Page 1

farmingscotland.com Issue eighty-two • April 2012


CONTENTS

4 5

farmingscotland

farmingscotland.com Issue eighty-two • April 2012

News

6 Sheep Texels, Scotch Mules, 1 1 Te Kuiti, Wool

Issue eighty-two • April 2012 1 2 Beef Simmentals 13 s usual it is down to the wire. With lambing in full swing and five fields for me to check three times a day as well as the usual on farm routine and magazine duties, life is like a fair. However the chance to head down south for a day, courtesy of Suzuki UK, was not to be missed. You can read all about it in the next issue. On the run up to Scotsheep there are three sheep features in this publication, covering Texels, Scoth Mules, the NZ Shearing Championships in Te Kuiti and wool. The Stronachs of Berryleys, Keith in Banffshire are highlighted in the Beef

A Eilidh MacPherson

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

section, while Eilidh Grieve, formally of RSABI, has covered the Young Farmer Over Wintering competitions in Auction Action. Reseeding and grassland are tackled in the arable and Monitor Farm features, while farmers John Fyall and Kay Adam have their say. This edition is rounded off with an interview with talented livestock artist Frances Minn, whose work in the future will undoubtedly adorne many farmhouse walls. The next round of my lambing fields is due so, so long till the next issue.

1 4 New Products

1 5 Auction Action Dog Sale 1 7 YF Over Wintering 1 8 Arable Grassland

1 9 Monitor Farm GPS

Tel: 016444 60644 Mobile: 07977897867 editor@farmingscotland.com www.farmingscotland.com PUBLISHER - Eilidh MacPherson

2 0 New Entrant John Fyall

ADVERTISING – Eilidh MacPherson – 016444 60644 Cover - Kay Adam, own photo Text and photography by Eilidh MacPherson unless otherwise stated

2 1 Round the Regions Kay Adam

Page 4 - Blackface Breeders Page 5 - SAC (maggots) Page 10 - Diane Allan Page 14 - Companies’ own Page 15 - Craven Market Page 15 - Hereford Cattle Society

2 2 Ag Art Frances Minn 23

Page 16/17 - Eilidh Grieve Page 19 - QMS Page 20 - Anne MacPherson

3


farmingscotland.com

NEWS

Issue eighty-two • April 2012

Blackface Lamb in Demand t the recent AGM of the Blackface Sheep Breeders’ Association, Billy Renwick and Hugh Blackwood were voted back in their respective posts, as President and Vice President for their second term. The prestigious Connachan silver salver was presented to Graham McClymont, Cuil Farm, Newton Stewart for his outstanding contribution to the Blackface breed. A presentation was also given to Douglas Low, who recently retired from 50 years of photography. One of the main highlights of the Blackface year was the ‘Border Blackface Lamb’ sourcing initiative with Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd, in

A

partnership with Dunbia (Wales). It was set up four years ago and due to its success within Sainsbury’s flagship stores there was twice the number of lambs processed in 2011/12 than in 2010/11. The scheme started in November 2011 in line with Sainsbury’s Best-in-Season sourcing policy and ran until middle of March 2012. “This is a tremendous boost for the Blackface breed as we are the only sheep breed in the UK to have large numbers of branded lambs sold on a supermarket shelf. The knock-on effect has been an increasing demand from finishers for Blackface store lambs throughout the back end, and prime Blackface Lambs being highly

Grass Seed Up 50% farmers will be paying up to 50% more for their grass seed in 2012 compared with 2011, due to short supply and increased Europe-wide demand, says DLF Trifolium. The company believes this should not put farmers off reseeding or renovating pastures that are underperforming, as the investment is definitely still worthwhile. “A £20 rise in the cost of an acre of grass seed adds just 82p to the cost of producing one tonne of grass dry matter,” explains Tim Kerridge, agricultural sales director at DLF Trifolium. “However, a 20% fall in grass yield due to tired, worn out pasture could reduce milk output from grass by more than 50%. This is because cows take energy from what they eat to

UK

4

maintain themselves first, before diverting whatever is left into milk production. This has significant cost implications, way above the increase in the price of grass seed. “There will be grass seed to buy this spring, but we would encourage farmers to order early to secure best available varieties.”

sought after in the market place.” reported Hugh Blackwood in his AGM report. All the Blackface Lambs are sourced by Dunbia (Wales) direct from farm and have to be pure-bred and come from members of the Association from the North of England and Central and Southern Scotland. The weight specification is 1521kgs with a premium being paid if lambs are the required grade and specification. Haig Murray, Procurement Officer for Dunbia said "we are delighted with the support we have had from the Blackface Sheep Breeders, they have really stepped up to the mark in helping us process the required number of Blackface lambs per week at our facility in Llanybydder. Alice Swift (Agriculture Technologist, Beef, Lamb & Dairy for Sainsbury’s) stated that: “We work closely with our farmers to ensure that we get

fantastic, fresh local meat and produce in our stores. The partnership we have built with the Blackface Sheep Breeders Association and their farmers is an excellent example of where collaborative working has paid off and we’re getting the best, locally sourced lamb in Sainsbury’s stores for our customers.”

Rear it, sort it, cook it, eat it! roducers old and young are being encouraged to pit their skills and win a share of a £1,500 prize fund by taking part in stockjudging competitions at the National Beef Association’s Beef Expo 2012 – sponsored by Lloyds TSB Agriculture – at the Three Counties Showground, Malvern, Worcestershire, on May 24th. The stockjudging challenge – a firm favourite among farmers – will be run alongside the Eblex-organised English National Farm Shop Butchery competition, cookery demonstrations and a planned beef retail area. Visitors can take part in either the main competitive classes, split by age groups, for a share of a £1,500 prize fund or test their knowledge in an open, timed challenge with the help of Eblex specialists in the main exhibition area. “With live cattle penned and a virtual carcase hall displayed on screens, we’re aiming for a very practical, hands-on demonstration,” explains Mr Westaway. “Eblex staff will be on hand to help advise producers on how to hone their skills throughout the day. The competitions will provide a

P

fun, as well as educational, aspect to the event.” Another element of Eblex’s involvement at Beef Expo 2012 will be hosting the English National Farm Shop Butchery competition – and such is the popularity of this competition that so many have applied the entries have had to be closed early. Mike Richardson, Eblex Direct Selling Programme Manager, says more and more on-farm food outlets are promoting beef via fresh meat counters, hence the importance of the competition. “Competitors will be tested on key attributes – an eye-catching display, innovative use of beef as an ingredient, and a taste-test of what they’ve produced for the consumer,” he says. “We believe the wealth of experience at the event, broad range of trade stands, access to information and advice services, as well as the entertaining competitions make Beef Expo 2012 the must-see event of the beef industry’s calendar,” he says. Full details on Beef Expo 2012, as well as advance priced tickets, can be found online at www.beefexpo.co.uk.


