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60 MAG 25/11/09 1:36 am Page 1 Issue sixty • December 2009

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In Stitches

f’s very own Jedward – twins James and Douglas Steele (3) model personalised sweatshirts from Michelle Taylor at Agriscot. They say never to work with children or animals and getting a good shot with so many little boy distractions – quad bikes and tractors – proved very difficult. Parents Mary and Dougie Steele waved sweets above my head to attract their attention! Range of kids, Teflon coated, waterproof jackets and trousers and all-in-one suits. All can be washed and tumble dried. Phone PuddleJumpers on 01298 83812 for direct ordering or with any questions.

The sweatshirts and childrens overalls are available in a range of sizes and colours with lettering to order. An ideal Christmas present for any farm or tractor mad kid. Michelle Taylor, who works from home on her Mark of Loch Ronald, small holding at Kirkconnell, Wigtownshire, will be delighted to stitch up your chosen names in time for Christmas. Give her a call on 07747 466693 or email

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CONTENTS Issue sixty • December 2009

farmingscotland Issue sixty • December 2009

A Eilidh MacPherson

farmingscotland is written, edited and designed in Scotland. This publication reports industry wide over the whole of Scotland and N of England and is distributed free for farmers and crofters to abattoirs, livestock markets, farm supplies and SERID offices from the Borders to the Butt of Lewis, from Stranraer to the Shetland Isles and Clitheroe to Cumbria. EDITOR: Eilidh MacPherson Marbrack, Carsphairn, Castle Douglas, Dumfries & Galloway, DG3 7TE Tel: 01644460644 Mobile: 0797 7897867 PUBLISHER - Eilidh MacPherson Cover - Moving Sheep Text and photography by Eilidh MacPherson unless otherwise stated

s we unbelievably move into the second decade of the New Millennium it is diamond celebrations at as the 60th magazine hits the press. It has been another hectic month this end with several events being staged. Agricscot at Ingliston and the SAC Beef event at Donald Biggar’s property are two that are covered this issue. I’m still revelling in the challenge of moving to Marbrack and enjoying every minute, but still finding my feet for a work/life balance. All the tups are now out and raring to go so things have quietened down slightly. I might just find time to paint the new office and put a second coat of varnish on the floor and move in, freeing up the kitchen for culinary delights, before the next issues begins! Off to Yorkshire for Potato 2009 once I have finished a couple of last minute articles. Just hoping that the roads will be passable as I listen to the persistent rain battering on the conservatory roof as I frantically hammer on my laptop keyboard. Times are a changing as livestock farmers have hit the highs they have so desperately been seeking, as some say, the arable sector is sliding into recession with cast Blackface ewes making more at market than a tonne of barley or even straw. Even so, the mood was upbeat at Agriscot. It is the time of year to look back on what has gone – the long winter nights give time for more thought – and to look forward to 2010 and plan. 2009 has been the International Year of Natural Fibres, with events dotted round the globe. It culminates in December in London. Natural fibres are in Vogue once more as they

are eco-friendly for the environment. With a passion for the wool industry I have highlighted wool, one of the fifteen natural fibres in the world. Wishing all readers, advertisers and contributors a wonderful Christmas and New Year. In the spirit of Good Will to all men, we have teamed up with a couple of businesses to offer our readers the chance of winning some fantastic prizes. You can either enter on line by filling out our newsletter form and stating the prize draw you wish to enter or you can send your answer on a postcard to, Marbrack Farm, Carsphairn, Castle Douglas, DG7 3TE. All prize draws will close on the 22nd of December and winners will be listed in the January Issue. In the wool section, The Wool Room has four woollen duvets up for grabs – the ideal winter warmer for cosy nights in. Winners can choose the size that they would prefer: single, double, King or Super King. And on the back page, the five star, Enterkine Hotel, is offering readers the opportunity for dinner, bed and breakfast in the Woodland Lodge – the ideal first night or honeymoon location in rural Ayrshire. You have to be in it to win, so answers on a postcard or e-mail via the new website – Andrew Best and Johnny Watson discuss trials on page 12, while Alison Martin covers wedding chat on the last double spread. Highland photographer, Lynne Kennedy, who has recently gone full time as a wedding photographer has gifted the shots of the couple kissing at Eilean Donan Castle and the ‘I Do’ shoes. Wishing you all a Good New Year.

4 5


6 7

Wool Natural Fibres



SAC Open Day

North Harris Trust


Around the Regions Kay Adam Newhouse of Glamis

10 11 12 13 14 15

Machinery John Deere

Arable Grassland

Rural Wedding Photography

Page 8 - words & picture – N Harris Trust Page 10 - words and pictures – John Deere Page 11 - words & picture – Johnny Watson Page 12 - words & pics – Kay Adam Page 14 - kiss & shoes – Lynne Kennedy


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With reduced labour on farms, farmers are making an effort to attend events that add value to their businesses – this was proof positive at the recent SAC Beef Open Day at Castle Douglas, where farmers were out in force.


SAC Beef Health Open Day


our beef industry icons and two local vets – Graeme Bell and John Stroat – led the talks and discussions at the SAC Beef Animal Health and Welfare Open Day at Donald Biggar’s Corbieton Farm, Castle Douglas recently. When I arrived on farm, bull fertility was being discussed in the group led by SAC Beef Specialist – Gavin Hill. Apparently one in five bulls have an issue with fertility. Testing bulls four to six weeks prior to joining is paramount. Bull lameness and back problems can account for a large percentage of herd infertility, says Castle Douglas vet Graeme Bell. He reckoned that a fertile bull should be covering 90% of cows in a 50-60 strong group, over a nine-week period. This comment triggered further debate with the attending farmers, some of which use one sire per 30 -

45 cows. When questioned, Donald Biggar admitted that he ran four groups of 40 cows with a bull for each group and that he wouldn’t chance using only three bulls. A gingered haired farmer wondered how it would affect the bulls longevity – “will it live fast die young?” George Caldow, of SAC Veterinary Service, stated that in other countries, like the States and New Zealand, that a sire normally covers 50-60 cows or more. “The bull won’t be hanging about. It is a topic we have been debating for a while.” “If you are not making the 90% mark it could be a problem with the females. We had eight not in calf – two were twins,” commented Donald. Gavin Hill then raised the question how many cows should a young bull be given in the first season? The vet replied that small numbers should be introduced to a new, young bull, with a maximum of 20. “A two year old could cope with more. Semen testing and watching how they work are good measurements,” he added.

