of West Stirlingshire - provided short talks to an audience of young farmers on what they do and how they have altered their farming practice to improve their businesses. The group then discussed the challenge: “If the average age of a farmer in Dumfries and Galloway was 35 – rather than the current age of 55 - would things be different?” With the success of the event, the region is now looking to work again with the SAYFC to strengthen relationships and help young farmers and workers in the area. Possible future events could include discussion groups, farm visits and collaboration with other stakeholders to provide assistance and guidance.
Are Ewe Okay? As Scotland’s largest rural youth organisation we play a crucial role in supporting our members so they gain in confidence, skills and experiences. Whether this is taking forward their views to the Scottish Government on policies via our Agri & Rural Affairs Committee, facilitating subsidised training such as their first aid qualifications or coordinating travel opportunities via our International programme support is available across a wide range of topics. During 2016, a new area of support will be available focused on mental health. The “Are Ewe Okay?” campaign, launched in May, will focus on raising awareness of mental wellbeing. With statistics such as one in four people in Scotland suffering from poor mental health at some point during their life, it is imperative that we encourage rural youth to talk about their feelings, listen to those who need an ear and/or share details on the support available. We all have mental health and although it is different for everyone, we all experience various different life changing events that result in our mental health constantly altering. The Scottish Association of Young Farmers are aged between 14 and 30 years old so there are a number of aspects that can influence how they feel. From starting out at school to college, university or employment, moving away from home, buying a house,
managing finances through to relationships, marriage and health. Our aim is to specifically target our audience of young people living in Scotland’s rural communities by raising awareness of poor mental health triggers, how to recognise the signs and share information on where to seek help if someone is suffering. 9 out of 10 young people facing poor mental health said they received negative treatment from others with nearly half noting this happened monthly, weekly or daily. Over the twelve months we hope to encourage conversations helping to break the stigma, starting by asking the question “Are Ewe Okay?” With Scotland’s population continuing to rise reaching the highest ever total in 2014 with the National Records of Scotland (NRS) estimating a population of over 5.3 million, more than 1.3 million individuals in Scotland will face mental health challenges during their lifetime. For the current membership at SAYFC this equates to over 800 members. It is therefore more vital than ever that we raise awareness showcasing the help and support available whilst highlighting how others share the same mental health challenges. Visit www.sayfc.org to view a dedicated section for “Are Ewe Okay?” with information on mental wellbeing and to pledge your support.
GADGETS The World’s First Drench Gun That ‘Thinks’ For Itself! Leading livestock identification supplier Shearwell Data Ltd is excited to announce the UK launch of a revolutionary drench gun. Sam Webber, Shearwell Data’s UK and International Sales Manager says “just like the cordless drill revolutionized the building industry, this digital gun is set to do the same for the farming industry.” “This is no ordinary drench gun: it wirelessly connects directly to the Te Pari Weigh Scale or the Shearwell Stock Recorder using Wi-Fi and the precise dosage for each animal is calculated based on its weight and this is transmitted to the gun. The exact dosage, no
more and no less, is then ready to administer to the animal. It’s a superbly ergonomic tool that is not only accurate, it is self-powered to reduce hand strain and it is really easy to use. Additionally there is an option of the gun with manual calibration - simply select the dose rates on its screen manually and use it as a powered applicator.” www.shearwell.co.uk
Less mess with new fly glue traps which the dead bodies attach should be replaced monthly. The FliBlades are manufactured in the UK. For more information on the FliBlades, farmers should contact their local stockist or call Dairy Spares on 01948 667676, or visit www.dairyspares.co.uk Dairy Spares has launched a new fly killer device – the FliBlade Electric Glue Trap. It uses an ultra-violet light to attract flies onto boards of glue to which they stick and die, and results in less mess than conventional ‘fly zappers’. It is suitable for home and dairy environments, and comes in two sizes, recommended for 80m2 and 160m2 areas. The FliBlade glue traps should be sited in the darkest part of the room with the light bulbs left permanently on. The glue boards to
Muddy Boots’ new Greenlight Grower Management iPhone app The industry called, and Muddy Boots answered - Greenlight Grower Management is now available on iPhone. Version 2 of the company’s popular mobile platform is no longer confined to the iPad, and while the handset size has reduced, what you can do with the app has increased massivelyGiving our customers what they want “The new Greenlight Grower Management app comes with significantly more sophisticated functionality, says Greenlight Grower Management Product Owner, Julian Knight. We listened to our customers in terms of features and we’ve really taken on board their feedback. “Customers are able to add, update and remove sites, fields, machinery, operators and cropping data - management that wasn’t available in our previous app. “The mapping functionality has also been greatly improved. Users can now set a pin location for sites, as well as being able to add, edit and remove field and crop boundaries.
“Agronomists in particular will be pleased to know that the new app allows them to record the locations of observations right there in the field.” Download the app here: https://itunes.apple. com/gb/app/greenlightgrower-management/ id794349207?mt=8
SmartRain provides remote real-time monitoring A new online management and documentation system for Bauer irrigation systems comes with a free App for mobile devices providing alerts, reports and control functions. The SmartRain package enables users of Bauer Centerstar pivot and Rainstar reel irrigation systems, as well as Bauer diesel irrigation pumps, to keep track of just one or several irrigation systems via
an office computer, an Apple or Android mobile phone, or a tablet computer. “By receiving information remotely about the progress of irrigation sessions and any problems that arise, managers can save a lot of time and focus on other tasks safe in the knowledge that their systems are being monitored at all times,” says Adrian Tindall, Bauer UK & Ireland sales manager.
Bauer is a leading manufacturer of irrigation systems and equipment. Its reel irrigator range comprises the compact Rainstar T Series, which starts with the T32 handling Bauer PE pipe in 6585mm diameters from 220350m in length, and the fullsize E Series, which tops out with the E55 XL carrying pipe lengths of 560-740m in 125140mm diameters. 77
science & technology SRUC Research Scientist Wins Prestigious Award An SRUC research scientist has won a prestigious award from the British Society of Animal Science (BSAS) in recognition for a landmark paper presented at the society’s annual conference. Dr Claire Morgan-Davies – who is based at SRUC’s Hill and Mountain Research centre at Crianlarich – has received a Highly Commended President’s Prize for her presentation at this year’s BSAS annual conference held at the University of Chester. Claire’s paper was entitled: “Introducing a Targeted Selective Treatment worming approach on a hill farm using Electronic Identification of lambs”. It focused on work carried out at SRUC’s research farms, in collaboration with the Moredun Research Institute. The research centred on using electronic identification technology on a hill farm to target lamb worming at an individual level rather than batch level -
thus slowing down resistance to anthelmintics, saving farm labour and wormer, without compromising productivity. It also demonstrated it as a worthy application of the use of compulsory electronic identification in lambs. The project was part of the Scottish Government’s RESAS 2011-2016 Strategic Research Programme. The Highly Commended award is one the BSAS’ President’s Prizes for people presenting their first or second paper at the society’s annual conference. The success relates to clarity, scientific content, interpretation, answering questions and punctuality. Claire said: “I was delighted at being awarded this prize. It was a really pleasant - and complete – surprise! It is very nice to see the work that my colleagues and I are doing on SRUC’s hill research farms being recognised in this way.”
John Innes Centre scientists identify protein which boosts rice yield by 50 percent In collaboration with researchers at Nanjing Agricultural University, Dr Tony Miller from the John Innes Centre has developed rice crops with an improved ability to manage their own pH levels, enabling them to take up significantly more nitrogen, iron and phosphorous from soil and increase yield by up to 54 percent. Rice is a major crop, feeding almost 50 percent of the world’s population and has retained the ability to survive in changing environmental conditions. The crop is able to thrive in flooded paddy fields - where the soggy, anaerobic conditions favour the 78
availability of ammonium - as well as in much drier, drained soil, where increased oxygen means more nitrate is available. Nitrogen fertilizer is a major cost in growing many cereal crops and its overuse has a negative environmental impact. The nitrogen that all plants need to grow is typically available in the form of nitrate or ammonium ions in the soil, which are taken up by the plant roots. For the plant, getting the right balance of nitrate and ammonium is very important: too much ammonium and plant cells become alkaline; too much nitrate and they become
acidic. Either way, upsetting the pH balance means the plant’s enzymes do not work as well, affecting plant health and crop yield.
Together with the partners in Nanjing, China, Dr Miller’s team has been working out how rice plants can maintain pH under these changing environments.
