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farmingscotland.com Issue seventy-four • January 2011


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Skye’s the Limit Secluded coastal farm location Stunning views Book your holiday cottage accommodation now

016444 60644 www.skye-shepherdscottage.com

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CONTENTS

farmingscotland Issue seventy-four • January 2011

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farmingscotland.com Issue seventy-four • January 2011

Beef

10 11

Get Swept off Yer

12 13

News

New Products

Eilidh MacPherson

14 15

Education

farmingscotland

16 18

EDITOR: Eilidh MacPherson Marbrack Farm, Carsphairn, Castle Douglas, DG7 3TE

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Wellies

Life After SAC

World Markets with NZ correspondent

Tel: 016444 60644 Mobile: 07977897867 editor@farmingscotland.com www.farmingscotland.com

Hugh Stringleman

21

Sheep Shearing

22

Rural Round-up

PUBLISHER - Eilidh MacPherson ADVERTISING – Eilidh MacPherson – 016444 60644 Fiona McArthur – 01583 421397 Alison Martin – 01292 443097

Cover - Nutritionist Ian Houston of Tarff Valley see article page 17.. Text and photography by Eilidh MacPherson unless otherwise stated Page 12 -

Andrew Arbuckle

Page 20 -

Hugh Stringleman

Page 21-

Julie Wilson

Page 22 -

LANTRA

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farmingscotland.com Issue seventy-four • January 2011

BEEF

Beef from Banff Livestock Convenor for the NFU – in the North East of Scotland – Michael Durno feels that the Pack report will decimate the beef industry in the NE and across Scotland.

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s the North East Area Representative of the NFUS Livestock Committee, Banffshire beef farmer – Michael Durno – has devoted a fair bit of time to the Pack Report. “It looks like really bad news for this part of the world,” he exclaimed. “When it comes down to working out the formula for farms like this, with quite a lot of cows, the subsidy is 44% down. Our neighbours worked out 50% down. Orkney, with its intensive cattle operations is worse off still with a 60 to 70% reduction. “If those proposals were to come

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in, in 2013, it would decimate the beef industry in Scotland and have a knock on effect on the marts, feed merchants and other subsidiary businesses,” stated a concerned Michael. As a member of the Livestock Committee Michael is looking at proposals for different systems and is trying to come up with something that works better within the North East. He feels that being part of the NFUS keeps him abreast of policies affecting his business. He attends four or five meetings a year in

Edinburgh and the rest are at Thainstone. When quizzed how much of his time it takes up he responded ‘not much,’ but his wife Morag didn’t agree! Michael has been involved with the NFU for the past 20 years, having chaired the Banffshire branch. His mother Jo Durno, who used to write a column for the Press & Journal, presently chairs the Crofting Committee of the NFU. He reckons that by the end of this winter cow numbers will certainly be down in the NE, as with the increase in fuel, straw and feed costs, calves are back £100/head. “There are no passengers this winter – anything not in calf is sold or culled.” “I think we need a signal from the supermarkets that they will put money into beef pretty sharp. A price lift will keep the finishers encouraged. Without the finishers we have no chance. “Hopefully the price of barley will encourage farmers to grow more and help the price of straw this year.” Beef production is the mainstay on the 2863 acres of Auchorachan, which translates into – Fields of Gold – from the Gaelic language.

Three small pedigree herds are run alongside the main suckler cow herd. The pedigree cattle are slowly increasing in numbers, with pure Simmental cows now numbering twenty-four, six Limousins and three Charolais. The other cows are made up of pedigree Simmental cross Friesian with a few Charolais, British Blues and Aberdeen Angus. Michael, who performs DIY AI, admits that for a lot of years he didn’t have a Simmental bull on farm. For a number of years he acted as an agent for an Irish AI company selling semen, but now he is only offering from three bulls in his own right Glenlivet Single Malt, a homebred Charolais bull, is probably the most well known of these, as he has sold a lot of his semen. His Charolais stock bull – Castelmarw Daniel – a Welsh sire purchased for 10 000gns and the Simmental stock bull, Clonagh Tiger Galliant, who was bought in Eire as a calf are the other two. “They are all selling very well as two local independent technicians started up since Genus left the area and are selling a lot of it.” The other Simmental stock bull on this Banffshire holding is Saltire Talent. “The breeding of this bull attracted me. I was looking for a Brighton Brilliant son. He has left a lot of good females, which are coming into the herd now. He has also bred Auchorachan Wizard, the Junior and Overall Champion at Perth last February, who sold for 20000gns. He also fathered the calf AC/DC, who was unbeaten in his class this summer. He was Breed Champion at Grantown Show and Reserve at Keith and Champion at the Stars of the Future Competition in Forfar in November. Calving at Auchorachan is still

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FARM DETAILS Farmers: Michael Durno in partnership with his father Farming: Auchorachan Location: Glenlivet, Banff Area:

2863 acres Tenant on Glenlivet Estate owned by the Crown Estate

Stock:

160 cows 550 Blackface ewes

Crops:

30 acres barley & wholecrop 12 acres turnips/kale/rape for sheep

Labour:

Michael, his father Leslie and his son Craig (17)

Height:

850’ at steading, 1160’ on farm, 2700 on hill.

Positions: NFU Livestock Conveynor for North East Vice Chair Hi-Health

predominately in the backend, with a camera in the shed. The calves are sold store the following September at Thainstone. One would image that costs could be reduced considerably by converting to Spring calving, but Michael reckons that, “There is a good market in the backend as lowland farmers fill their sheds in September and feed grain from their own harvests.” “We have to assist at one or two calvings but there are no serious problems,” said Michael, who has the Charolais and Simmentals recorded with Breedplan. “Breedplan say 85% of good calving is down to cow management

and environment and the other 15% is genetics. The bull is therefore only 7.5%, so the bull calving figure is not that important in the whole picture.” Michael is getting rather fed up with people preaching figures. “A lot are now looking at the figures but don’t understand – they want all the graph to be on the right side. I think that it can be quite a market distorting thing.” He feels if you keep breeding from easy calving bulls with good growth weights, that you will be breeding daughters that are narrower and narrower. “People that do understand realise that they cannot use an easy calving bull all the time, if they do they will breed females that have pelvises that cannot calve a reasonable sized calf. “Look at the October sales in Stirling, a couple of bulls in the top 1% were rejected as they were not up to weight.” The cows come in mid October and the earliest that they go out is 20th May. “I like to sell between 460-500kgs, that’s what the market seems to want,” said Michael, who has five or six repeat buyers from Aberdeenshire. Auchorachan is one of the many livestock farms on the 57000 acre Glenlivet Estate, which is owned by the Crown Estate. It is by far the largest Scottish Estate owned by the Crown: Applegirth at Lockerbie (17300 acres), Fochabers (11900 acres), Whitehill, Midlothian (3500) and Stirling (450). Five hundred and fifty North type Blackface ewes are also run on the slopes of Auchorachan. “I like a bit of size in the carcass,” commented Michael, who hangs the lambs up direct at Woodhead