NEWS

farmingscotland.com Issue eighty-two • April 2012

Maggots – the next protein in feed alternative? British entrepreneur in South Africa believes that maggots, the larvae of the common house fly (Musca domestica), are a viable protein-rich alternative to make animal feed. David Drew, managing director of AgriProtein Technologies, plans to set up in South Africa the world's first large-scale fully commercial factory producing "Magmeal", an organic and sustainable replacement for the fishmeal currently used to fatten up chickens and pigs. "By 2050, at the current rates that we are using fishmeal, we will need two more planets' oceans to feed ourselves. The world's population is also expanding exponentially, with India and China helping drive poultry, beef and pork consumption," Drew told Reuters.

A

Abattoir blood His existing test fly farm operates simply – flocks of flies in containers lay eggs, which turn into larvae after three days. Millions of maggots are immersed in abattoir blood and feed on it to fatten up. They are later washed and harvested when fully grown at around 12 mm, before being dried, milled and pelleted for animal feed. "What's been helping us is the price of fishmeal is rising, it is a scarce resource. This is not some environmental tree-hugging nonsense, this is exactly as it is," Drew said at the Mariendahl experimental farm, about 45 km north of Cape Town where the maggot test factory is located. He added AgriProtein wanted the fully commercialised maggot factory

to be on line at the end of next year. The plant would consume 65,000 litres of blood a day, feeding 100 tonnes of maggots and producing 20 tonnes of "Magmeal". International partners were being sought for the $8 million maggot factory, with a similar manufacturing facility planned for Germany. Better than fish meal "We've done the proof of concept with the protein source where we've tested toxicity, meat quality... we actually have an (animal feed) product which is better than what we currently have," said Elsje Pieterse, an animal scientist at the University of Stellenbosch and one of the project's pioneers. "Our fish sources are not renewable ... But this is much cheaper than fishmeal in the end, it is better

protein source because it is healthier with no anti-nutrients," Pieterse said. She added the product was totally renewable and natural, as maggots were known as nature's sweepers, able to vacuum up bacteria. Maggots have been used in some medical procedures to clean up infected or dead tissue from wounds.

Star Show

Fert Fiasco

he Royal Highland Show has won its second top award of 2012, winning the Best Event in Scotland prize in the National Outdoor Event Association’s award scheme. Show Manager David Dunsmuir picked up the latest award at NOEA’s annual convention in Birmingham after being short-listed with the Cowal Highland Gathering. NOEA, established in 1979, is the only trade association specialising in the outdoor events industry. David Dunsmuir said: “It is an honour to be recognised by our peers in the events industry and demonstrates that we are major players in the sector. With the award coming only a few weeks after the magazine award, 2012 has got off to a great start for the show. “We now need to build on these two successes and ensure that this year’s Royal Highland Show is once again one of the best events in Scotland.” Average attendances at the show in recent years stand at well over 180,000 with a record in 2010 of 187,644. Independent studies have concluded that the economic impact of the show locally, regionally and nationally is around £70 million. The organisers, the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS), were established in 1784 and held their first show in 1822 in Edinburgh’s Canongate on a site now occupied by the Scottish Parliament. The 2012 show – sponsored by The Royal Bank of Scotland and staged from June 21-24 – will be the 172nd and the 52nd to be held at the permanent showground at the Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston, Edinburgh.

he National Beef Association is urging the Scottish Government to reconsider proposed changes to the General Binding Rules (GBRs), drawing attention to the huge number of farms that would be affected. Changes to GBR18 and GBR23 relate to the application of organic and inorganic fertilisers and pesticides to land with an overall gradient in excess of 12 degrees. Hamish McBean, NBA Chairman and a farmer from Nairn, in the Highlands, says: “So much Scottish farmland would come under these new rules that it doesn’t bear thinking about. The vast majority, if not nearly all farms, will have some land with a slope of more than 12 degrees. “I have no idea what we would do with our muck if we couldn’t spread it on this land, let alone the production losses that would be result from not being able to provide grassland and crops with the fertiliser and sprays they need. There will be knock-on effects to the wider industry too – for example, the fertiliser distributors that won’t be able to stay in business supplying such a smaller volume of product. “The current rules and a sensible working partnership between the authorities and farmers regarding slopes, the weather and proximity to watercourses would be sufficient. Threatening our Single Farm Payment through this overly strict 12-degree rule will achieve nothing. “The problem is that 12 degrees is so slight a slope. If you imagine a 45degree angle, cut it in half and then in half again, that’s what we’re talking about. Just imagine how much Scottish farmland had a steeper gradient than that.”

T

T

oung people interested in a career in farming and food production will have the opportunity to be mentored by leading industry figures and companies in a new scheme launched in Scotland by the Council for Awards of the Royal Agricultural Societies (CARAS). “We want to inspire and encourage young people to consider a career in the industry and to support them through their first steps,” said Alastair Donaldson, CARAS Chairman in Scotland. “We have a huge range of expertise and experience within our Fellows and Associates network and we plan to tap into that to mentor interested school leavers, young people or new graduates.” CARAS recently joined with the Scottish Food and Drink Federation in its new Ambassador Network Scheme which aims to harness the skills, knowledge and expertise of people working within the food and drink industry. “This is the first step in offering general career guidance from primary

Y

school level upwards and we hope to extend our own scheme to include the individual mentoring of school leavers and students,” said Mr Donaldson. The mentoring scheme will run in parallel with that launched a year ago by past chairman Peter Alexander whereby Lantra Land Based Learner of the Year winners were eligible for cash awards from CARAS to help them make the next stage in career progression. A fund set up with contributions from CARAS members already totals more than £50,000. Last year’s awards included £1000 to Zane Pretorius, a Barony College HNC Fish Farming Student who has gone on to read for a BSc (Hons) in aquaculture and fisheries management at the University of Portsmouth. Mr Donaldson added: “Farming and food related industries offer exciting career prospects and we want to help more youngsters get a foot on the ladder and take their careers onto new levels.” Further information on the scheme is available on 0131 335 6200.

continued on page 9

5


farmingscotland.com

SHEEP

Issue eighty-two • April 2012

The ewes have access to haylage as the grass disappears over the winter. This is normally early December. At Scanning twin and triplet-bearing ewes are shed off and are folded on and off green crop until about 1 month pre lambing where they are introduce to a 18% protein ewe roll fed at 3/4lb per head morning and night. Ewes carrying singles get forage and Lifeline buckets. Ewes receive another fluke and worm dose at housing a week before lambing. Post lambing they are kept in individual pens for 48hrs. Lambs are rung and tagged, recorded on the Workabout Pro then moved with their mothers to clean grazing. No concentrate is fed to ewes after they have lambed.