“Bulls should be fit, agile and athletic. Libido is important, the word randy springs to mind,” smiled Donald. “In Australia and America they count how times a bull serves a cow. A large part is what you see in the field – the bull in action,” said George. Ex Monitor farmer and current QMS Board member, Rob Parker, who farms near Stranraer attended the event. He switched from breeding Continental cattle to breeding ‘Black Baldies’ a few years back. “A lot of guys are running into fertility problems and looking into closed herd systems.” Operating a more traditional cow system Rob has seen turnover come down, but his profits increase. “I’m not topping the sale but I have more calves to sell. My strap line, which I’ve used a lot, is ‘production is vanity, profit is sanity,’” quipped Rob, whose cows are coming back into calve quicker. Other SAC Specialists that were leading the groups included Dr Basil Lowman on breeding cattle, Rhidian Jones on fattening cattle and Seamus Donnelly on bedding. Dr Basil Lowman pointed out that one slatted shed, housing mixed aged animals was a breeding zone for pneumonia. “To prevent pneumonia don’t mix ages.” The afternoon saw the 160 or so farmers move to the Urr Valley Hotel for soup and stovies, followed by an in-depth afternoon programme on BVD and Johnes eradication. These diseases will be dealt with in the January beef special edition of the magazine.

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Glenside Advertorial

Getting Right to the Root of the Problem


Bedding Offer


ows should be eating, drinking, milking & lying down. EnviroBed using the New Shallow-Bed System will assist in encouraging cows to lie down for longer and leave hock damage as a thing of the past. EnviroBed is used in the Netherlands mainly in the Shallow Bed System. Most beddings when using mats come off readily. This system has been developed to make sure there is always a good thick layer of bedding under your cows at all times. Because of the density of EnviroBed, it stays in the shallow well and its absorbency lifespan is used

under the cow where it is most needed. To test the system with your cows, convert existing cubicles containing mats, mattresses or concrete by placing a retaining rail at the back so that bedding can be retained in front to a depth of up to 20 cms. These beds provide a cushion for the hocks, reducing abrasions and the dryness high pH protects against pathogen growth. Clean cows means milking is quicker and easier and cell counts and mastitis are kept to a minimum. For deliveries in December 09, any farmer wishing to trial this system on a line of cubicles will be given 3 tonnes free on an order for 27 tonnes.

he poor weather and difficult growing conditions experienced during 2008/9 highlighted the importance of both arable crops and grassland re-seeds establishing a healthy root system as early as possible in the season, says Robert McCoull, Technical Director of agronomic specialists The Glenside Group: “Many farmers were left counting the cost of poor crop performance after the difficult autumn of 2008. The most common problem was crops' failure to develop a healthy root system, so they never reached optimum yields, no matter what inputs were supplied during the growing season. “Yet crops that did make a healthy start made excellent use of the plentiful moisture available, and were able to fully access the soil's natural nutrient reserves. “Consequently they yielded well, very often needing less applied nitrogen and other nutrients during the season, which helped then produce better than expected profit margins”. The difference, he says, is often the farmer's detailed understanding of his soil's productive status: “If the farmer has a complete picture of the soil's health – as provided by our Albrecht ® Soil Survey – they can often 'rescue' crops that made a poor start by applying Bio-stimulants that help them develop more effective root systems”. The Albrecht ® Soil Survey provides a comprehensive picture of the soil's potential productivity. It measures a wide range of major/ minor nutrients and trace elements, enabling users to diagnose the impact that any imbalances will have on the physical and biological status of the soil: “These imbalances are likely to impact on crop and animal performance. Our clients agree that getting to the heart of the problem at soil level is preferable to being locked into a treadmill of treating symptoms with applied inputs,” says Robert. During 2008/9 Glenside staged several field scale trials that helped highlight the value of its approach. In Ayrshire saleable potato yields were increased from 36t/ha to 61t/ha after the Albrecht ® Soil Survey identified soil imbalances and enabled them to be corrected: “The survey showed the soil's calcium/magnesium ratio was far from ideal, making it hard to work. Boron was also deficient – an important issue for a potato grower as it is essential for the transportation of

starch and calcium and plays a big role in the formation of healthy tubers. “By correcting these problems we returned the soil to full productive potential. The resulting crop had high proportion of the tubers in the desired 55mm - 75mm size range, which raised its value,” says Robert. Cereal crops also benefited: in one field-scale trial barley yields rose from 6.8t/ha using the farm's standard practice to 7.6t/ha by including three applications of Glenside's liquid Bio-stimulant MÆRIT® with existing fertiliser applications in March and April: “We expected this sort of yield benefit as visual inspection and sampling of the crops in April and May showed big differences in root mass, crop height, colour and biomass volume”. Similar results were recorded at another site, where the farmer raised bushel weights of wheat from 78kgs to 83kgs by using a nitrogen substitution policy, in which he used MÆRIT® and applied two bags of nitrogen less: “While most crops made a good start this autumn, there are plenty of fields with unresolved problems, so completing an Albrecht ® Soil Survey and using its results to tailor next spring's fertiliser regimes still makes sense, and will give farmers the opportunity to ensure their crops yield well next harvest. “Crops with fully functioning root systems can use the soil's nutrients better, so farmers can cut nitrogen applications. As well as being a financial saving, this also has the potential to reduce disease pressures while still maintaining yield. “Using these methods also has great benefits to livestock farming, encouraging re-seeds and established leys to maintain more effective, deeper rooting systems, so they can produce bigger yields of more nutrient rich forage, thereby helping promote healthier, more productive livestock.”