Robotic arm technology to help reduce the environmental impact of farming Robot technology designed for use on Mars could help improve crop yields on Earth. A system developed originally to explore Mars has been transformed into an agricultural monitoring device for testing the
quality of soil. It has the potential to reduce the environmental impact of farming. The device consists of a mobile rover platform with a robotic arm which carries a soil sensing instrument. It is based on
science & technology
The ‘winds of change’ have blown through Holyrood By Clare Slipper, NFU Scotland Parliamentary Officer
technology developed by STFC’s RAL Space and will be used in a new project being run by a team at the University of Strathclyde. The Strathclyde researchers, working with partners in the UK and China, will demonstrate in trials, the feasibility of the device’s agricultural operation by using an integrated, force feedbackcontrolled robotic system on the ground during the project. STFC’s RAL Space team has not only designed and built the robot platform for technology demonstration but it will also design and build the ‘Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS)’ instrument for soil quality characterisation. In addition the
team will provide equipment and logistics support for the field trial in China that will demonstrate the technology. It is also working on aspects of the robot arm and navigation. Aron Kisdi, a space systems engineer for RAL Space, said: “With this novel instrument design we are tackling multiple challenges at once. First we have to miniaturise an instrument that is normally the size of a large wardrobe to fit on a small mobile robot so the measurements can be completed on-the-go. Second we are looking for nitrogen based fertiliser that can take multiple forms and is hard to measure accurately”.
New Blood test for the detection of Bovine TB A new blood test to detect Mycobacteria in blood has been developed by a team at The University of Nottingham led by Dr Cath Rees, an expert in microbiology in the School of Biosciences and Dr Ben Swift from the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science. The researchers have used this new method to show that cattle diagnosed with bovine tuberculosis (bTB) have detectable levels of the bacterium Mycobacterium bovis (M. bovis) in their blood which causes this disease. ‘Evidence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex bacteraemia in intradermal skin test positive cattle detected using phage-RPA’ has been published online in the peer reviewed medical journal
Virulence. Dr Rees said: “This test delivers results within 48 hours and the frequency in which viable mycobacteria were detected in the blood of skin test positive animals changes the paradigm of this disease.” This new, simple and inexpensive blood test detects very low levels of mycobacteria in blood using a bacteriophagebased technique developed by The University of Nottingham. The group has patented an improved version of the method that delivers results in just six hours. More recently ‘proof of principal’ experiments have shown that this is even more sensitive. This is currently licenced to a spin out company, PBD Biotech Ltd.
The Scottish parliamentary elections in May are in the past and the First Minister’s Cabinet reshuffle gave us some surprises, not least because it was preceded by the resignation of our long serving Cabinet Secretary Richard Lochhead after nine years in the post. We now know that his role has been split in two, with the promotion and appointment of two new Cabinet Secretaries, with responsibility for Rural Economy and Connectivity (Fergus Ewing) and Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform (Roseanna Cunningham) respectively. Mr Ewing wasted no time in engaging with the industry, meeting in private with NFUS after a week in office as well as getting out on farm to visit former NFUS President John Kinnaird. Visits to Scotsheep and the Highland have followed. He also made a significant statement to the Scottish Parliament on the IT debacle and the failures around delivering CAP support in which he said; “We are sorry and we will fix it.” Welcome recognition of the problem and a commitment that the whole of the Scottish economy will be looking for him to deliver on. If the focus on the ‘rural economy’ within the new rural Cabinet Secretary’s reconstituted portfolio title isn’t suggestion enough, Mr Ewing, who has been MSP for Inverness and Nairn since the outset of the Scottish Parliament, has already outlined that he comes into office with his eyes firmly set on fostering business resilience within farming and the wider rural industry. The elevation of the land reform portfolio to Cabinet
Secretary level is an interesting development, as it will be Ms Cunningham who oversees the drafting and implementation of more than 40 pieces of secondary legislation that will be required to enact the recently completed Land Reform Act. Clearly there are also key climate and environmental challenges on which the Union will engage with Ms Cunningham – flood mitigation and species reintroduction to name just two. Ms Cunningham will also have responsibility for the devolution of the Crown Estate which will impact upon a significant number of NFUS members who are Crown Estate tenants. That said, the First Minister’s first legislative programme statement to the Scottish Parliament was rather thin on detail on her rural and farming priorities. There is a commitment to deliver broadband to 100 percent of all premises across the country by 2021. A key focus is also delivering skilled employment, with a commitment to create 5,000 new apprenticeships 2020. In addition, the First Minister has pledged to legislate to establish a new and more testing target for climate emissions for 2020, that will reduce actual Scottish emissions by at least 50 per cent – a measure which may have impacts for NFUS members. A keen eye will be kept on the new SNP Government’s delivery of its manifesto promises, which included the introduction of a Good Food Nation Bill; a public procurement taskforce for the food industry; securing a better share of the red meat levy; and retention of the LFASS scheme. As ever, the devil will be in the detail, and NFUS will be monitoring the progress of new legislation as it is introduced in the coming months.
finance SDF bucks trend with significant boost to global sales SDF has announced a 15% increase in its global sales (€1,390million) for 2015 compared to 2014, against a 10% drop in sales for the total agricultural machinery market over the same time period, effectively bucking the trend in an otherwise depressed industry. The group’s EBITDA was 9%, equivalent to €125million, compared to 110million in 2014, and its net worth grew by 23% to around €50million, compared to 41million in the previous year. Investments reached record levels at 103million, with the
most significant being €41million for the first production stage of the new Lauingen plant, 33million for new products, plus 43million for acquisition of 95% of the joint venture in China. “With the 2015 positive figures we have achieved the first results of the 2010-2020 strategic plan implemented in 2010,” explains SDF’s Chief Executive Officer, Lodovico Bussolati. “The plan also contains extraordinary investment for the renewal and completion of the product range, and to set up production and commercial activities in China and Turkey.”
Trelleborg’s acquisition of CGS Holding finalised Trelleborg has finalised the acquisition of CGS Holding a.s. – a privately-owned company with leading positions in agricultural, industrial
and specialty tyres as well as engineered polymer solutions. The total cash consideration amounted to approximately SEK 10.9 billion on a cash
and debt-free basis. CGS is headquartered in the Czech Republic and generated sales of approximately SEK 5.6 billion in 2015 with an operating margin of 16.5 percent. “It is highly gratifying to welcome CGS to the Trelleborg Group. The company has long been on our list of interesting acquisitions. The acquisition means that Trelleborg will almost double its sales in agricultural tyres, strengthen its leading position in industrial tyres and add new positions in complementary specialty tyres segments. CGS’s engineered polymer solutions add new interesting positions as well as strengthen Trelleborg’s existing leading positions in several of the Group’s current business areas,” says Peter Nilsson, President and CEO of Trelleborg. CGS Holding includes the businesses Mitas, Rubena and Savatech. Mitas accounts for approximately two-thirds of group sales and has strong midmarket specialty tyres brands with a particularly strong position within agricultural tyres. The offering of specialty tyres is complemented by Rubena’s and Savatech’s niche engineered polymer solutions businesses, including seals, sealing profiles, specialty
moulded products, printing blankets and other engineered fabrics. “We are convinced the agricultural market will recover, enabling us to benefit from an attractive footprint when it does. Accordingly, we consider the purchase consideration to be attractive considering the expected synergies and the future recovery of the agricultural market,” concludes Peter Nilsson. Mitas will be integrated into the Trelleborg Wheel Systems business area. During transition, other operations will be independent from Trelleborg’s existing operations before being gradually integrated into current business areas. Following the acquisition, Trelleborg will have sales of about SEK 30 billion, with about 23,000 employees in 47 countries. The transaction will be consolidated from May 31, 2016. Non-recurring costs of approximately SEK 70 million, related to the acquisition, will be charged to the second quarter of 2016. Of this amount, about SEK 50 million will be charged against reported operating income and about 20 million will be charged to net financial items. No PPA effects are included in the above amounts.
