Issue 146

Page 1

1 November 2022 • Issue 146 Columnists – Alex Brewster & Donald Ross Latest Machinery Beef : Saler, Hereford & Charolias New ClipFitter Castrating Product International Sheep Dogs Trials and much more...
Con ten ts Green Gold from Bavaria 52 WORLD TRAVELS/ INTEREST Donald Ross Rhynie Farm, Tain 26 Alex Brewster Rotmell Farm, Dunkeld 28 AROUND THE REGIONS MACHINERY New Grimme Veg Machines 44 Krone & Lemken New Autonomous System 46 New Dribble Bar for Slurrykat 47 M6 001Utility Tractor Series 48 New Series D Backhoe for NH 49 7th Generation for Fendt Vario 50 British National Ploughing Champions 52 Prince’s Countryside Fund 18 Learning Island Lessons from Japan 19 Disease Post Calving 20 Livestock Breeding and Sustainability 22 Fields of Opportunity for Ag Apprentices 23 From Waste to Workwear 25 BUSINESS THRIVE Start Ups 21 New Farm Management Handbook 24 Movers & Shakers 42 EDUCATION SHEEP 52 Seven World Shearing Records in Pipeline 9 International Sheepdog Success for Seumas 32 Wools of New Zealand backs Shears 34 Poverty Bay Shears 35 World Sheep Shearing Champs 36 ClipFitter at Cliftoncote 38 BEEF Taking a Risk 4 Brigadoon Charolais 10 Herefords at Glenbervie 14

Eilidh EMacPherson ditor

a busy time of year with tup and bull sales on the go. We were delighted to have fellow breeders show an interest and achieve the top priced Blackface shearling (£16 000) at Newton Stewart/Ayr from a traditional hill farm We hope he goes on and breeds well for the buyers

another hat, as Chair of the Dumfries and Galloway Blackface Breeders I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who generously donated to our Just Giving page in the summer You all helped to raise £15 000 for our member and fellow farmer Robert McTaggart, The Glen, who fell ill on holiday in Italy We wish him a speedy recovery

we are organising the bi annual Blackie Dinner for the SW, which is being held on the 25th November at the Creebridge House Hotel, anyone wishing to attend please either message on the Facebook page or contact secretary Charlotte Colley

We have a trio of beef features this issue with Herefords in North East Scotland, Salers in the South West and Charolais across the water in Northern Ireland

Columnists Donald Ross and Alex Brewster from Rhynie and Rotmell Farms respectively, have interesting articles, while Petra Jacob, writes about hops from her native home of Bavaria Chris McCullough has the usual round up the latest machinery launches

With the World Shearing Championships being hosted at the 2023 Royal Highland Show, we have the first press release from RHASS (p35) about the event ready for teams to enter Normally between 30 40 teams compete for the coveted titles

While the Antipodean weather is warming up and seven shearing records are in the offing see page 9 for details we are buttoning down the hatches and looking for ways to keep the energy bills down!
Eilidh MacPherson Editor/publisher farmingscotland com Magazine Marbrack Farm Carsphairn Castle Douglas DG7 3TE 016444 60644 0797 7897867 www farmingscotland com farmingscotland com on facebook 48 36 32 38 4

Salers at the Risk


cattle, which originate from Cantal in the mountainous Massif Central region of France were introduced into the UK in 1984 by a consortium in Cumbria They imported 45 heifers from different sires and four bulls

Early adopter in the mid 1980’s was Alan Howatson, Risk and Barncaughla Farms, Newton Stewart, Dumfries & Galloway one of the first in South West Scotland to buy Salers By 1989 the whole herd on this rugged upland hill farm was Salers

Now working in partnership with his daughter Hilary and son John, the Howatsons run 442 Salers cattle on their 5436 acres in Kirkcudbrightshire

Hilary Howatson returned home to the family business following a two year

National Diploma in Agriculture at Greenmount College in Northern Ireland, a years practical on the Emerald Isle and a stint working and travelling in Australia and New Zealand

“I relief milked cows at Matamata in the North Island and then Christchurch in the South I was then offered a position mustering cattle on horseback on a station in Australia and worked on a Merino stud I had a blast ”

The day before my visit to the Risk, Hilary had weaned 160 calves, keeping 50 heifers for replacements

“Out of the eight score of cows through the yards yesterday only 3 were yeld We have quite a rigorous culling policy and any yeld or not fit, go down the road,” she explained

“We have had some cows that go on

and calve until the age of 18 longevity is a great trait of the breed.”

Once their calves are weaned, the scanned in calf cows head back out to the hill till mid November, giving fields a chance to recover

The smaller part of the herd calves from the end of November up till late January inside

“We used to calve on the rougher areas, but spent too much time looking for the new off spring Now the bulk of the herd are spring calvers, calving outside at Bents Farm They are looked in the morning and any cows that have calved are moved on through to a fresh paddock, so it is easier to keep on top of what is going on ”

“We hardly need a calving jack at all!” exclaimed Hilary who said that was





Hilary Howatson in partnership with her father Alan and brother John
Hilary Howatson Farming: 5436 acres The Risk , Barncaughla, Bents and Parkmaclung Location: Newton Stewart Area: 3100 acres owned 2336 acres rented from Forestry Commission and Cumloden Estate Altitude: Sea level to over 2300’ Sheep: 1000 Lleyn ewes 600 Blackface ewes Abermax terminal sires Prime lambs all sold at Newton Stewart Cattle: 442 Salers cattle, includes 382 cows and the rest in calf heifers includes 15 pedigree cows Staff: Hilary, John & Alan Howatson 1 fulltime worker 1 fulltime digger driver Other: 15kW wind turbine

another trait, which endeared them to the breed, having previously run Charolais. “We do assist one or two, but it is more an impatience thing than needing calved. There are cobwebs on the jack!” she jests

Heifers are calved inside

The 80 bullocks that were speaned prior to my visit and the heifers not required for replacements plus the majority of the spring calves are sold at the Newton Stewart calf sale in October to regular buyers “They do well and it is good to see the same buyers returning ”

Around 300 calves are sold at ten months old in the back end and the younger ones are sold in the spring Last year they averaged £3 06p/kg

A Keenan mixer is used to feed housed stock (both sheep and cattle). The silage is analysed and the ration is made up with beet pulp and straw. A Tanco grab cuts the precision chopped bales in two before going into the mixer

Buying in bulls and new bloodlines is still down to the older generation Mr Howatson, recently travelled to Southern Ireland and brought home three young bulls He looks for quiet temperament and a good shape

With 15 pedigree Salers and the rest run as commercial, occasionally the

family keep and sell a bull or two

The investment of a 36.5m x 24.34m sheep shed with a 4.2m central pass and plastic Rimco slats in 2015 has transformed the sheep enterprises at Risk Farm

Originally the Howatsons ran 2000 Blackface ewes, with half used for Scotch Mule production and half bred pure for replacements With all ewes lambed outdoors the family found that losses could be high with predation from foxes and ravens, teamed with adverse weather

Lleyns were introduced into the mix in 2006 by Hilary’s father Alan, “The relatively high number of high health Lleyn flocks meant that sheep could be bought in with little disease risk. Some sheep were bought from the Cursiters on Orkney.”

The move from outdoor lambing to indoor in the new shed has seen a considerable rise in lambs reared The Lleyns which scan at 164 168% rear 155% and the Blackies, which normally scan around the 150% mark tally 130% lambs weaned

The harsh winter of 2018, with deep snowdrifts saw this hilly property, which bounders the Galloway Hills hit with severe losses of the Blackface flock “We are gradually upping our Blackface ewe numbers organically as we don’t

want to buy in females and risk the chance of bringing in any disease, mainly OPA. We are also fencing in the hill, which historically was open. ”

Back in 2013 Hilary was part of a group of ten Wigtownshire female farmers who raised £14 000 for charity, by running a ‘Lady Shear ’ Between them they shore 700 sheep in an eight hour day at Newton Stewart Market no mean feat when none of them were professional sheep shearers

The gaggle of girls was then awarded the Galloway Gazette/Newton Stewart Rotary Club Citizens of the Year Award for 2013 They split the funds raised between the Newton Stewart Hospital and the Royal Highland Educational Trust

There are a relatively high proportion of young female farmers in the area, many of whom are single. Hilary along with some of her friends have found that being a female farmer, with no intentions of moving off farm for any potential partner can be a real deal breaker

“We have found in general, blokes don’t want to give up what they have worked for and where they live,” commented Hilary who is currently in a two year relationship One of her close farming friends recently traded her


farming dream to move onto her fiancée’s farm, taking a 9 5 agricultural job instead and handing the family farm over to a sibling.

When she’s not busy on farm, Hilary takes to the road on her Suzuki GSX S1000 motorbike and is a member of Evolution Motorcycle Group

As to the future, Hilary has recently joined an SAC beef group and is looking forward to the farm visits “With the increase in feed costs I want to look at growing more fodder crops and becoming more self sufficient It is a

good way to see what others are doing on farm and meet like minded people ”

Currently there is one 40 acre field of kale, used to fatten lambs. “I sell a draw of fat lambs every week till the end of February/March. It is only three miles from here to the market at Newton Stewart and I can fit 50 in a load ”

“As land is so expensive now, we feel it is better to make the most of what we own For the past 18 months we have had a digger driver working fulltime, putting in roads, hard core feeding areas and draining,” concluded Hilary

Seven World Record Attempts in Pipeline

At least seven attempts will be made on World sheep shearing records in New Zealand and Australia over the next four months, mainly by New Zealand shearers and targeting some of the oldest tallies on the register of the World Sheep Shearing Records Society

The first three will all be in Western Australia, starting next Wednesday when Dunedin born Koen Black attempts the solo eight hour merino lamb record of 570 set by brother Dwayne Black 18 years ago The attempt will take place at Kulikup, Boyup Brook, next Wednesday October 27th.

The next will be a November 5 attempt by Louis Brown, Jim Brown and Imran Sullivan at Bella Vista, Cranbrook, targeting both the solo record and the three stand record of 1208 Merino lambs shorn by South African shearers Ken Norman, Patrick Malgase and Charles August near the Free State town of Tromsburg, South Africa, in February 2003

A week later, on November 12, West Australia based Floyd Neil, from Taumarunui, will attempt the eight hour crossbred lamb record near Kojonup The record of 524 was shorn by South Island shearer Aidan Copp in New South Wales in August 2019

The eight hour strongwool lamb record of 744 shorn by Irish shearer Ivan Scott at Opepe, near Taupo, in January 2012 will be tackled by young Taihape shearer Reuben Alabaster at Te Pa Station, near Raetihi, on December 20 and the same record will be challenged two days later by Te Kuiti shearer Jack Fagan at Puketiti Station, near King Country town Pio Pio Northern Wairarapa property Ross na Clonagh, east of Pahiatua, will on January 27 be the venue for Wairarapa shearer Amy Silcock's attempt on the women's solo eight hour strongwool ewe record of 370 set in England by Marie Prebble in August.

The South Island's first record attempt of the season will be King Country shearer Sacha Bond's February 4th bid at Fairlight Station, Southland, for the women's eight hour strongwool lamb record of 510 shorn by NZ based Canadian shearer Pauline Bolay near Waikaretu, between Hamilton and Auckland, in December 2019

Louis Brown, based in Australia but from Hawke's Bay, is already the holder of the solo eight hour merino record of 497 shorn near Kojonup in 2019, Neil is the son of Roger Neil, who was part of a four stand lamb record for nine hours set in 2007, Alabaster and Fagan were in

a successful five stand strongwool lamb record for nine hours last December, and Silcock was in a four stand women's lamb record for nine hours in January 2020 Fagan is also son of multiple records breaker and World Champion shearer Sir David Fagan World Sheep Shearing Records Society secretary Hugh McCarroll, of Tauranga, says the surge is not surprising, with several record attempts put on hold during the global pandemic despite the preparation hopefuls had put in, including strict training and nutritional regimes and establishing the substantial crews and funding.

The society receives the applications for the record attempts and appoints international judging panels to oversee them and ensure all standards of quality and competition rules are met

To make sure the efforts were not wasted three records were set during the pandemic with the restrictions of Covid rules in place and the judges on site teaming with oversees appointees monitoring the events on line from their homes, including on the other side of the World in the dead of night

Applications have been received for all seven record attempts, but McCarroll says he is aware of other attempts being planned but not yet officially notified

Current 8 hour strong wool lamb record holder Irishman, Ivan Scott with a tally of 744, pictured shearing at the world championships in France.

Br igado o n C haro lais

IF you visit any agricultural show in Northern Ireland and are on the lookout for the Charolais breed, then you are sure to bump into the renowned Connolly family from Ballynahinch

With a full tack box and plenty of food, the Connollys are dedicated both to the breed and the local shows where they have picked up hundreds of awards for their prize winning cattle over the years

And, they are regular supporters of the Stirling Bull Sales, making the trip over the water to offer their stock to a wider audience

It was back in 1979 when Albert and Maree Connolly first established the Brigadoon Charolais herd. The first stock bull, Brampton Petition, was purchased in 1981 from the famous Brampton herd in Yorkshire bred by the late Billy Turner

Throughout the 80s Brampton Petition was used extensively on the Brigadoon herd as it progressed, with excellent results shown in the offspring Indeed, the family is still using some of those genetics today, a testament to the excellent choice of stock bull all those years ago

Today there are 30 cows in the Brigadoon herd, 20 normally calve in the spring and the rest in the autumn With four years of offspring on the ground, the current stock bull is the six year old Newhouse Maxamus, bred by the Adam family at Forfar in Scotland

David Connolly said: “We have been having great success with Maxamus, particularly on the females from our previous stock bull Goldies Icon.

“That perfect combination has bred some superb cattle and numerous prize winners within the Brigadoon

herd and beyond ”

Showing cattle really became a passion for Albert, now 77, his wife Maree and is definitely in the blood of their own offspring, Maggie, David and Alison

They have lost count of the number of winning rosettes their cattle have picked up at the local shows, especially at this year ’ s events, which have made a comeback since Covid 19 closed them down for two years

Some of their main showing successes this year were at the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society (RUAS) Balmoral Show held in May at Balmoral Park near Lisburn.