Quality Commercials at Couterhaugh hen the Friday forecast comes in quoting the following weeks estimated prices its nice to know that the quality of your prime lambs is going to give you a 20p per kg premium over the average,” stated Callum Wight, Farm Manager for the McCosh Brothers Coulterhaugh and Nether Hangingshaw Farms, Biggar, Lanarkshire. Answering his own rhetorical question – “This leads to the question of how do you consistently do this for almost all year round?” – Callum surmised – “You need a Texel or Texel cross ewe with a Texel ram as your terminal sire.” Callum has followed in his father’s footsteps, taking on the Farm Manager position, which his father held since 1968. The Texels arrived in the late 70's – flock number 136 in the UK. The sheep flock has never

“W

6

looked back – consistently being the most profitable enterprise on the farm. “When I returned to the farm in 2003 after a 15 year stint with the Department. I was concerned that the commercial flock was showing too many of the symptoms that detractors of the texel breed would recognise – lameness, mastitis and the ‘Grunts.’ My initial reaction to this was to introduce several different breeds to trial for improved hybrid vigour, including Rouge and Blue d’Maine. It wasn’t long before I realised that the problems with each breed of sheep are basically the same.” “Each of these problems is actually a heritable trait. So you can breed them out or at least down to manageable levels,” explained Callum. “I use EID for this and had been using EID in the sheep flock for several years before it became

compulsory. Any sheep giving problems has a cull comment inserted against her EID and any female progeny she may have in the flock. When drawing your stock ewes in the autumn it is just a case of scanning the ear tags and the Workabout Pro and it pings any that have had cull comments entered. Shed them out, job done, future problems greatly reduced,” shared Callum. “EID, it is a management tool and only functions if you have a database. I have an on farm database, which is why it works for me. To make EID compulsory for traceability without a national database is completely ludicrous and lunatics must be running our officialdom!” exclaimed Mr Wight. In the autumn, 650 ewes and ewe hoggs went to the tup. This included the 125 strong Culterallers flock of pedigree Texels. “Home bred Pedigree ram lambs are used on the commercial flock before being sold as shearlings through the Solway & Tyne club sales at Carlisle and the Kelso ram sale. The breeding policy in the pedigree flock is driven by how the progeny of these rams sell through the prime sale in Lanark Market every Monday.” The pedigree and commercial flocks are both managed exactly the same. Ewes receive a fluke and worm dose prior to flushing with the aim of having the pedigree flock lambing in the last 10 days in Feb through to the 10th March and the commercials lamb from 1st April until the 10th May. “We aim to scan 185% with 175% marked,” stated Callum, who obtained an HND in Agriculture from Edinburgh, before taking on a position with the Department of Agriculture.

“The pedigree lambs are weighed for the Signet recording scheme at 8weeks, weighing in early May and this is usually when we have our first draw of lambs ready to go. As the various batches of ewes and lambs come in for routine handlings from then on we are constantly drawing lambs for market. We try to keep them in the 39 to 45 kgs weight range. Preferably medium framed but heavily fleshed as this is the type of lamb that most buyers want.” In November prime lambs from the Estate averaged £85.49 at 43.76kgs live weight and the cull ewes averaged £107.82 from 1 April through to November The aim at this well run, commercial Lanarkshire property is to sell 20 lambs and 40 shearlings per annum, selling at Lanark, Kelso and Carlisle. “We have sold pedigree ram lambs up to 4000gns this season and shearling rams to 1000gns.”


SHEEP

farmingscotland.com Issue eighty-two • April 2012

FARM DETAILS Farmer:

Callum Wight (Farm Manager)

Farming: Coulterhaugh & Nether Hangingshaws Farms on Coulterallers Estate Location: Coulter, Biggar, Lanarkshire Area:

5000 acres owned by McCosh Brothers

Stock:

600 Texel cross ewes 120 pure Texel ewes 1400 Blackfaces on hill 150 suckler cows, upping to 200

Crops:

100 acres+, includes peas, wholecrop, spring barley undersown with Italian ryegrass

Labour:

3 full time men and Callum’s father still helps

“As Texel breeders we have to concentrate on the shape of our sheep, they need to be easily fleshed. Sheep can have all the high EBV's for growth in the world but that is not what the Texel breed is about. The breed was designed to leave lambs that you can market from one end of the year to the other without being over fat or over weight. “Anyway what do I know?” questions a farmer who regularly tops the Lanark Market prime stock reports. “We will keep producing Texel lambs turning them out to the best of our ability, for a ringside of

buyers willing to pay a premium for them.” A 120-cow, out dated, dairy unit went off this time last year due to low milk prices and the huge investment to update the parlour. The suckler herd is presently being upped from 150 ex dairy Belgian Blue and Limousin crosses to 200 cows, buying Aberdeen Angus crosses. Since Callum has ‘come home’ he has pushed on to be as self sufficient as possible. ‘We haven’t bought soya in 18 months and fertiliser is mainly in the form of FYM and henpen.”

Sale Dates NSA Early Ram Sale Buith Wells – 6th Aug

Stirling Ag Centre Female Sale – 6th Aug

Chelford Club Sale 11th August

Northern Ireland Show & Sale 13th- 14th Aug

Scottish National Show & Sale 22nd -23rd August

Welsh National Show & Sale 24th-25th August

7


farmingscotland.com

SHEARING

Issue eighty-two • April 2012

Kirkpatrick & Stratford Make Team for UK Tour apier shearer John Kirkpatrick may have missed his dream of winning the World Championship but he did the next best thing tonight when he added the New Zealand Open title to the Golden Shears title he won in Masterton four weeks ago. It was the 11th win of the season for the 41-year-old grandfather, enabling to win the Bowen Trophy as the top-ranked shearer in New Zealand for a sixth consecutive year. He headed an all-Hawke’s Bay trifecta, beating Hastings-based Northland shearer and defending champion Rowland Smith by 0.771pts, with just one one-thousandth of a point back to third place getter Dion King, also of Hastings.