finance 0% finance deals on a wide selection of Kuhn equipment KUHN Farm Machinery has announced details of its Summer 2016 finance scheme with 0% finance available on a wide range of its spraying, cultivation, drilling and grassland equipment. The latest finance deal, which runs from 1st May until 31st August 2016, is available on most products across the KUHN farm machinery range including balers, wrappers, bedding and feeder wagons, fertiliser spreaders, hay and silage making equipment, ploughs, cultivators and seed drills. The finance deal is also available on the KUHN sprayer range, including the all new
LEXIS trailed sprayer which will have its official launch at this year’s Cereals Event in June. The 3+21 0% deal is available against 50% of the list price of all eligible machines. KUHN Finance can also offer bespoke finance plans, making KUHN equipment affordable for any farming cashflow. KUHN Finance is a partnership between Kuhn Farm Machinery and De Lage Landen Leasing Limited. Further details are available by calling 0845 366KUHN or 0845 3665846, or by visiting the finance page at www. kuhn.co.uk
Further progress making CAP payments At least £50 million will be injected into Scotland’s rural economy in the comings weeks by the Scottish Government. Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing has confirmed that farmers and crofters will soon begin receiving their second instalment of direct farm funding. It comes as Scotland’s Chief Statistician publishes the annual Economic Report on Scottish Agriculture. Mr Ewing said: “I am absolutely determined to make full direct payments to as many Scottish farmers as possible by 30 June. This is my utmost priority. “All eligible farmers should have already received a substantial payment from the Scottish Government worth 80 per cent of their estimated entitlement, unless they chose to opt out of the nationally funded loan scheme. “This Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform has completely changed the way funding is allocated so that it is now based on area of land. It means we need to verify and check what is being claimed for each and every square metre of farmland in Scotland before settling the balance of payments – a gargantuan administrative challenge involving an almost infinite combination of possibilities and literally
millions and millions of complex calculations. “Thanks to the relentless efforts of staff in area offices and our Edinburgh HQ, this process is nearing the very final stages of completion which will enable us to begin paying second instalments in the near future, injecting at least another £50 million into Scotland’s rural economy.” Commenting on the news, NFU Scotland President Allan Bowie said: “The announcement that farmers and crofters are to start receiving their outstanding balance payments for 2015 means that, with the Highland Show starting next week, the sizeable hole in the Scottish rural economy is slowly being filled. “The IT debacle, which led to costly and protracted delays in the delivery of CAP support to the agricultural and crofting sectors, has had a huge impact. Instead of arriving as usual in December, we are now in mid-June and businesses are only starting to receive their final payment instalments. “These payments will be welcomed by all and will be a great relief to many. It means we are getting closer to the end but NFUS will keep the pressure on the Scottish Government and their officials until all of Scotland’s farmers and crofters are paid what they are due.
THEMONEYMAN It’s Showtime! By Andrew Turnbull
The problem about writing articles like this (first week in June) is that by the time they get published some aspects will have been overtaken by events. For example, at the time of writing we are still to have the EU referendum, the outcome of which will have implications for the agricultural economy whichever way the vote tips. The politicians have promised the remaining subsidy cheques will definitely be in farmers’ bank accounts within the fortnight. Whether this proves to be the case, time will tell. Then there was a hint that milk prices appeared to be improving but this turned out to be only a temporary bonus paid by one of the buyers - will there be no real improvement after all? The weather has been pleasantly warm and the
countryside looks in good shape but, shortly, there will be a plea for rain in some quarters! And that brings us nicely to the Royal Highland Show which will be done and dusted by the time you read this. Each year the organisers make great efforts to ensure the event appeals to a wider audience and this has to be a good thing. Farming can be a lonely occupation, particularly when finances have been stretched, and a day or two away from the farm can reduce the stress. The various shows are occasions for agriculture to sell itself to the public and to explore non-traditional avenues for diversifying and boosting farming incomes. Above all else, though, they are important opportunities to meet old friends and to forget finances for a while.
Andrew Turnbull CA is an Area Director, based in Perth, with First Independent Finance where he specialises in agricultural and industrial loans and finance. His contact details are: Mobile: 07720 886272, Phone 01738 624671 email aturnbull@fIf.co.uk 81
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small seeds. The bespoke design has been engineered to fit the Pottinger TERRADISC and SYNKRO range of stubble cultivators. A loading platform, steps with handrail and electric metering control allows for easy set-up, calibration and filling. Hopper capacity of either 200 and 500 litres are offered with a choice of electric or hydraulically power fans dependent upon model. The CONOROLL design offers all the benefits in terms of re-consolidation of a traditional steel ring roller but with just a third of the weight. This clever system utilises a concentric arrangement of four tensile steel bands that are bolted around a centre axis to form a 760 mm diameter ring. These bands are formed in a concentric pattern and create a pressing effect that leaves soil well consolidated but with an ability to drain freely. This is achieved thanks to the corrugated finish left the by the concentric rings. Available as a single unit or in a tandem version on the full Pottinger cultivator range.
New Hollandâ€™s Methane Power tractor
Farmers attending this yearâ€™s Cereals were able to get their first look at New Hollandâ€™s T6.180 Methane Power tractor which was unveiled at Agritechnica.
The second generation prototype is based on a New Holland T6.180 standard tractor and features a 175hp (129kW) Nef 6 engine developed by FPT
machinery Industrial that delivers 740Nm torque. The nine gas cylinders have a total capacity of 300 litres (52kg) compressed methane, sufficient for approximately half a day of normal tractor operations. The second generation Methane Power T6.180 delivers significant fuel saving of 20% to 40% compared to conventional fuels. This tractor is an important step in achieving New Hollandâ€™s goal of energy independent farming as the methane is generated through renewable biomass production. When using bio-methane, the machineâ€™s carbon impact is virtually zero. On environmental performance, the new machine has 80% less polluting emissions than a standard diesel tractor and is already capable of fulfilling future greenhouse gas targets, which are expected to require a 20% reduction in emissions across Europe by 2020.
Optum tractors from Case
Case IH used Cereals 2016 to introduce a number of new features for its flagship Quadtrac four-tracked tractors, alongside upgrades to its
Advanced Farming System (AFS) precision technology. The event also marked the first Cereals for the new 270hp and 300hp Optum tractors and
revised 140 series Axial-Flow combines. Speed of shifting in the powershift transmission fitted to Quadtrac tractors has been
machinery improved for next season through the installation of a new range hydraulic valve and enhanced electronic control logic, providing a smoother, faster shifting action to reduce parasitic power losses, maintain momentum and provide more usable horsepower. Transmission efficiency is further boosted by way of a redesigned oil reservoir, relocation of the PTO drain and the use of a new tandem transmission oil pump. Whether
the operator chooses to use the transmission in manual shift, skip shift or Automatic Productivity Management mode, the time taken to shift from 1st to 16th gear has been cut by approximately 20%, while this package of improvements is calculated to save between 2% and 5% of engine horsepower. At the same time, forward/ reverse shuttle shift response has been made faster and smoother
to improve headland turning, resulting in a 38% increase in shuttling speed, and hence reduced time spent manoeuvring on the headland. The new Advanced Steering System reduces the number of steering wheel revolutions required to turn between full lock positions from six to four, while also cutting the effort required to make steering turns. When the tractor exceeds 35km/hr, the
system switches from field to road mode, indicated on the A-post information display, and provides increased steering sensitivity during high-speed road travel. Meanwhile, a new AccuGuide Advanced Line Acquisition system improves engagement of automatic steering when entering a new bout, getting the tractor on line faster but more smoothly, reducing the risk of overlaps or misses during headland turns.
KUHN’s centre pivot trailed mower conditioner
KUHN Farm Machinery has added a grouper version of its 3.1 metre disc mower conditioner to its line-up of centre pivot trailed machines. Ideally suited to large scale farming operations and grassland contractors, the FC 3160 TCD RA offers all the key advantages associated with KUHN’s standard centre pivot 84
mower conditioner (the FC 3160 TCD), such as greater mowing versatility and reduced ‘dead time’ on headlands, as well as having the ability to group two swathes of grass together. The FC 3160 TCD RA uses a conveyor belt grouper unit that enables two rows of grass to be placed together to form a twin swath for increased output of
the subsequent forage harvester. The conveyor also enables two rows of grass to be formed into a single, layered swath that can be picked up by balers or loader wagons with a narrower pick-up width. “The addition of a belt conveyor to KUHN’s tried and tested centre pivot mower conditioner saves times and
fuel by reducing the number of subsequent passes needed with a grass rake or forage harvester,” explains Duncan McLeish, KUHN’s UK Sales Manager. “It also reduces leaf losses and prevents soil or foreign materials being incorporated into the swath during raking.” The starting retail price for the FC 3160 TCD RA is £35,165.
machinery Updated Powerspread Pro tank spreaders from Shelbourne
Shelbourne Reynolds has revised its short-wheelbase Powerspread Pro sidedischarge tank spreader range for next season, to improve ride and handling, ease of loading, longevity of moving parts and visibility to road traffic. The new 8,200 litre and 10,500 litre Powerspread Pro 1800 and 2300 machines, which have respective capacities of approximately 11t and 15t of manure, are the mid-sized models in a Powerspread range that spans 7,250-14,500 litre capacities. When specified in single axle format, they are now shod with 620/75 R26 radial tyres, and feature a body that sits slightly lower in the chassis, with both these upgrades designed to enhance ride and handling. An air braking system can now be specified on both models 86
machinery when ordered as single axle machines. Having previously undergone a redesign which created a tub with more vertically-inclined walls to aid emptying, both machines now incorporate new extension top designs to make loading easier and reduce the chances of spillage between filling and spreading. Meanwhile, in terms of the spreading elements themselves, beefedup components include a new heavy-duty impeller and stronger bearings for the 750rpm-rotating rotor, a larger door ram, stiffer door design and a new door seal to ensure the spreader remains leak-proof at all times. The machines have also been given a new LED light package to enhance visibility to other road users.