Stepping out to please the judges was Brigadoon Sunrise, their junior heifer sired by Newhouse Maxamus, which was the junior heifer champion, overall heifer champion and reserve female


champion at the event. And, to add

glory, their junior bull Brigadoon Sicily won the junior and male

titles, before going on to take the overall male champion and reserve supreme champion

for the Stirling Bull Sales in October, were Brigadoon Sicily a 17 month old sired by Newhouse Maxamus, who was reserve intermediate champion and sold for 15 000gns at Stirling in 2018 Sicily’s dam is Brigadoon Naples, a daughter of the 2015 Stirling reserve junior champion, Goldies Icon

The Connolly’s second entry offered

for sale at Stirling was Brigadoon Sovereign, another 17 month old bull sired by Newhouse Maxamus

David said: “Sovereign actually was the junior male champion at the Northern Ireland Charolais Club’s National Show, which was held at Castlewellan Show in July

“He is out of Brigadoon Orchid, a daughter of Goldies Icon and sired by Newhouse Maxamus He was also the overall reserve champion at the National that day as well ”

And what a day that was for the Connolly bulls to perform well in front of a big crowd as the onlookers also

included 100 visitors from the Charolais World Congress tour

Breeders from all over the world had been travelling around farms in Scotland, England and Wales before coming to Northern Ireland as part of the tour hosted this year by the British Charolais Cattle Society

After visiting Castlewellan Show the tour actually visited the Connolly farm the next day to view the Brigadoon Charolais herd up close, an event that attracted another 150 local visitors on the day

David said: “We were very proud and privileged to host a visit of the tour


ALL BREEDS Tel: +44 (0)2476 697222 Email: FARM FACTS Farmer: Connolly Family Farming: Brigadoon Location: Ballynahinch, NI Cattle: 30 pedigree Charolais Other: Hosted World Congress
awards Entered

On the day, which was graced with excellent weather, we had over 250 people on the farm

“The visitors enjoyed a good lunch and were able to view our stock in the fields It was a super day and one we will all remember fondly ”

Preparations were well under way to take the two bulls to the Stirling sales, which the Connolly family are very much look forard to David said: “We normally have bulls to enter every year at the specialist bull sales across the water. Those sales allow

us to present our stock in front of a wider audience of buyers, which means the bulls usually receive higher prices there

“It was back in 2019 that we last sent bulls to Stirling, but obviously Covid 19 put an end to that for two years We actually had one bull, Brigadoon Remus, entered in the bull sales in February this year

“However, poor weather forced us to cancel those plans In the end we sold the bull direct to Alison Ritch and Karl Muir on Orkney.”

This time the Brigadoon team made the trip to Stirling without a hitch

Like his father before him Brigadoon Sicily was Reserve Intermediate Champion at Stirling, while Brigadoon Soverign was fifth in his class


Herefords at Glenber vie

They say it’s good to make a habit of trying new things and that’s become something of a mantra for successful Aberdeenshire Hereford cattle breeder, Ian Skea.

Ian’s debut in the showring came at the tender age of six or seven when his grandfather James (Jim) Skea encouraged him to, literally, take the reins in helping to show Hereford cattle from Glenbervie Farm, Drumlithie

And what a start it was herd leading cow Glenbervie 1 Flora was often brought to events by Ian as a calf and, on her death after calving, Ian bottle fed her calf, which went on to be used as a commercial animal, successfully breeding among continental animals for several years

The seeds were sown for Ian’s deep affection for the breed, which led to him and wife Laurie Anne creating the 2021 Scottish National Hereford Cattle Society small herd of the year the

Bennachie pedigree herd at their aptly named home, Glenbervie at Kemnay near Inverurie in Aberdeenshire

Local domination of continental breeds made the sight of Hereford cattle somewhat unusual when former contract shearer and current stockman Ian set things up in 2005 but, placing his faith in what he knew the breed was capable of, Ian took the plunge That year, he bought an in calf cow with calf at foot and a yearling heifer FS1 Gaylass from Fraser Sangster, subsequently using the AI services of Genus to build up his herd by retaining females Now, there are a total of sixteen breeding, outwintered cows and up to fifty head of cattle at certain times of the year, with calving concentrated on Jan/Feb and Sept/October

The Bennachie Herefords’ debut in the ring came just a year after it was set up when FS1 Gaylass attended Echt Show and went on to win Ian champion

of the any other breed section at the 2006 Turriff Show From then on, the Bennachie herd’s rise to prominence in the breed has been nothing short of spectacular and in 2010 Bennachie 1 Curly by Dendor 1 Dai won the junior championship at the Scottish National Show at Kirriemuir This was a significant milestone for Ian and his family, competing against other, often much larger, pedigree herds in the upper echelons of the breed

More recently, this year ’ s Scottish Hereford Cattle Society show at the Black Isle brought home the senior male champion and reserve male champion titles thanks to Bennachie 1 Vinny sired by Bennachie 1 Rex, plus first prize in the junior bull section with Bennachie 1 Wizard by Solpoll 1 Lawman On this occasion, however, Ian left the job of showing to family members as he had his mind on other matters with the imminent arrival of baby Julia who was

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born on August 9th, a little sister for apprentice cattleman Taylor (3)

Vinny is set to head to Stirling as one of the Bennachie herd’s entries in the prestigious October sale

Over the years, the shop window provided by attending a range of shows has positively impacted on the Bennachie herd’s reputation and selling power too, with the home bred Bennachie 1 Popeye leading the herd’s presence at Stirling Bull Sales in February 2014 This was the first major sale for Ian, who was delighted to head back north with a selling price of 6200gn, which has paved the way for private sales of up to four bulls a year. These include the 9000gn purchased by well known cattle figure and fellow Aberdeenshire resident Neil Barclay for Bennachie Masterman in 2018 following a successful showing season Masterman has, however, left a legacy at Bennachie too having sired three of Ian’s breeding cows and Bennachie 1 Rex, the father of the aforementioned Vinny

Taking the decision not to buy in a stock bull due to smaller herd numbers saw Ian and Laurie Anne establish an AI tank at home with Laurie Anne clinical director at Donview Vets in Inverurie call on her professional skills and undertake the necessary qualifications meaning that the herd can

do everything at home and harness the precision of carefully selected AI genetics However, the power of social media proved to be too strong when the Irish bred Solpoll 1 Nobility was offered for sale and joined the Bennachie herd in 2021, underlining Ian’s belief in the potential of modern selling techniques in opening up emerging possibilities to the livestock trade

Another notable purchase came in the form of the 4500gn, then ten month old Rempstone 1 Tessa who came from Shrewsbury in 2017. One of her sons has since been sold privately and a heifer remains in the herd at Kemnay.

Ian explained: “With Solpoll 1

Nobility, I have been watching the herd over the years and saw that he was producing good bulls and females I knew the vendor through showing and when I saw he was for sale, I jumped at the chance to take him to the North East I used him on most of the cows in spring and autumn the year he arrived and the calves he has on the ground are doing well It’s another notable example of just how important social media is in buying and selling stock nowadays and something I turn to more and more as a marketing tool it’s the way forward.”

Ian said: “When I started, the Hereford wasn’t very common in the North East and it was difficult to


Farmer: Ian & Laurie Anne Skea

Farming: Glenbervie

Location: Kenmay, Inverurie Area: Aberdeenshire Cattle: 16 pedigree Herefords and followers

Other: Laurie Anne is a vet

convince people in this part of the world to buy them because the continental breeds dominated However, we have worked hard to play a part in getting the breed the recognition it deserves and over the last five years, there has been an increase in demand due to factors such as the lack of desire to dehorn, easier handling, quicker finishing and the animals not being as heavy

“That has meant I’ve been able to sell more animals locally and some of my repeat customers are only a handful of miles from the front door. Others are as far afield as Orkney so the appeal really is growing and there’s no doubt that as the price of food, materials and so on increases the appeal of native breeds who need a bit less food to finish ”

Looking ahead, Ian and Laurie Anne remain keen to spread the word of not only their herd but also the benefits of the Hereford breed by achieving further success in the show ring, the goal being to sell Bennachie Herefords across the UK, helping to ensure the future of the Hereford breed as a vibrant and dynamic native breed, which is relevant to modern farming

To find out more, visit bennachieherefords/

Optimising perf mance in the Field

A Comprehensive Range of Nutritional


Livestock Blends, Compounds
Mineral Supplements.

Recruitment Underway for The Prince's Countryside Fund's Farm Resilience Programme


drive has been launched to encourage farmers and crofters in three areas of Scotland to take part in The Prince's Countryside Fund's Farm Resilience Programme which gets underway this autumn

The Prince's Countryside Fund (PCF) will be working in partnership with RSABI to deliver the 2022/23 series of workshops in Stranraer, Ullapool and Caithness As part of the partnership agreement, the PCF has awarded a £15,000 grant to RSABI to assist the work the charity does to support people in Scottish agriculture

Livestock farmers and crofters in these areas will be able to apply to take part in the programme which offers free business skills training to family farmers The programme is open to dairy and livestock family farm businesses and crofters and takes a whole farm and whole family approach

Since 2016, the Farm Resilience Programme has supported over 1200 farming families to improve their business performance and make real changes on farm. A recent independent evaluation of the programme found it

delivers significant economic, social, and environmental benefits for farmers, with 58% of farmers reporting increased profitability and 73% improving their business skills

Keith Halstead, Executive Director, The Prince's Countryside Fund, said the PCF was delighted to be working in partnership with RSABI on delivering the Farm Resilience Programme in Scotland in 2022/23

"This is a tried and tested practical programme involving a series of workshops during autumn, winter and early spring

"The workshops cover areas such as benchmarking and improving on farm efficiencies to reduce cost as well as planning for the future and business planning The programme has shown to increase the confidence of farming families in their decision making, which enables their farm enterprises to become more adaptable and helps build their resilience to change We are very much looking forward to the meetings getting underway and we also plan to have an additional summer workshop, which will be on a topic chosen by the farming and crofting families involved "

Carol McLaren, Chief Executive of RSABI, extended thanks to PCF for the grant support and urged farmers and crofters in the three areas to sign up to the Farm Resilience Programme

"With farming and crofting facing particular challenges at the moment, this programme, which is completely free of charge, offers farming families a very valuable opportunity to really focus on their businesses and identify where savings can be made and profitability improved

"Very importantly, the structure of the programme workshops also offers farmers and crofters the opportunity to sit down for a meal together and share experiences and ideas "

Those interested in taking part in the forthcoming programme are encouraged to contact the relevant regional coordinator as follows:

Caithness Iona Cameron 07920 756780

Ullapool Sarah Allen 07927 055397

Stranraer Heather Wildman info@saviourassoc co uk 07773 519995 on Facebook – farmingscotland on Twitter New website will be live end of October

Learning Island Lessons from Japan

An international collaborative study comparing approaches to island depopulation in Scotland and Japan has identified several important lessons, which could shape future policy and funding initiatives in this country.

The research, led by Scotland's Rural College (SRUC), aimed to address the issues of population decline, accompanied by an ageing population structure, faced by many of the country's island communities

Japan is made up of five main islands and almost 7000 smaller islands, 90 per cent of which are uninhabited, while Scotland has 790 offshore islands, of which only 93 are inhabited Japan has a long history of developing national policies and related funding packages focused on tackling demographic decline in both rural and island communities

Despite the diversity of island communities in both countries, the report found many of these Japanese strategies could provide useful learning

for future island depopulation policies in Scotland

These include programmes to: provide support for people settling in island communities encourage those who regularly visit islands to contribute more to their sustainability and vibrancy, and to settle permanently make empty buildings available for re use develop teleworking and 'parallel work' opportunities launch education focused programmes to encourage more young people to remain on islands for their education

The researchers proposed 15 areas of learning for future island depopulation policies in Scotland, including engaging with island communities in co designing policy interventions; providing a flexible policy framework to enable locally tailored interventions; exploring the

the changes in lifestyles associated with the


Jane Atterton,

Rural Policy Centre, said: "The

their islands are so

there is a lot that can be learned


both national and local

their concept of

and the



located in both

the team was well

to understand and appreciate the differences in language, culture and context that underpin these interventions

partnership with Newcastle University, Akita International University and Tokyo University for Agriculture and Technology on behalf of the


Photos this Issue: Cover Lisa Soar Page 2 Paul Gregory Page 3 Jennifer MacKenzie Page 3 Kubota Page 10/13 Supplied Page 14/17 Iain Skea Page 18 RSABI Page 19 SRUC (top) Page 20 Elanco (top) Page 21 SRUC Page 22 Supplied Page 23 AGCO Page 24 SRUC Page 25 Betacraft Page 26 Donald Ross, Rhynie Page 27 Jane Brewster Page 31 QMS Page 34 Wools of New Zealand Page 35 Doug Laing Page 38/41 Jennifer MacKenzie Page 42/43 Supplied Page 44 Grimme Page 47/49 Supplied Page 50 Fendt Page 52 Paul Gregory Page 53 Chloe Chappell Page 54//57 Petra Jacob 'positives' of demographic ageing as well as retaining/re attracting young people; and building on
Covid 19
Lead author Dr
from SRUC's
two countries and
different but
here from
in Japan at
levels, including
'relationship population'
'Community Cooperative
initiative "Having researchers
countries meant
" The exploratory study was conducted in

78% of Disease Occurs in First 60 Days Post Calving

poll has shown that 78.7% of UK dairy farmers found the majority of disease and poor health in their herd occurs in the first 60 days post calving


Kate Heller, ruminant technical consultant at Elanco Animal Health, says that in most cases, this is transition related

“Farmers don’t necessarily directly correlate post calving health issues with ketosis, but more often than not, it is a key contributing factor,” she says

Ketosis becomes especially apparent on farm in the first month after calving, when a negative energy gap naturally develops within the cow. This is due to a surge in energy required for late foetal development and birthing the calf, coupled with the onset of milk production

Ms Heller says preventing ketosis

both clinical and subclinical forms of the disease is crucial to mitigate its impact on cow health, production, and overall business profitability

“The direct cost of ketosis on farm can be up to £220 per case, with the cost rising even further as cows become more susceptible to other diseases, due to the weakening of their immune system,” Ms Heller explains

“‘SOFT cows ’ those that are Sick, Old, Fat, Thin or Twin bearing are at greatest risk of developing ketosis and associated diseases during the transition period ”

By identifying the cows that fall into these categories, farmers, vets and nutritionists can work together to provide a holistic approach to transition management and ketosis prevention, to truly optimise the herd’s potential

When teamed with careful diet

formulation, good management practices, and regular monitoring of the herd’s health status, the best way to avoid the onset of ketosis in high risk animals or in at risk individuals is to administer an intraruminal monensin bolus, such as Kexxtone™, three to four weeks before calving

“When a monensin bolus is administered, glucose production within the cow is stimulated, delivering increased energy levels over a 95 day period This treatment has been shown to reduce the development of ketosis by 74%[3],” Ms Heller explains

“By treating all those cows at high risk of ketosis with a monensin bolus prior to calving, you can significantly reduce the negative energy gap, helping prevent increased disease levels during the high risk 60 day post calving period,” concludes Ms Heller.