N

But the race between Kirkpatrick and King was the feature, just two seconds separating the pair with Kirkpatrick first to the button finishing 20 sheep in 14min 56.05sec, while early pacemaker Smith was third off in just over 15min 18sec. Veteran hometown hero David Fagan, winner of the event 18 times from 1986 to 2010, was fourth. It was Kirkpatrick’s third win in the event, to go with four Golden Shears Opens. It was the second time he’d won both events in the same year. It was a big night for Southland shearer Nathan Stratford, who won the New Zealand Shears Circuit, and a place with Kirkpatrick in the New Zealand team to tour the U.K. in June and July, the first shearer from

the South Island to make the team in 11 years. King won the third Open-class shearing title of the championships, the North Island Shearer of the Year final. Former World wool handling champion Sheree Alabaster successfully defended the New Zealand Open wool handling title, her sixth win in the event. It was a close finish in which she beat runner-up Veronica (Ronnie) Goss, of Kimbolton, by five points, with less than two more points to Gisborne’s

Joel Henare, who won the World title in Masterton on March 3rd. Waipukurau shearer and young father-of-three Tysson Hema also completed a Golden Shears / New Zealand Championships double in the Senior shearing, as did Kaeo’s Bryce Guy in the Intermediate class. Guy’s brother, Charlie won the Junior title, and the Novice title was taken out by Tegwyn Bradley, of Woodville. The Senior wool handling final was won by Kim Sowry, of Eketahuna, and Stevie Mason-Smallman, of Taihape, swept up the Junior wool handling title.

Kuiti) 5min 16.59sec, 29.664pts, 2; Murray Henderson (Feilding) 5min 29.38sec, 29.969pts, 3; Gavin Mutch (Whangamomona and Scotland) 5min 26.09sec, 30.804pts, 4; Angus Moore (Ward) 4min 59.45sec, 32.806pts, 5; Noel Gardiner (Whanganui) 5min 21.84s, 32.926pts, 6. Open Challenger (10 sheep): Mark Grainger (Te Kuiti) 9min 28.58s, 39.629pts, 1; Noel Gardiner (Whanganui) 9min 46.05s, 39.802pts, 2; Tama Niania (Gisborne) 8min 47.77s, 42.588pts, 3; Craig Fagan (Te Kuiti) 9min 22.49s, 45.624pts, 4; Dino Smith (Gisborne) 9min 37.26s, 47.463pts, 5. Senior (12 sheep): Tysson Hema (Waipukurau) 12min 39.84s, 49.492pts, 1; Wi Poutu Ngarangione (Gisborne) 11min 57.93s, 51.48pts, 2; Jack Fagan (Te Kuiti) 12min 48.51s, 54.01pts, 3; Hemi Braddick (Eketahuna) 12min 56.09s, 54.471pts, 4; Shaun Mathieson (Riverton) 12min 43.62s, 54.598pts, 5, 5; Corey Mifsud (Woorndoo, Vic) 14min 20.9s, 56.295pts, 6. Intermediate (8 sheep): Bryce Guy (Kaeo) 8min 13.5sec, 37.55pts, 1; Sarah Goss (Kimbolton) 10min 2.75sec, 39.763pts, 2; Cody Beck (Taumarunui) 10min 32.08s, 41.229pts, 3; Mario Taumata (Taumarunui) 8min 30.36s, 42.893pts, 4; Fraser Quinlivan

(Feilding) 9min 53.74s, 43.312pts, 5; Michael Rolston (Levin) 8min 33s, 44.775pts, 6. Junior (5 sheep): Charlie Guy (Kaeo) 6min 34.91s, 33.546pts, 1; Andrew Leith (Dipton) 8min 33.49s, 36.274pts, 2; Catherine Mullooly (Matawai) 8min 30.14s, 36.307pts, 3; Adam Morton (Wairoa) 7min 49.88s, 36.494pts, 4; Sam Brooks (Pio Pio) 7min 32.42s, 36.621pts, 5; Michael Herlihy (Stratford) 7min 58.62s, 38.131pts, 6. Novice (2 sheep): Tegwyn Bradley (Woodville) 6min 8.87s, 25.944pts, 1; Josh Balme (Te Kuiti) 6min 7.39s, 28.37pts, 2; Holly Granich (Matawai) 6min 48.26s, 34.913pts, 3; Neil Bryant (Levin) 6min 29.31s, 36.466pts, 4; Kevin Whitehead (Pio Pio) 5min 28.12s, 40.906pts, 5; Jamie Haupoaia (Aria) 4min 37.26s, 44.363pts, 6. Transtasman Challenge (4 merions, 4 second shears crossbreds): Warrnambool Australia 218.481pts (Roger Mifsud, Robert Glover, Corey Mifsud) beat Te Kuiti New Zealand 225.892 (Cam Ferguson, Jerome McCrea and Tysson Hema). PGG Wrightson Families (5 sheep): David and Jack Fagan (Te Kuiti) 5min 16.48sec, 25.624pts, 1; Willie and David Buick (Pongaroa) 5min 42.95sec, 29.748pts, 2; Alan and Jock MacDonald (Pio Pio) 5min 34.05sec,

30.702pts, 3; Cliff Waihape and Brett Roberts (Mataura) 5min 34.71sec, 31.536pts, 4; Alan and Sarah Goss (Kimbolton) 6min 19.59sec, 31..98pts, 5; John and Dion King (Hastings) 5min 24.66s, 32.633pts, 6. Woolhandling: Open: Sheree Alabaster (Taihape) 100.37pts, 1; Veronica (Ronnie) Goss (Kimbolton) 105.16pts, 2; Joel Henare (Gisborne) 107.07pts, 3; Lisa Fagan (Te Kuiti) 122.87pts, 4; Monica Potae (Tokomaru Bay) 161.84pts, 5. Senior : Kim Sowry (Eketahuna) 97.04pts, 1; Peggy-Sue Tohengaroa (Aria) 137.13pts, 2; Natalie Collier (Kihikihi) 169.78pts, 3; Rangi Roycroft (Pio Pio) 174.19pts, 4; Nelly Ruki (Kawhia) 195.85pts, 5. Junior : Stevie-Latoya MasonSmallman (Taihape) 80.22pts, 1; Willz Marshall (Waikaretu) 95.16pts, 2; Tara Chapman (Matiere) 110.53pts, 3; Ngaire Puha (Kimbolton) 135.1pts, 4; Ahotaiewa Broughton (Kakahi) 153.13pts, 5. Shearing and Woolhandling: Inter-Island: North Island (shearers David Fagan, John Kirkpatrick, Rowland Smith; woolhandlers Sheree Alabaster, Dallas Mihaere, Ronnie Goss) 258.8pts, beat South Island (shearers Darin Forde, Nathan Stratford, Angus Moore; woolhandlers Tia Potae, Ratapu Paikea, Rocky Hape-Taite) 271.6pts.