New high flow slurry pump from Hi Spec
Hi-Spec Engineering will be using this year’s Livestock Event to launch the new HS385 high capacity slurry pump. The HS385 slurry pump is a completely new addition to the Hi-Spec range of paddle and vertical auger diet feeders, slurry tankers and muck spreaders, Kompactor ‘compaction/pushoff’ trailers and slurry pumping equipment. Unlike the existing lower capacity, three-point mounted HS450 pump, the new HS385 is a completely new design that is two-point lower linkage mounted and is hydraulically raised and lowered into the tank. The new high capacity HS385 pump is designed to meet the need of contractors and larger livestock farmers. Designed for use with tractors of at least 110hp, the HS385 has an output of around 3800 gallons per minute (17,000 litres/minute), so is ideal for use in larger stores and tanks. The design of the new HS385 slurry pump is based around a heavy duty support frame and incorporates a safety platform to fully cover the tank 88
when lowered in the working position. The design is such that unlike some two-point pumps, even when raising and lowering the HS385, there is no need to remove the PTO shaft. The HS385 is fully galvanised as standard and fitted with a quick change top fill outlet. The spout is quickly and easily adjusted and operated over a wide arc for thorough agitation and mixing. As an option, the HS385 can also be specified with a hydraulic extension function that allows the working depth to be quickly and easily set from the tractor seat.
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machinery McConnel unveils new range of rollers McConnel has enhanced its product portfolio after its recent merger with Twose of Tiverton, and can now offer a comprehensive choice of three, five and sevengang rollers with working widths from 6.4m and 18.4m The robust rollers are among the heaviest in the industry – delivering even ground pressure across the width of the roller and feature a unique castellated ring profile that ensures constant soil pressure for greater moisture retention and a weather-proof finish. Each section centre-pivots independently for a smooth and even reaction to undulating ground conditions, ensuring close contour-following and outstanding seed to soil contact. Strength and durability are boosted by an exceptionally robust design, triple sealed bearings, and 65mm steel shafts, while the heavy duty frame design allows for excellent contour following when the hydraulic system is in the float position. Four different roller configurations are available with a choice of 22” and 24” Cambridge rings and 22” and 24” Cambridge
rings with Cambridge breakers available. The rollers come with a wide range of options including springmounted levelling boards to break
down clods and plough ridges leveling the ground to deliver smooth and even consolidation. Two rows of 8mm spring tines are also available. When working
in crop stubble the tines help to evenly distribute straw and surface residue – distributing slug eggs and encouraging a flush of volunteers to germinate.
Say hello to the General Polaris has introduced the Polaris GENERAL which they describe as ‘the most versatile side-by-side ever built’. Starting
with a 100 horsepower ProStar® 1000 engine delivering the most power and torque in its class, you can accelerate from 0-40 mph in
3.6 seconds, thanks to its powerto-weight ratio. When it’s time for work, the Polaris GENERAL offers you the biggest payload of 1100 lbs (498 kg) and a class-best 600 lb. (272 kg) dump box to get the job done. Factory-installed half doors with armrests offer extra protection from debris, and easy in-and-out, work-friendly cab access. There are also dual bolstered bucket seats, adjustable for the driver, providing a secure feel and ample leg room, while the thin-film technology under the seat cover provides a dry ride in wet conditions. Spaceoptimized foot rests for both the driver and passenger also make for a secure ride. Ground clearance is best-in-class with 12 inches (30.48cm) unloaded and the dual A-arm front suspension has a class-best 12.25 inches
(31.12cm) of suspension travel and 13.2 inches (33.53cm) rear travel. To meet the variety of recreational needs and do battle with the workload, the Polaris GENERAL is available in two different models: Polaris GENERAL Velocity Blue and Polaris GENERAL Deluxe Orange Burst. Both models include automotive-style paint; Sport Low Profile Front Bumper and Polaris HD 4500 lb. (2041 kg) winch; and 14-inch (35.56 cm) Matte Black cast aluminum wheels paired with eight-ply, 27-inch (68.58 cm) GBC Dirt Commander Tyres providing better side traction, stiffer sidewalls, better tracking through corners and increased durability in tough work environments.
machinery Kverneland extends plough range
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Kverneland Group UK has taken the wraps off an all-new semimounted plough series called the PN/RN 100, available in eight- and nine-furrow builds. Its No28 bodies are protected by shearbolt on RN 100 models, and auto-reset mechanism on PN 100 versions. The latter uses Kverneland’s proven multi-leaf spring design that affords non-stop ploughing. Filling a gap in the range between the fully-mounted EO/ LO seven-furrow and the flagship semi-mounted PW/RW from seven to 12 furrows, the new plough delivers the convenience of a small plough in a high-output package. Available with manual variwidth from 14-20in, and using a single-wheel format, the PN/RN 100 offers in-furrow and on-land capability - the latter with enough offset to suit wheeled and tracked tractors up to 3.4m in width. “This new plough has been developed for customers with 200400hp tractors on wheels or tracks, who frequently swap between ploughing and cultivating,” explains Kverneland Group UK plough specialist Adam Burt.
“Those customers want to change implements quickly and easily, so it is more important to them to have a high-output plough that is mechanically simple to set-up and use,” he says. “Those customers also want the flexibility to use the plough on more than one tractor, and not be tied to one specific tractor for all the farm’s ploughing. The PN/RN 100 is that plough.” “All it needs is three doubleacting spool valves to operate,” he says. “Couple up, adjust the offset and front furrow, and away you go. It is that simple.” Of heavy-duty construction, the PN/RN 100 uses a 200x200mm main beam, and comes with a generous 80cm of underbeam clearance and 100cm of inter-body clearance. Headstock options include Cat III and Cat IV fittings, and wheel options extend to a 400/55 R22.5 or a wider section 500/55 R22.5 tyre. Prices start from £31,953 for the RN 100 shear bolt version, while the PN 100 auto-reset model is priced from £35,496. Both versions will be available from August.
machinery Kubota Agriculture expands into North East Scotland with C C Powell
Kubota UK has expanded its move into the mainstream agricultural market with the announcement of a new partnership with C C Powell Ltd. The deal means C C Powell is now Kubota’s key agricultural dealer for North East Scotland. The Aberdeenshire-based machinery dealer will supply Kubota’s complete range of agricultural solutions, from its recently launched flagship M7001 Tractor Series (130HP to 170HP), right through to its MGX-II (100HP to 135HP) and M60 (60HP to 100HP) tractors. In addition, the Scottish dealer will also supply Kubota’s market leading range of high performance, reliable and rugged RTV utility vehicles. 94
Rob Edwards, Business Development Manager for Kubota Agriculture, commented: “Kubota’s investment and commitment to the agricultural market is gathering pace as our new M7001 tractors hit the market. In order to drive our business forward, it is essential we have the right dealer partners in place. “By joining forces with Chris and his team at C C Powell, it not only gives us the ideal platform to target farmers in North East Scotland, but it also strengthens and expands our agricultural network across the UK. The company is a young and dynamic business that has a first class reputation for its customer service. We
are delighted to be working with them and look forward to developing and growing our agricultural presence in this region together.” C C Powell is a specialist potato and vegetable equipment supplier serving Aberdeenshire, Morayshire, Ross-shire and the Highlands. The company was set up by Chris Powell in 2010 as the main dealer for Grimme, as well as supplying the Greencrop and Horstine brands. Chris’ business is a real success story, despite still being in its infancy. In 2011, he appointed a full time service engineer and part time office administrator to join him. Six years on, and he now employs nine people in
total, including three service engineers, a sales rep, service and parts representatives and a workshop foreman. In addition, he has also taken on a work experience undergraduate currently undertaking a HND in Agriculture. Chris Powell said: “We have built the business up on what we believe is an honest, fair and quality service to potato and root crop farmers and I think we have done this really well. Our ethos is very much about putting our customers first, listening to what they want and being able to cater to their needs, combining our knowledge and expertise to ensure they have the best possible service and support.
machinery New loader from Blaney Following years of research and development and identifying key markets, Blaney Motor Company is proud to launch two new wheel loader concepts on its stand at Balmoral Show. The exciting unveil took place in front of an audience of VIPS and industry representatives on the Blaney Motor Company stand on Wednesday morning. In the current climate, many manufacturing companies are leaving the Ballymena area, but Sean Blaney who heads up Blaney Motor Company and other divisions within the Blaney Group, including Quad-X and Blaney Agri, has great confidence in the local labour force and is positive the range of loaders will be exactly what the end users require. Itâ€™s a bold move for the young business based just outside Ballymena, at Ahoghill,
machinery as it has not only launched new products but also a new brand and manufacturing division. The company is striving ahead with a full range of these loaders designed for both the agricultural and construction industries ahead of a full product launch later this year. The theme running throughout the new range of Blaney telescopic loaders and wheel loaders is that they are designed to be compact, weighing under 3.5 tonnes and small enough to transport from site to site on a small trailer. They are ideal for many uses in the agricultural industry, equestrian, amenities, landscaping, construction, self-build and road works sector. Launched on the stand was the TH1 15-48, a compact telehandler with a lifting capacity of 1.5 tonnes and a reach of 4.8m. It is powered by a 50 horsepower engine and uses a hydrostatic transmission with a four wheel drive lockable differential if required.