Further information on ketosis in dairy cows, please visit: https://www farmanimalhealth co uk/ dairy/kick ketosis

Specialist tr aining initiative helps s tar t-ups & g raduate s THRIVE in f ood & drink indus tr y


initiative, which will equip budding entrepreneurs for success in Scotland's food & drink industry, is launching for a second year. Drawing on expertise from two Scottish academic institutions, the THRIVE programme will provide outstanding opportunities for young food & drink and rural SMEs, students, and graduates, while strengthening sustainable growth in Scotland's food & drink and rural sector

The programme is the result of a collaboration between Queen Margaret University and Scotland's Rural College (SRUC). THRIVE is an ambitious initiative, which will provide food & drink and rural micro SMEs, students and graduates with the specialist knowledge required to support their successful entry into the sector The intensive two day programme will equip new graduates, as well as people already working in food associated SMEs, with essential sessions run by food industry experts that will support the early stages of transition into, or within, the broader industry.

The programme provides expert advice to people who may already be working in food & drink manufacturing, hospitality, diversified agriculture or food or farm shops; as well as students and graduates who have ambitions to develop as entrepreneurs or even just an

idea in the making! The aim is to ensure participants have the understanding, knowledge and skills needed to navigate the complexities of the industry near the start of their career journey, which in turn helps create sustainable businesses and jobs within this important and developing sector

THRIVE's programme leaders are delighted to receive applications from students, alumni and current embryonic micro/SME food & drink and rural businesses The programme, which is free for participants, will run on 5th and 12th November, and will cover essential business skills and helpful knowledge to support a new business idea whether a food product or service, or new rural enterprise The packed programme will cover everything from product development, planning, marketing and pitching to nutrition, finding a copacker and food legislation, as well as access to general business support information

Ceri Ritchie, Head of Food & Enterprise at SAC Consulting part of SRUC, said: "THRIVE provides budding entrepreneurs with the opportunity to refresh or learn new business skills, to expand their network and get feedback on their ideas Delegates from THRIVE 2021 told us they found the two days 'invaluable', 'transformative' and 'packed full of great advice'. We look forward to meeting new entrepreneurs

this November and to supporting growth in this vital sector "

Catriona Liddle, Head of the Scottish Centre for Food Development & Innovation at Queen Margaret University, said: "Starting a food & drink business can be a bit daunting, and this programme is designed to help with practical, effective and essential sessions both online and in person from experts in this area who have worked with many start ups and established companies "

At the end of the programme, participants will also have the opportunity to pitch their business idea to a panel of judges from the food & drink industry and a chance to win prizes for the best pitch

Places for THRIVE are limited, so interested students, graduates and SMEs, should register using the online application form as soon as possible to secure their free place on the programme Participants can choose to attend one or both of the training days, with the first focusing on business skills and the second having a more practical focus A detailed programme will be provided on application Applications close on 20th October

For further information on the THRIVE programme email; or foodanddrink@sruc ac uk


Livestock Breeding and Sustainability

Genetic improvement of farm livestock productivity is a key factor in ensuring the availability and affordability of highly nutritious food, increased food security, and improved resource use efficiency Improved scientific understanding in recent decades is supporting more sustainable breeding programmes that better balance the emphasis on productivity and animal health and welfare, that address environmental impacts and promote sustainable use of farm animal genetic resources, writes Professor Geoff Simm, Director of the Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Systems at the University of Edinburgh

The fortunes of the human race have been closely intertwined with animal husbandry since we first domesticated livestock around 10 000 years ago. Consciously or not, over that time we have selected for animal characteristics that best suit our needs for food, fibre, transport, draught power etc Increasingly sophisticated methods have been used over the last 70 years, especially in poultry, pig and dairy cattle breeding and particularly in richer countries

Effective genetic improvement programmes have achieved cumulative annual rates of change typically of 1 to

3% in traits of economic importance. These changes look small on an annual basis but, as they are cumulative with ongoing selection, the changes can be dramatic over a few decades For example, much of the over 4 fold increase in the average yield of dairy cows in the UK since the 1930s is down to selection between and within dairy breeds

Some applications of genetics that have focussed too narrowly on production or efficiency have had a negative impact on animal health and welfare So too, a drive towards specialisation of breeds has led to erosion of genetic resources globally Improved scientific understanding over the last few decades is allowing the design of more sustainable breeding programmes that better balance the emphasis on productivity and animal health and welfare, that address environmental impacts and promote sustainable use of farm animal genetic resources A recent international review of dairy cattle breeding programmes, for example, showed that the emphasis in selection has changed from being focussed almost exclusively on milk production a century ago to now placing around half of the selection emphasis on traits other than milk production, including health and functionality This

trend towards more balanced breeding goals is growing in most farmed species.

Changes in livestock performance generally lead to reductions in feed and other resources used per kg of product, and hence in greenhouse gas (GHG) per kg product too (GHG emission intensity) For instance, a comparison of US dairy systems in 1944 and 2007 estimated that modern systems required 21% of the animals, 23% of the feedstuffs, 35% of the water and only 10% of the land per billion kg of milk produced The 2007 systems produced 24% of the manure, 43% of methane and 56% of the nitrous oxide per billion kg of milk compared with 1944 systems Similarly, selection of chickens bred for meat production is estimated to have reduced feed required per kg of weight by around 35% over 25 years, with corresponding savings in land use and GHG emissions per unit of product.

Over the last 12 years or so, genomic selection has begun to revolutionise livestock breeding Genomic selection involves selection of breeding animals based on the use of genome wide genetic markers to identify individuals and families carrying markers known from previous studies to be associated with traits of interest

Genomic selection can allow earlier identification of elite breeding stock and


Twelveapprentices have started a bespoke agricultural engineering course using the latest AGCO products as part of a new partnership between the global agricultural machinery giant and Scotland's Rural College (SRUC)

The course, which is being run at SRUC's Barony campus in Dumfries, will complement three other training

also allow selection for traits that are difficult or expensive to measure in commercial herds or flocks like feed intake, methane emissions or disease resistance once markers have been identified that are associated with these traits Genomic selection is superseding progeny testing in the dairy sectors of most industrialised countries, as it allows earlier and more accurate estimation of genetic merit of bulls Likewise, it is becoming widely used in pig and poultry breeding and in some beef and sheep programmes, with benefits in accuracy and the range of traits targeted

While there are indirect improvements in GHG emission intensity from selection for productivity, there is growing interest in developing breeding programmes to directly target methane emissions There is good evidence of heritable variation in methane emissions in cattle and sheep However, there are complexities in measurement at scale and potential unintended consequences of selection unless relationships with other traits of interest are understood and accounted for

Research from the Netherlands has predicted that ongoing selection on the current NL national dairy breeding index will lead to a 13% reduction in methane produce per kg of milk by

partners delivering the AGCO Apprenticeship scheme: WCG Moreton Morrell in Warwickshire, Riseholme in Lincolnshire, and Coleg Cambria Llysfasi in Wales

Following investment from both SRUC Barony and AGCO, Scottish agricultural engineering apprentices will be able to learn about some of the latest technology in the industry using

2050, without direct measurements of methane emissions. However, by adding direct measurement of cow methane emissions and putting greater emphasis on reducing methane, reductions of up to 29% could be achieved by 2050

Recent research in Edinburgh has identified microbial genes with significant impact on methane emissions ‘Rumen microbiome driven breeding’ using genomic selection based on the abundance of these microbial genes could lead to a reduction of up to 6% per annum in methane emissions Work is in progress to further develop and test this approach, and importantly to explore relationships with other traits of interest.

Genetic improvement of productivity of farm livestock in many countries over the past few decades has helped to increase the availability and affordability of highly nutritious food, increased food security and improved resource use efficiency Achieving sustainable food production globally requires moderation of animal sourced food consumption in higher consuming countries However, improved knowledge about the design of sustainable breeding programmes and new breeding tools, will continue to contribute significantly to food security and sustainability too

Fields of Opportunity for Scottish Agricultural Apprentices

equipment and training aids on offer from AGCO's Massey Ferguson, Fendt and Valtra brands.

With worldwide demand for food predicted to increase by 60 per cent by 2050, the demand for highly skilled and talented agricultural engineers to service the industry's advanced and complex machinery has never been greater Charlie Rollason, Aftersales Training Business Development Manager for AGCO, said: "We are delighted to have selected and partnered with SRUC Barony for all our Scottish provision and are committed to delivering brand new, true AGCO manufacturer led apprenticeship training through our further education partners, for the Fendt, Valtra, and Massey Ferguson brands."

SRUC Course Tutor for the AGCO Scheme Mark Thomas said: "Our new partnership with AGCO will allow Scottish agricultural engineering apprentices to work towards a recognized qualification within the industry and build a career alongside a global manufacturer "


New Farmers' Handbook Highlights Impact of Ukraine Conflict

Theconflict in Ukraine has hit the agricultural sector hard, leading to some significant changes to gross margins within the 2022/23 edition of the Farm Management Handbook

Input costs have risen sharply during the past 12 months, with the hike in fertiliser and fuel prices hitting all farm enterprise types and increased feed costs affecting livestock margins

However, while farm input costs have increased, ex farm prices for milk, beef and lamb have also risen, leading to higher output values and some significant changes to the gross margins listed in this year's handbook.

Edited by SAC Consulting on behalf of the Scottish Government's Farm Advisory Service, the 2022/23 edition of the handbook is now available online

It highlights how due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, fertiliser prices have more than tripled since 2021 and with the risk of a Russian blockade on grain exports from the 'bread basket of Europe,' grain prices are elevated well above last year's prices Higher energy

and fuel costs are also taking their toll on farm businesses

While input costs have risen, the value of outputs has also increased for milk, beef, and sheep

Despite this, gross margins for beef enterprises have reduced across the board, because the increase to variable costs has more than outstripped the increased beef price

Gross margins for sheep and arable enterprises show mixed results depending on the system or crops being grown

It is only in the dairy industry that gross margins have improved during the past year, with increases to farmgate milk price more than covering the variable cost increases

However, gross margins only account for output minus variable costs, such as costs for vet and medicine bills, feeds, fertiliser, silage, seed and sprays Fixed costs such as power and machinery, labour, rent and finance are not included in these figures and therefore improved gross margins are not necessarily an indicator of improved overall


Editor Alastair Beattie, an Agricultural Consultant at SAC Consulting, part of Scotland's Rural College (SRUC), said: "Just when it appeared life was beginning to return to some form of normality in the wake of the Covid 19 pandemic, February 2022 saw Russian forces invade Ukraine, triggering turmoil in gas and energy markets around the world, and raising concerns over food security

"The Russian invasion of Ukraine has hit the agricultural sector hard, most notably because of the high level of reliance on Russian gas for energy requirements in western European economies It has also produced serious knock on consequences for agricultural supply industries, such as the fertiliser trade."

A printed version will be available soon from SAC Consulting for £30 plus postage and packaging To order a copy, to find out more or to view the publication free online visit www fas scot


From Waste to Workwear

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Betacraft is committed to making innovation led changes and sourcing responsible solutions starting with recycled fabrics, organic fibres and global standard audits across their supply chain Going forward, new, low density polyethylene (LDPE) or corn starch options will replace plastic packaging

View the Betacraft Catalogue or visit www betacraftworkwear com

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Weatherproof clothing that protects the wearer and help protects the planet

The older I get I appreciate the seasons more and more. As the nights draw in and the leaves turn rusty and fall, it appears autumn is upon us with a bountiful supply of offerings from the hedges and garden For us on Rhynie its been a good year. Yes I could have done the sheep better. Foot problems mean I still have a few lambs to sell as well as a lot more culls than normal, which has led to a slight shortage of grass. I have finally got the ewes bolused as well as footvaxed. The Footvax like many things of late was very hard to acquire

The cattle have been kept pretty tight due to lack of grass but dividing 30 acre fields into 3 or 4 paddocks has meant we can leave grass to grow with very little extra hassle until the mains electric fencer breaks! Calves were inoculated

with Bovipast Intranasal and RSP for pneumomia before harvest and have been on creeps since mid September utilising our own Barley, Oats, Peas and OSR pellets from my neighbours Rape oil business Its fair to say they are motoring, normally I would be thinking about moving them off our peat grassland on to stubbles but we are still dry so will leave that as long as possible and look at taking them in mid November.

A week ago I had the pleasure of a visit from 6 farmers from County Wicklow, it was interesting comparing their system to ours For instance they did not get penalised for beasts over 400kg despite the animals eventually going into the same market.