Results Open (20 sheep): John Kirkpatrick (Napier): 15min 56.05sec, 57.552pts, 1; Rowland Smith(Ruawai) 15min 18..46sec, 58.323pts, 2; Dion King (Hastings) 14min 58.47sec, 58.324pts, 3; David Fagan (Te Kuiti) 15min 36.07sec, 60.954pts, 4; David Buick (Pongaroa) 15min 54.65sec, 63.932pts, 5; Darin Forde (Winton) 15min 53.67sec, 67.084pts, 6. NZ Shears Circuit (5 merinos, 5 crossbred ewes, 5 lambs): Nathan Stratford (Invercargill): 19min, 6.13sec, 79.639pts, 1; James Fagan (Te Kuiti) 17min 27.48sec, 79.707pts, 2; John Kirkpatrick (Napier) 17min 51.59sec, 81.914pts, 3; Angus Moore (Ward) 19min 13.1sec, 83.055pts, 4; Jerome McCrea (Whanganui) 17min 30.12sec, 83.706pts, 5; David Fagan 19min 19.64sec, 89.915pts, 6. North Island Shearer of the Year (10 ewes, 10 lambs): Dion King (Hastings): 14min 26.5sec, 55.075pts, 1; Rowland Smith (Ruawai) 14min 40.29sec, 55.164pts, 2; John Kirkpatrick (Napier) 14min 37.59sec, 56.23pts, 3; David Fagan (Te Kuiti) 14min 33.97sec, 57.598pts, 4; Jerome McCrea (Whanganui) 15min 2.92sec, 58.896pts, 5; Gavin Mutch (Whangamomona and Scotland): 16min 45.85sec, 60.642pts, 6. Open Plate (6 ewes): Jerome McCrea (Whanganui): 5min 0.66sec, 27.867pts, 1; Mark Grainger (Te

8


Wool @ Scotsheep he Wool Centre – Rediscover the Wonders of Wool” will be a major feature of NSA Scotsheep to be held at Dumfries House, Cumnock, Ayrshire, on Wednesday, June 6. The feature will be co-ordinated by the British Wool Marketing Board (BWMB) and the Campaign for Wool (CfW) and the main static display will come straight from the BWMB/CfW stand at the Ideal Homes Exhibition in London. “A similar promotion at the Royal Highland Show last year created tremendous interest and we are delighted that it is being repeated at NSA Scotsheep,” said Neale McQuistin, vice-chairman of NSA Scotland and chairman of the NSA Scotsheep organising committee. “The demonstration will tell the story of wool from “fleece to fashion” and will be of interest to both sheep farmers attending the event and the general public.” NSA Scotsheep, with Bank of Scotland as main sponsor, is being hosted on the 960-acre Home Farm at Dumfries House which is run as a joint venture by the Dumfries House

“T

Mr McBean also expresses anger at the very short consultation period for the “The Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Regulations 2011 – Proposed Amendments to General Binding Rules” paper, which was published on March 12th with a closing date around April 8th. He says: “This is just not long enough for the industry to respond, especially when many stakeholder groups were not notified and remained unaware of the huge threat hanging over their members’ farming businesses. “The Scottish Governments needs to reconsider these rules in conjunction with the industry and do it in a timely manner, instead of rushing to bring in rules that will have such a negative impact on farm efficiency and productivity.”

Trust and the UK’s fourth largest retailer, Morrisons. It is highly appropriate that wool should be a major feature of NSA Scotsheep as Dumfries House was saved for the nation in 2007 by the Prince of Wales (known as the Duke of Rothesay in Scotland) and His Royal Highness has been the inspiration for the CfW, which was launched in the UK two years ago and has now taken off world-wide. It is encouraging that wool prices have improved considerably from the low ebb which motivated Prince Charles to bring all sectors of the industry together, including the NSA and the BWMB, to instigate plans for the campaign. Other features will include a demonstration by Jennifer Alexander, Jenny Mackay, Ann Ross and Ann Williams portraying different aspects of the ancient craft of felt making – one of the oldest textiles known to man - using wool from native sheep breeds and highlighting contemporary artistic applications. They will present both functional and decorative examples of their own work to show sheep breeders what could be done with wool from their own flocks, including rugs, hats and scarves. The Scottish Storytelling Yurt – a woolly home constructed as a millennium project for storytelling and teaching tactile skills with local wool – will also be featured. The Keeper of the Yurt, Liz Brown, is currently involved in a prestigious project felting the protective covers for the Prince of Wales’ Florilegium, a 175 limited edition, which encompasses 120 prints by 72 leading botanical artists portraying plants growing at the Prince’s home at Highgrove. There will also be demonstrations of scouring, carding and hand spinning into yarn by Marilyn Caddell and Mary Currie using a spindle and spinning wheels. Colourful yarns and a selection of knitted, woven and embroidered articles, made from natural fleece colours and plant dyes, will be on display.

SHEEP SHEARING LORRY FOR SALE Runs Legally on Red Diesel Three Stand, Race System Includes Three Shearing Plants Classed as an Agricultural Vehicle MOT Exempt, Zero Rated Tax Disc

Call – 0779 201 2788

9


farmingscotland.com Issue eighty-two • April 2012

SHEEP

Making Moves with Mules

e may only have a few acres, to farm and small numbers of sheep, but Scotch Mule Association Secretary – George Allan – certainly has a good eye for a classy beast. “I buy in a dozen Scotch Mule ewe lambs in August or September, to show the following year and turnover and sell on as gimmers. It is not always easy to buy a single lamb and a pen is usually too big for me,” explained George. In 2010 he purchased a couple of lambs from Iain Minto, who bought them back as gimmers. Iain went on to win the Royal Highland Show 2011 with her – pictured right. George feels that it is almost as hard to win Dumfries Show as it is the Highland and reckons his most successful outing was there in 2000, with a ewe. “Hopefully after our huge turnout for our 25 year celebrations at Dumfries last year, some exhibitors, who made the effort to support it will return this year.” George has loved showing since he was a young boy and reckons that Billy McIndoe from Patna, who emigrated to Australia, was a great inspiration to him. “He used to tell me what to look for and give advice on tups.” While working for the late Murray Stevenson of Sandyford, Prestwick, with Ayrshire cattle, Murray would buy some Scotch Mules and let George pick out the best for showing. He has always been passionate about the breed and jumped at the chance of becoming Breed Secretary six years back. “It is great getting paid for something I enjoy doing. I have a good active committee behind me, which makes the job easier.” “We are currently building a new trailer for the shows,” informed George, who spends his evenings and summer working for the Society. As full time manager of the Animal Health division of Hamilton Brothers,

H

10

he is kept busy five and a half days of the week ordering and buying products, pricing everything and dealing with problems. “In my role I can offer advice to farmers, but cannot diagnose.” The company deals with farmers across Renfrewshire, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire, Wigtownshire and some of the Islands. There are two staff in the office at Tarbolton, two out on the road and two in the shop at Ayr Market. The website is currently being updated. Hamilton Brothers are happy for George to attend as many shows in the summer, promoting the Mules, as they see it is a great way to interact and meet farmers. This summer, George will be donning his best attire and judging the line up of Mules at Central and West Fife Show on the 2nd June. He has previously placed the winners at Stranraer, Craigie and New Cumnock.