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Natural Fibres – Wool


009 has been the International Year of Natural Fibres. A range of events have taken place around the world culminating in a convention in London mid-December. ‘Relentless competition from synthetics and the current global economic downturn impact the livelihoods of millions of people who depend on natural fibre production and processing.’ The aim has been to raise awareness of the importance of natural fibres, not only to producers and industry, but to consumers and the environment. Apparently around 35 million tonnes of natural fibres are harvested around the world from both plants and animals. Natural fibres production, processing and export are vital to the economies of many developing countries and the livelihoods of millions of small-scale farmers and low-wage workers.


Today, many of those economies and livelihoods are under threat: the global financial crisis has reduced demand for natural fibres as processors, manufacturers and consumers suspend purchasing decisions or look to cheaper synthetic alternatives. The world's leading animal fibre, wool is produced in about 100 countries on half a million farms. Major producers are Australia, Argentina, China, the Islamic Republic of Iran, New Zealand, Russia, the UK and Uruguay. Depending on the country and region, wool producers range from small farmers to large scale commercial grazing operations. Wool only accounts for 2.1Million tonnes, from 1 billion sheep worldwide, with Australia producing about a fifth of that. China, New Zealand, Iran, Argentina and the UK each produce more than 50 000 tonnes. An estimated 50% of wool, both

raw and partially processed, is exported to major textile centres in other countries to be spun and woven. China is the No. 1 importer of raw wool (310 000 tonnes in 2007), followed by Italy. The retail value of sales of wool products is around US$80 billion/ year. Two thirds of wool is used in the manufacture of garments, while less than a third goes into the manufacture of blankets anti-static and noise absorbing carpets, and durable upholstery (wool's inherent resistance to flame and heat makes it one of the safest of all household textiles). The Natural Trust has been instrumental in finding alternative uses for Herdwick wool from its tenant farms in the North of England. Initially they set up Second Nature, producing wool insulation for housing. More recently they have devised a new

product – Wool Cool – environmentally cool packaging. These packs are now used by leading UK food businesses such as River Cottage, Abel & Cole and Daylesford Organics. Natural fibres will play a key role in the emerging “green” economy based on energy efficiency, the use of renewable feed stocks in polymer products, industrial processes that reduce carbon emissions and recyclable materials that minimize waste. Natural fibres are a renewable resource, par excellence – they have

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been renewed by nature and human ingenuity for millennia. They are also carbon neutral: they absorb the same amount of carbon dioxide they produce. During processing, they §generate mainly organic wastes and leave residues that can be used to generate electricity or make ecological housing material. And, at the end of their life cycle, they are 100% biodegradable. Do your bit for the natural fibre producers this Christmas and buy at least one present, be it wool,silk or sisal – I have!

PRIZE DRAW magazine has teamed up with The Wool Room ( to offer readers the chance to win one of four wool duvets. Their website has a fantastic range of woollen items available. To enter: sign up for the newsletter on the new website and state whether you would like a single, double, king size or super king. Entries close on 22nd Dec and winners will be notified and listed in the next issue.


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he 62,000 acre North Harris estate was purchased in 2003 by the 700 strong local community. The North Harris Trust – a community-led charitable organisation now manages the estate. The land is mountainous with the highest hill, An Cliseam, reaching 2622 ft (699m) and is of strong conservation value with multiple UK and European designations. The estate was historically seen from outside as a “hunting and fishing” destination but was (and is) also important to local people living on the 130 crofts across the area. A Trust was established to manage the estate and to facilitate community development and regeneration. Like many farmers, The Trust is always looking for new income streams and to reduce their dependence on subsidies and grants. It was agreed very early on, that a profitable project would be required to underpin long term sustainable development. With the aid of Community Energy Scotland, who manage the Scottish Government's C.A.R.E.S fund, a feasibility study was undertaken to determine the best options for renewable energy generation. In 2005, work started on the design and approval process for a three-turbine wind farm. No one at the Trust really understood at that point, the effort


required to complete a wind farm project. Two years on, with Ornithology and Archaeology surveys, Visual Impact assessment, MoD approval, Grid connection, quotes for electrical and civil engineering, the project was heading for a public enquiry. In early 2008, an objection was withdrawn and planning was finally granted. The Trust received permission for a 2.5MW farm. Initially plans were to develop only one of the three turbine sites, so funding and selection of a single 900kW turbine finally got under way. Now, at the end of 2009, with support in such a remote area being a problem for some turbine manufacturers, and the quality of the wind reducing the choice of machines, the Trust is still fighting to deliver this project that would earn £50-£100,000 annually over a twenty year term. The lesson to learn from is that there are no quick wins in large-scale wind development. It takes a lot of commitment, especially in a Trust manned by volunteer Directors. The end result though, is a reliable, long term income stream. Whilst this project creeps forward, The Trust is also working on two Hydro-electric schemes. Engineers are currently designing and writing the business plan for what will hopefully be a combined output of

500kW in two “run of river” projects. One scheme is adjacent to The Old Whaling Station – a historic monument that was powered over 100 years ago by hydro-electricity. The capital costs involved in Hydro schemes are a fraction of those for the windfarm. There are still the statutory survey requirements though – in our case for fish and otters. A three month flow monitoring exercise will shortly get underway, as there is no historical local rain or river flow data available. For those who are not sure about the economics of renewable energy, they should look into the new Feed-in tariff that may be active by summer 2010. This new scheme incentivises smaller projects by paying improved rates for any electricity fed back into the grid. The proposals include: 23p/kWh up to 15kW Wind-turbines 12p/kWh 10-100kW Hydro-turbines With this in mind, North Harris Trust is also starting to develop plans for a 10kW wind turbine behind its Community Recycling Centre. The aim is to power the site and export any excess power to the grid. With a good supply of wind from the Atlantic, we hope to cover the cost of the centre from the excess electricity. Now you might have thought this would be enough for any community organisation. However, the impending demolition of the building that the