On the arable front I am happy with the end result, the 1200 tonne grain

shed is full of wheat and oats. Barley results were mixed, fantastic yields (8 2t/ha)due to a good growing conditions but Nitrogen levels were high 1 55 1 74 with only 100kg/ha Nitrogen applied I think one reason was a lot of Nitrogen not taken up by the 2021 harvest was utilised by 2021 cover crops before rotting and giving our barley a late boost to the head

Oilseed Rape is offering a good margin, with no Light Leaf Spot fungicides applied but 2 flowering sprays. I have achieved our best yield to date Although I haven’t cracked 2 tonne per acre yet I am getting closer

It’s been a hell of a year to market any commodities, 2022 wheat for example has been sold at £150 £343/ tonne with about 200 left to market. I really pity any of the co op guys who have had to market crops on behalf of farmer members

Harvest conditions were fantastic we never dried anything over 18%, our 29 year old Case Axial Flow only let us down once when a tyre rotted out, I have been expecting this to happen for some years and have a couple of dodgy spares available so we were back going again after 20 minutes. However this year I think I will have to put at least £12 000 into it as it needs a set of tyres, the auger turret needs renewing and the front of the rotor started leaking plus numerous other “ wee jobs.” It seems a lot of money for an old combine but a 2nd hand modern model (12 years old) is between £70 80 000 and getting a contractor to cut it all would be £20 000+ for the year.

This year ½ of my arable acreage is into wheat, it’s a risk but it gives me the best margin year on year I bought a 2nd hand Philip Watkins subsoiler cultivator to help speed up ploughing as my ploughboy was working for Mark

McCallum on the Black Isle before heading down under to work on a corporate farm near Geraldton where by chance the manager is the son of the farmer I worked for almost 30 years ago! Anyway ‘Philip’ has worked well speeding the job up and I finally got to spend 200+ hours on our big tractor. I have ploughed 9 metres round headlands in a bid to minimise the spread of sterile brome into fields All wheat is drilled including a dozen trials for Scotgrain although one seed supplier has left us with a guess the variety competition due to them not putting a label with variety or thousand grain weight on the 25kg bag

Finally its with sadness I read of the

sudden passing of Donald Fraser Dunain Mains. Donald a director of The British Wool Board, Dingwall Auction Mart and past president of The Black Isle Show was also a tremendous farmer as well as a haulier carting draff into Rhynie and barley away to Highland Grain. I had the pleasure of his company at numerous Highland Grain events and enjoyed his thoughtful knowledge and couthie wit Thoughts go to his wife Mary and son Donald and the rest of the family.

Alex Brewster Rotmell Farm Dunkeld Perthshire

Networks & Knowledge

The13th of October saw a fairly early start and a four hour drive down to Hexham, Northumbria to listen to 3 global giants of Agriculture, Gabe Brown, Shane New and Dr Allen Williams They are individually located right across America from the Mississippi to North Dakota, each with a very different climate and totally unknown to each other until a few years ago

Collectively they have formed a global Ag consultancy business called Understanding Agriculture. All three were facing the same problems in very different locations An utter lack of profitability in their farming operation with banks looking to foreclose their business’s due to debt loading. A few big weather events hadn’t helped these guys with cash crops getting wiped out just

prior to harvest, a big loss for any of us to withstand, but four years in a row would be hard to handle When your back is that far against the wall options become fairly limited and clarity of thinking is all important but when the cashflow runs out every grain so to speak has to count.

By the late 1990’s these 3 guys were in this hole, taking off farm jobs to add extra income, the irony was that Dr Allan Williams was a lecturer in Agriculture and the conventional wisdom that he was teaching wasn’t helping with the economics back on his own farm There was never a lightbulb moment but more an acceptance that the small changes weren’t having an impact and to make major changes they needed “to change the way they saw things ”

Farmers like labels, there are easy, you know what and who you are dealing with Livestock breeds or tractor colours are classic examples Your cattle are white (Charolais) and you drive green (John Deere), OK we ’ ve got you placed! But there is a new label in town, or maybe a new network and it’s a bit different, a bit more diverse Where those who identify with it come from a

FARM FACTS Farmer: Alex Brewster & wife Jane Farm: Rotmell 2450 acres Lude Estates 6170 acres Meikle Findowie 990acres Location: Dunkeld Area: Rotmell rented from Atholl Estates Lude Estates contract farm Meikle Findowie hourly rate Sheep: Rotmell 750 Blackface ewes converting using Aberfield tups then Cheviots Lude Estates 850 Cheviot ewes 350 Cheviot cross ewes Cattle: Rotmell 190 commercial AA cows Operates joint fattening venture with Robert Fleming, Glenluce Lude Estates 100 Highland x White Shorthorn cattle Poultry: Rotmell 4000 organic free range The Egg Shed, Rotmell market own eggs Deer: Meikle Findowie 100 hd Jane: Architect Staff: 8 full time Other: Run Powered Pasture an electric fencing company www poweredpasture co uk Sell beef through MacDonald Butchers, Pitlochry ORDER ONLINE AT GALLAGHER.EU ○ Home delivery ○ Dealer pickup (free shipping) ○ Delivery within 1-3 working daysTHE POWER TO FARM GALLAGHER BA30 BATTERY ENERGIZER (9/12 V) The BA30 is suitable for short fences of up to 4 km with light vegetation. 356303 Gallagher BA30 Battery energizer £ 129.00 NOWWITHA FREE BATTERY WORTH £ 28 00 The best conductivity over long distances. It conducts 40x better than a standard plastic wire. The TurboLine Plus version is more than 50% stronger, and is more visible than the usual plastic wire. 069316 Duo pack Vidoflex 9 200m £ 64.00 069323 Duo pack Vidoflex 9 400m £ 119.00 079421 Duo pack Vidoflex 9 1000m £ 269.00 DUO PACK VIDOFLEX 9 TURBOLINE PLUS -20% TurboLine Cord is intended for permanent livestock fences that are longer than 500 metres. TurboLine Cord is woven and therefore does not stretch. That increases the lifespan by 30%. £FROM 207. 00DOWNTO£ 166. 00 NEW S12 SOLAR ENERGIZER The S12 is powerful, compact and reliable. Suitable for strip grazing and other portable fencing. Mount the S12 on a Ring Top Post and the earthing is sorted out at the same time. £ 179.00 349015 NEW 7 YEARS WARRANTY Geared reel with large handle with knuckle guard. Includes 500 m plastic wire and multi-use gate handle. REEL + 500 M PLASTIC WIRE 061184 Reel + 500 m wirewas £ 159.00 now £ 109.00 WAS£ 159. 00£NOWJUST 109. 00 069293 Duo pack Turboline Cord (white 2 x 200 m) now £ 166.00 DUO PACK TURBOLINE CORD (WHITE, 2 X 200 METRES) All pricing TUMBLE WHEEL 5 UNITS 056388 By using a tumble wheel, one person can move a fence within a few minutes. Tumble wheels are extremely suitable for strip grazing. £ 469.00

broad church, some academic, some ecological, most are hands on farming, some livestock, some arable, all practical and all quizzical. I suppose I’ve found myself in this tribe, it hasn’t been intentional to join this network but my agricultural and ecological minds have merged into what I know regard as Agri ecology, or Regenerative Farming.

It has taken me a while to settle into this label. I don’t regard myself as being a bit woolly or airy fairy, in my businesses numbers matter its all about the bottom line, every enterprise has to be profitable, if the margins are questionable the process and Key Performance Indicators get interrogated and decisions get made fast

Now here’s the thing with Agri ecology or regenerating a landscape plants are always going to want to grow, they can’t help it. But why and what makes then grow and how can agriculture benefit from a 12 million year old process of evolution? The ins

and outs of this were never explained to me in my formative agricultural education. In fact looking back, educationally they were a wasted 3 years. While I was getting taught how to spray crops and work out fertiliser recommendations in the late 1990’s, Gabe Brown and Co were figuring out that you could grow arable crops and livestock without fertiliser, sprays and drenches. A gross margin to them was a mystery because they couldn’t afford inputs so the bottom line was about net profit

Their other learning was that Kg sold does not go hand in hand with profitability Profitability is dependent on how many other products you ’ ve got to pay for first To be brutally honest, the more I’ve come to understand how the natural world works, the interlinking between livestock, pastoral plants and microbial process, how to store energy in the soil and take advantage of the nitrogen that floats about above our



heads, the more environmentally and economically resilient my business has become.

In 2016 I set off on a Nuffield Farming Scholarship determined to prove that there was a relevance to the Red Meat Industry, but more importantly to me, I was needing to find a way to increase the profitability of the farming operation. I didn’t know what tomorrow was going to look like, what made red meat relevant or how to make the business more profitable, but I did have a gut feeling that the natural world had worked successfully for millions of years, so how did it work?

The most important aspect to a Nuffield Farming Scholarship for me was that it gave me access to a network, a collective of people where anything is possible, a room that radiates self belief, a confidence built on the back of trials and tribulation where arrogance is a down fall and where successes have been built on the back of failure and this

to your local Machinery Ring about opportunities when purchasing Case IH tractors, combines and balers.

is the point for me. A failure is only ever a failure if you don’t learn from it. A lesson learned is the biggest shot of self belief and confidence that you could ever get and that feeling becomes accumulative, the more failures the more lessons learned the greater the knowledge the bigger the success.

Then you ’ ve to deal with the naysayers, “I don’t know why your bothering, that won’t work, you’ll fail ” Well, it’s better to try and maybe fail, but to also learn. What the naysayers are actually saying is that they haven’t the confidence or the belief to give change or adaptation a go, that the peer pressure that surrounds them is too great for their lack of self esteem to tackle and the biggest disaster it that you might actually make it work!

These are the moments when you ’ ve to find your tribe, a group of people who are on a journey where networks and knowledge allow personal growth and development. By 2025 the agricultural support system as we know it in Scotland is going to change and there is no guarantee that the status quo will remain There are massive strains on

the public purse through geopolitical events, a global pandemic and other interest groups Currently only the top 20% of livestock business are able to make money without a subsidy, the joke is that 80% of livestock businesses think that they are in the top 20%! For many there is going to be a massive reality check and that small changes are never going to be big enough, we ’ re going to have to “change the way we see things ”

Regenerative Agriculture is not about changing a landscape, that can look after its self, Regen Ag is about changing mindsets, resetting beliefs about what is thought possible and known It’s a fascinating, interesting space where harmonising a farming business with environmental goals and a network of people sharing knowledge.

Hendry Ford once said “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently ”

Gabe brown and Co have shaken the shackles of debt and built profitable businesses through failure because they took time to understand the soil, now regenerate that!

Gabe Brown, Author of Dirt to Soil, One family’s journey into Regenerative Agriculture

Published by Chelsea Green Publishing in 2018, available at www wordery com for £12 51

Alex Brewster, links to Nuffield Report and presentation. news/new nuffield farming report



International Sheepdog Success for Seumas


crofter Seumas Campbell, Balnacnoc, Uig, Isle of Skye, who won the Scottish National Sheepdog Brace Title, went on to take out the International Doubles Championship at Castle Howard, Yorkshire recently with his working collies Bell and Queen

With two competitors running in the Brace from each home nation, day one saw Englishman Alexander Wilkinson with Grace and Pip top of the leader board on 378 points, with Scotsman George Gardner of Lesmahagow teamed with Meg and Gum hot on their heels on 376

On day two the first competitor retired and the second was disqualified Next up, Skyeman, Seumas Campbell and his canine cohorts Bell and Queen were off to a flying start with an almost flawless outrun and lift The flighty Texel cross gimmers then shot past both sets of gates, losing 105 points between them on the fetch and drive Totally unperturbed the canny Scotsman calmly carried on, even when the sheep jumped out the back of the

open pen “It encouraged me that they had gone into the pen and I knew then that if I kept a cool head it was possible The sheep were testing but very even throughout the three days ”

Only one point was dropped when shedding in the ring and Queen performed with style at the second pen

Once points were calculated the Skye trio tallied 410 points out a possible 560 (140 per judge), taking out the International Doubles Competition, 32 points clear of runner up Alexander Wilkinson, England.

Seumas was awarded the David Stone Brace Aggregate Cup for the highest combined National and International Doubles points, The Alan Jones Memorial Cup as winner of the Brace and a Border Fine Art from sponsor Gilbert & Page

He is the second sheep dog handler to have taken the International Brace trophies home to the Island KC MacKinnon, Bernisdale won them in Wales in 1999

“I was absolutely delighted to win It was only the third time that I have run a

Brace in a competition so felt inexperienced,” commented Seumas who had hurt his leg earlier in the week, was on crutches and unable to drive

His teammate George Gardner received The Edinburgh Trophy for the oldest competitor

Lewis man, Scott Macaulay and Mirk, were sitting in the top 15 Singles at the end of day one, but with a few good scores on the second day they were pushed down the pecking order and out of the running for Saturday’s Supreme.

Only two Scots qualified for the 15 man showdown Neil McVicar and Baledmund Pete, Dunoon, Argyllshire, who were placed third in the Scottish National and Neil Gillon and Boss from Dailly, Ayrshire (12th on home turf)

Five Welsh, five Irish, three English and the two Scots, made up the contenders for the Supreme out of the field of sixty The Welsh held their own, taking out the first three positions, with Dewi Jenkins and Jock winning by a mere two points (563) ahead of Aled Owen and Llangwm Bud Robert Ellis and Bran came third (541)


Third generation farmer, Neil McVicar, who farms 1000 Blackface and 200 cross sheep at Benmore Farm, Dunoon was representing his Nation for an eleventh time and his seventh appearance in the Supreme He won the International in 2005 with Spot, but had to settle for 4th place this time (502) Neil took home the James S Gray Trophy for the highest Scottish Aggregate

Fifth place also headed over the Welsh Border while sixth came to Scotland. Neil Gillon, who shepherds near Dailly in Ayrshire, was running in his fourth Supreme (496)

It was a memorable weekend for the Fairy Glen family in more ways than one, as on their journey home they were dropping their elder son, James, off at Glasgow University, to start his degree

in Environmental Engineering. Scott Macaulay and Iain ‘Staffin’ MacDonald, who unfortunately did not get a run as reserve, will represent Scotland, with the rest of the team at the 2023 World Sheepdog Trials 13 16th September at Gill Hall Estate, Dromore, Co Down, Northern Ireland Unfortunately there is no Brace event at the World Champs


Wools of New Zealand Backs Shears Sports Dream


of more than 170 shears of a wool industry in New Zealand are behind Wools of New Zealand's renewal of a longstanding sponsorship with national sports organisation Shearing Sports New Zealand

Wools of New Zealand is 100 per cent owned by the farming families who grow the wool, which helped make household names out of champion shearers such as the Bowen brothers, Snow Quinn and David Fagan

Chairman of Shearing Sports New Zealand since soon after ending his 34 years of top class competition in 2015, the now Sir David Fagan has announced the three year Wools of New Zealand sponsorship saying it sets a platform for more success at next year's World Championships in Scotland and the future.