Brothers as he believes that Blackface lambs don’t lend themselves to live sales and are penalised through the ring. “They come to the same price as a cross lamb when you hang them up.” Just prior to my visit the Durnos had a batch away weighing in at 21kgs, paying £4/kg. At that juncture they still had 150 in the fields feeding off the last of the turnips and finishing pellets adlib from Portequip hoppers. Michael now buys his ‘Perthy’ type

stock tups out of Stirling, often from his neighbour, Stephen Duncan, Auchdreggnie. “Our heather hill is beyond Auchdreggnie – three farms away. It was added to the farm when my grandfather took over as the original hill was taken for forestry.” Texel tups cover 150 of the Blackfaces and these ewes are kept at home on grass for the summer. All lambing is done outside, with Leslie; Michael’s father the main man. The severe winter weather from

last year left its mark on Auchorachan. “It snowed on the 18th December and lay till the end of March. We pulled up and reseeded forty acres of grass that was almost completely killed off. Some clover survived, but there was a lot of chickweed.” The Crown Estate was hit quite badly being uninsured for many the sheds which came down under the weight of snow last winter. But the Durno’s had all the new buildings that they have erected covered.

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farmingscotland.com Issue seventy-four • January 2011

BEEF

“And on that Farm there are some...Pigs, Hens & Highlanders...”

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or the past decade Alastair McIntyre has been selling and delivering poultry all over Scotland. “We specialise in smaller numbers, small holders, small farms and in the past couple of years have delivered more and more into towns and cities.” Alastair, who had spotted a gap in the poultry market in Scotland obtained an HNC in Poultry Management from Auchincruive.

“The course has been very useful for disease, biosecurity and costings. The course has since become quite popular, probably due to the increase in people wanting to rear their own foul. Most of my comtemporaries were from Pakistan.” The layers are independently contract reared in England for the McIntyres – between 15000 - 20000 a year, including around 100 a month bred as meat chicks for the table.

The McIntyres offer a full service for anyone setting out rearing poultry on a small scale. They can provide the foul, housing and even feeding, teamed with plenty good free advice. The past two years they have seen more competition, with Dobbies Garden Centres now offering chickens and B&Q covering the housing side. Advertising in the Oban Times, Scot Ads, Ag Trader, Yell.com,

FARM DETAILS Farmers: AA McIntyre Trading as Cedar Cottage Country Foods Farming: Knockshoggle Lease 100 acres own 5 acres Location: Stair, Ayrshire Stock:

sell 15-20000 birds/year

Other:

Sell at 15 farmers markets a month

Hotfrog, the Small Holder, word of mouth and a new website is how they reach their customers. “We plan to have a facebook page and use Google ads in the future. A shop online is also in the pipeline.” Alastair has been keen on poultry since he was a youngster and did a bit of showing with New Hampshire Reds, Light Sussex and Buff Plymouth Rocks. He says that the Rhode Rock – a cross between a Rhode Island Red cock and a Bare Plymouth Rock female is their best seller. “In the first cross sex link, when the chicks are hatched, there is auto sexing as the females are all black and

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the males have a white dot.” Their largest customers are farmers, who take 500 Isa Browns or Rhodes at a time – “they usually have a son or daughter who has an interest and wants to make some pin money. At the other end of the scale, we delivered 12 hens to a tenament in Edinburgh, where the occupants had a shared garden. Every September a trip delivering poultry to Orkney is organised. Consignments to Shetland and the Western Isles are sent by carrier from Inverness. In busy periods a couple of seasonal drivers are taken on. The McIntyres are agents for Little Acre housing in Scotland. They tried out a few henhouses but reckoned that this brand was the best. Feeders, drinkers and electric fencing are also all readily available from this emporium. They are also agents for Hollyberry turkeys Alastair and Morag married in 2002 and initially attended some Farmers Markets in 2004 selling pork – offspring from Trinny and Suzannah. The couple have now added foul and beef to their stand at the 15 farmers markets that they attend monthly. Alastair’s father Archie spent a lifetime in agriculture – as a stockman

caring for Highlanders for the Earl of Mansfield at Strath Allan Castle, Tarland, Aberdeenshire and Lady McRoberts of Douneside, also in Aberdeenshire. He was also with Jim Biggar, Chapelton, Haugh of Urr. “The cattle have blossomed on the back of the success of the poultry,” explained Alastair. The initial heifer calves came from Kilochries and Knockard in South Uist. Angus Dubh of Inver Castlie’s semen was administered with great results. Rose of Knockard produced Alexander Dubh of Stair, who was reserve champion at Oban and sold to 1800gns. The family took out the Junior bull title at the 2007 Royal Highland Show with a homebred Jock of Stair. They took home more silverware in 2008 from the Highland and last October they scored the champion 2 yo heifer and reserve for a pair of heifers. They were bought as yearlings and sold off as 2 year olds for 1300gns and 650gns. The Highlanders now tally 71 and in busy periods cattle have to be sourced elsewhere to meet demand. November sees peak production with 18 Highlanders being hung up ready for the Christmas rush.

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top price of 5,100 guineas and an average of 2,500 guineas for the 14 bulls sold tells the story of the best ever Premier Sale for the NI Hereford Breeders Association. John and Melanie Williams travelled all the way from Cornwall to make the headlines, setting a new record price with their purchase of Lisrace Loyalist from David Wilson and family from Co Fermanagh. Sired by Lisrace Lionheart this April 09 born bull has impressive EBV's for growth and carcase traits, qualifying as a Superior Carcase Sire he will make the long journey to join the Anhay herd near Helston in the South West of England. A packed saleyard saw pedigree breeders compete with commercial producers for the sires on offer. The

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t the British Cattle Breeders Club Conference recently, Holstein UK President presented Craig Brough from Cumbria with the annual Holstein Young Breeders President's Medal. The award is the highest accolade for HYB members and is presented annually to a member who has made an outstanding contribution to the breed, the movement and their own club. Craig is a member of the Border and Lakeland Club and currently works for H&H Bowe Land Agency, part of the H & H Group plc, after

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graduating from Harper Adams University College in 2008. Now CAAV and RICS qualified, he is currently County Chairman of Cumbria YFC. Craig has enjoyed many successes with HYB, including the Littlestar Award in 2001 for an outstanding contribution for an HYB member under the age of 18. The two other finalists for the President's Medal were Neil Roberts of the Townhouse Holstein herd in Cheshire and Neil Eastham from Lancashire, who is a vet currently working in North Yorkshire. Commenting on the three finalists,

Bernard Liddle said, “It was no easy task to separate these three outstanding Holstein Young Breeders and they are a credit to themselves, their families and their clubs.” “They were selected on the basis of an essay and an interview and all three demonstrated that they are committed to the idea of a very positive future for British dairy farming in general and the Holstein breed in particular”, concluded Mr. Liddle. The two other judges of the competition were John Torrance, Holstein UK and David Dunlop, HYB.