Trust currently operate from, has created a pressing need for office accommodation. Planning permission is now in place for a new office in Tarbert, Harris, with two integrated rental properties. Again, it is planned for the income from the rentals to cover the office running costs. The current plan is to fit solar panels for domestic water heating and air/air heat pumps for space heating. The Energy Saving Trust and their website has been a good source of information. The key message from the 6 years experience we have in Harris, must be to engage with all the statutory bodies as early as possible. Use the Screening and Scoping application process at your local planning office to get early indication of hurdles you may encounter. Grant funding is available for renewable technology, and with the proposed Feed-in Tariff scheme, commercial lenders are showing a lot more interest. Whilst it's good to test out these new technologies, the Trust cannot lose sight of the fact that its end game is a sustainable community. It's correct to talk of the environmental benefits of these projects, but our primary objective is income generation – an income that will allow the regeneration of Harris to carry on. ate-your-own-energy

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Around the Regions Kay Adam – Angus


s I write this the Strathmore Valley is filling up with various lakes and new wetland areas, the bulls aren’t enjoying the daily mud bath but they haven’t quite developed webbed feet just yet! We have been very lucky here at Glamis and most of the water has found a way out, probably landing up in the underwater lake, which will keep Strathmore Springs bottling plant going for a while longer! Bob’s heading out to Regina in Canada next week to look at some black and red polled Limousin cattle, and I’m getting left at home to deal with the Blackie lambs who are managing to walk through every fence they come across! Harvest went well, if only the combine autopilot could have steered around the wet holes we would have got on quicker. All the barley and wheat has now moved off the farm, and the feed barley was all prop corned and bruised straight off the combine so no dusty work this winter! The malting barley was all on contract, which was moved off very quickly and the last of the wheat has also gone allowing room for us to get the cattle inside. No wheat has been sown this year as we’re going to try

some oats instead, Black Limousins and Charolais dominate the bull pens this backend and we have the first crop from our homozygous black and polled bull. These bulls will head to the Stirling sale in February, and managing to compete for weight with the Charolais these black bulls should do the commercial man a good turn. Eldest son Andrew was ‘weaned’ in September and headed off to boarding school. I now know how all the ewes and cows feel at spaining time! I did ‘roar’ for a few days but Andrew only seemed to miss the dog and sheep so that was a good sign and he has settled in well. Rugby now rules the day! The tup sales went well with all the Blue faced Leicester’s lambs finding homes. James managed to sell one to his god parents Tom and Alison Cockburn at Kingside, Peeblesshire and I know with all this bad weather Alison has told me she is considering knitting the lamb a woolly jumper! We got a tremendous top trade for a Blackface shearling at £11,000 but sadly the commercial trade was poor with buyers being scarce on the ground. We went down to Kelso and purchased some more cross tups the

Charolais x Beltex has been our favorite so far, but we are trying out a Texel x Beltex also this year. Bob refuses to let a Blue Faced Leicester loose on the hill (one day!!) The boys had a reduction of the Blue flock and we’re back down to 10 ewes to the tup – it doesn’t take long for Blues to multiply up quickly, but with these years’ high prices we were quite happy to sell away! We have a new Limousin stock bull Rosecroft Duke; he has at last made it onto the farm. Bob saw him as he judged the Royal Welsh Show this past summer and managed to purchase him on farm. He had to have a pre movement TB test and then on arrival to Angus he spent 60 days at a friend’s pony paddock in isolation surrounded by barley fields. After the 60 days passed he then had the dreaded TB test and the results showed all clear, allowing him to make his way to Newhouse and he’s now happily running with the cows. This TB situation does put added hassle into purchasing stock bulls – there is no way anyone wishes to put their own or anybody else’s herd at risk. The hens are still with us although

now rather scabby – James did think a fox had paid them a visit and not taken any!!! But on consultation with the hen manual we have come to the conclusion that the hens are now in the moult. They have been very loyal and laid well all year with the boys managing to bank some profit from this enterprise. As for the latest livestock… I can not find any love for the ferrets – Ewan and Stuart named after a pair of cousins of mine! I would definitely call myself an animal lover but ferrets just don’t appeal to me and my nose is obviously over sensitive to their odour! But James adores them and any money he makes from the hens is blown on the ferrets, much fun has been had and a few dig outs have also occurred. As you read this we will be into the last month of 2009, Bob will hopefully have returned from Canada with some new genetics and hopefully the lamb trade will be looking strong. I would like to wish all readers a Merry Christmas and all the best for 2010 and remember if you need a black, red or a white bull look us up at Stirling in February……

This space should be selling for you! Call: Fiona McArthur – 01583 421397 Alison Martin – 01292 443097 Eilidh MacPherson – 016444 60644 9

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Issue sixty • December 2009

New John Deere utility tractors for 2010


ohn Deere's new 5M, 5G and 5E utility tractors from 55 to 100hp are aimed at livestock and mixed farms, small arable farms, speciality and part-time farmers, and commercial equipment fleet owners. Complementing the top of the range 5R tractors introduced last year, these 16 new tractor models offer customers the same traditional high levels of quality, specification and value. The new line-up includes: * the 5M Series from 70 to 100hp (5070M, 5080M, 5090M and 5100M), a general purpose tractor with ideal specifications, engine power and performance characteristics for pto work and general farm applications; * the 5G Series from 80 to 100hp, designed for smaller mixed and arable farmers and those customers who require special configurations such as high ground clearance (5GH), orchard (5GF, ie fruit) or vineyard (5GV) models; * the open station 5E Series tractors from 55 to 75hp (5055E, 5065E and 5075E), for part-time farmers and speciality crop farms. John Deere 5M Series tractors With their compact dimensions and features, the new 5M Series tractors are ideal for small to medium livestock farms. They are particularly suitable for diet feeding, mowing, baling, fertiliser spreading and transport, and can be equipped with matching John Deere front loaders for a variety of materials handling applications. The tractors feature 4.5 litre Tier III John Deere PowerTech M diesel engines with rated power from 70 to 100hp (97/68 EC). These engines are equipped with a mechanical fuel