A team of six will be named after some particularly tough competition during the summer, comprising two machine shearers from the Golden Shears and New Zealand Shears Open championship finals, two woolhandlers from a selection series of 8 shows throughout the country and two blades shearers will emerge from an 8 round series in the South Island

Wools of New Zealand chief executive officer John McWhirter said Wools of New Zealand is proud to continue the sponsorship, previously held with Shearing Sports New Zealand via CP Wool, owned by Primary Wool Co operative and which merged with Wools of New Zealand last year

"The New Zealand Wool industry is recognised internationally for its world class fibre and New Zealand has long been heralded as the best wool producer in the world," he said

"Partnering with Shearing Sports New Zealand allows us and our industry, the chance to showcase our world renowned fibre and encourage an interest in wool and wool products."

"There is a huge amount of history in the industry and it was once the backbone of New Zealand The partnership allows us to remain connected to rural communities through sponsorship and attendance at events co ordinated by Shearing Sports New Zealand (and internationally), showcasing the art and skill of shearing and wool handling

"By joining forces with Shearing Sports New Zealand, we can deliver on our vision to make wool accessible and affordable and ultimately better realise the full potential of wool, which in turn consolidates our strategy to lift strong wool sales volume and price for our growers," he said.

Last year, growers backed the vision to build one organisation with strength and scale to make a real difference to New Zealand's "struggling wool industry" by voting positively on the merger Our strategy was to consolidate the sector and better link the supply chain from the grower through to the consumer ”

The first shearing competitions in New Zealand and possibly the World, were held at least 154 years ago, with a blades contest held in Central Hawke's Bay in 1868

The Great Raihania Shears at the Hawke's Bay A and P Show on October 21 commemorates the winner of the World's first machine shearing competition at the show in 1902.

The Golden Shears started in Masterton in 1961, heralding a new international era of competition, leading

to the establishment of World Championships in 1977

At the last World championships in France in 2019, New Zealand won the blades individual and teams titles and the Woolhandling teams event and two years earlier won the machine shearing and wool handling individual and teams events in Invercargill.

The Wools of New Zealand 2023 World Shearing and Woolhandling Championships New Zealand selection series' started at Waimate last weekend with the first rounds in bladeshearing and woolhandling and the woolhandling series continues this Saturday at the Gisborne Shearing and Woolhandling Championships Remaining events in the series' are: Machine Shearing March 4, Golden Shears Open Championship final, Masterton; April 1, New Zealand Shears Open Championship final, Te Kuiti Woolhandling October 7 8, NZ Spring Shears, Waimate; Oct 15, Poverty Bay A and P Show, Gisborne; Oct 21, Great Raihania Shears Hawke's Bay, Hastings; Nov 12, Central Hawke's Bay A and P Show, Waipukurau; Jan 20, Northern Southland Community Shears, Lumsden; Feb 11, Otago Shears NZ Woolhandler of the Year, Balclutha; Feb 17 18, Southern Shears, Gore; Mar 1, Wairarapa Pre Shears Finals: Mar 2 4, Golden Shears, Masterton Blades Oct 7 8, NZ Spring Shears, Waimate; Oct 22, Northern A and P Show, Rangiora; Oct 29, Ashburton A and P Show; Nov 10 11, NZ Golden Blades, NZ Agricultural Show, Christchurch; Feb 4, Reefton Shears, Inangahua A and P Show; Mar 11, Mayfield A and P Show; Apr 1, Oxford A and P Show; Apr 10, MacKenzie A and P Show


Big dreams have started to open up for Eketahuna shearer Hemi Braddick who won his first Open shearing title in eight years of trying

It's a season where two shearers, from the finals of the 2023 Golden Shears and New Zealand Shears Open finals, will win places in the Wools of New Zealand national team for the World Championships in Scotland next June

The 31 year old Braddick said after the breakthough in the Poverty Bay A and P Show's Gisborne Shearing and Woolhandling Championships' Open shearing final, it will be the dream of many of New Zealand's top Open class shearers.

But most, like Braddick, have toiled season in, season out, occasionally making the top finals, but usually watching the major pickings going to a comparative few who've dominated over the years five shearers claiming more than 60 per cent of Open titles in New Zealand since Braddick entered the fray at the top level

Just two of Saturday's five finalists could claim any previous Open wins in New Zealand a total of eight and eliminated along the way from a field of 21 entries were three former World and Golden Shears Open champions, among them Hawke's Bay shearer John Kirkpatrick, who has won 212 finals worldwide, including 12 in Gisborne, and this time missed the cut by just 0.03pts.

Poverty Bay Shears

Braddick reached Golden Shears and New Zealand Shears finals in the same season three times as an Intermediate and Senior shearer and was fourth in both the North Island Shearer of the Year and New Zealand Shears Open finals at Te Kuiti in 2021, but has no secret to finally claiming a winning ribbon "I just do what I can and keep trying," said Braddick, whose last win was in a Senior final at Marton in 2013

On Saturday he won by just over a point from Te Kuiti shearer Jack Fagan, who was third in that 2013 final in Marton, has won seven Open finals in New Zealand, plus a Royal Welsh open title overseas.

Third placegetter and 2010 Golden Shears Senior winner Tama Nia Nia, of Gisborne, has had just one Open win, fourth placed Masterton shearer Matene Mason, who won the Golden Shears Senior title in 2011 and Gisborne shearer Ian Kirkpatrick, who was fifth, has also not won an Open final, despite the promise shown as an 18 year old in 2009 when he won the Golden Shears and New Zealand Shears Senior finals and was ranked No 1 Senior nationwide with 10 wins in the 2008 2009 season

Scots international Gavin Mutch, who the previous Saturday won the New Zealand Spring Shears final at Waimate, was also eliminated in the semi finals, while 2010 World champion Cam Ferguson, of Central Hawke's Bay, was eliminated in Saturday's heats, as was Northland gun Toa Henderson, who won the Gisborne final when it was last shorn in 2020

Ian Kirkpatrick, nephew of John Kirkpatrick, got the home crowd buzzing with fastest time in the semi finals and then making a sprint of the 15 sheep final in which he was first off the board in 13min 40sec, beating Braddick by 23 seconds but clocking up the quality penalties in the process

There was almost a similar success for the family with sister Ngaio Hanson, finishing runner up in the Open woolhandling final, at least her sixth

second placing in the top grade but still without a win after about a decade of trying.

She has one up on the brother. She's the boss, with husband Steve Hanson running the family shearing gang out of Eketahuna, near where Hemi Braddick and his brother have started farming a small block near the Wairarapa town this year Unsurprisingly, her final was won by multiple World champion and local hero Joel Henare, scoring the 126th win of his career and third in four outings this season

Jayden Mainland made a big trip from Northland to win the Senior shearing final, the Intermediate final was won by Dylan Young, of Tokomaru Bay, and the Junior final by Sam Parker, of Raglan.

Tramon Campbell, of Gisborne, and Tatijana Keefe, from Raglan, won the Senior and Junior woolhandling finals respectively

Organisers attracted widespread credit for a show which had 47 shearing entries and 41 in woolhandling events, and a late start because of traffic issues for sheep being transported from dry cover amid the continuing several days of rain After two events in the South Island, it was the first event in the North Island on the 2022 2023 calendar

Results: Shearing: Open (15 sheep): Hemi Braddick (Eketahuna) 14min 3sec, 49 2833pts, 1; Jack Fagan (Te Kuiti) 14min 14sec, 50 3667pts, 2; Tama Niania (Gisborne) 14min 57sec, 51 3167pts, 3; Matene Mason (Masterton) 15min 3sec, 52.55pts, 4; Ian Kirkpatrick (Gisborne) 13min 40sec, 53.2667pts, 5. Senior (8 sheep): Jayden Mainland (Wellsford) 8min 57sec, 34 1pts, 1; Te Ua Wilcox (Gisborne) 9min 33sec, 35 525pts, 2; Pasul Swann (Wairoa) 9min 30sec, 36pts, 3; Te Ao Te Maipi (Gisborne) 8min 35sec, 36 75pts, 4; Adam Gordon (Masterton) 8min 28sec, 39 275pts, 5 Intermediate (4 sheep): Dylan Young (Tokomaru Bay) 5min 57sec, 30 6pts, 1; Hautapu Mikaere (Te Awamutu) 7min 11sec, 31 3pts, 2; Richmond Ngarangione (Gisborne) 6min 9sec, 32 7pts, 3; Bruce Grace 7min 30sec, 33pts, 4; Whakaiti Phillips (Gisborne) 7min 9sec, 40 45pts, 5 Junior (3 sheep): Sam Parker (Raglan) 7min 11sec, 36 55pts, 1; Ryka Swann (Wairoa) 7min 34sec, 39.3667pts, 2; Roy Pomare (Gisborne) 5min 34sec, 43.3667pts, 3; Fabian Tutai 6min 37sec, 49.85pts, 4; Nepia Haturini 5min 42sec, 57.7667pts,5. Woolhandling; Open: Joel Henare 74 326pts, 1; Ngaio Hanson 167 506pts, 2; Brittany Tibble 215 77pts, 3; Ngaira Puha 245 206pts, 4



teams from across the world are being encouraged to apply for the 2023 Golden Shears World Sheep Shearing & Wool Handling Championships.

Taking place at the 2023 Royal Highland Show (22 25 June 2023), the Golden Shears World Championship is the premier sheep shearing and wool handling competition, attracting shearers from over 30 countries across the globe The 2023 competition is sponsored by Lister Shearing, British Wool, Ulster Wool and Elanco

With almost 200 000 visitors flocking to the Royal Highland Show, next year ' s Golden Shears stage will be viewed by a huge audience both at the Show and online

The Golden Shears competition will take place over the four days, with competitors battling it out on a world stage over 200 000 people from 82 countries tuned into the Royal Highland Show's online viewing platform, RHS TV, in 2022.

Competitors from across the globe will be treated to a taste of Scottish hospitality with a gala dinner to open the competition, as well as having the opportunity to experience being part of the Royal Highland Show an iconic event in the Scottish cultural calendar.

The Royal Highland Show is the flagship event of Scottish charity the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society

of Scotland (RHASS) The four day event, first held in 1822, is the pinnacle of Scotland's agricultural calendar. Every year over 1000 trade exhibitors showcase their products, while over 2000 livestock competitors enter into over 900 competitions (with over 6500 animals)

Applications for the Golden Shears 2023 can be made on the Royal Highland Show website:

Applications will close in early January 2023

Jim Warnock, Chairman of the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS), commented: "There is no better stage than the Royal Highland Show to celebrate the amazing skills of competitors at the Golden Shears. Scotland has a long and renowned heritage of sheep farming and wool handling, so it is fitting that the Show will host this prestigious competition

"The Show offers a great experience for the whole family, with something for everyone to enjoy. The exciting addition of the Golden Shears only adds to the appeal of an already excellent day out, and offers a world stage where competitors can display their skills."

George Graham, Chairman of Golden Shears World Council, added: "The 2023 Golden Shears World Shearing and Wool Handling Championships will be a

spectacular event, showcasing the skills of competitors from up to forty countries. Set in Scotland at the Royal Highland Show, it will be a brilliant setting for next year ' s competition.

"This is the Olympics of shearing and wool handling, with super athletes vying for the prestigious Golden Shears world teams and individual titles. Up to four and a half thousand sheep will lose their fleeces over the course of the event –a sight to behold!

"I would like to take this opportunity to convey my best wishes to Scotland as the host country and all the visiting nations and I hope after a few very difficult years this will be a phenomenal success for everyone involved "

World Sheep Shearing Champs call for Teams



For over 100 years, we have been leading way in high performance shearing equipment. It’s what you do with it tomorrow.

What will you do next? Lister. Make your mark.

Lister Skorpion
Providing cool running and comfort for hours of shearing.

Clip Fitter at Cliftoncote


animal health and welfare is a vital driver to also improving productivity for a large scale sheep farming operation in the Scottish Borders.

Cliftoncote Farm in the Bowmont Valley in the foothills of Cheviot near Yetholm is the centre of the 5500 acre farming business focusing on sheep, a beef suckler herd and contracting for the Freeland Cook family.

Allistair and Claire Freeland Cook along with their daughter Emma (19), who is studying for an agricultural degree at Edinburgh University, run a stratified sheep system; Blackface hill sheep, Mules and quality lamb producing Meatlinc crosses to Romneys. Their son Thomas, 17, works with

Allistair’s brother Daniel in the contracting business and running the herd of around 140 Saler cross Hereford sucklers producing store cattle and females for sale.

First generation farmers Paul and Angela who started the business when they took on the tenancy at Cliftoncote in 1984 are now semi retired leaving the management of the enterprises to their sons and families. Daniel’s wife Heather is having time off as a lawyer to raise their two young daughters Maisie and Poppy

Third brother Murray who works off the farm, trained as a butcher but has had a change in career and is at the SRUC retraining in wildlife and conservation management

The Freeland Cooks operate a health strategy with their vets with the emphasis on preventative medicine and handling of ewes and lambs is kept to a minimum with numerous health procedures carried out once sheep are gathered.

Lambing 5000 ewes plus 500 of the 2000 ewe hoggs from February to the end of April produces a big workload for Allistair, Claire and Emma and their self employed stockman Robert Redpath

The hill ewes are the last to lamb outside from mid April and the difficulties of castrating these lambs within the first seven days of birth led them to undertake a trial with a new system ClipFitter, which in March this

Rotmell Farm, PerthshireHallrule Farms, Borders

year was approved in Scotland for legal use on lambs up to three months old.