Reserve Champion, Solpoll 1 Grand Slam from John and William McMordie was purchased for 4,200 guineas by Des Kelly for his Mullan herd, Andrew McMordie sold Solitude 1 Gold Bar to Adrian Patterson of Cabra Herefords at 3,000 guineas while M. Horner from Kilkeel, Co Down purchased Graceland 1 Fonz from Robin Irvine at 2,900gns for his Ballyardle herd. The Champion Fortview Frontrunner from David Smyth failed to meet his reserve as did the Female Champion from James Graham. Christies 1 Best Spice topped the heifer trade at 2,500 guineas and will cross the Irish sea to join Mark Patterson's herd in Ayrshire while Dessie Martins Reserve Champion Female sold for 2,000 guineas.


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Frisky to the Fore

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ogent Breeding Ltd has strengthened their beef portfolio with the top Hereford sire Romany 1 Frisky. The show-winning bull is in the top 2% of the breed for retail beef yield and in the top 5% for performance figures and milk. With a breed leading pedigree, he is sired by Baybridge 1 Atlas, the Hereford 2010 ‘Sire of the Year.’ In addition, his high performance dam, Romany 1 Dawn, was ‘Female Champion’ at the Royal Highland Show 2004 and the UK’s ‘Top Poll Female’ in 2005. Frisky transmits the characteristics required for profitable breeding; tremendous muscling combined with outstanding performance figures, easy fleshing, good locomotion and quiet temperaments. With an extensive pedigree and exceptional performance figures, Cogent’s Beef Specialist Boomer Birch explains that he is a unique bull that

will suit all markets. “Frisky has great strength and cleanness through the shoulder, which supports his powerful loin that is full of width and stretch. His overall conformation is outstanding and he is square over the plates with a superior second thigh,” says Boomer. Frisky’s breeder, Rob Wilson, says that the high performance bull was, “greatly admired on the show circuit and his winning highlight was Junior Male Champion at the 2010 Royal Highland Show.” To make elite genetics available to pedigree and commercial breeders, Frisky is commercially priced at £7 RRP and sexed semen will be available in the spring. For more information you can contact your local Cogent Breeding Advisor or call FREEPHONE 0800 783 7258.

Trials show better value dairy rations with bio-ethanol wheat distillers’ feed

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ew research from Trident demonstrates that replacing combinations of traditional protein sources and cereals with 3kg/cow/day of bio-ethanol wheat distillers’ feed could save up to 9p/cow/day at current feed prices, whilst maintaining both milk output and quality. “The trials were carried out on two commercial dairy farms, and used bio-ethanol wheat distillers’ feed to directly replace a combination of wheat, rapemeal and soyabean meal, or barley, heat-treated rapemeal and a high protein liquid,” explains Trident

technical manager Dr Michael Marsden. “The change improved the value of the rations by 4p/cow/day and 9p/cow/day respectively, equivalent to £180?405/ month for a typical 150 cow herd. And contrary to popular thinking, the lower overall starch levels in the trial diets didn’t cause any reduction in milk yield or quality, a fact supported by published academic research,” he adds.


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Welcome to our new country dating section – ‘Get Swept off Yer Wellies.’ Each month we will highlight several men and women looking for their perfect partner.

Max Age - 53 Location - East Lothian Career - Whisky/Creative Interests - sailing, cycling, swimming & photography 1 child

If you would like to get in touch with any of our first four romantic hopefuls please post a cheque for £6 to ‘Get Swept Off Yer Wellies,’ Marbrack Farm, Carsphairn, Castle Douglas, DG7 3TE. You can either include a photograph and your details, with an intorductoury paragraph along with the cheque or you can e-mail your photo and details and post the cheque. Your details will then be passed on to the person in question Anyone wanting to put themselves forward for future issues can e-mail editor@farmingscotland.com with a photograph, their age, location and a wee blurb.

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Dawn Age - 33 Location - Ayrshire Career - Vet nurse/ admin Interests - Pets, collies, cats & poultry, 2 kids, girls under 11’s football coach, shooting clays. Outgoing, social, gsoh.

r

Alison

Neil Age - 28 Location - Dumfriesshire Career - Farmer Interests - dedicated farmer, beef cattle

Age - 44 Location - Ayrshire Career - Ag related sales Interests - walking, swimming, socialising & fundraising for Save the Children

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farmingscotland

NEWS

Issue seventy-four • January 2011

World Food Prices Reach New Historic Peak

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orld food prices surged to a new historic peak in January, for the seventh consecutive month, according to the updated FAO Food Price Index, a commodity basket that regularly tracks monthly changes in global food prices. The Index averaged 231 points in January and was up 3.4 percent from December 2010. This is the highest level (both in real and nominal terms) since FAO started measuring food prices in 1990. Prices of all monitored commodity groups registered strong gains in January, except for meat, which remained unchanged. High prices "The new figures clearly show that the upward pressure on world food prices is not abating," said FAO economist and grains expert

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Abdolreza Abbassian. "These high prices are likely to persist in the months to come. High food prices are of major concern especially for low-income food deficit countries that may face problems in financing food imports and for poor households, which spend a large share of their income on food. The only encouraging factor so far stems from a number of countries, where – due to good harvests – domestic prices of some of the food staples remain low compared to world prices." FAO emphasized that the Food Price Index has been revised, largely reflecting adjustments to its meat price index. The revision, which is retroactive, has produced new figures for all the indices but the overall trends measured since 1990 remain unchanged.

The FAO Cereal Price Index averaged 245 points in January, up 3 percent from December and the highest since July 2008, but still 11 percent below its peak in April 2008. The increase in January mostly reflected continuing increases in international prices of wheat and maize, amid tightening supplies, while rice prices fell slightly, as the timing coincides with the harvesting of main crops in major exporting countries. The Oils/Fats Price Index rose by 5.6 percent to 278 points, nearing the June 2008 record level, reflecting an increasingly tight supply and demand balance across the oilseeds complex. The Dairy Price Index averaged 221 points in January, up 6.2 percent from December, but still 17 percent

below its peak in November 2007. A firm global demand for dairy products, against the backdrop of a normal seasonal decline of production in the southern hemisphere, continued to underpin dairy prices. The Sugar Price Index averaged 420 points in January, up 5.4 percent from December. International sugar prices remain high, driven by tight global supplies. By contrast, the FAO Meat Price Index was steady at around 166 points, as declining meat prices in Europe, caused by a fall in consumer confidence following a feed contamination scandal, was compensated for by a slight increase in export prices from Brazil and the United States.