injection system, turbocharger, an air-to-air charge air cooler and a slideable air conditioning condenser for easier servicing. Apart from reduced emission levels and good fuel economy, these powerful and reliable mid-specification engines provide a two per cent power bulge and a 28 per cent torque rise to match even the toughest tasks. Depending on individual requirements, there is a choice of three transmission options: * a high specification 32/16 Power Reverser Plus transmission, which features clutchless shifting of two HiLo gears under full load. The reverser lever is mounted on the adjustable steering column and moves with it, so that this always provides the most comfortable driving position; * a 16/16 Power Reverser transmission; * a basic 16/16 Sync Reverser transmission, with the reverser lever mounted on the dashboard – simply depress the foot clutch and shift direction with the lever. A wet clutch and a parking lock are standard on all models, while a creeper gear transmission working down to 300m/hr is optional. The open centre hydraulic system features a tandem pump with a total flow of 74 litres/min (50 + 24 litres/min) for quick cycle times and improved efficiency. An even higher capacity 94 litre/min pump (70 + 24 litres/min) is available as an option. Customers also have the choice of either two or three SCVs depending on implement needs and applications. A maximum lift capacity of 3.6 tonnes allows customers to operate a wide range of implements, and there is a choice of electronic or mechanical three-point hitch controls. As a brand

new feature on John Deere tractors, the 5M range will be available with a 540/540E/ground drive pto to power trailer wheels in hilly landscapes and on slopes. A 540/540E pto and a shiftable 540/540E/1000 pto are also available. Besides excellent visibility and operator comfort, 5M Series tractors feature a bright cab interior, a newly designed dashboard, ergonomic controls and multiple seat and lighting options. John Deere 5G Series tractors The new 5G Series tractors will replace the current 5015 Series tractor range and will consist of nine models from 80 to 100hp (97/68 EC). The full line-up includes the 5080G, GF and GV; the 5090G, GH, GF and GV; and the 5100GF and GV. These versatile tractors have been specifically designed to meet the requirements of mixed and livestock farms, vegetable growers and orchard or vineyard owners. Depending on the target customer, these tractors are available with the following special model designations: 5GH signifies high ground clearance for vegetable growers; 5GF models are for fruit growing farms which often require a machine width of less than 1.5m; and the 5GV tractors for vineyard owners feature a machine width of only a little over 1m as well as a powerful hydraulic system. All 5G Series tractors are powered by 4.5 litre Tier III PowerTech M diesel engines with mechanical fuel injection, turbocharger and charge air cooler, ie the same engine used on the 5M Series. There is a wide range of transmission options, starting with a cost efficient 12/12 30kph transmission, followed by a 24/24

40kph version with mechanical or electro-hydraulic HiLo gears, and a 24/12 40kph Power Reverser unit. All John Deere 5G Series tractors are equipped with an open centre hydraulic system and a 47 litre/min tandem pump (optional 60 litres/min) for quick implement reaction. For the 5GF and 5GV models, John Deere will offer an optional third pump to provide up to 80 litres/min to the SCVs and rockshaft. Lift capacity of the 5G Standard tractors is up to 2.6 tonnes, or 2.4 tonnes on the 5GH, 5GF and 5GV versions. Depending on application, the tractors are either available with three SCVs (5G and 5GH) or four plus four mid-mounted SCVs (5GF and 5GV models). Pto options include 540/540E/ground drive and 540/1000/ground drive versions. The new cab layout features left and right hand consoles with common controls logically placed for ease of use. The roof lining and air conditioner have been redesigned to provide greater headroom and forward visibility. The cab is now sealed and pressurised for greater comfort and efficiency of the heating and cooling system. Open operator stations with two- or four-post rollover protection are also available. John Deere 5E Series tractors The new 5E Series isolated open operator station tractors have been specifically designed for small livestock farmers, small speciality farms and part-time farmers. Three models are available, the 5055E, the 5065E and the 5075E from 55 to 75hp (97/68 EC). All three models feature an easy to service Tier III intercooled threecylinder John Deere PowerTech M

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engine with turbocharger and viscous fan. This engine provides good fuel economy and low emission levels. The synchronised 9F/3R inline transmission follows an H pattern and can be shifted on the move via side-shift levers within the range. It includes a park brake for safe parking on slopes. Self-adjusting, self-equalising and hydraulically actuated wet disk brakes ensure safe operation even under difficult working conditions. 5E Series tractors are equipped with an open centre hydraulic system with independent hydraulic pumps, one generating 25 litres/min exclusively for the steering system and the other generating 46 litres/min for other hydraulic applications, eg front loader work or rear lift operations with the 3-point linkage. All three models are fitted with a single rear SCV, operated by a dedicated SCV lever as standard. Additional options include a second rear SCV or mid-mounted SCV, each of which need to be operated by a joystick control, and compatibility with a trailer brake valve. The category 2 mechanical hitch

control is equipped with dedicated levers to precisely control the position. With a lift capacity of 1.8 tonnes at the hitch balls, 5E tractors offer excellent lift capacity at a competitive price level in this market segment. A variety of trailer hitch solutions include an automatic or manual slider, and a regular swinging drawbar. The standard 540rpm pto operates at a rated engine speed of 2400rpm, while the 540E economy version runs at 1700 engine rpm. The tractors can be fitted with a choice of two mechanical self-levelling or non self-levelling loaders, with lift capacities of either 873kg or 989kg to a maximum lift height of 3.38m. John Deere 5E Series tractors also feature an ergonomically designed straddle-type operator platform which is well isolated from engine noise and transmission vibration, and the comfortable, intuitive controls make these tractors easy to use. The fold-away roll-over frame and an optional two-post sun protection canopy offer additional operator comfort and convenience.