Mitas releases the Powerpull tyre for Europe
The special tractor pulling tyre Mitas Powerpull has been released for sale in Europe. After several months of in-house
development and extensive testing, Mitas 30.5L32 148A8 Powerpull is available for pulling teams. It is manufactured as a
slick tyre without a tread pattern, allowing the competitor to create the winning tread design of their choice. Manufacturing of Mitas
machinery Powerpull 30.5L-32 is based on a process similar to that of Mitas’ high-horsepower tractor tyres. This will guarantee endurance and durability. “The big advantage of Mitas Powerpull is the fact that it is sold as a slick tyre, allowing a custom cut according to the competitor’s specification,” said Andrew Mabin, Mitas’ sales and marketing director. “To ensure being one of
the first competitors to put on a new set of Mitas Powerpull tyres, I would encourage pullers to contact their cutter and put their name on the list.” Tyres are matched in pairs at the factory to a circumference tolerance of approximately 1.2 centimetres and are sold in matched pairs. When the tyres are matched at the factory, they are inflated
to 0,8 bar and the circumference measured. The average circumference of this production run at 0,8 bar is 5,273 metres. During the final stage of development, Mitas took advantage of first-hand feedback on Mitas Powerpull’s design from several pullers and pulling teams in Europe and North America. These are a few examples of the
impressive results Mitas Powerpull has achieved in competitions (in North America & Europe): Mitas actively supports tractorpulling events. In Europe, Mitas is the official partner of the European Tractor Pulling Committee (ETPC), supporting all Eurocup pulls. Mitas has recently prolonged its sponsorship agreement with ETPC for the Eurocup 2016 season.
KUHN UK expands with ambitious recruitment drive KUHN Farm Machinery has announced details of an ambitious recruitment drive that will add eight new sales and product specialists to its UK staff structure. The recruitment campaign is being implemented in order to enable KUHN to take a greater market share in several key areas and to provide additional customer support via its network of dealerships. KUHN’s existing team of six territorial sales managers
will continue to focus on driving sales of KUHN’s fertiliser spreaders, grassland machinery, PTO-driven soil cultivation equipment, non min-till seed drills, ploughs, shredders, balers and wrappers, and will be joined by four new sales specialists, two product marketing specialists and two parts and Amenity Pro sales specialists The four new sales specialists will have a remit to
drive sales of mixer wagons, bedding machines, hedgecutters, balers and wrappers, min till cultivators and drills, sprayers and precision drills, with two of the new positions covering the north and two covering the south of the UK. “Our aim is to extend our market share across several machinery ranges with a specific focus on certain key product lines. In order to achieve that, we need to develop product
specific expertise to compliment our existing field sales team. “The extended sales and marketing team will mean more people on the ground to support to our UK dealer network and will improve the flow of communication between KUHN, its dealers and their customers. Our goal is to push our UK sales figures to new heights and to provide a more complete, efficient and thorough service to our UK customers.”
machinery Kawasaki’s new Mule SX Most compact in terms of their engine capacity and physical size, the 2017 model year MULE SX range join their Kawasaki Utility Vehicle stablemates with PRO series inspired updates for the new season. Offered in two-wheel and four-wheel drive versions, the MULE SX machines pack a considerable punch in terms of carrying and towing capacity while enjoying diminutive dimensions that mean they can be transported in the back of many flat-bed vehicles and full-size pick-up trucks. Just 1335mm wide and with an overall length of 2710mm, these sturdy work partners enjoy a 181kg cargo capacity in their tipping load beds while a generous 500kg towing capacity is available
for those that need to move mountains in rugged, durable style. In terms of looks, the 2017 model year machines have large volume bodywork inspired by the successful PRO series MULE Utility Vehicles, a new LED headlamp design and operator features such as a PRO style dashboard design and steering wheel configuration which now also includes a handy tilt function. For operator and passenger alike, the convenience of cup holders and a glove box plus a standard fit DC socket are complemented by capacious under-seat storage and a massive 60 litre front storage area that is easy to access. It is expected the new machines will be available in the UK in September. Guide
pricing for the MULE SX 2WD is £6049 + VAT and the
4 4 version is expected to be £6749 + VAT.
machinery Standen Uni-Plus – new high performance destoner Standen Engineering will launch its very latest destoner at Cereals 2016. The new Standen UniPLUS has been developed to offer higher levels of output, precision and efficiency of stone and clod separation with its new chassis design, improved drive systems and upgraded component set based on proven design elements. Uni-PLUS will be available in different versions to suit all growing conditions and bed specifications, with a choice of the company’s unique doubleaction Stars over UnderWeb system with the option of a Front Web, or as an All Web machine with four separating webs. All Uni-PLUS models are available in 1700mm or 1500mm working widths. Star-UnderWeb models have heavy-duty shares; a powered intake roller followed by 10
rows of the company’s large diameter (320mm) aggressively angled stars, manufactured for the Uni-PLUS from an upgraded and highly durable polymer compound (PolyDure 856). The UnderWeb sieving web has been extended for additional separating capacity, and is
offered with the option of an adjustable scrubbing web. Uni-PLUS All Web models are fitted with four large area sieving webs; with webs 1, 2 and 3 at equal lengths and interchangeable to help keep running costs low. The Standen Uni-PLUS is based on an all-new steel chassis to
allow new increased efficiencies; improved serviceability with lower operating costs. The machine is set at an optimum, slightly steeper operational angle which has been shown to enhance performance. Uni-PLUS’s axle steering angle has been increased from 24 degrees to 30 degrees to enhance manoeuvrability.
machinery Modifications to Strautmann mixer wagon range Two new modifications to the Strautmann range of mixer wagons will allow farmers to save time and cut costs. A uniquely designed ‘stepped’ auger – the Vario2 – speeds mixing time and so reduces labour and tractor time. An optional wear strip made of INNODUR stainless steel will reduce corrosion of the auger between mixes, prolonging its lifetime. All Strautmann mixer wagons – single and double augered, and self-propelled - will now come fitted with a Vario2 auger as standard. Its stepped design enables a good mix to be achieved more quickly. OPICO’s James Woolway explains: “Whilst this may only reduce mixing time by a minute or so per load, due to the number of mixes made each day, the labour and fuel savings will significantly add up over time.”
Longer term, machinery repair and replacement costs can be reduced by requesting the INNODUR stainless steel wear strip to be fitted to the leading edge of the auger. This is a replaceable part, further extending machine
lifetime. For a VertiMix 951 single auger feeder this option retails at £272 plus VAT, and for a VertiMix 3101 double auger feeder, £943 plus VAT. Mr Woolway adds: “Strautmann mixer wagons are
already known for their low HP requirement, mix quality and build quality. These new modifications will further add to their appeal for livestock farmers looking to minimise costs of production.”
machinery New Landini 4 Series tractors Stockmen looking for a relatively small but robust and durable tractor for loader and light field work have a new option in the smallest editions of the Landini 4 Series. Powered by fuel-efficient Deutz compact four-cylinder engines with outputs from 6476hp, the tractors measure just over 2.4m to the top of the cab on 16.9R30 rear tyres. But despite their small stature, performance-wise, the tractors are reckoned to punch well above their weight. â€œLandini tractors have a justifiable reputation for reliability, durability and ease of use, especially among
machinery stockmen with experience of the Powerfarm and other models from the previous generation,” says Bob Bain, Landini area sales manager for Scotland. “Today’s Landini tractors have those same characteristics but with cabs that are a noticeable step up in terms of space, style and equipment.” That is especially true of the new four-pillar cab that the smallest Landini 4 Series tractors share with three slightly larger, more powerful (90-107hp) siblings and also the 85-113hp Landini 5-H series in the next class up. The new 4-060 (64hp), 4-070 (69hp), 4-075 (74hp) and 4-080 (76hp) therefore have a more than generous cab for their size, making the tractors easy to get on and off and providing a comfortable place of work whilst aboard.
There is no shortage of choice in the transmissions department – a 40kph 12x12 synchro shuttle gearbox is standard, together with hydraulically-engaged fourwheel drive and two-speed pto providing a lower revs economy setting in addition to the full power gearing for 540rpm at the shaft. Conventional 540/1000rpm and ground-drive pto options are also available, and creep gears and two-speed powershift can be added for extra speed versatility, as well as a hydraulic power shuttle for smooth, fingertip direction changes. Hydraulic resources are provided by a 49-litre/min gear pump supplemented by a 28-litre/ min pump dedicated to steering and other ancillary systems, which makes it equivalent to a tractor with a 77-litre/min combined system.