DETAILS Interviewing: George Allan Farming: small area of rented ground Location: Tarbolton, Ayrshire Stock:

Buys in 12 Scotch Mule ewe lambs for showing and sells as Gimmers

Positions: Secretary Scotch Mule Association Manager, Hamilton Brothers Animal Health, Tarbolton Vice President Ayr Show Scotsheep Committee CM Ayrshire Cattle Club On Ochiltree Show Committee

A few days later he will be erecting a stand at Scotsheep. George has very much been involved in the event this year as Dumfires House, in Ayrshire, is hosting the event. Quite the committee man, George has been involved with Ayr Show since 1990 and has held various posts over the years. He is currently Vice President, becoming President this year. “We have changed Ayr Show to Friday and Saturday this year rather than Saturday/ Sunday. Making this move has meant that we can involve school children more and have at least 11 Primary schools from the region attending. Working with RHET we are running special events and competitions for the children.” As George contemplates the show season ahead, he admits he might have a couple of sheep fit for the Royal Highland Show. One is from Allan Shinnan, North Threave and

one from Wallace Parker, Old-Hall, Newton Stewart. “I like them good on their feet and legs to start with, striking to look at – eye catching.” George admits that his daughter Diane, a Social Worker, has caught the show bug and is also keeping him up to date with technology. The Scotch Mule Association is now on Twitter – @scotchmuleassoc and she will be keeping the new website up to date.


farmingscotland.com

BEEF

Issue eighty-two •April 2012

FARM DETAILS Farmer:

Stewart Stronach and his parents Stewart & Hazel

Trading as: WS Stronach & Partners Farming: Berryleys Farm Location: Keith, Banffshire

Stronachs’ Simmentals

Area:

700 acres owned by 100 acres seasonal grass lets

Stock:

80 pure Simmentals 120 commercial cows 3/4 Simmental 200 Highland Mules crossed with Texel/Charollais

Crops:

250 acres malting barley 20 acres oats

Positions:Stewart Snr – Vice Chair Scottish Simmental Society President Keith Show Stewart Jun – Vice Chair Keith Show

rom a heifer bought on a whim some thirty years ago – Marycoulter Lucinda – the Stronachs of Berryleys Farm, Keith in Banffshire have certainly genetically manoeuvred into top gear over the past three decades with their Islavale Simmental herd. It was Hazel – wife and mother of Stewart Snr. and Stewart Jnr. respectively – that always wanted a pedigree herd and she feels that Drumsleed Amelia was the first female to have had a dramatic impact on the herd. “We had her flushed in 1997 using semen from Greta House Supersonic and 18 calves were

F

produced from the one flush. The bulls were good and the females excellent,” she enthused. “We bought Dasham Lucky Strike in 2001 and he really got things going,” shared Stewart Snr, who is currently Vice Chairman of the Scottish Simmental Club. “Glenturk Premier came in 2004 and where he had frame, he put flesh and milk into the herd,” added Stewart Jnr. “He is still going strong and in May is moving onto a new herd.” As the Stronachs operate a family unit, they find they are relatively busy with silage over the summer showing season, so only show locally and use

the shows at sales as their showcase. Earlier this year, at Stirling the family collected several tickets in the judging ring – a red rosette with Islavale Barry in the Junior section, followed by Islavale Brilliant, shining brightly in the Seniors, taking out top prize – Senior Male Champion and then Overall Champion. His cohort, Islavale Bacardi was placed second in the Senior. In the sale ring the Champion Simmental secured second top price of the day at 18 000 gns, knocked down to Robin and Hugh Brunton, who run a 50-cow herd at Arbroath, Angus. Brilliant is one of the first sons by the Irish-bred bull Curaheen Vobster to be offered for sale, and is out of a dam by the 7,000gns Darsham Lucky Strike. Islavale Bacardi, by Glenturk Premier, made 10,000gns selling locally to J and J.S. Wilken, Keith. These prices were the best achieved over the years by the Stronachs, “but our average is always a couple of thousand guineas above the average,” shared young Stewart. The Stronachs sell between 25 and 30 bulls a year, normally selling 18 at Stirling (in three lots), two or three at Thainston and the remainder at home privately (mainly to repeat customers). They also secured the Champion Bull at Thainston – Islavale Bailey, which headed to Orkney at 9000gns. All males are kept entire and run with the pedigree bulls, the non-elite ones head for Scotch Premier at 400kgs dwt, around 13 months old. Currently there are five stock bulls in residence at this windswept northern holding. Couraheen Vobster has been joined by two if his clan – Clonagh A Superstar and Couraheen Bandit. Woodhall Walker and Chesterman Varnley are the others. The cattle are all run together commercially and calving is split 80:120, backend and spring at the moment, although a 50:50 split is the target.

Herd health is high on the Berryleys agenda. They have been BVD and Johnnes accredited since 2008. They have screened for Lepto and IBR with clear tests. When buying, especially from Ireland, they isolate and test for everything including TB. To save on time and labour a TMR fed ration is distributed every second or third day. This recipe includes straw and layered silage, which consists of draff, first cut, wholecrop and second cut silage. Bulls also receive a 20 percent protein mix from Norvite, with added homegrown oats. Andy is employed as a fulltime cattleman, “We really depend on him when we are at Stirling,” commented Hazel, whose 17 year old grandson, Michael also works at home, but is more interested in tractors and the five furrow reversible plough than cattle! Like many family units across the country the Stronachs share machinery costs by operating a mower and wrapper at silage time, while their cousins man the chopper and baler! Senior and Junior Stronach are President and Vice Chair of Keith Show respectively. Following the cancellation of day two of the show last year they are hoping for a heat wave! “As it is one of the last main shows in the Scottish season, we are inviting all the cattle Champions from every show in Scotland, for a Champion of Champions event. Local Blacksmith and cattle breeder, WR Simmers, Backmuir Trading are sponsoring the competition to the tune of £1200. There is £200 up for grabs for winner of each section – Native, Continental and Cross – and £100 for each runner up. Then the Overall is awarded £300,” advertised the Vice Chair. “The judge will be announced nearer the time.” These Banffshire farmers feel that although costs of fuel and fertiliser are scary, there is a lot more optimism in the beef industry and are delighted that Simmental bulls, a large part of their bread and butter, are in demand!