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farmingscotland.com Issue seventy-four • January 2011

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NEW PRODUCTS


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Lamb Reviver Box Launched

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Lamb Reviver Box to save lamb lives and farmers' time for many years to come has been developed by farm based Solway Recycling of Dumfries. Lambs suffering from Hypothermia are provided with a constant flow of warm air to heat them up in the safety of this draught free Lamb Reviver Box. Easily kept clean to avoid a build up of disease the Solway Lamb Reviver Box is manufactured from 100% recycled agricultural waste plastic. The durability of this plastic also means a Lamb Reviver Box should go on saving your valuable lambs for a lifetime. Designed to give weak lambs the best possible chance of recovery the new Solway Lamb Reviver Box can be supplied flat packed or erected ready

to use complete with a convector heater. It has four compartments, but is easily adjusted into two or three warm spaces to suit the size of lambs. Why make do and mend, wasting your time and losing lambs when the Solway Lamb Reviver Box is available at a special, introductory offer of £199 plus VAT, including a free heater and free delivery. Dimensions – 900mm long x 500mm wide x 650 mm deep, excluding heater protection compartment. Weight – 29.5 kilos. For further details contact Solway Recycling 01387730666, jim@solwayrecycling.co.uk or www.solwayrecycling.co.uk

Maximize Efficiency of Forage Use to Offset Feed Cost Rise

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ffective supplementation will allow sheep producers to make better use of forage, reduce purchase feed costs and stretch valuable forage stocks, according to Dr Cliff Lister, Technical Manager for Crystalyx. “When forage stocks are tight it makes sense to maximise the efficiency with which they are eaten and digested to reduce wastage,” Dr Lister observes. “Good management can significantly improve the intakes of forages. “Hay and baled silage offer the best options for ewes at grass in mid pregnancy as they will be readily eaten. Straw can readily be fed indoors but is unsuitable for ewes at grass as intakes will be very poor and wastage high. Keep hay dry to retain its palatability. Once it is rained on intakes can be poor and wastage high. Independent university research at the University of Newcastle and Kansas State University has shown that increasing and modifying the rumen bacterial populations and specifically boosting the proportion of cellulolytic bacteria improves the digestibility of forage. Where forage is in plentiful supply forage intakes will also increase. “If the digestibility is improved, then more nutrients are released from every kilogram fed to help maintain body condition of all over-wintered stock but especially ewes in mid pregnancy. “In the trials feeding low moisture molasses-based blocks, forage digestibility was increased by as much as 10%. In practice this means up to 10% less forage can be offered without compromising animal performance allowing tight forage supplies to go further. The intake of these blocks can actually be used as a good barometer of ration adequacy since they never replace forage but complement and balance it.” Dr Lister recommends feeding Extra High Energy Crystalyx in late pregnancy to twin and triplet bearing ewes alongside forage to help reduce supplementary feed costs. Research at Kansas State University revealed that when forage is freely available, low moisture molasses-based blocks can stimulate intakes by up to 13% allowing greater reliance on home-grown forages and savings in supplementary feed costs. Trials at Newcastle showed that single bearing ewes can be safely fed Extra High Energy Crystalyx and hay or silage in late pregnancy without the need for any further supplementary feed. Many shepherds report that this system reduced the risk of excessively large single lambs and associated lambing difficulties. “By planning ahead and devising rations that maximise the digestibility of forages, sheep producers can confidently expect to manage forage supplies to last throughout the crucial lambing period and not see performance suffer,” Dr Lister concludes.


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farmingscotland.com Issue seventy-four • January 2011

EDUCATION

Life After SAC The Scottish Agricultural College offers a range of courses. Many students return to the family farm once they have graduated, but for those not fortunate enough to be in that position, there are many varied career paths for them to follow. We have caught up with four ex-SAC students who have excelled in their field.

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Sandy Hay – Head of Agriculture Bank of Scotland and Lloyds TSB Scotland

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eing the 3rd son of a Perthshire arable/potato farmer, coming home to work on the farm was always my main aim following completion of the HND at SAC, Edinburgh. However on leaving college it was apparent that the opportunity to buy land or get a tenancy was very limited, so I started to look for another role, leaving my elder brother to farm on his own. Subsequently he has expanded the acreage farmed significantly through Contract Farming arrangements – oh how things may have been different if contract agreements were as common at that time. I have never been far away from agriculture in my business or personal life. Like many businesses, it is the people that define your interest and

this industry is very stimulating with a full range of people who are optimistic, pessimistic and those with their feet firmly on the ground. I have worked for the bank for over 20 years in various retail, commercial and mainly agricultural roles. Banking has been a real challenge in recent years, but there would be no better place than to be dealing with the farming industry who have been incredibly loyal and supportive. The industry has such a range of enterprises and enterprising people, with skills you know would be the envy of many other sectors, had they not been "born a farmer". Agriculture and the rural economy plays a major part in Scottish business and social life and it is good to be so closely involved and supportive of the sector.


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Angus Davidson – owner Angus Davidson Rural Consultancy

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ngus Davidson started life in a crofting community in Wester Ross. Although his grandfather's croft was no longer in the family, he knew he wanted to work outside, and was interested in stock. “But that backfired a bit,” he says laughing, “because I still have to do office work!” However his office work is in a field that interests him, and that makes all the difference. After graduating with an HND in Agriculture, Angus got hands on experience working at various farms in Scotland, then more during a four month stint in New Zealand. While there, a job he'd applied for with the then Department of Agriculture came through, and Angus found himself heading for a job on Shetland. The small office exposed Angus to a broad range of activities to do with crofting regulatory work, grant applications, subsidies and inspection on cattle and sheep. He stayed for five years, and his experience formed a firm foundation for the rest of his career. He then moved to an office covering all of the Highlands based in Inverness, where his crofting

experience stood him in good stead, and he gained more arable, particularly potato experience. Several more years and a promotion later, he decided to go it alone, and opened the doors of his own consulting business. “I felt a bit like a glorified policeman working for the Department,” he says. As someone who enjoys working with people and who enjoys the countryside, Angus now finds that he can use his regulatory knowledge and experience to be more creative. His consultancy helps others to expand their businesses while working within the current regulations, rather than simply imposing them. In fact, keeping up with the work, the constant changes due to CAP, will probably generate work for him for years to come. “If you can handle a diverse range of work, your prospects are good,” he says. Angus's younger brother James has now joined him on a part time basis, to provide bookkeeping services, and another two part time employees provide agri-environmental and agri-diversification services.