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farmwatch Air Weapon and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2015 The Air Weapon and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2015 comes into effect on 31 December 2016. The new law will require any person who possesses, purchases, uses, or acquires an air weapon to have a certificate to legally hold them. The following questions and answers have been prepared to assist with queries regarding the new legislation. This section will be updated on a regular basis with additional information and guidance. What do I need to do right now? If you own an air weapon you do not need to take any action right now, you will not be able to apply for a certificate until 1 July 2016. How will people with Air Weapons find out about the new legislation? Information relating to the air weapon licensing can be accessed from http:// mygov.scot/air-weapon. The full legislation can be accessed via the link below:
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http://www.legislation.gov. uk/asp/2015/10/contents/ enacted
Where do I get more information on applying for a certificate? This webpage will be updated with full details on how to apply for certification, this will also be publicised by the Scottish Government and Police Scotland prior to the opening of the application process on 1 July. You will apply for an air weapons certificate on the Police Scotland website in a similar manner to the current firearm and shotgun certification process. How do I dispose of a weapon I don’t want? Police Scotland will be running a national air weapon surrender campaign to provide you with the opportunity to safely dispose of unwanted air weapons at nominated police offices. Full details of the surrender campaign will be available on this webpage and advertised as part of the publicity campaign. The Surrender Campaign will run from Monday 23 May to Sunday 12 June 2016.
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country woman Lorna Mitchell By Linda Mellor
Lorna Mitchell with Arthur
Lorna Mitchell was born in Dysart, Fife and her love of the countryside and animals started at a young age. The very first experiences she had of the countryside are easily recalled, Lorna said: “I remember the long walks with my parents, sister and our family dog and our holidays up in the north of Scotland.” As a youngster Lorna was in awe of the beautiful scenery and loved learning about all the different flowers and plants, how a nettle could sting but a nearby dock leaf would ease the discomfort. She also enjoyed the vibrant colours and perfume from the flowers and eating the wild berries from the bushes. “The vast open spaces and that feeling of complete freedom is a great feeling. There is nothing better than putting on a pair of boots and within half an hour of walking you find yourself in the 104
midst of a forest or on the track up in the Lomond hills. As a little girl it felt the same. I just have a bit of an affinity with the great outdoors; the sounds, the colours, the wind in your hair and the sting of rain sometimes on your skin, its absolute magic.” Lorna lives with her husband John in a small Fife village and their dog Paddy, a Border terrier. She is the manager for busy motor factors based in Kirkcaldy and enjoys looking after her horse, Arthur. Animals have always been part of Lorna’s life as she grew up with dogs and has more than 40 years experience around horses. Lorna was only five when her dad bought a horse, he was a Shetland pony called Titch. The pony had been left in the field and really hadn’t had much human contact; he was black, very hairy and a bit of handful despite his size. Laughing,
Lorna said, “He was great learning experience. He bucked, he would bite and he would run off. He was strong willed and lay down and rolled when he got hot under his saddle. It wouldn’t matter where he was he would just stop, lie down and roll. Titch never made it easy but as a little girl I learned patience and understanding. Eventually, he’d come round and I would get back on and off we’d go again. I absolutely loved that feeling of connecting with him and when I wanted to go faster he was happy to do so but it was always on his terms and it usually depended on how green the grass was in the field we were in!” Her dad bought bigger ponies and they enjoyed evenings and weekends exercising them. “Those childhood memories will stay with me always, the beautiful summer evenings with mum, dad
and sister in the forest with the ponies. Nothing’s changed really apart from going up a few sizes in horses!” The countryside is Lorna’s place to recharge; it offers her the opportunity to think, relax and unwind and an innate feeling of peace. “It gives me the feeling of being at one with the world, no cares as it is just me and my horse out in the woods and tracks. I’m that carefree little girl again cantering along with the wind in my face. It’s pure escapism.” Like horses, dogs have always been a major part in Lorna’s life. “I love their company, when I was growing up I used to spend hours at the stables with the horses and Sandy our yellow lab used to keep me company. Even though I spent a lot of time on my own I was never lonely because I had the horses and the dog. I always felt completely at ease around
country woman dogs and horse, even the most difficult horses.” “I’ve been lucky to have some amazing friends from the dog and horse world over the years.” One very special friendship was with Rhoda, she joined the family when she was 6 months old until she was 26. In between she was trained as a Police horse and served 13 years with Strathclyde Police then returned to Lorna in her retirement. Lorna now has Arthur and they share an exception bond. He moved from Devon to Fife 12 years ago after he was found up for sale in a local paper by Lorna’s sister who was living near Dartmoor. Arthur is a striking horse, his father was a Suffolk Punch and his mother was a Welsh cob section D crossed with a Gypsy cob. Unbeknown to Lorna, Arthur had had an unhappy life. He was a super strong master’s hunt horse who had been with at least 8 or 9 owners. Lorna said, “He had been hunting from the age of 4 until he came to us at the age of 9.” Lorna and John drove down to Devon to meet Arthur.
There was an instant connection between the two of them and the sale was made. Arrangements were then put in place for him to be transported up to Fife to start his new life. She continued, “Arthur taught me how to communicate and speak his language. People had tried to control him with brute strength but actually underneath there a beautiful sensitive soul who never had the one to one love and attention he has now.” Twenty one year old Arthur enjoys a great life in Fife. He still grows a foot in height, flares his nostrils and prances around his field when he recognises the sounds of the local hunt out in the distant countryside. Lorna said, “He is in semiretirement now but he still adores adventures, we cross ditches and streams and up and down the steepest of hills and bankings. He loves cantering along the woodland grassy tracks. The power, balance and strength he has are incredible. We feel as one together and he may be 21 but I feel like I’m 21 again.”
Southern Belle Time Waits For No Man…Or Woman You know that it’s been a while since you cleaned out the car, when you find a Christmas card in the door! There’s never time to clean the car, just like there is never time to do loads of things we never get round to. We put things off for more important deadlines, which come and go and are then replaced by the next one. In the meantime the fun unimportant things,(not including cleaning the car in this) lie at the bottom of the pending file constantly covered by the things we feel should be given priority. This week I attended a play on the life of The Rev Henry Duncan, minister of this parish and founder of the Trustee Savings Bank. I was reminded that I have never taken the time to visit the TSB Museum, which is actually my next door neighbour! On leaving the church I was reminded by the minister that I needed to give a report on the website I’m doing for the church. Major panic…
hadn’t started it…but wait now it has a deadline so it gets done. Today is the first overcast day we’ve had in a month in the balmy South West and I haven’t taken time to enjoy this rare occurrence. I look out on the thriving weed garden, which I haven’t had time to spray and the inviting patio I power washed in the spring so I could enjoy the sun, which I haven’t had time to use. Time seems to pass quickly as we get older and despite always planning to take more time for ourselves we never do. So, this morning I’ve texted some friends and tomorrow night we’ll be sitting in my wild and weedy garden enjoying some food, a glass of wine and a catch up and none of them will notice the weeds or the dust in the house, which I haven’t had time to clean since my mother’s last visit…Oh no mother…I haven’t had time to post her birthday card…where’s the first class stamps….
lifestyle RSABI’s Help us help them campaign aims to raise £150,000
Show off your Tweed this summer!