Events 2012 Stirling Sale 7th May Thirsk Sale 8th May Welsh Club Sale 17th May National Simmental Show 6 – 8th July Scottish National Show 3rd – 4th August

KEITH COUNTRY SHOW Celebrating 140 Years Sun 12th & Mon 13th August 2012

New Champion of Champions Event Champions from every show across Scotland will be invited to compete at Keith for this coveted title. Auction on Sat 5th May in the Longmore Hall, Keith auction at 1.00pm, viewing from 11.00am Auctioneer – John Angus from ANM Huge range of items on offer Contact – Show Secretary on 07816 316559

RAPID EARLY GROWTH, THANKS TO CALF-VANTAGE MIX WITH FERMENTEN The results will surprise you. By feeding the rumen's natural bacteria, FermentenTM increases microbial protein production by 12-15% so improving dry matter intake and frame size.

o 20% bigger framed o Calve 60 days earlier Reap the rewards – improve farm profits by calving heifers younger. Invest in your calves with Calf-Vantage Mix with FermentenTM, and it won't just be the calves that will be growing.

VANTAGE FEEDS WITH FERMENTEN

For further information contact: Archie Leitch 07970 026153 BIGGER–BETTER–FASTER

13


farmingscotland.com Issue eighty-two • April 2012

NEW PRODUCTS

Qaud-X Aerator

he Quad-X Aerator blades cut through the compacted layers of soil to open up fissures for better drainage, more efficient use of nutrients and healthier grass. A range of Aerators are on offer, which can be built to your spec; with models ranging from 2m – 6m in width. Each model can come with a 3, 4 or 5 blade arrangement on each disk. The heavy duty rotor allows the aerator to be used in stony ground. Quad-X have spent considerable R&D on the Aerator blade design; to allow maximum oxygen to get to the roots. While exiting the ground; the

T

Record, Track and Share he Bushnell BackTrack series of simple to operate navigation devices have revolutionised the personal hand-held GPS market, giving users an easy way to mark waypoints and find their way from point A to point B without a lot of unnecessary, complicated features. For 2012, Bushnell introduces the BackTrack D-TOUR, a user-friendly, personal GPS device that makes it easier than ever to record your track and find your way back. The DTOUR includes a host of new features – including the ability to record, track and share your adventures – while remaining committed to the “GPS made simple” design. The BackTrack D-TOUR allows users to mark up to five locations, while providing simple distance and direction to each location. This

T

makes marking and locating deer stands, downed game, or a fishing spot quick and easy. In addition to a self-calibrating digital compass, the device provides time, temperature, altitude, and current latitude/ longitude coordinates. After the trip is over, users can easily upload and save up to 48 hours of data to a PC or MAC using the free D-TOUR software application. By overlaying saved routes on a topographic map, users can view routes from hunting or scouting trips, and quickly evaluate the course to determine better routes. The DTOUR also captures key stats including length of the trip, average speed, elevation and temperature. This data can easily be saved for future use or uploaded and shared via email or social media. With the peace of mind that comes

from knowing you can always find your way back, and at just six ounces (170g) and compact enough to store in a pocket or clip to your backpack, this gadget makes your next hunting, hiking, camping, boating or fishing outing safer and more enjoyable. It is available in red or green, includes a USB cable, and sells for a suggested retail price of £99.99. To learn more about the BackTrack D-TOUR visit www.backtrackgps.com. It is available from country retailers and gunshops nationwide. For more information or details of your nearest stockist, call the Bushnell distributor JJ Vickers & Sons on 01634 201284 or email sales@jjvickers.co.uk.

Unique Pistol DehornerLaunched new ‘pistol grip’ dehorner from Express makes this chore simpler, safer and speedier to complete. The first pistol grip dehorner from long established manufacturer Express is light, compact and designed for easy maintenance by farmers. Hygienic dehorning takes less than 30 seconds per bud with 17mm and 20mm reversible tips ideal for cattle of varying ages and breeds. Two gas refills, full instructions and a replacement ignition trigger are supplied with the Express pistol grip dehorner. Each gas refill dehorns around 90 calves and a built in Piezo ignition system makes this essential tool simple to operate. Safe to use in wet weather the

A

14

robust, cordless dehorner has a safety locking device and no visible flame. Very competitively priced the Express ‘pistol grip’ dehorner is stocked by agricultural merchants nationwide. For details contact UK distributor Agrihealth Ltd, Freephone 0800 731 2490

blades loosen the compacted soil allowing more oxygen to enter encouraging healthier grass growth. The Quad-X Aerator is an essential machine at silage time as it also gives the advantage of allowing grass to recover quicker after it has been mowed; meaning improved grass growth rates resulting in a better yield for your second silage cut. The Quad-X Aerator allows the nitrates from fertiliser and slurry to be absorbed into the soil, increasing the root development and boosting your grass yield rates. Through its use you will reduce your fertiliser bill.


AUCTION ACTION

farmingscotland.com Issue eighty-two • April 2012

Charity Dog Trial raven Cattle Marts is to run its second annual open charity sheep dog trials on Thursday, May 17 – and the 70-strong entries limit has already been met. Defending champion, Welshman Kevin Evans, is among them. It’s the first leg of a two-day Spring ‘special’ organised by Craven Cattle Marts (CCM) and will be followed by the annual seasonal sale of working sheep dogs at Skipton Auction Mart, on Friday, May 18. Charity trial entries are again being co-ordinated by John and Carol Palmer, of Twiston, Clitheroe, supported by CCM. Mr Evans, of Penclyn Farm, Modrydd Brecon, Powys, said he plans to return with his 2011 victor Spot, a prolific open trials winner who went on to finish a creditable sixth equal in the World Trials at Lowther Estate. Judge this year is Michael Longton, who runs Rooten Brook Farm at Quernmore, Lancaster, with his father Tim, English president of the International Sheep Dog Society. Both are trialists of high renown. The charity trial begins at 7.30am and will run through well into the evening. Members of the public are welcome and admission is free. Many sheep dog aficionados competing and attending are also expected to take in Skipton Auction Mart’s annual Spring sale of working sheep dogs the following day – entries close on Friday, May 4.