The Freeland Cooks have found their lambs have added live weight gain, earlier marketing of lambs as well as allowing lambs to be castrated later using the new relatively stress free system.

ClipFitter has been developed as an alternative to using rings for castration and tail docking by specialist husbandry equipment engineer Brian Eadie who markets the product through Eadie Bros based in Selkirk.

Blunt edged clips, applied with specially designed pliers, immediately disable the reproductive cords and nerves, limiting pain for the lamb and castrating them in an instant.

The clip remains on the lamb for around the same time as a ring on the scrotum and often a shorter time on tails A very visible benefit is the ‘instant’ recovery post castration and clips usually leave a clean and almost invisible scar.

He describes the ClipFitter as a de skilled ‘burdizzo,’ but with removable blades It has the same powerful over centre mechanical action as the burdizzo but applies the clip right across the tail or scrotum; the clip remains on the animal to provide the necessary proof of success by removing both

Brian says he is continuing to develop the invention, planning to offer different sized clips for different aged lambs and work on the biodegradability of the clips.

At the NSA Sheep Event at Malvern in July this year, ClipFitter gained recognition when it won the trade section in a new NSA Inventions Competition

Allistair said: “We want the welfare of the lamb to be a priority and we want it to be growing as well as it can. Castration is a stressful time for the lamb and we took the opportunity to trial the new system to help reduce that stress. We used the ClipFitter system on around 600 lambs across our different sheep this year. We were marketing our early lambs, which are finished off grass at up to 12 weeks of age, two to three weeks sooner this year, which gave us an extra £15 a head on a 20kg carcase. We had identified the

Fit Clips not rings

Join the conversation: w w w . c l i p t t e r . c o . u kClip Castration and Tailing is Legal in Scotland for a range of ages

lambs fitted with clips and a big percentage of these were in the early draws for marketing

“The investment in the system would generate a financial benefit for breeders finishing their own lambs because there is no check on live weight gain,” he added

Claire said: “We used rings and the new clips on batches of lambs and we were impressed with the reduced impact of applying the clips A large proportion of the ringed lambs lay down afterwards while none of the clipped lambs did It is definitely ticking the boxes with welfare.”

Exceptional grass growing weather very early in the year also helped with the lamb finishing The early lambs

were averaging 350 400g DLWG and were finished at an average of 39kg 700 lambs were sold in one batch at the beginning of June.

Creep feed is introduced to lambs in April when the sheep start to get on top of the grazing and the ewes ’ milk yield begins to decline The average cost of creep this year has been £10.75, which Allistair reckons is a worthwhile investment in lambs selling for £133 a head All the April born lambs are grass fed

Of particular concern to the Freeland Cooks, as well for as other hill sheep flock masters, is the castration of the later born hill and Mule lambs.

“We have limited shed space but the Blackfaces are happiest lambing outside,

although lambing outside is not overly easy It’s difficult to catch and handle the lambs in the early weeks as the lambs need to get enough colostrum and we also need to prevent mis mothering.

“We’ve spent the last 15 years breeding all our sheep with hard and selective culling to bring out the mothering instincts and abilities so we only want to intervene when necessary.

“As soon as we get through the very busy part of lambing we get the lambs in for a number of procedures using a chute, including castration, tail docking, mineral injection, clostridia injection worming and tagging. We try to do a lot at the same time because they are new to being handled,” said Allistair

The sheep system is closed with all

female replacements bred at home It begins with the hefted pure Blackface sheep 900 are bred pure with a further 800 crossed with the Bluefaced Leicester to produce Mules.

A further 1500 Mules are crossed with high index Meatlinc rams with around 400 first cross Mule hoggs

Two other flocks are contract shepherded for two different owners 1200 first cross Mules, which go to the Meatlinc and are bred off the family’s Mule flock which comprise the early lambing flock and a flock of 1200 Romneys.

The Romneys are run in A and B flocks with the A flock put to high indexing NZ Romney rams producing surplus females for sale and around 25% in the B flock not selected as breeding sheep go to the Meatlinc.

To keep the lambing tight to help minimise the workload, teasers are run with all the ewes before the tups and 95% of the ewe lambs in the first cycle

All the tups are grass fed with access to good grass and energy buckets to help maintain fertility.

After the ewes have run with the tups they are given a month before they are grazed on kale and fodder beet until into January when they are brought into the paddocks. The forage crops have been grown since the ‘Beast from the East’ storm, which depleted grazing ground for the ewes and lambs

Scanning percentages for the flocks are 140% for the pure Blackfaces; 155% for the Blackfaces crossed with the Leicester; 190% Mules; 190% early lambing flock; 165% Romneys

All the Mules carrying twins lamb outside and are set stocked with the triplets lambed inside Hoggs are also lambed inside. All the in bye sheep are lambed outside and rotationally graze the paddocks with 200 300 sheep in a mob The cattle are also grazed with the sheep to top the grass Hill sheep with singles go back to the hill and twins are kept in bye until clipping.

Up to 90% of the lambs not kept for breeding are sold finished but a shortage off grass with this summer ’ s low rainfall will probably see that reduced to 50% this year with the remainder sold store. Lambs sold finished off the farm are all away by January February to free up the grazing for the ewes and lambs

Nearly all the sheep and cattle are sold through Border Livestock Exchange, a working relationship going back almost 20 years, including all the finished lamb, which goes to Woodhead Bros where the emphasis on high health status and specification for premium lamb production

Most of the lamb from Cliftoncote is well above specification with 90% making R and U grade

All the sheep are run in social age groups at lambing and tupping time, which has made a big difference in bullying and disease prevention

Culling is hard, to make the flock as easy to manage as possible Barren ewes or those that slip a lamb are culled Only about 1% of the Mule flock was empty last winter. They are run with the tup for three weeks. The barren ewes are screened to help pick up any health problems

Allistair believes the way forward to reduce the use of nitrogen is in working with arable farms, grazing sheep on the likes of stubble turnips in the arable rotation will improve soil fertility.

The farm has a muck for straw deal with a nearby arable farmer whereby they get the straw for cattle housing in return for the muck which has reduced costs dramatically No nitrogren fertilizer has been used on the farm this year.

The contracting business provides services including silage making and sowing of forage and grass crops A 360 digger is also used for work on local estates creating tracks in forestry for truck access for timber collection.


Farmer: Freeland Cook family

Farming: Cliftoncote Farm

Location: Bowmont Valley, Yetholm

Area: 5500 acres some rented some contract farmed

Cattle: 140 Saler x Herefords

Sheep: 5000 ewes, 2000 hoggs

Other: Trialling


Anew appointment will see SRUC take the next step in the development of its new School of Veterinary Medicine

Professor Jim Anderson, who has been appointed as Head of Veterinary Education, will play a leading role in shaping and growing Scotland's first tertiary model of veterinary teaching and learning Previously Associate Head of School (Learning, Teaching and Assessment) and Professor of Veterinary Neurology and Neurosurgery at the University of Glasgow's School of Veterinary Medicine, he brings with him extensive experience of growing and managing a large and diverse department

He said: "It is a hugely exciting challenge to help shape and develop this vital new service, which aims to provide a sustainable, resilient foundation for clinical excellence to support the animals and communities at

As part of ADAMA’s expanding sales and agronomy team, Alistair will be responsible for developing and delivering ADAMA’s commercial strategy by working closely with key buyers and commercial managers within the UK and Ireland arable sector He will also provide technical support to growers, agronomists and trade partners in Scotland to ensure they are able to realise the maximum value and efficacy from ADAMA’s portfolio of crop protection products, which includes a wide range of fungicides, herbicides, pesticides and plant growth regulators

Alistair ’ s career in crop protection started with a nine year spell working in commercial and business

the heart of Scotland's natural economy

"It is a great privilege to take on the delivery of this aim and grow a vet school that is truly embedded within an institution that embodies the development of the environment and agriculture and which will be a unique offering in the UK's veterinary education space "

Professor Wayne Powell, Principal and Chief Executive of SRUC, said: "The appointment of someone of Jim's calibre and experience is vital in supporting our growth agenda in this essential area. He is a critical element of the new school's set up in order to support our contribution to the development of Scotland's natural economy as a driving force behind the promotion of resilience, diversity and sector fit among our veterinary graduates, embedding them in real world experience and practice from the outset ”

development roles for CSC Crop Protection and then AgrEvo He then moved into sales working for ProCam in Scotland selling to arable farmers In 2006, his focus shifted to the amenity grass seed sector with commercial roles at Germinal, DLF Seeds and Agrovista Amenity

Alistair is based in Perth and will provide technical support to ADAMA’s key contacts and customers in Scotland He will also have commercial responsibility for building ADAMA’s presence in Ireland by working in close alliance with CropLink while also developing ADAMA’s business with the CREST and STAR groups of companies in the UK


Fertilisers has strengthened its Ayrshire team with the appointment of Gavin Law as an on farm retail sales representative

Mr Law hails from a local farming background, and thanks to his previous role with McCaskie Farm Supplies as an on farm sales representative, he brings with him an excellent knowledge of the region through supplying products and advice to Ayrshire farmers

His new role with Origin Fertilisers covers largely the same area and he will be handling some of the accounts previously run by Gavin Stewart Speaking about his new post, Mr Law made the move to Origin to gain a greater understanding of how prescription fertiliser plays a key

function in enhancing soil health

“I’m from a family farming background and like most farmers, I want to gain a better understanding of how productive and healthy soils can maximise grass and crop growth, and what factors influence crop production.

“A lot more farmers are looking at soil health to find answers on what is limiting crop performance. My role is to show them how prescription fertilisers that are tailored to soil nutrient requirements enable crops to achieve optimum yields and help correct deficiencies within the soil profile

“At today’s fertiliser prices, we can’t afford to be spending money on nutrients that don’t offer a good return on our investment ”

M O V E R S & S H A K E R S

The Crofting Commission has welcomed the appointment of two new Commissioners by the Scottish Ministers.

Andrew Thin and Duncan Macaulay will take up their positions immediately as Commissioners The news has been welcomed by both the Chair of the Crofting Commission, Malcolm Mathieson and the Chief Executive, Bill Barron

Malcolm Mathieson said: “I’m delighted to welcome two new

Commissioners to the board of the Crofting Commission, both of whom bring exceptional experience and knowledge to the role There is no doubt that we are living and working in difficult times, but I am confident that as a refreshed Commission we have the skills and knowledge to effectively regulate and support Crofting into the future ”

Adding to Malcolm’s comments Bill Barron said: “I am greatly looking forward to working with both Andrew and Duncan in their new roles as Commissioners. The Crofting Commission is undergoing a real transformation in 2022, which I hope will put us on an excellent footing to support Crofting and develop its potential for our remote rural communities

Andrew Thin added: “Crofting tenure has been a vital strand running through the economic and social fabric of the Highlands and Islands since the late 19th century In the face of rapid land use change and huge pressures in the land market, it remains a strong

force for stability and prosperity I look forward to helping ensure that we continue to have a Crofting Commission fit for purpose in the 21st century ” Duncan Macaulay has spent almost forty years in leadership roles in global real estate and private equity investment directly responsible for building and managing complex large scale portfolios of assets and organisations in leading markets globally This includes a US private equity fund Investcorp, his own development company in Manhattan (Heller Macaulay Equites), global CEO at sovereign fund Dubai Holding and Senior Managing Director, Middle East and Africa, at investment bank Credit Suisse He is currently Senior Advisor at Public Investment Fund in Saudi Arabia and a Court Member of the University of the Highlands and Islands He was born and brought up on a family croft and is now resident on a croft in a remote rural location

Both of the newly appointed Commissioners will serve a three year term on the board of the Crofting Commission

Two new faces join the SOPA team based in Scotland Jo Barron and Becky MacAngus have been appointed to boost the current team of Debs Roberts and Joanna Sinclair and work closely with the Membership Jo Barron joins SOPA at a crucial time for organic farmers, as the new Agricultural Bill is under consultation Jo said: “Organic farming holds a unique position for the future of agriculture in Scotland The organic

standards are the only legal framework that guarantees biodiversity protection, climate change mitigation and producing quality food closer to nature than any other food production method Coming from a regenerative agriculture and animal welfare background, I see organic farming as the next step to fully holistic sustainable agriculture. Organic farming is the target way to farm for all of us in order to preserve our soils, encourage biodiversity back onto our land and reduce input costs of rising fertilisers and fuel ”

Becky MacAngus joined SOPA as Member Service Co ordinator Comms Lead from the Net Zero Technology Centre With a background in marketing, funding analytics and event management, Becky’s role at SOPA will be to coordinate and drive the communications, PR and marketing activity for the organisation both to members and to wider audiences

We asked Becky what she thought about the importance of Organic farming in the future of agriculture, and she said; “Organic farming must be at the forefront of agricultural practices in the future. We are pushing towards a

Net Zero future with big targets set by governments around the world for all industries The only way in which we will be able to achieve this is to produce food and other consumables in a more sustainable and nature friendly way, and organic farming meets that better than any other farming method ”

SOPA Manager Debs Roberts said “We are delighted to welcome Jo and Becky to our highly qualified and experienced team. They bring a wealth of skills to help our SOPA Members and ensure organic farming is attributed with the multiple benefits it brings to sustainable food production in Scotland”

ANUMBER of new vegetable machines have been launched by Grimme in Germany including the first four row trailed potato planter with a transport width under 3m

Aiming for the 2023 season Grimme says the new Prios 440 will help fight transport regulations on some roads and has a number of other key features

With the help of a goose neck drawbar coupled to an intermediate frame and a separate lifting mechanism, the planter can be combined with any common implement for active soil cultivation such as a rotary harrow or rotary tiller.

This separate lifting mechanism allows a quick change between different soil cultivation implements The depth guidance of the soil cultivation is independent of the potato planter, which means the planting depth of the tubers can be accurately maintained

Focusing on the components of the machine, the depth control of the fertiliser outlet discs, furrow openers, covering discs and the ridge shaping unit are independent of each other

Four feeler wheels at the front of the machine and two ultrasonic sensors in front of the ridge shaping unit detect the working depth and thus ensure optimum depth control and consistent emergence of the tubers.