New 7950i flagship model forager from John Deere


aking its 50 Series foragers to the next level of power, John Deere has unveiled its new top-of-the-range self-propelled forage harvester (SPFH), the 812hp 7950i, which replaces the 7850 model. This high-capacity machine for contractors is capable of harvesting up to 300 tonnes of maize per hour, filling a 40 cubic metre trailer in less than two and a half minutes. Up to 26 such trailer loads of silage can therefore be delivered to the clamp for compaction within just one hour. A number of design changes have been made compared to existing SPFH models below 700hp. To accommodate these changes and the new cutterhead options, the 7950i

features a longer chassis and a stronger ProDrive four-wheel drive rear axle. Changes also include newly designed heavy-duty final drives and a 23 per cent higher header lift capacity. In addition, components of the power transmission to the cutterhead have been redesigned to match the increase in power. Further design changes include a stronger infinitely variable length of cut (IVLOC) transmission, which now operates with a 45cc (previously 37cc) hydrostatic motor and a hydraulic accumulator for smooth reverse shifting. In order to process the increased amount of harvested material more reliably, the kernel processor has been equipped with a

four-rib drive belt. Because of the amount of material which passes through the machine under full load, John Deere now offers additional bundles of long life, highly wear resistant crop channel components and a longer spout extension. These bundles have been designed to significantly increase the lifetime of these components compared to standard machine parts. The mechanical driveline efficiency of the new 7950i forage harvester has resulted in fuel consumption as low as 0.5 litres per tonne of maize harvested. The combination of the established DuraDrum cutterhead and IVLOC also delivers excellent silage quality and provides this harvester with industry leading cut quality. As an exclusive feature, three 'intelligent' modes on the new John Deere 7950i forager help operators to maximise their performance on the road and in the field. * The new 'Road Mode', which is active between 1250 and 2100rpm, provides additional torque when needed during transport, and when it isn't, reduces engine speed down to its minimum level to maintain the desired forward speed. This system helps to reduce fuel usage by up to 10 per cent, providing up to 27% more torque to climb the steepest hills, and reducing transport time. * 'Field Mode 1' saves fuel on headlands. On stopping or headland turns, this system automatically reduces engine speed once clear of the crop and then increases it once the turn is made and you enter a new swath or row. This results in an additional fuel saving of up to 5%. * 'Field Mode 2'. During harvest this mode adjusts forward speed to maintain a constant load at the engine's most fuel efficient point. This gives the customer the lowest possible cost per hectare, leading to a further five per cent fuel saving. Another exclusive feature, John Deere's AutoLOC provides maximum silage quality and consistency by combining John Deere's automatic length of cut transmission (IVLOC) and HarvestLab dry matter sensing. HarvestLab measures crop moisture with a near-infrared sensor and helps to optimise the length of cut depending on dry matter content. In combination with this system, the exclusive HarvestDoc documentation software allows complete traceability of the grass or maize harvest. Whatever crop the contractor is 1working in, this software keeps track of all yield and dry matter content data at all times until the harvested material or feed is used. From 2010, full service back-up for all forager models will be available from John Deere dealers seven days a week during the season. In addition, during the first year of operation JD customers will benefit from a customer care process from purchase to end of season storage.

New headers for year-round operation To maximise the return on their investment throughout the year, John Deere forage harvester customers in the UK and Ireland will have a choice of three different headers to increase the versatility of their operations. * The newly designed heavy-duty 600C pick-ups for grass harvesting are easy to set up and use. Featuring a compression rake, these headers provide more productivity in the field. The lateral tilt function on the 3m 630C helps to keep the field cleaner and reduces mechanical stress on the crop feeder. The optional mechanically folding gauge wheels are equipped with 10-step adjustment and automatically lock in the transport position. To adapt the 600C pick-ups for higher horsepower machines, a stronger twin-chain drive and a new auger safety clutch have been added to ensure efficient operation even under tough harvesting conditions. * To fully utilise the forager's enormous power, John Deere now offers the new Kemper Champion 390 Plus header for the 7750 and 7950 forage harvesters. This is a 12row unit with a working width of 9m, which can harvest both maize and wholecrop. This header features excellent manoeuvrability in smaller fields, and reduces soil compaction through the need for fewer passes. Better crop flow under difficult conditions is achieved through active feeding inside the crop channel, special adaptation to wide crop flow channels and more space for heavy crops. For improved handling of laid crops, the outer dividers have also been redesigned. Folding to a maximum road width of 3.3m, the Kemper Champion 390 header is equipped with a support wheel to reduce rear ballast requirements, and has been homologated to allow transport speeds of up to 40kph. * Extending the forager's use into the winter season, John Deere SPFHs can now be equipped with a new CRL Coppice Header for harvesting short-rotation coppice for biofuels. This header is delivered with its own drive system, comprising an extra oil pump, cooler and oil tank, as well as a set of protective armour plating, and it is fully adapted to fit the John Deere header interface. A large front-end deflector ensures that the cab remains fully protected at all times when harvesting willow or other small trees with a stem diameter of up to 10cm (4in). The fast rotation cutting unit features a quick and free flow of material to the feeder rolls and the cutterhead of the forager.

Small Box adverts start from ÂŁ35, get your message out there with

60 MAG 25/11/09 1:36 am Page 12 Issue sixty • December 2009


Watson Seeds Trials

As seedsmen, our role can be summarised in the words of Gilbert White. Natural Historian & Ecologist 1788. “The Growth of two blades of Grass where one alone was seen before.”


ince the 1800's the technology of plant breeding has transformed the composition of grass mixtures from the blunderbuss mixtures as detailed right. This mixture was used in 1899 at Clifton Park, in the Scottish Borders, to the latest specialist and cutting mixture from the Watson Seeds range, Duart, more of a rifle mixture, with carefully chosen varieties that have been selected by breeders and tested by the SAC to be suitable for Scottish conditions, where two blades of grass can be produced, but the quality in terms of WSC (sugar) and protein is far superior to the seed mixtures of old. Indeed, the demand for Duart has resulted in an increase in sales of 154% since 2005, as farmers appreciate the benefits of a late maturing and therefore high D value grass.


by Andrew Best & Johnny Watson For 2010 the Duart mixture includes Abermagic the next generation of diploid perennial ryegrass from IGER – the Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research breeding programme. It has been bred to raise the bar again for energy (refer to table below) allowing increased digestibility and higher dry matter intakes – key for animal performance. Abermagic offers all the traditional yardsticks such as yield, persistence and disease resistance but more importantly, offers Scottish farmers the highest feed quality available from a diploid perennial ryegrass.