Kai Thompson – Sustainable Environmental Manager for DOF Subsea

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ai Thomspon grew up on a small holding near Glamis. He felt that a more practical course would suit him, so he looked to SAC. With employment foremost in his mind he took a 'gamble' on the environmental sector and studied Ecology and Community Development at the Aberdeen campus. There is little doubt that the practical skills he gained at SAC led directly to his employment in Sustainable Environmental Management Systems and Auditing for oil company, DOF Subsea. In particular, Kai enthuses about an exercise SAC organised, where students spent a day at Quayle Munroe – an Edinburgh merchant bank. Afterwards they wrote an Environmental Audit and report detailing how the bank might reduce their environmental impact and become more sustainable. Kai thoroughly enjoyed this, which clearly reflected in the work that he put into his report, which won him the bank's prize for the best audit. When he graduated with First Class Honours, the Press and Journal published his degree and audit prize.

His now manager, saw the article and immediately contacted Kai, who ended up going straight from university to his first day at work In an economy where many graduates are experiencing difficulty in finding work, Kai is most grateful for the practical skills and expertise he gained from his lecturers at SAC.

Ian Houston Nutritionist, Tarff Valley and Beef and Sheep Farmer

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ith a pedigree of farming on his mother’s side of the family, Ian Houston from Castle Douglas opted for a career in agriculture. Following fifteen months on Forest Estate, Dalry, where he worked as a lumberjack, with the gamekeepers and on farm to gain practical experience he headed to SAC Auchincruive and a four year degree course in Agriculture. Ian admits that he initially thought about becoming a factor. An assistant farm manager position for Smiths Gore proved an ideal stepping stone for Ian, before he was head hunted by Tarff Valley to fill a new role as company nutritionist. Ian (28) has been the Nutritionist at the farmer owned co-operative for the past four years, working in the office on the phone and on farm in a 60:40 split. He helps farmers

formulate rations for their dairy herds, store beef units and some sheep flocks and deals with any problems. The SAC Feedbytes computer programme is used for formulation. Ian feels that had he not been a student at SAC, he would never have had the opportunities that he has had. “I find that I use a lot of what I learnt at Auchincruive on a daily basis. You have to have an understanding of the broader spectrum: agronomy, reproduction, budgeting etc before you can apply nutrition.” In spring 2009 Ian took on a 2200 acre hill farm – Grobdale of Girthton – near Gatehouse of Fleet. So far he has built the sheep stock up to 250 Blackface breeding ewes. “It hadn’t been stocked for five years.” Ewes were purchased from Gass, Blackcraig, Greenside and The Glen,

while tups came from the first three homes and Connachan and Dalchirla. There is a problem with Red Water, a tick borne disease, on the property. It doesn’t affect sheep, but breaks down the red blood cells in cattle. As ticks are dormant in the winter, fifty cows are brought on as added income. Ian is establishing his own herd, having bought five Galloway heifer calves. He intends to breed his own replacements, which should be immune. Long term, Ian would like to breed Blackface sheep that can look after themselves and produce lambs that finish off grass. He also strives to be able to sell some breeding stock in the future. He intends to continue running his farming operation while working full time as a Nutritionist at one of Scotland’s leading farm co-operatives.

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74 MAG 11/2/11 10:11 am Page 18

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hairi Robb grew up in Girvan, South Ayrshire and is now enjoying her first job as an assistant agronomist with Eurofins Agroscience Services after graduating from SAC last year. She assesses new chemicals for their effect on crops such as wheat and barley, oil seed rape, sugar beet, and potatoes in the process for registration. When Mhairi first considered her career options, she was convinced she wanted to be an occupational therapist. However she soon realised that wasn't for her and, encouraged by her sister's experience at Auchincruive, she looked at the SAC prospectus. Countryside Management with its broad range of subjects immediately appealed to her, even though she doesn't come from a farming background. In particular, she felt

Mhairi Robb – Assistant Agronomist Eurofins Agroscience

that farming and conservation, went hand in hand. One day, Mhairi's class was interrupted by somebody looking for new students to do work in the lab taking plant samples for field trials. Mhairi volunteered, and has never looked back. What was initially a ten week paid summer job led to employment in the Agronomy Department during the holidays year after year, giving her a reliable holiday income and a level of independence. Mhairi clearly enjoys her work in agronomy and her enthusiasm for SAC is obvious. She was offered her job with Eurofins the day before she graduated, and has no doubt that the experience she gained working in the lab at SAC was pivotal. “It was very good going to graduation knowing that I already had work to go to,” she says.

Joanna Dick Seasonal Ranger St Cyrus National Nature Reserve

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oanna Dick grew up in small country villages in the North East. Her Dad's love of the outdoors rubbed off on her as she accompanied him on shoots with their gun dogs. Joanna looked to SAC for practical training that would giver her opportunities to work outdoors. Both Tourism and Countryside Management were candidates. In the end Countryside Management won out for its mix of farming, forestry and shooting. After graduating from SAC, Joanna's first job was as a Seasonal Ranger at St Cyrus National Nature Reserve. It's the norm for graduates to start their careers in this field with three to four seasonal positions, before they're taken on full time by an employer. It's also a field which is considered 'difficult to get into.' Joanna says the key to getting work in the conservation field is doing volunteer work before graduation. This builds valuable experience and

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shows enthusiasm and commitment. Having done lots of volunteer work in the conservation realm, which included time at St Cyrus, Joanna was able to get work as soon as she graduated from SAC last year. Her first season's experience included guiding school and walking groups, and conducting surveys bird, butterfly, and wildflower populations. Practical conservation activities included bracken beating and wildflower burning. Her farming education also landed Joanna in charge of a herd of 14 Highland Cattle for a project where a grazing area of rank grassland was taken back to a wildflower meadow. Seasonal work in conservation typically runs from 1st April to 31st October. Joanna found that her enjoyment and interest in shooting provided the perfect natural complement to her seasonal occupation - paid work on pheasant and partridge shoots.

New Clovers

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wo new grass and red clover seed mixtures are now available in the Sinclair McGill range of ley mixtures: Admiral’s Choice, which will produce protein-rich silage for at least three years, and Crimson King, a one-year ley ideal as a nitrogen-fixing break crop. Admiral’s Choice is formulated to produce high yields of protein-rich silage for at least three seasons. It contains the red clover blend Red Admiral to ensure consistent yields through the growing season and a late tetraploid perennial ryegrass to boost sugar content. Crimson King, which is recommended for sowing in late summer/early autumn, will produce high yields of protein-rich hay or three to four cuts of big bale silage

the following year, before it is ploughed in to release nitrogen to the soil. The mixture contains Crimson clover, red clover, a tetraploid Westerwolds ryegrass and Italian ryegrasses. Limagrain UK’s Ian Misselbrook explains: “Crimson clover – also known as Italian or French clover – is an annual type of red clover with very high yields. Ideally it should be sown with a clover inoculant. When grown for hay, the Crimson clover flowers will provide a valuable nectar source for insects.” For more information on the Sinclair McGill range, including the two new red clover mixtures, contact Limagrain UK on 01472 371471 or visit www.limagrain.co.uk to download a catalogue.