In order to save money and resources, the fertiliser box, the barrel system and the planting elements can be switched on/off separately from each other and for each row individually via Section Control

This can significantly reduce nutrient inputs into the environment, especially when creating spraying tracks or planting on wedge shaped fields Unnecessary pulverisation of the fertiliser in the fertiliser box is prevented by the row specific shut off of the metering auger and the agitator shaft

To help farmers build up the perfect ridge in the field with a smooth surface, the ridging bodies made of plastic (PE) can be combined with closed ridge crown plates or, for a loose, crumbly surface, with cage rollers.

New Veg Machines Launched by Grimme


Regulations on the transport widths of machines are tightening and normally a four row planter with a row width of 75cm, would have a road transport width of 3 30m

The Prios 440 with a row width of 75cm can be equipped with two telescopic axles This allows the working width of 3 30m to be reduced to a road transport width of less than 3m for the first time Protruding machine parts, such as the soil guiding plates, the outermost ridging bodies and loosening tines are retracted into the machine contour

The Prios 440 is operated by Isobus as standard. The SmartView video system equipped with a 12" touchscreen monitor, zoom function, live slow motion, live image transmission via WLAN, Visual Protect PRO and the

option of image recording, ensures a good overview of all machine functions

New Select 200 elevator harvester

Again following the same width advantage, the new Select 200 two row elevator harvester also boosts the unique ActiveSteering system

With ActiveSteering the automatic axle steering eases turning at the headland, reduces the turning circle and enables optimal guidance into the row

All main webs can be equipped with the patented, infinitely adjustable and reversible VarioDrive, which combines the advantages of a mechanical and hydraulic drive.

In conjunction with Speedtronic Web, the conveying speed of all main webs is automatically adjusted, relating to the load and driving speed

The unique variety of separators

allows optimal adaptation to different harvesting conditions For example the machine can be equipped with a MultiSep, a double MultiSep, roller separators (RollerSep) or the fine haulm elevator (HaulmSep), featuring various automatic functions

For maximum separation performance, even the combination of a double separator and blower (TurboSep) is possible for the first time For maximum crop protection, the separators can now be set at a more downward angle so that the conveying capacity increases compared to the separating capacity

Operation of the Select 200 is done via Isobus as standard. Either the Isobus operator terminal of the tractor or the Isobus operator terminals type CCI 800 or CCI 1200 can be used for this purpose


Krone and Lemken Combine Powers to launch autonomous system

TWO big names in the farm machinery sphere have joined forces to develop an autonomous tractor unit with attachable implements

The project between forage machinery specialist Krone and tillage machinery specialist Lemken has been called ‘Combined Powers,’ which has already undergone several trials

After successfully cultivating, ploughing, sowing, mowing, tedding and raking last year, the two companies say this innovative concept will be integrated into both their portfolios.

Using a diesel electric drive that generates up to 170kW (230hp), the drive unit is designed to meet the power input requirements of the implements used in the trial processes

The drive power is transferred electrically to the wheels and the pto


and from there to the implement, which couples to a three point linkage The drive unit boasts multiple and extensive sensor systems, which monitor the immediate surroundings and the implement attached, ensuring safe operation and optimum results as the primary objectives

Operators control and monitor the combination from a mobile device, transmitting jobs and job reports via a communication module and the agri router, the established data exchange hub.

The speciality of the process unit is that it is controlled by the implement and not vice versa This detail was considered imperative for achieving optimum results The implement and the drive unit act as one integrated smart system Based on the long experience in the application of Isobus

and TIM on Krone and Lemken machines, the drive unit and implement communicate and interact, sharing literally all types of data

The Combined Powers design concept also brings further benefits, because it was also developed to counter the increasing shortage of skilled labour in agriculture

Also, the developers say it will free farmers from spending those long days in the field Instead, they will become system operators who merely monitor the process unit, which delivers a consistently accurate quality of work.

Thanks to its enormous versatility, the unit is designed for year round work and a long service life. Intensive trialling in all types of conditions and seeking feedback from farmers and contractors will continue

RING BENEFITS! Speak to your local Machinery Ring about opportunities when purchasing Case IH tractors, combines and balers.

New 15m Premium Plus Duo dribble bar launched by SlurryKat

in Northern Ireland has launched a new 15m Premium Plus Duo dribble bar, the largest one in the company ’ s vertical folding range to date


As demand from customers over the past two years for a larger 15m dribble bar was increasing SlurryKat took the decision to up the ante and develop exactly what they wanted

The transport height of the new 15m dribble bar is 3 2m, the same as the 7 5m version, which is a key example of how engineering and innovation keeps SlurryKat one step ahead.

The booms on the new 15m machine are angled inwards, which means they can avoid any low lying branches or trees when in transport mode It is the only 15m dribble bar on the market that can carry the SlurryKat Bak Pak hose reeling system, which runs 1200m of hose for umbilical use

The booms boast a novel tri folding design so the outer booms can fold round followed by the inner booms The machine then lifts vertically into the transport position

Looking at the performance of the new 15m Premium Plus Duo dribble bar, the prototypes and the first full production machines operate a

respectable flow rate of up to 300 cubic metres per hour, around 60 000 gallons per hour

SlurryKat CEO Garth Cairns said: “This is generation three of our Duo dribble bars which follow on from the huge success of the 7 5m to 12m Duo dribble bar range, which we brought to the market in late 2020 That followed the first and very popular Duo range that we first introduced in 2008

“Duo means the dribble bar has dual purpose use. It can be used on an umbilical system or it can be mounted on the back of a tanker for direct spreading. This system really suits contractors who use both types of machines,” he said

Controlling the new 15m dribble bar is easily carried out by load sensing hydraulics, which is standard on the 15m machine As soon as the operator pushes the button in the tractor cab, the oil travels to the machine and it does the rest Basically this means oil is only pumped on demand when the machine needs it

SlurryKat is also pleased to be able to offer full Isobus control on the machine via the terminal in the cab as an optional extra

SlurryKat uses only the best S335

steel to manufacture its equipment, ensuring a superior build quality

Garth added: “Using this high quality steel allows us to maintain the strength in the machine but also to reduce the overall weight Heavier machines mean the tractors use more diesel to operate them and with the cost of diesel as it is today, then the lighter the machine the better

“Heavier machines also mean more ground compaction and that’s what we are trying to avoid. Our machines are some of the lightest you can get on the market and the strongest.”

By using clever design and engineering, together with top quality steel, the new SlurryKat 15m dribble bar is actually lighter in weight than the previous generation 12m model

Every inch of the new 15m dribble bar is fully galvanised except for the drag hole line, which is stainless steel

A flow meter can also be added to the dribble bar to give precise user rates of application and overall the machine is very user friendly

Prices start from £24 250 plus VAT with Isobus control and flow meters on top of that.


K u b ot a U K U n w r ap s N ew

M6-001 U t i l i t y Tr a cto r S e r ie s

FIVEnew tractor models making up the cost sensitive M6 001 Utility series tractor range have been unveiled by Kubota UK Ltd

As the successor to the MGX models, the M6 001 Utility series extends from 104hp to 143hp and meets EU Stage V emissions thanks to an improved exhaust after treatment package that contributes to a lower cost of ownership

Short wheelbase models include the M6 101U and M6 111U, which both use a 3 8 litre Kubota V3800 four cylinder engine Maximum power outputs are 104hp and 111hp, with maximum torque figures of 346Nm and 379Nm respectively. These two models weigh 4.3 tonnes, and use a 2.54m wheelbase.

Long wheelbase M6 121U, M6 131U and M6 141U models have Kubota’s 6 1 litre V6108 four cylinder engines

Power outputs are 123hp, 133hp and 143hp, with maximum torque figures of 503Nm, 544Nm and 586Nm respectively These three larger models weigh 4 8 tonnes, and use a 2 68m wheelbase

Engine technology on all models have seen an improvement in exhaust after treatment, with DOC and DPF performance increased to deliver greater operational flexibility and lower cost of ownership

DPF regeneration can now be achieved at a much lower engine speed, typically 1200rpm down from 2000rpm, and using a much lower working temperature of just 50 degrees C

The latter makes regeneration much easier to achieve with light engine loads, lower noise levels and a reduced fuel burn

The DPF cleaning interval for M6 001 Utility range is 8000 hours for the 6 1 litre engine, and up to 6000 hours for the 3 8 litre engine, again contributing to lower operating costs Engine oil change intervals are every 500 hours on all models.

All M6 001 Utility models get a 40kph semi powershift transmission, which uses eight powershifts in three mechanical ranges to provide a 24x24 gearbox The option of a creeper range increases the choice of ratios to 32x32 Transmission functionality includes auto shifting in each range and a sensitivity dial, the latter allows operators to adjust the responsiveness of gear changes to suit load on the tractor

Operator comfort is provided by an air suspension seat in the cab, which, is shared with M6 002 and M7003 models, while front axle suspension is available as an option

A wide sunroof offers generous visibility for those looking to equip the M6 001 Utility with a loader, of which there are two variants, 3 7m or 4m lift height to the pin and maximum lift capacities of 1950kg or 2200kg respectively

A fixed displacement open centre hydraulic system provides 71 and 77 litres/min of oil flow respectively for short and long wheelbase models, while two mechanically operated spool valves are fitted as standard Two additional spools are optional

Cat III rear linkage includes electronic linkage control with a five tonne lift capacity on short wheelbase models and 6.1 tonnes on long wheelbase tractors.

PTO equipment comprises a two speed 540/1000 as standard, with a 540 Eco available as an option All models can be equipped with an optional front linkage with 2 6 tonnes lift capacity, an optional 1000rpm front pto, and the capability to run pto powered equipment while stationary

M6 001 Utility models also benefit from Kubota’s portal front axle with bevel gear drive, offering generous ground clearance and a 55 degree steering angle


New Holland launches new D-Series backhoe

NEW Holland Agriculture has launched its new D Series backhoe loader range, which the company says offers greater fuel economy

The new F36 3 6 litre, four cylinder engine delivers power and torque up to 82 kW and 460 Nm The Hi eSCR2 after treatment system uses a low rate EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation), SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) and DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter) to achieve the stringent Stage V emissions standards.

The SCR integrates a maintenance free filtering device, which has the dual advantages of maintaining the after treatment’s compact size, so that it has no impact on the design and visibility of the machine and ensuring maximum uptime

Machine efficiency is boosted by the standard Eco Mode, which automatically regulates engine speed and hydraulic pressure in all operations that do not require sustained speed and

power, delivering up to 10% fuel savings

Further fuel economy is achieved with the Auto Idle feature that lowers engine speed when the machine is inactive for more than five seconds, and Auto Engine Shutdown, which switches off the engine after three minutes of inactivity

A redesigned wider cab provides better access and the space to increase knee and feet clearance when the operator rotates the seat to switch from loader to backhoe operation. The parking brake and stabiliser levers have been relocated, and the switches on the right hand console have been regrouped

Together with the new F N R (Forward, Neutral, Reverse) switch integrated in the loader joystick and a new joystick roller switch for extending dipper operation these features further add to the operator ’ s comfort and productivity

The latest Bluetooth technology

includes two new USB ports, a 12v port on the instrument cluster and a mobile phone holder which makes it easier for the operator to bring their digital life on board Excellent storage capacity, increased four fold compared to the C Series, will enable operators to comfortably accommodate everything they need during their working day

Operator safety is always key for New Holland, and the D Series backhoe loaders introduce further improvements. The excellent 360° visibility provided by the large, glazed areas benefits from new rear side glasses, as well as the powerful work lights packages

This comes top of the many safety features, such as the cab’s ROPS and FOPS (Roll Over and Fall Over Protection Systems) certification, the standard stabiliser check valves, backhoe transport lock, available safety valves for hydraulic cylinders, optional front loader check valves, 4x1 / 6x1 check valves and Object Handling Kit


7th Gener

WITHthe 700 Vario being Fendt’s best selling range of tractors since being introduced in 1998, it’s no surprise the manufacturer wants to keep the models alive The seventh generation of the Vario 700 has just been launched by Fendt, who say the latest range has a completely new ground up design and expands the power spectrum up to 300hp

There are a number of new features on the latest 700 Vario including, for the first time, a 60km/h transmission plus a new engine and optional 60 inch track width

Models of the previous 700 Vario generations are working on medium and large farms as well as with contractors in Europe, North America, South Africa and also in Australia and New Zealand

In its seventh generation, the new range with five models Fendt 720 Vario, 722 Vario, 724 Vario, 726 Vario and Fendt 728 Vario range from 203 to 283hp

The Fendt DynamicPerformance (DP) extra power concept releases up to 20hp of extra power in the Fendt 728 Vario DP via a demand dependent control system precisely when it is needed. The top model thus achieves a maximum performance of up to 303hp.

The extra power concept is not tied to driving speed or special application pick ups and functions purely dynamically, even when PTO work is carried out at a standstill

Designed to meet global requirements, the Fendt 700 Vario was developed with a low power to weight ratio, with a high performance range,

ration for Fendt Vario

flexibility and the careful use of resources and the environment in mind

The six cylinder Agco Power engine with 7 5 litre capacity has been completely redesigned for the power spectrum Exhaust gas after treatment takes place via a diesel oxidation catalytic converter (DOC), diesel particulate filter (DPF) and with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) without exhaust gas recirculation It meets the required exhaust emission standards in all regions worldwide

In addition, maintenance free hydraulic tappets are installed in the engine The single stage Fendt VarioDrive driveline is made up of the engine and the matching Vario transmission

Intelligently controlled all wheel drive management is one of the advantages of Fendt VarioDrive The drive train eliminates the need for manual switching when changing between field and road operations. It drives the front and rear axles as needed and distributes the power dynamically

In the field, the full tractive force is available and stresses are avoided when driving on roads or curves The so called pull in turn effect pulls the machine into the curve during turns

The innovative low speed Fendt iD concept is already familiar from the larger tractors All components, such as the engine, transmission, hydraulics and cooling system, were designed according to the so called high torque, low engine speed principle.