By Paul Tinson
Scotland’s unique rural charity RSABI is encouraging supporters to back their latest campaign. Last year RSABI helped over 900 people, contributed around £600,000 in direct financial support. The trend is significantly up on previous years - 688 people were helped in 2014/15 with £480,000 provided by the charity. RSABI is now dipping in to its invested capital in response to the difficult times being experienced. There are varied opportunities for people to back the current campaign and demonstrate their generosity. The Supporter Scheme is currently gathering momentum, providing the opportunity to join as an individual, business or corporate member, ideally by making an annual donation to the charity. At the end of August, RSABI’s flagship event for the rural industry, the Great Glen Challenge, sponsored by Ledingham Chalmers, solicitors once again puts teams through their paces in the Highlands. The event raised £62,000 last year, donations can now be made at www.virginmoney. com/funds/RSABIGGC16 for the latest event. Alex Dunbar, Scotland rugby internationalist, who is an ambassador for RSABI
is urging people up and down the country to back the current campaign: “Times have been tough recently and events like the Great Glen Challenge are an excellent opportunity to raise funds for the campaign and have some active fun while doing so.” As part of the ‘Help us help them’ campaign for 2016/17, RSABI are putting on a variety of other events for their supporters, including two golf days in the North and South of the country, and a charity clay shoot in the autumn. The fundraising drive for ‘Help us help them’ culminates with a Supporters’ Gala Dinner, sponsored by The Royal Bank of Scotland at Gogar, Edinburgh in the New Year. Contact Paul Tinson at RSABI to learn more and sign up a team: call 0300 111 4166, email paul.tinson@rsabi. org.uk or visit www.rsabi.org.uk View the event on YouTube: RSABI Great Glen Challenge 2016 official video
The new ‘Equetech Showing Collection’, combines a passion for heritage whilst combining 21st century design details across it’s latest ridden and lead rein collection. New for this season is a stunning new tweed ‘Stowe’, which embraces a flattering Green herringbone tweed with a timeless triple Navy and Canary over check design. This beautiful new tweed is translated into single breasted riding jackets and for showing in-hand and lead rein competitors, the new collection offers tailored waistcoats, jackets, Baker Boy and Edwardian style showing hats. Image shows Equetech Stowe Deluxe Tweed Riding Jacket (Sizes: 8 – 24) Prices start at RRP: £130.50 & Stowe Deluxe Tweed Lapel Waistcoat (Sizes: 8 – 24) RRP: £88.95 and matching Baker Boy Hat RRP: £36.50 www.equetech.com www.farmingscotlandmagazine.com
lifestyle Scotland’s Trade Fair With months still to go until Scotland’s Trade Fair Autumn’s Launch Gallery is already full with an incredible line-up of original and exciting exhibitors. Held at the SECC, Glasgow from 18-19 Sept, this trade fair is traditionally the last chance for northern retailers to source and order goods for the Christmas season. With a wide selection of homewares, jewellery, accessories and now food and drink, it offers independent retailers the perfect chance to stock something a little more innovative and unusual for their Christmas shoppers. Over 150 stands, of which almost one third are new exhibitors, including the Launch Gallery for young, original companies under two years old, will showcase their wares over the two days. The Launch Gallery will feature metalwork gifts Steelin Dreams from the Borders, Snowpaw with their handmade shoes, Nikky d’Aguilar’s stylish scarves and cushions (right), Scott & Robson designed cards, jewellery from Alison Phillips and Jessie Growden and bags from Nixey amongst others. For the first time ever the Show will also include a selection of food and drink gift exhibitors in recognition of the quality and variety of edible offerings that make excellent Christmas presents The food and drink offering includes Coco
Chocolatier, Spice Pots, Jaw Brew and The Chilli Experience. Show stalwarts include Dekassa Candles, Ortak, Tart Twist, Urban Outline candles, Pewtermill Crafts and Earth Squared which all offer highly desirable and sellable Christmas gifts. These will be complemented by some tremendous newcomers offering something a little different such as Black & Wired clothes from Aberdeenshire, Diamond in the Sky jewellery, Hello Sock, Juli Partlett Ceramics, Sienna Glass and Dawn Maciocia’s collage paintings. Mark Saunders, MD of Springboard Events, who organises the Show said: “Our Autumn Show provides the perfect platform for re-stocking for the frantic Christmas retail season. We have had such a good response to the Launch Gallery we are considering extending it beyond its original footprint. We have managed to secure some really interesting exhibitors with gifts for all retailers from clothes to food, accessories to homewares. With a wide range of price points this Show is certainly not to be missed if you want to succeed in the final quarter of 2016.” Karen Shand from gift shops Proposals said: “I like the timing of the Show and especially being able to come here when you’ve seen a lot of the other shows but there are still gaps in your buying. It’s on my doorstep and I always place lots of orders.”
lifestyle Say ‘I do’ to tweed
STYLE By Helen Burness
Retro 60’s Carnaby Vibe looks great
Since the launch of tweed fashion designers Timothy Foxx’s first ‘Wedding Collection’ in the fall of last year, the label have been inundated with orders by brides-to-be looking for something different and with a distinctly tweed twist! New for spring is the Timothy Foxx Abigail Tweed Wedding Dress. Styled in stunning Lime Tweed with a beautiful Purple and Tangerine plaid, this dress takes a romantic stroll through the countryside, with a distinctly British designer feel. Featuring a beautiful corseted bodice with silk ribbon lacing detail across the back, sweet heart neck-line and a feminine fish tail skirt, this designer dress can be tailored and tweaked for the perfect fit and finish, including over 20 different tweeds and a huge array of matching accessories and garments for brides, bridesmaids, grooms, mother of the bride and wedding favours. Entirely created through their exclusive ‘Made to Measure’ bridal service. Prices Start At RRP: £3,100.00 www.timothyfoxx.co.uk www.farmingscotlandmagazine.com
This beautiful limited edition jacket will ensure that you fly the flag in style with its vintage union flag print The Egality Jacket by Liberty Freedom and available through The Spanish Boot Company is beautifully tailored and has been designed to be worn open or buttoned up as a fitted tailored double breasted jacket. Taking inspiration from the catwalk, this jacket has a striking cut away front and flattering longer length panel to the back. The adjustable half belt to the back compliments the double back flap, which kicks out to give a gorgeous profile. Two deep side pockets to the hips offer function with fashion and make a perfect finish to this truly patriotic inspired jacket! I would love to see a saltire one too of course! RRP: £395.00 Sizes: 8 -16 www.thespanishbootcompany.co.uk 108
lifestyle Sox appeal The Timothy Foxx All Ladies Foxxy Shooting Socks & All Men’s Shooting Socks are built for comfort and strength and are ideal to tuck into wellies or fold longer style country boots. Styled in a luxuriously warm & functional Merino Wool Acrylic blend with a reinforced foot bed, these socks are available in a range of sizes and colours from muted tones through to rainbow brights. RRP: £32.00. www.timothyfoxx.co.uk
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ART with Carole Ingram
Art inspired by Scotland's rural surroundings and culture
Animal portrait work by Carole Ingram This month we discuss the challenges facing an artist producing commissioned animal portraiture. I am currently working in this field and able to take on commissions. The principal aim of any commission should be to capture the character of the subject on canvas. This can be achieved through meeting and observing the subject where possible. If this is not feasible, photographs and videos provide valuable reference material to work from. The key to a successful portrait is the ability to capture that fleeting moment in time that represents the subject and is instantly recognizable to the owner. When undertaking a commission it is important to spend time initially with the client discussing their expectations for the work. I prefer to meet my subjects in person, especially where there are multiple subjects and a sense of scale is required. Meeting the animal enables me to assess the personality of my subject and record accurate tones and colours. When doing a head study background is probably an unnecessary distraction. However, in full body portraits, as with the three spaniels, the background suggests and places the subjects within their working environment. See image. Commissions, normally done in oils, start at ÂŁ300. Carole Ingram, an artist in oils. Children and animal portraiture a speciality. www.caroleingram.co.uk www.facebook.com - Carole Ingram Art 110
International Field Trial Champion Chatsworth 2011
@home Summer ideas for the garden BBQ style
Galvanised ice bucket
As temperatures rise and you start to plan in your alfresco dining, BBQ in style with the Freddie Parker ‘Course Specialist’ Apron & Tea Towel Set. The set features the brand’s signature ‘galloping horse and rider’ motif in sequence on both, with a play on race course terminology on the apron. RRP: £30.00 www.freddieparker.com
Exo Sphere Lights
This stylish galvanised metal ice bucket comes complete with its own bottle opener attached (no more hunting round for an opener once filled with drinks), making it the perfect accessory for a summer party. Use in the garden, on a picnic, at the beach. Just fill with ice and drinks. Price: £11.00 www.collectie.co.uk
Teak Drinks Planter Round Outdoor Table
Made from tough, moulded Polyethylene, capable of withstanding all weather conditions. IP65 rated. Internal RGB, LED Light source. 16 pre-set colours can be selected according to mood or situation. Dimming function, colour fade and colour flash settings. Complete with battery powered remote control. Rechargeable – supplied with cable. Also suitable for indoor use, for example – a bedside table lamp. Part of a co-ordinating suite including two size spheres, cube stool / table, table lamp, ice bucket and chair. All items can be controlled simultaneously from one remote for an impressive, unified lighting effect. Price: £59.99 www.my-furniture.co.uk
The uber stylish raw finish and weathered appearance of the St Mawes Round Drinks Planter Table is a chic new addition that comes with an integral galvanised metal ice bowl at its centre that’s perfect for storing drinks whilst entertaining. Versatile as well as stylish, the round bowl could also be used to create a stunning floral display or planted with spring bulbs for a touch of colour. The perfect choice when it comes to outdoor entertaining, this round dining table is crafted from chunky reclaimed teak. Seating between 4-6 people comfortably. Dimensions: 130cm diameter and 78cm high Price: £850.00 www.vivalagoon.com
cars New Fiat 500s available to order in the UK The new FIAT 500S is available to order in the UK with prices starting from just £12,950 OTR. Designed to appeal to customers who want the compact dimensions, low running costs and cheeky appeal of the FIAT 500 but in a sportier package, the new FIAT 500S has been comprehensively restyled with new sports bumpers front and rear, special side skirts and a rear spoiler, while the door handles, tailgate, “moustache”, mirror fairings and 15-inch alloy wheels are finished in exclusive “Satin Graphite”.