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Renewables and Capital Taxes Background Landowner is approached, say, by a windfarm developer to sign an option agreement giving the developer the right to a 50 year lease over land on which a large windfarm development will be sited. Developer undertakes all pre-planning works and is successful with the planning application. Lease for 50 years is entered into and attractive rental terms are offered, based upon a percentage of the income generated at the site. Landowner meantime has not had to outlay any, or very little cash, as pretty much all of the work has been undertaken by the developer. All the Landowner did was to have a quick meeting with his solicitor to give it the once over. The Landowner has not thought to ask about tax, Capital gains (CGT) and Inheritance Tax (IHT), as it was assumed to be business as usual and that all of the normal reliefs due to farmers would be available. The developer has no interest in the Landowner's tax position. Surprisingly, the situation, as outlined, is very common and only when it is too late, does the penny drop. Valuation In valuing a Landowner's interest in the lease over the windfarm site, there are two principal considerations: How long is there to run on the lease and what is the likely rental stream? With this data it should be possible to place a value on the Landowner's interest. For even modest sites, the numbers are big and for the large sites the numbers could be substantial. Tax In this single lease set-up the Landowner has ceased to be a farmer (over the site), becoming “just a

landlord� and, as windfarms are not farming, removed the entitlement to Agricultural Property Relief (APR), for IHT purposes. But surely such the Landowner would be eligible for Business Property Relief (BPR) for IHT purposes, as it is a business. It is, but not the Landowner's business (it is the developer's business) so no BPR either. None of the windfarm site is eligible for APR or BPR. It has become fully chargeable to IHT, because it is no longer the Landowner's business asset. What could the Landlord do? Nothing at that stage, other than to pray for immortality or a very long life, in the hope if the Landlord or his or her spouse were to die substantially through the term of the lease, that the valuation would be low, in relative terms, minimising the IHT liability. Migrating to CGT, the position does not get any better because, on similar grounds to IHT, the windfarm site is no longer used for the Landlord's business and the entitlement to Entrepreneur's Relief (10% CGT rate) is lost. Rollover Relief would also be compromised. What appeared, therefore, as a simple lease, that produced excellent rental revenue, year on year, has turned out to be something of a nightmare, in capital taxes terms for the Landlord.

by Ian Craig

A different approach The main issue is the commercial lease and the fact that the Landlord is no longer in business, relative to the site. Ideally, a lease on more modest terms, should be put in place, with the Landlord entering into a business joint venture with the developer, where the Landlord's interest (beyond the lease) is regarded as being part of a trade, thus safeguarding IHT and CGT reliefs. This could be done using an LLP or Scottish Limited Partnership, such that the real value is not in the lease but in the ongoing trade and the profits that result from that trading involvement. Conclusion It is too easy to be seduced by money. Draw breath and please think about the long-term tax consequences of renewables projects. Having undertaken your own diligence on the commercial risks of a joint venture project, have your solicitor draft sensible agreements to ensure you are protected from the unreasonable behaviour of your JV partner, always thinking about tax and reshape the same deal with a completely different tax outcome. Campbell Dallas LLP are one of the largest Scottish accounting firms, acting for farmers and landowners, with a dedicated renewables team we specialise in imaginative and pro active tax planning advice.

01738 441888


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farmingscotland.com Issue seventy-four • January 2011

WORLD MARKETS

World Markets – Wool

by Hugh Stringleman

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s the world's biggest strong wool exporter, New Zealand is short-changing itself by not participating in the Prince Charles Campaign for Wool with a unified wool industry, according to British Wool Marketing Board chief executive Ian Hartley. Speaking at the huge annual Surfaces exhibition flooring exhibition in Las Vegas, Hartley said New Zealand wool interests were being half-hearted about the campaign. “For the first time ever we have got all wool-exporting countries behind the one campaign and New Zealand is half-hearted about it.” Part of the NZ industry is working in the campaign through the National Council of Wool Interests, including the independent wool exporters and merchants, but Wool Partners International, the largest broker, declined to be involved. Wool Partners International (WPI) is joint-owned by a co-operative of growers and the country's largest rural servicing company, PGG Wrightson. A subsidiary is the old New Zealand Wool Board remnant, Wools of New Zealand, which has three off-shore offices, including Ilkley in Yorkshire, and hundreds of annual partnership agreements with spinners, manufacturers and retailers of NZ strong wool products. These agreements provide a great deal of technical support and marketing assistance for carpet and rug manufacture and sale. However the NZ wool industry, partly in response to much better wool prices because of the sheep and

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wool shortages, is now undergoing substantial re-organisation. Some NZ grower leaders are attempting a Wool Partners Co-operative launch to raise $65 million (representing $1 shares for about half the annual NZ strong wool clip of 130,000 tonnes). They believe in unifying the industry commercially and vertically integrating wool production with in-market branding and marketing with a strong emphasis on fibre sustainability. They would purchase WPI and Wools of New Zealand for about UK£8 million if the capital raising is successful. The commitment period for NZ growers ends in mid-February and it was evident in late January, at the time of Surfaces, that the co-operative was not going to meet its own target of 65 million shares. That result potentially leaves a huge cloud of uncertainty over Wools of New Zealand and the WPI field force of wool agents because PGG Wrightson itself is subject to a partial takeover offer on the stock exchange by China's Agria Corporation. Agria is also reported to be interested in a 63% stake in Wool Services International (WSI), which is New Zealand's largest wool scouring and wool exporting company. That stake has become available because of the financial collapse of one of NZ's richest men, Allan Hubbard, who built a portfolio of farming assets, which are now being sold by the receivers. It is conceivable that the Chinese will emerge shortly as the majority owners of WPI (the largest wool

broker), WSI (largest scour and exporter) and New Zealand Merino, the fine wool co-operative. WPI and Wools of New Zealand were at Surfaces in force, gathering 23 of their US brand partners into one “wool zone” in a high-profile area of the exhibition halls, which covered two floors of the Mandalay Convention Centre. The partners included major carpet and rug companies like Couristan, Nourison, Godfrey Hirst, Cavalier Corporation, Fabrica, Sphinx, Stanton, Hagaman, J Mish, Kane, Momeni, and Hibernia. The annual Surfaces exhibition in Las Vegas covers the size of several city blocks and attracts hundreds of flooring retailers and manufacturers and tens of thousands of delegates. NZ strong wool's presence was but a fraction of the floor space, grouped under the Wools of New Zealand banner. The only other specific wool stand was the British Wool Marketing Board sharing with the Prince Charles Campaign for Wool and a number of UK carpet companies. If the heir to the British throne was here in person, he would hardly have been noticed. The aim of all NZ wool interests and their US connections is to get wool's share of carpets in this market up from 2% to perhaps 3%. Much more than that and our 35 million sheep couldn't cope. At Surfaces, as the name suggests, carpets of all types, mainly synthetics and jutes, occupy only part of the massive flooring sector, with its wooden, vinyl and stone