Comparing Sugar levels WSC g/kilo







IGER control


Kg per acre Cocksfoot Tall Fescue Tall Oat-like Grass Hard Fescue Crested Dogs tail Golden Oat Grass Rough S.M. Grass Red Clover White Clover Alsike Clover Chicory Burnet Kidney Vetch Yarrow Sheep's Parsley Field Parsnip

5.6 2.3 2.3 0.9 0.45 0.45 0.45 0.9 0.9 0.9 0.9 3.6 1.36 0.45 0.45 0.45

To further complement the line up of grasses in Duart we have also included the late tetraploid from Northern Ireland, Dunloy, having the most sought after characteristics of good seasonal growth with high d value production. This years winner of the first cut clamp silage at Agriscot, held in November 2009 was Mr A.Lawrie, Cuthill Towers, Kinross who uses Duart to produce high quality forage for his prize winning Ayrshire herd. Mr Lawrie's winning sampled analysed as: Dry matter 25.8

ME 12.4

Crude Protein 17.2

D value 77.7

When we formulate a mixture we are selecting grasses for: YIELD – annual, seasonal (cutting and grazing) PERSISTENCEY – survival and competitive ability QUALITY – energy value, mid-season, D value, WSC content WINTER HARDINESS DISEASE RESISTANCE – crown rust and mildew The following table highlights the nutritional improvement that can be achieved by careful selection of varieties from the SAC list. Especially important is the high D value achieved and which directly relates to the high ME figure. This is why grass is still the cheapest feed available for livestock farmers. It is evident from our expansion in sales over the last few years that our client base appreciates the work we are doing in developing grass and clover mixtures. Sales of our Red Tantallon mixture for example have increased by 21%. The high red clover content, which is also of interest to organic farmers enables good nitrogen fixation and therefore reduction in the use of bagged fertiliser.



WSC g/kg/dm

Average of 23 SAC 1st Choice Varieties Castle Mixture Duart (no clover)



Average for Castle Mixtures (with clover) 73.3

ME Mj/kg/dm










60 MAG 25/11/09 1:36 am Page 13

We appreciate the importance of grass mixtures to livestock farmers but also see the need to trial fodder crops. We have been conducting forage demonstrations and trials, at two sites in Scotland, Macbiehill, West Linton, Peebleshire and (courtesy of Chris Greig Farms – Farm Manager Pat Lambert) at Balcanquhal Farm, Gateside, Fife which is an organic farm. Research work by the SAC and others has shown the benefits of forage crops such as kale, rape and stubble turnips for out wintering cattle and fattening lambs, this has led to more interest from our clients and as an independent seed company we felt it prudent to conduct our own trials to enable ourselves to formulate forage mixtures for Scotland and northern England. Therefore in conjunction with Dr John Vipond of the SAC we have been doing work at Macbiehill, on lamb finishing using combinations of forages, including chicory. The Gateside forage trial was a development from The Scottish Beef Fayre, which was held in July of 2009. As well as having a demonstration of five 1 ha plots of grass mixtures, we also laid out seven demonstrations of forage crops, and commissioned SAC to record yields and analyse for feed potential during October 2009. The purpose of the trial was to identify the most suitable varieties, as well as the highest yielding ratio of forages in a practical farm situation. The plots consisted of: Section 1: Comparison of three forage crops: Plot 1 is a Rape/Kale hybrid, Pulsar Plot 2 is a Rape/Kale hybrid, Swift Plot 3 is a Rape/Kale hybrid Red Start new for 2009, with excellent palatability and winter hardiness. The rape/kale hybrids are a new development from New Zealand and combine the leafiness of the rape plant with the winter hardiness of the kale. A further advantage of this hybridisation is very rapid growth; utilization can be achieved within ten to twelve weeks of sowing. The other part of the forage trial consists of four plots of various blends of Kales and Swedes, detailed as follows. Section 2: Kale Swede Mixture Plot 1 2.25 acres – 1.9kgs Kale (Grampian/ Maris Kestrel 50/50) 0.1kg Invitation Swede 2.0 kgs/acre Plot 2 2.25 acres – 1.75kgs Kale (Grampian/Maris Kestrel 50/50) 0.25kgs Invitation Swede 2.0kgs/acre Plot 3 2.25 acres –1.5kgs Kale (Merlin/Maris Kestrel 50/50) 0.5kgs Invitation Swede 2.0kgs Total Plot 4 2.25 acres – 1.25kgs Kale (Merlin/Maris Kestrel 50/50)0.75kgs Invitation Swede 2.0kgs/acre

The results from these plots were discussed with the SAC and Watson Seeds staff, during an open afternoon in November 2009. The main conclusions were: All the plots were successful with the lowest dry matter yield being 8.4t/ha and the highest being 11.5t/ha. The cost per ton of dry matter varied from £27- £43/ton all of which compare favourably to organic barley at £150/ton or conventional barley at £90/ton. The hybrid plots were all very even, vigorous and had higher plant populations than the kale/swede mixes. The kale /swede mixes were far more varied. It is not possible to tell whether this is due to the soil type or the varieties. The swedes were clearly shaded out by the kale in the mixes. This coupled to the extra cost of the swede seed does not make swedes a good partner crop for kale on a high nitrogen site. The swedes only did well where there was no kale competition. The hybrids particularly Swift and Pulsar had significant levels of lodging and bolting this could mean that the digestibility of these plots will fall away quickly. It should be noted that for convenience these hybrids were sown at the same time as the kale mixtures at the end of May 2009. In a farm situation for utilisation in early November we would recommend a sowing date no earlier than the middle of July. If sown in May as happened, grazing could commence in Mid July, if backed fence there could be regrowth potential. Maris Kestrel & Merlin still look good all rounders with reasonable yields, no lodging and reasonable seed costs. There are variations in plots, varieties and differences between spring calving cows and spring calving heifers but as a rule of thumb 6kg of barley and 45kg of forage brassica should be fed per head per day along with minerals. This is equivalent to 5-6m2 per cow or heifer per day. The whole field is 6ha, which has approximately 60 tons dry matter. If used in the diet to replace barley or a concentrate the field could potentially save £4,000 (£70/ton) as long as labour and machinery costs don't increase. If the farmer was wanting to grow 6 ha of forage brassica next year but on a simplified basis it would be advised to grow 3 ha of Red Start and 3ha of Maris Kestrel without Swedes. In the early part of 2010 our new seed catalogue will be available where you will find more details of our grass and forage crop mixtures. To reserve your copy please contact the office on 01368 840655 or email