The FIAT 500S is also equipped with front fog lamps, tinted rear windows, a chromefinish tailpipe, black-grained front air intakes and an eyecatching honeycomb grille. The standard 15-inch alloy wheels with their special “Satin Graphite” finish, and the optional 16-inch alloy wheels with a matt-black diamond treatment, are both new to the range while the colour palette has grown to include Electronica Blue metallic and Marching Green matte.
The MG GS – family, affordable, fun MG Motor UK’s all-new SUV, the MG GS, was officially launched and the lid has been lifted on what a fantastic package this new vehicle is offering. MG is proud to announce that, like the other models in the range, the MG GS is no exception to being affordable; with the line-up starting from only £14,995 and finishing at £19,495 for the manual transmission and £20,995 for the DCT (dual-clutch transmission).
The MG GS, which has been designed and engineered in Longbridge, Birmingham, has been developed to make it drive and handle like an MG should. The chassis has been tuned to deliver agility and great handling, making the driver feel confident when they take on the most challenging of roads. The MG GS is available in three trim levels, with an option of manual or DCT on the top specification.
BMW 5 Series wins recognition The BMW 5 Series has once again trumped its competition and been named Most Popular Large Premium Car at 2016 Honest John Awards. Despite having been on sale for longer than many of its competitors, it has generated more page views than any other car in its class. Dan Harrison from HonestJohn.co.uk, commented: “It’s the BMW 5 Series that has once again come out on top with our users, edging out the Jaguar XF. It remains the benchmark for handling among its counterparts,
yet what appeals to our users is the economy and low running costs the 5 Series offers, allied to strong yet refined performance.” The BMW 5 Series owes its popularity to its driving dynamics, design and efficiency. Thanks to EfficientDynamics technologies, fuel consumption is significantly lower as well as decreasing emissions. An example of this can be seen with the popular BMW 5 Series engine, 520d which achieves 69mpg on the combined cycle with CO2 emissions as low as 109g/km.
cars The restyled Quattroporte After three and a half years of unprecedented success in the international markets, the Quattroporte has undergone a substantial restyling that accentuates its elegance without altering its signature Maserati personality. The restyled Quattroporte, representing the quintessence of Italian sport saloons, will be available from June 2016 and is destined to continue a success story that started in 2013. Since its initial launch, the iconic Maserati flagship model has been delivered to over 24,000 customers in 72 countries.
The exterior of the restyled Quattroporte is recognisable with a new bumper design with matte black profile at the front and the matte black extractor at the rear. The front grille is more pointed and imposing, and it introduces new vertical chrome elements that contrast with the deepness of the shark nose effect. Other distinguishing details of the new Quattroporte are the matte black side skirts and the exterior mirrors, which have been slightly restyled to incorporate new technical elements.
Renault unveils New Clio Twenty five years on from launch in the UK, Renault has unveiled New Clio bringing a host of styling, equipment, powertrain and quality improvements to the fourth generation of its bestselling supermini. New Clio will go on sale in the UK from October. The fourth-generation Clio was the first Renault model to feature the brand’s new styling identity in 2012. Thanks to a full-LED lighting signature, including C-shaped daytime running lights in the case of certain versions, New Clio
continues to refresh Renault’s design identity. At the front, the grille which houses the Renault diamond has been redesigned, as has the lower part of the grille which is wider to add an even more modern feel to the front end. At the rear, the skirt has been redesigned for additional robustness. Four new body colours have been added (Mars Red, Titanium Grey, Arctic White and Iron Blue), with a selection of new wheel and wheel trim designs, plus a more extensive personalisation programme.
Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet revealed The new Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet is now available to order, priced from £36,200 OTR. First UK deliveries will arrive in September. The C-Class Cabriolet comes in two trim lines, Sport and AMG Line, and with a choice of six engines. The range starts with the C 200 which has a 2.0-litre (184 hp) petrol engine and delivers 47.1 mpg on the combined cycle. It is available with either a six-speed manual or 9G-TRONIC nine-speed automatic transmission. The C 300 features the same 2.0-litre engine with a higher output of
245 hp, and offers up to 42.2 mpg on the combined cycle. It is available only with the 9G-TRONIC gearbox. The Mercedes-AMG C 43 4MATIC Cabriolet is powered by a 3.0-litre bi-turbo V6 petrol engine producing 367 hp. It can sprint from standstill to 62 mph in 4.8 seconds. The C 43 comes with a 9G-TRONIC nine-speed automatic gearbox as standard, with an adapted shift programme. Two diesel engines are available: the 170 hp C 220 d (available in both rear-wheel and four-wheel drive), with a six-
speed manual (rear-drive only) or 9G-TRONIC nine-speed automatic gearbox; and the C
250 d, which produces 204 hp and comes with a 9G-TRONIC gearbox. 113
PEOPLE ON THE MOVE
Alan Laidlaw The Royal Highland & Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS) has announced the appointment of Alan Laidlaw as Chief Executive. Alan (38) from East Lothian, will take over responsibility for RHASS, the Edinburgh based charity that contributes £250m to the Scottish economy through its events business and flagship event, The Royal Highland Show. Currently Head of Property at The Crown Estate in Scotland, Alan’s role will be to strengthen the Society’s influence in promoting and protecting the interests of land based industries on behalf of its 15,000 members. Carol Mckenna Shearwell Data Ltd has appointed Carol McKenna as their Scottish Representative having come from both agricultural retail and farming backgrounds. Over the past 20 years has been in either full-time, part time or selfemployment with agricultural supplies firm Tarff Valley Ltd. In addition, during this time, Carol has built up 8 years tractor and machinery experience, which will prove a great asset to Shearwell.
Mike Amos Gregoire Besson, the innovative manufacturer of ploughs and tillage equipment, has appointed a new Area Sales Manager to cover its Western region of the U.K. Mike Amos, who hails from Sheffield has an excellent working knowledge of both the region and the industry, having been brought up in the area. After leaving school Mike trained as an engineer, resulting in him being awarded the prestigious John Deere Recognition of Excellence Award in the late 1980’s. His career development took him through various roles in the agricultural industry, from performing in a sales and service capacity for two respected dealerships in the north of England, and more recently as a territory manager and after-sales with Lynx Engineering. Stephen Jacob Delivering value to members and the industry is at the core of the BASIS strategy as its new Chief Executive Stephen Jacob takes up his role. Stephen, previously the organisation’s business development manager has been involved with helping the board of trustees develop a new strategy for the organisation as it enters its 25th year of administering the BASIS Professional Register. “A quarter of century has seen significant growth and development,” says Stephen. “What began as a professional inspection scheme for pesticide stores has grown to an independent standards setting and auditing organisation for the UK agricultural industry and allied sectors.” The sectors served are diverse, but at the heart of the schemes are some 5,700 members keen to develop and demonstrate professional standards. Thus the imperative is to focus on the value of membership.
BOOK REVIEW Poacher’s Pilgrimage: An Island Journey by Alastair McIntosh
This issue, Page Turner makes a remarkable journey on foot in the Western Isles The best travel books do a lot more than just describe a journey. They’ll tell you what it would be like to live in a place, how that place has changed over decades and centuries, what the people there are like, and what they think about life. The very best are written by the kind of person who can do all of that so well that you finish the book feeling as though you’ve been on the journey with them. A rare few are written by people who, on top of all that, are so interesting in themselves that you wouldn’t want to make the journey with anyone else. Alastair McIntosh’s Poacher’s Pilgrimage is such a book. A meditative and discursive account of a 12day Hebridean hike from Rodel to Butt of Lewis, he planned it to take in as many as possible of the “sacred sites” on his native Lewis and Harris – the beehive shieling huts (some of which have been standing for 2000 years) and their often neglected preReformation chapels and holy wells. It is also a journey into McIntosh’s own past, with a lyrically described childhood in the early 1960s, as the son of a doctor at the North Lochs practice, midway between Stornoway and Harris.
But it’s more than that too, because McIntosh is a lot more than just a travel writer. As environmentalist, he was one of the key figures in the fight against the Harris superquarry. As a land reformer, he played a leading role in the Eigg buy-out. As a Quaker and a pacifist, he is so highly regarded as a spokesman for non-violence that every year for nearly two decades he has been invited to talk to the top brass in the British Army and those of our NATO allies. Though shielded by Chatham House rules (he is allowed to write about what was said in the discussions but not to mention who said it), these chapters are among the book’s many highlights. As he walks across a land he clearly loves, and which has so clearly shaped his mind, McIntosh gently expounds his ideas. You might disagree with him, and you might not share his deeply spiritual view on life, which tend towards the mystical. But I guarantee you this: you won’t find a more intelligent, good-natured, thought-provoking guide to the Outer Hebrides. Poacher’s Pilgrimage: An Island Journey, by Alastair McIntosh Is available now from Birlinn (£20, hardback) www.birlinn.co.uk