predominance. That's what British Wool Marketing Board's Ian Hartley was driving at – grouping wool interests together under one banner, the Prince Charles Campaign for Wool, so as to have maximum impact at a huge event like Surfaces, where all the US players in soft floorings are gathered. “New Zealand can promote NZ wools under the campaign brand, as the British Wool Marketing Board can promote UK wools. We can all work together to lift wool's profile. “We will accept whatever Wool Partners want to contribute and we don't want to get involved in NZ wool politics.” Hartley believes the campaign has highlighted a wool trend to consumers, with a natural, sustainable message at a time when the whole world is being urged to be more carbon efficient and think green. Stage two of the campaign will be the international roll-out of promotion. The campaign executive would not try to guess what is needed in the US market, but seek ideas from manufacturers on what would be appropriate. Events will also be held in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Scandinavia and part of Europe, moving to China in 2012. Prince Charles has been very pleased with the campaign so far, such as the support from 120 major retailers, Hartley said. The prince intends to make a number of the 2011 events and record a second video of his thoughts and encouragement.


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Top Scot

140 Open Wins for Johnny

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ew Year's resolution or not, shearer John Kirkpatrick made a profound statement of his intentions for 2011 when he won his first New Zealand Lambshearing Championship at the Western Shears in Raglan at the start of the year. It was one of the few major titles

the 40-year-old hadn't won, giving him an unbeaten record in three competitions this season. In November, Kirkpatrick made a short trip home from Australia where he has been working around Victoria, to win another Friday /Saturday double – the NZ Corriedale title in Christchurch and the Central Hawke’s Bay Shears in Waipukurau. Clearly elated to overcome his Raglan hoodoo, he said he still has no plans to do anything else in sport, other than chasing the shows and watching the exploits of son Daniel,a Super Rugby player and his two daughters. "With the World championships in New Zealand next year, everyone will be going for it," he said. Runner-up at Raglan last year he finally claimed the title by turning the tables on 2008 World teams champion partner Paul Avery, whose training over the last nine months has been directed at his multi-sports debut in the NZ Coast to Coast Challenge. New World champion Ferguson, the youngest in the five-man final was third, just two days before a bid to break a World record of 736 lambs in eight hours in the King Country. There was disaster for shearing icon David Fagan who shore the last five sheep missing the bottom tooth of his second comb, and having to settle for fourth overall. Nephew James Fagan was first to finish – his 14min 39sec for 20 lambs beating Kirkpatrick by 13 seconds –

but suffered heavily in judging and was placed fifth. There was still some silverware for the family to take back to Te Kuiti, with David Fagan’s son, Jack, winning the intermediate final – his biggest win to date and despite being last to finish his four-lamb final. His better quality enabled him to beat runner-up Scot, Damon Macdonald, of Coroglen and Irish shearer Robert Davidson. The youngest shearer on the day, where competitors ranged from 14 to 75, was Masterton schoolboy David Gordon who won the junior title, to go with his famed Golden Shears novice win last March. Heilin Thomas, from Lampeter in Wales, was second, and third was Natalie Crisp, who represented England in the World woolhandling championship in Wales in July. David Fagan ended the visit to Raglan in style when he won the Te Mata Club Speedshear with a $2000 prize for the fastest lamb, shorn in 18.24sec. Masterton-based, Dannevirke shearer Paerata Abraham was second in 18.54sec and Te Kuiti’s Digger Balme third – 19.22sec.

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cottish shearing icon – Tom Wilson – has become the first sheep shearer from the Northern Hemisphere to have been awarded the ultimate accolade in shearing circles – a Master Shearer Award. In fact Tom is the only non-Kiwi to receive the honour. He joins an elite group of sixty shearers. Tom who lifted the World Champion Title at Bath and West in 1984 and the teams title in 19 with Geordie Bayne, is the only nonAntipodean to have secured it. Before emigrating to NZ, he ran the largest shearing run in Scotland, from Grantshouse in the Borders. Now based in North Canterbury, New

Zealand, Tom is a TECTRA sheep shearing instructor, where he is affectionately known as ‘Tommy Gun’ – where a ‘gun’ is a top shearer. Tom is pictured above with his wife Julie, son James and daughter Elizabeth on the night of the awards. Along with fellow Scot, Grant Lundie, Tom recently joined the cream of the Kiwi shearing fraternity staging a fundraising Speed Shear in support of the families of the Pike River mine disaster. Tom, rightly so, has been given the honor of managing the Scottish Shearing Team when they travel to New Zealand in March 2012 to take part in the World Championships.

Cam slams lamb record in King Country heat

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orld champion shearer Cam Ferguson logged another magic moment in an amazing 15 months of triumph when he set a new World shearing tally record in the heat of a King Country woolshed. The 27-year-old from Waipawa, in Central Hawke's Bay, set an eight hour lambshearing record of 742, after a horror start including a power cut in the first 20 minutes and three lambs being rejected by the judges in the first hour and a half. The power cut put the record bid back an hour, and regaining his composure to hit steady half-hour tallies of 46-48 lambs, Ferguson set the record inside the last five minutes before the rescheduled finish time of 6pm. On hand to congratulate him was New Zealand-based Irish shearer Ivan Scott who set the previous mark of 736 south of Rotorua in 2008. Ferguson's record was set at Moketenui Station between Te Kuiti and Benneydale, four years to the day that fellow Hawke's Bay shearer Dion King, set a nine-hour record of 866 in the same shed. Ivan Scott will be challenging that record on Friday at Opepe Trust, east of Taupo. Needing an average of 184 for each of the four two-hour runs to equal the record, and hoping to get close to