In this way, the Fendt 700 Vario achieves high torque even at low engine speeds and saves fuel

The rated engine speed is only 1700rpm. In the main working range, the speed is a quiet 1400 to 1700rpm

The new Fendt 726 and 728 Vario reach a top speed of up to 60km/h at just 1450rpm At 50km/h the engine speed is 1200 rpm, at 40km/h it is only 950rpm The maximum torque of 1450Nm on the top model Fendt 728 Vario is achieved at just 1300rpm and ensures high tractive power and acceleration strength with minimal specific fuel consumption

With a power to weight ratio of just 30 5 kg per hp and compact external dimensions, the Fendt 728 Vario is particularly manoeuvrable and exerts as little pressure as possible on the ground. Depending on the work application, the range can be flexibly ballasted at the front, as well as at the rear on the rear wheels A gross vehicle weight of up to 15 tonnes allows it to be used as a heavy towing tractor

Optimum tyre pressure reduces slip and ground pressure The fully integrated Fendt VarioGrip tyre pressure control system increases the contact area with the ground and boosts tractive power by up to eight percent

When driving on the road, the air pressure is raised and thus the rolling resistance is reduced, thus another two percent fuel can be saved

British National Ploughing Championships

Britain's top ploughmen and women were treated to some good ground last weekend to show off their skills at the 71st British National Ploughing Championships on the Chatsworth Estate on land at Glapwell, Derbyshire.

A heavy downpour during the week softened the ground and more rain the day before made conditions good for the competitors who had travelled from all over the country to take part Almost 250 local champions ploughed over the two days on a site kindly provided by the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire

However, the rain meant some sticky conditions in other parts of the site, such as trade stands and competitors arriving to find their lorries having to be towed on to the field The sun then shone for the weekend making ideal conditions

The Reversible Plough Off Final was won by Mick Chappell from Loversall, near Doncaster, South Yorkshire, ploughing with a Ford tractor and Kverneland plough. This is the third time Mick has won the title and he

finished with 330 points, ahead of two former British Champions just 4 points in front of Ian Brewer from Wadebridge, Cornwall, and 27 points clear of Peter Alderslade, East Boldan, Tyne & Wear

British Conventional title winner was James Witty of East Lutton, near Malton, North Yorkshire James also used a Ford/Kverneland combination and also beat two past British Champions with 270 points Evan Watkin from Powys was second with 263 points and Nigel Vickers from Cheshire third, just one point behind This is the first time that James has ever won the Conventional title, although he has won the Reversible title twice before and is a past World Reversible Champion

Mick and James have now qualified to represent England in the 2023 World Ploughing Contest, which will be held in Latvia.

John Crowder from Sturton by Stow, Lincolnshire retained the The Vintage Trailing Championship from last year and is the current European Vintage Ploughing Champion Using a Fordson

N tractor and a Ransome RSLD plough, he scored 261 points, beating Trevor Johnstone from Wigton, Cumbria into second place with a 15 point lead Two points behind Trevor was a previous World and European Vintage Champion, John Milnes from Penistone, South Yorkshire

The Vintage Hydraulic Plough Off Final winner was Richard Ingram from Atherstone, Warwickshire, who finished well ahead of the competition with a 23 point lead Since the Vintage Hydraulic Plough Off Final was brought in five years ago, this is the fourth time Richard has won it, gaining 267 points with his Massey Ferguson 35 and Ransome TS54 plough Second place was George Black from Earlston, Berwickshire and in third place was Ian Berriman from Driffield, East Yorkshire.

David Thomlinson from Escrick, near York won The Classic Championship title for a third time in a row Ploughing with his Ford 3000 tractor and Ransome TS86 plough he was in front of Jon Cole from Ross on Wye, Herefordshire by


just 2 points. David scored 266 points, Jon 264 points and another 2 points behind with 262 points was Nick Morely from Lowdham, Nottinghamshire

Brand new this year was the Classic Reversible Plough Off Final which was won by Graham Sutton from Nuneaton, Warwickshire Graham ploughed with a Massey Ferguson 65 tractor and a Ran some TS82 plough and won 303 points, a seven point lead over Stephen Watkins from Maltby, South Yorkshire and a 30 point lead from his son, George Sutton who finished with 273 points

The Overall Vintage Champion, judged independently, was John Crowder (right) and all of the vintage winners have qualified to plough in the 2023 European Vintage Ploughing Championships in the Netherlands.

The other main titles over the weekend were the Overall Horse Ploughing Champion, won by Martink Kerswell from Fordingbridge, Hamp shire; the Overall Young Farmers Cham pion which was taken by Stuart Vickers from Malpas, Cheshire and the High Cut

Ploughing Champion, won by Derek Needham from Kings Lynn, Norfolk. The Supreme Championship title was judged independently from all the title winners and was won by James Witty All the trophies on the second day were presented by the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire

Full results can be found on www ploughmen co uk

A date for your diary the 72nd British National Ploughing Championships will be held on 14th and 15th October 2023 at Bishop's Lydeard, near Taunton, Somerset

Green Gold from Bavaria

The region of Hallertau in the German state of Bavaria is the largest hop-growing region in the world. September is the time of hop harvest. Petra Jacob visits ‘hop ambassador ’ Elisabeth Stiglmaier on her farm in Attenhofen.

The Hallertau is a landscape of gentle hills between the small towns of Kelheim, Landshut and Freising in the Southern state of Bavaria, known for their hops It is the world's largest hop growing region and pro duces a quarter of the world's total de mand The oldest evidence of hop cultivation in Germany comes from the Hallertau; hops were grown here since 736

A trip in September goes to the farm of Elisabeth and Franz Stiglmaier a family farm in Attenhofen in Lower Bavaria, 30 km northeast of Landshut The journey goes through trellis of green giants, to the left and right of the road scaffoldings, densely overgrown with hops. Signs warn motorists: “Vorsicht, Hopfenernte,” caution, hop harvest. The village of Attenhofen is in an idyllic location, tucked away between hills, all of which are planted with hops

The barn door is wide open towards the village street Elisabeth Stiglmaier, dressed in overalls and with earmuffs,

works behind a large mountain of hops. She hangs one vine after the other on a kind of drag lift, which transports the vines to the so called picking machine

It rattles and shakes and combs the hops out of the vines, the leftovers like leaves and stalks fall in a heap behind the barn, where there is also a large orchard of fruit trees

These hop leftovers will be back on the fields in a few days, explains Elisabeth later while touring the farm

It will be worked into the fields as green manure, because the farm has no livestock The hop cones instead will continue on a conveyor belt across the courtyard all the way to the top of the "Darre," a multi storey drying tower, which is built directly onto the farm house.

Elisabeth’s husband Franz Stiglmaier arrives with a tractor and wagon and brings a new load of freshly harvested hop vines back from the field Another half hour, Elisabeth makes a hand sign, then her two Polish employees, who

have come back from their lunch break, will take over her job and she has time to show around the farm She has been on her feet since half past five, she explains September is the busiest time on the farm, the harvest lasts a good three weeks

Now they have signed over the farm to their son Andreas "He is the boss," Elisabeth points to him, while he is checking on the picking machine The 30 year old works full time as a banker and IT technician He went to night school to become a farmer, his mother explains He will manage the 20 hectare farm as a part time job and will be the 7th generation of hop growers on the farm. The Stiglmaier family has been farming since the 14th century; up until the 1960s they had cows and pigs, for around 180 years they have grown hops.

A little over 30 years ago, Elisabeth married Franz, “her great love,” as she calls him and came to his farm She not only fell in love with the farmer, but also with hops There is a local saying that


loosely translates: “When the hops scratches you, it won’t let you go ”

Elisabeth is not only a hop farmer, she also worked as a pediatric nurse and raised four children When her kids stood on their own two feet, the meanwhile 58 year old Eliabeth found time and wanted to “ pass on her passion for hops onto others,” as she puts it

In 2007 she trained as a ‘hop ambassador,’ many other courses followed Elisabeth can call herself a beer sommelier, she offers hop experience tours for school groups or grown ups (in German and English)

Today the Stiglmaier farm is not only a farm, it is also a ‘Hopfenerlebnishof ’ , a hop experience farm and it has a capacity to receive a minimum of 60 visitors. It is also the first certified barrier free hop experience farm "Wheelchair users are in good hands with us," says Elisabeth

Mrs Stiglmaier enjoys giving guided tours and lectures and leads visitors around the farm, to the fields and into the “Bierstube,” the beer bar Her tours are also popular with international guests “We are fortunate to live not to far from famous Weltenburg Abbey along the Danube river, where tourists get off from their Danube cruise boats and join a tour around the Halltertau

Throughout the farm there are display boards with interesting farming and hop related information. There is a drawing of a cross section of the picking machine, right next to it is a poster with large letters: “Hopfen und Malz, Gott erhalt’s,” a Bavarian saying translated as "hops and malt, may God preserve it "

Next to the door to the drying tower, there is a drawing of the hop kiln, plus information on fuel oil consumption: "16 000 l for 35 000 kg," it says It also explains that there are still 44 hop growing farms in the Attenhofen municipality and they together grow hops on 785 ha of land, with an average farm size of 17 7 ha

Visitors are allowed to climb up the four story hop kiln It is hot there, like in a sauna In there hop cones are dried at temperatures between 62 to 65 degrees The hop cones arrive at the top of the barn via the conveyor belt and are dried down from one floor to the next, from a water content of around 80% down to 10%. This has to be done quickly, "otherwise the hop cones would ferment," explains Elisabeth. The hop cones arrive “ green ” on the top floor, tilted from one floor to the next and arrive at the bottom floor as fragrant dry hops, where they are also packed in 60 kg sacks

The Stiglmaier farm sells all their hops by contract According to the Association of German Hop Growers, a large part of the German hop acreage is under contract, with terms of up to ten years Depending on the variety, the hop yields on the Stiglmaier farm are between 2000 and 3000 kg per hectare 30 % of the hop harvest is used within Germany, the rest goes abroad

It is said that hops give beer its soul. Hops from the region of Hallertau are valued by beer brewers in over 100 countries. As a hop ambassador, Elisabeth Stiglmaier knows all about "Bavaria's green gold,” as it has been


called over the years In some years, hops were so scarce, "they were as valuable as gold," she says. But since they work with contracts, the high and lows of the market prices are cushioned.

The hop plant only grows and blooms between 35 and 55 degrees north and south latitude, as only the long summer days bring the hops into bloom The climate in the Hallertau is ideal for hop cultivation "Hops do not need a great soil, but it is thirsty, between June and August it needs 100 l of water per square meter per month," says Mrs Stiglmaier On the other hand it grows faster than any other plant in Europe: 7 m in 70 days, 30 cm on a day with good weather

Several hop varieties are available for visitors to look at at the courtyard gate Mrs Stiglmaier picks a few hop cones and presses them lightly, an intoxicatingly spicy fragrance is released, so specific to this plant. The yellow powder that comes out is called lupulin and is important for brewing beer Hop harvest time is when the lapulin content is at its highest and this is determined by the local Hop Research Center, the most important hop research station worldwide and located in the Hallertau A total of 38 different hop

varieties are grown in the Hallertau, five are cultivated on the Stiglmaier farm

"There are earlier and later varieties so that they can be harvested one after another." The first variety is 'Hallertauer Tradition', followed by 'Hallertauer Perle', 'Hallertauer Blanc', 'Northern Brewers' and 'Hallertauer Herkules'

The fields where hop is grown are called ‘hop gardens’ In front of one of their hop gardens the Stiglmaiers put up long benches, so visitors can come here and watch, for example in September, the harvest work

Noah, a young high school graduate from another part of Germany is working as a seasonal worker on the farm He is driving a tractor and wagon between the rows He uses a so called ‘vine ripper,’ which is attached to the tractor and pulls the vines from the wires onto the wagon behind. Hop plants need a climbing aid to grow, which is done with the help of training wires. The 7 m high masts are at their upper ends connected with cross wires and from there the suspension wires go to the ground This framework has to be very stable in order to be able to carry the weight of the hops in any weather as the hop plants can weigh up to 100 t per hectare

To the Stiglmaier farm belong 20 ha of hop gardens with around 40 000 hop plants. April is another busy time and around 12 seasonal workers are needed to clean and “train” the hop shoots. Each hop plant will have between 40 and 60 shoots, only three will be needed and connected to the wire in a clockwise direction; the excess shoots are "cleaned," they are removed

To honour the name "green gold," which was given to hops, one could get the shoot tips of the hops out of the ground a few weeks before the jobs in April start Elisabeth holds up a jar, it is filled with something that looks very similar to white asparagus, only more precious: "This is hop asparagus, probably the most expensive vegetable of all," she says It is a delicacy Lucky ones would find it at the famous Viktualienmarkt, a vegetable and fruit market in the affluent Bavarian capital of Munich. One kilogram of it would set up back a whopping 70 € though!

Information: Hopfenerlebnishof Stiglmaier Pfarrer Schmid Str 5 84091

Attenhofen elisabeth stiglmaier@gmail com, www hopfenfuehrung de Hop experience tours and beer tastings run from March to November

Every farmer has a story to tell This book covers the diverse range of Scottish farmers and crofters from those farming the rugged hills of the Highlands to the sandy loams of the Lowlands. From owner occupiers, tenant farmers, share farmers, crofters, farm managers, starter farmers, to new entrants, farming from 10 acres to 31 000 acres the people are as diverse as the landscapes and environment in which they work Scotland covers 7.8 million hectares, of that 5.7 million or 73% is farmland, or 79% if common grazing is included. This book has photographs of 200 farmers and interviews with 109 from across the country from Orkney to Berwick and Durness to Stranraer within its 288 pages It is available from individual bookshops and farm outlets or direct from the author To order direct: drop an e-mail to Eilidh MacPherson at editor@farmingscotland com or private message on facebook farmingscotland com for details BOOK – 200 Farmers of Scotland – NOW £20 when ordering direct
For more info contact Maree on 01806 335577 or
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