H.R.N. (Tractors) Ltd South Road, Insch, AB52 6XN Tel: 01464 820661 Fax: 01464 820082 Branches also at Turriff & Kinloss E-mail:


60 MAG 25/11/09 1:37 am Page 14


Issue sixty • December 2009

Piped In By Bryce McCulloch Reliable service offered by experienced piper, UK and overseas

01655 889687


The wedding lasts only the day, but the photographs last a life-time. Spend some time with the photographer before your big day to plan and list your requirements.


arriage exists in every culture. There is an innate drive within each of us to find a mate. There is no one explanation for this. It's just natural. Whether we feel a strong desire to have a family, or whether we simply seek that one ally in life who will be there with us through thick and thin, in sickness and in health, whom we'll love, honour and cherish. Finding and preferably, keeping 'the one' occupies a central point in the human psyche. Despite the fact that I have been married and divorced, I must say that I loved being married and I long to be in a partnership again. I still believe marriage is a blessing, albeit not always easy to appreciate and I'm sure few of us willingly opt for a solo existence. As many have said before me, the marriage is more important than the wedding day. However, weddings are rightly a time for celebration and their symbolism and significance


remain important today. My wedding brought together the entire family, which seldom happened. Sadly I saw one or two loved ones for the last time that day, and having stood up in front of my family and friends and made solemn promises, it required lengthy soul-searching before I could break the 'from death do us part' vow. In fact I felt that it was a life or death

decision. But that's another story. No matter whether or even how much we as humans believe we have evolved in our basic needs and drives, our weddings, at least in this country, seem to have evolved and become more and more elaborate. A century ago most peoples' weddings were a relatively simple affair by comparison to those of today, which now form

the basis for an entire industry. Incidentally based on my experiences in putting together this section, the wedding industry doesn't appear to be seeing any form of recession. I rest my case! One thing that has barely changed in the last century is the presence of a wedding photographer. Once a novel addition for the privileged, the wedding photographer and the photographs they capture have become a necessity and a mainstay of all weddings. And despite the relatively late arrival of the wedding photographer in the history of human weddings, their contribution isn't to be underestimated.

60 MAG 25/11/09 1:37 am Page 15

Photographs capture specific moments in time and act as triggers for our memories. As Graeme Pollock, a wedding photographer in Ayr says, 'each photograph has a story behind it.' And indeed, aren't stories a most important part of our lives? We teach our children to communicate using stories, we share our family history using stories, and even, on a global scale we illustrate important examples in rhetoric with stories. As my father says, 'people are people wherever you go,' and most stories illustrate an element of human nature that we can all recognise and relate to. Anyway, I met Graeme, who seemed to me a quiet, almost shy man, at a wedding fair recently. An unlikely wedding photographer, I thought. I had expected an outgoing circus ringleader personality for all the rallying of chattering grand mothers and naughty five-year old page boys they have to do. In searching for an opening comment, and rather than the obvious 'hello', which somehow I felt inadequate at the time, I commented on the most dramatic, eye-catching photograph at the centre of his display. The handsome newlyweds were standing side on, his arm around her waist, she drawn against him and looking towards him. The groom was standing naturally, one hand in his pocket, but with his thumb pointing down. A student of body language, I instantly recognised a classic

dominant male pose. Graeme had simply asked the groom to pull his bride towards him, and in one click of the shutter a moment of passion was preserved forever. Even if I hadn't recognised his pose, it is a portrait I would entitle 'Possession.' Against the movement of her full white dress and glorious background colours, I saw a dashing young man who had pursued his gorgeous girl and was now proud to claim her as his wife. What a moment to remember, particularly during those inevitable difficult times in our marriages. It can be therapeutic to trigger memories of how we felt and why. It might well remind us of why we chose each other in the first place and help us put our differences aside. My grandfather, blind and 90 years old, cried when I told him I'd been looking at his wedding photos, and how beautiful I thought my long dead grandmother was as a bride. He told me the story of how, back in about 1918, he'd driven his motorbike from Edinburgh to Penpont to see her as often as he could. It was a long, cross-country journey, in all weathers,

in the days when the roads across the hills were rough stone tracks. And it seems to me that despite the difference in the stiff wedding photo of my grandfathers day, which prompted the memory in his mind's eye, my grandfather had been just the same as the young man in Graeme's photograph.


60 MAG 25/11/09 1:37 am Page 16

PRIZE DRAW "Win a overnight stay in this luxury woodland lodge situated in the estate at Enterkine Country House." Enterkine lodge is nestled amongst the rhododendruns at the front of the main house and offers quirky but luxury overnight stay experience. Enter through a wooden door into a magical bedroom with a seating and dressing area within the bedroom. A double en suite shower room completes this perfect hideaway for honeymoons notable birthday celebrations and anniversaries.


Which hotel has the woodland lodge? Please send

entries on a postcard to:

PRIZE DRAW,, Marbrack Farm, Carsphairn, Castle Douglas, Dumfries & Galloway, DG3 7TE, by 22 Dec or sign up for the newsletter at w w w . f a r m i n g s c o t l a n d . c o m with your answer. The winner will be notified and it will be published in January.

Issue 60  

Scottish farming magazine

Issue 60  

Scottish farming magazine