Scott's opening run of 192 two years ago, Ferguson opened with 183. But with 188 and 187 in the next two runs to afternoon smoko, he needed just 179 in the last two hours to break the record. He came home strongly in front of an ecstatic crowd of over 200 supporters to complete a final run of 184. Ferguson, with partner Teresa Hall, daughter Kaylah, nan Hine Aramoana, dad Brian, mother Marion and assorted other whanau (family) over from Hawke's Bay, added the record to a string of other successes since the start of the 2009-2010 season. With only three wins in five seasons of Open-class competition since winning the Golden Shears senior title in 2004, he won the New Zealand Spring Championship in October 2009, and a number of other titles climaxing in the Golden Shears open title last March and the World title in Wales in July. The efforts won him the Central Hawke's Bay and Ngati Kahungunu supreme sports awards, and a nomination for the Halberg Awards. He also helped New Zealand to its first away transtasman series win over Australia for eight years and has won more than 60 Speedshears. The most significant loss may have been the 4kg he sweated from his

frame today, from an effort which impressed chief judge Tony Abbey, from Badgingarra, West Australia. "He's done it hard, and it's been a good effort," said Mr Abbey, one of four judges appointed by the World Sheep Shearing Records Society. "It was a very trying start, he had to overcome that obstacle, and he did well to get quickly back into gear," he said. "It was a good effort to rise above it." The shearer was parched speechless, having to wait several minutes while someone went to fetch some water, before someone else intervened with a beer. "I'm buggered," he said, but was quick to thank all of his supporters. As well as Fagan the team included at least five other record holders, including Stacey Te Huia, from Te Kuiti, Ingrid Baynes, from Wairoa, and Rodney Sutton, from Porangahau, all holders of records set in the same shed. Ferguson recalled the moment the power went off midway through his 28th lamb, which went back into the pen while everyone waited anxiously for power to return, initially limited and from a generator. "Some people might have thought it made it easier with another break," he said. "No. I had to psych up and get going again."

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74 MAG 11/2/11 10:11 am Page 22

farmingscotland.com Issue seventy-four • January 2011

EDUCATION

Recognising women business entrepreneurs in rural Scotland

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omen entrepreneurs in agriculture and forestry across Scotland will have the opportunity to develop business and leadership skills through Lantra's Business Skills for Rural Business Women. Already a proven success, the project recognises the entrepreneurial and important role rural business women play within the Scottish rural economy. It provides them with the essential skills needed to participate within industry groups and trade associations to ultimately become rural business ambassadors. Caroline Millar and her husband grow crops and raise cows and sheep on their 650 acre farm. Following a course of training seminars, they diversified, converting a derelict bothy into a romantic 4 star retreat. Caroline said: “There is an abundance of opportunities for employment and business development; it just often takes a bit of creative thinking.� Since completing the training, Caroline has attended seminars

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organised by Lantra for business women from rural areas, to share ideas and experiences, and explore the opportunities for women in modern rural industries. Business Skills for Rural Business Women is available for women from across rural areas of Scotland, including Argyll & Bute, Ayrshire, Dumfries & Galloway, Fife, Perth & Kinross, Forth Valley. In 2011-2012 this will also include the Highlands & Islands, Morayshire and Shetland.

Women will be given the chance to develop their business and leadership skills by attending a range of workshops and seminars including: Support for Small Business, Business Planning, Sales and Marketing, Succession Planning, Diversification and Knowledge Transfer. A number of other exciting networking events are also offered, which includes an exclusive invitation to a reception at the Royal Highland Show. The Business Skills for Rural

Business Women 2010-2012 project has been approved by, and is partly funded through the Scottish Rural Development Programme's Skills Development Scheme. The project is also partnered by NFUS, SRPBA, STFA and SFTT. For further information about the project, or find out how to get involved, visit www.lantra.co.uk/ Projects/Rural-Business-Women, or email Lantra.scotland@lantra.co.uk or telephone 01738 553311


74 MAG 11/2/11 10:11 am Page 23

Highland Renewable Energy Conference

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ith renewable energy continuing to be a hot topic in Scotland and many people eager to gain more knowledge and discuss opportunities with like-minded individuals, law firm Harper Macleod LLP has announced the date of the second annual Scottish Highland Renewable Energy Conference (SHREC). Chaired by Sandy Cumming, former Chief Executive of Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the event will take place on 7th April 2011 at the Drumossie Hotel, Inverness, from 9.30am to 4.30pm. SHREC 2011 promises to delve deeper into the subjects introduced at last year's event, with industry leaders presenting on the main talking points within the renewable energy sector, including planning and development considerations and installation and funding issues. There will also be a series of breakout groups covering subjects such as: Supply Chain Issues; Feed-in-Tariffs and Opportunities for Landowners; and Hydro and Wind. Speakers already announced include: University of the Highlands and Islands' Mike Weston, who will discuss Supply Chain Issues; Highland

Wood Energy's Bruno Berardelli and NFU Scotland's Jim McLaren, who will explore the topics of Feed-in-Tariffs and Opportunities for Landowners; and Hydro will be covered by both Peter Graham from Peter Graham Associates and Gordon Black from babyHydro. Iain Clark, Head of Agribusiness, Clydesdale Bank, will also talk about funding Hydro projects. More speakers will be announced over the coming weeks. Last year's SHREC reached full capacity months before the event, with more than 200 delegates ranging from land-owners, developers, funders, suppliers and community members attending. For delegates wishing to attend, it is recommended to reserve a place early. Limited floor spaces for companies wishing to exhibit are also available. SHREC is hosted by Harper Macleod LLP, a top ten Scottish law firm recently shortlisted for 2011 Energy Team of the Year at the upcoming Scottish Legal Awards. For more information, contact Anne Macdonald by email on anne.macdonald@harpermacleod.co.uk or by phone on 0141 227 9280.

New Liquid Foot Care tackles digital dermatitis the natural way

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eading supplier to dairy farmers Bolshaw Agriculture has added to its range of 'Care' products with the launch of its unique Liquid Foot Care. Designed to tackle the problems caused by digital dermatitis, the product's long lasting protection can reduce the chances of lameness in the herd. This specially formulated lime product remains in suspension so that it can be transferred directly to the footbath without any preparation. Its viscosity means that successful application is easily visible; each cow emerges from the footbath effectively wearing protective white socks! The company's Jonathan Bolshaw says, “Cubicle Care has been hugely successful in reducing the incidence of mastitis on farms throughout the UK, so I'm delighted that we can now offer dairy farmers a similarly effective treatment that will help combat digital dermatitis. Both diseases are a constant headache; the problems caused by any outbreaks can

be hazardous not only to the cattle but also a farm's financial viability.” Cumbria herdsman Andrew Brown has been using Liquid Foot Care at Smalmstown Farm for the last few months and believes it to be the best product of its kind. He says “my own experience has been first class. I originally tested it on a substantial number of cattle and the results were exceptional; they were in the best of health and there were no foot problems at all. I even saved money on the treatment plan that I used previously. “Now, as I extend the use of Liquid Foot Care across the whole herd I'm likely to be making significant savings every month and, most importantly, having healthier cows.” A further benefit of Liquid Foot Care is that it reduces the acidity of farm effluents. As a natural lime product it has a positive impact on slurry allowing time and money savings to be made elsewhere on the farm.

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Issue 74  

Written by farmers for farmers. Scotland's only monthly agricultural title.

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