Midas Touch

C

ecords were set at the new Hereford Livestock Market when Grand Male Champion, Bromley 1 Midas, sold for the top sale price of 8,600 gns and the sale of the bulls made a record breaking £4,100.00 average. “Midas”, at 20 months of age and sired by Dorepoll 1 Crown Royal weighed in at a top sale weight of 1,050 kgs, was bred by home county breeders Mark and Maddy Roberts of Hoarwithy, near Ross-on-Wye and was purchased by Berkshire breeders, A.E. Nesbitt Farms Ltd, Cleland Herefords, Hungerford. Second highest price of the day was paid for another 20 month old bull, Fisher 1 Grandee, sired by Yalgoo Boulder. “Grandee” a Superior Carcase Sire weighed 990 kgs, bred by W.J. Hutchings & Sons, Chichester, W. Sussex was sold to J.E. Jones & Son, Chirbury Hall Herefords, Montgomery, Powys, for 8,200 gns. The Reserve Male Championship went to the 18 month old Panmure 1 Hugo sired by Romany 1 Distiller and weighed 800 kgs. “Hugo”, bred by Mrs. J.M. Cant & Ptns, Tayside, Scotland sold for 5,500 gns. to J.D. & R.A. Moorhouse, Cato Herefords, Taunton, Somerset. Messrs Cant went on to sell another son of “Distiller” – Panmure 1 Hercules, 16 months weighing 825 kgs, selling for 4,000 gns to C.E. Moore, Hook Norton, Oxfordshire. Messrs R.A. Bradstock and Ptns of Tarrington, Hereford sold 23 month old Free Town Guardian sired by Border Benefactor and weighing 1,020 kgs for 4,700 gns. “Guardian” another Superior Carcase Sire was purchased by Stratfield Saye Herefords, Reading, Berkshire. From the same stable came Free Town Hercules 17 months (835 kgs) sired by Whartonspool Donizetti. It sold for 3,800 gns to W. Pascoe & Son, Venen Herefords, Cornwall. Messrs L.R. & A.M. Ayre, South Molton, Devon, on only their second

R

visit to a Society Sale, saw their 21 month old Frenchstone P. 1 Challenger, 960 kgs, sired by Bosa 1 Mr. Bean, sell for 5,000 gns to Oyston Estates Ltd, Lancashire. Other leading prices included entries from J.R.B. Wilson & Sons, Kelso, Borders selling Romany 1 Hurricane 19 months 905 kgs. sired by Romany 1 Asteroid for 4,500 gns. to A.E. Lloyd & Sons, Lea Herefords, Presteigne, Powys. M.J. & H.M. Timmis of Baschurch, Shrewsbury selling Shraden 1 Henson 16 months 810 kgs. sired by Bosa 1 Ashley for 4,200 gns. to A. & D. Robinson, Velleyhill Herefords, Corsham, Wiltshire The Show Heifers saw an excellent trade with the Championship going to Messrs J.R.B. Wilson & Sons with the two year old incalf heifer Romany 1 Julia A84 G46 sired by Baybridge 1 Atlas selling for 4,000 gns. to newcomer to the Breed, B. Head of Barnt Green, Birmingham. A second heifer from the same home 19 month old Romany 1 Julia sired by SMH Calgary was also purchased by Mr. Head for 3,200 gns. The Reserve Female Championship went to G. Blandford of Bosbury, Ledbury with a 16 month old heifer – Bosa 1 Dowager 754 kgs, sired by Velleyhill 1 Ho Boy made 2,100 gns, to another newcomer R. Allcock of Shrewsbury. Nine Show Heifers sold for £20,580.00 to Average £2,287.00 The Female non Show section saw a total clearance – the Sale being topped with the only cow to be offered, 3 year old Blakesley 1 Faith sired by Solpoll 1 Boomerang and incalf to Dendor 1 Ernie. “Faith” bred by P. & A.M. Riley of Towcester, Northampton sold for 3,100 gns to R. Allcock, Hive Heath, Shrewsbury. Ten Incalf Heifers sold to a top of 2,500 gns for 3 year old Bosa 1 Brownie 656 sired by Solpoll 1 Boomerang and incalf to Dorepoll 1 93N Nationwide.

15


farmingscotland.com Issue eighty-two • April 2012

AUCTION ACTION

Angus & Tayside Young Farmers Calf Wintering Competition he Angus and Tayside Young Farmers Calf Wintering Competition, held on 30th March at Forfar Mart, sponsored by local construction firm Algo and international ear tag company Allflex (Europe) Ltd, saw Adam Wright take top honours with his stylish Limousin cross heifer. Bred by the McLarens at Muirhouses, the heifer was by the Saphir son, Hafodlas Abram out of a Limousin cross cow sired by Djerk. Adam, a member of Balhelvie Young Farmers Club, purchased the heifer in November for £1050, weighing 310kg. On sale day she scaled 470kg and sold for £3300 (702p/kg) to the judge, Mr Blair Duffton, Huntly. “The Champion is a tremendous heifer with great shape and style, she has fantastic potential for both summer and Christmas Shows. Overall, the quality was very high and it was great to see so many Young

T

Farmers taking part in the competition,” commented Mr Duffton The Reserve Overall went to the Champion Steer from Lesley McLaren, Muirhouses. The homebred steer, also sired by Hafodlas Abram, was awarded Best Opposite Sex to the Champion, he scaled 570kg and was purchased by Mr Duffton for £1500 (263.2p/kg). Forfar Young Farmer David Millar was awarded the Reserve Steer leading his October born Limousin cross bullock, bred by the sponsors, the Alexander Family at Mains of Mause. Reserve Heifer was a March born black Limousin cross heifer bred by Richardson, Myreside. The judge also purchased both the Reserve Steer and Heifer. Forfar Young Farmers Club members dominated the special prizes with Andrew Beattie being awarded the prize for Best Paraded Calf.

The Jockey Jan Memorial trophy for the Best Return on Capital Invested was awarded jointly to Nicola Beattie and Tom Greenhill both from Forfar Young Farmers Club. The Animal Showing the Best Daily Liveweight Gain from Purchase (out with the Champion) was awarded to Tom Greenhill. His bullock, purchased from Messrs D Smith, Scobshaugh, Cortachy had a daily live weight gain of 1.53kg per day. The trophies were presented by Drew and Margaret Wilson, Greenhead Farm, in memory of former Forfar Young Farmer, Jockey Jan Wilson. Other leading prices were: Bullocks: Matthew Steel (CHX) Bullock £1480, David Millar (LMX) £1460 and Rory Stoddart (Lim) £1420 Heifers: Nicola Beattie (Lim) £1400, Matthew Steel (LMX) £1260 and Ashleigh Nelson (CHX) £1200

Aberdeen & Northern Marts Over WIntering Competition fantastic turnout of 80 calves were put forward for the Aberdeen and Northern Marts Young Farmers Over Wintering Competition, which took place on 22nd and 23rd March. The youngsters were rewarded for their efforts with a near clearance rate and 14 of the 76 sold achieving in excess of £1600. Topping the sale at £2,600 were Keith teenagers Lauren Stronach, Maisley, and Reece Simmers, Backmuir. Ms Stomach’s 1st prize winning 11-month-old Limousin cross heifer weighed 508 kg and sold to James Nisbet, Sorn Mains, Ayrshire. This heifer also won prizes for the highest daily live weight gain of 1.59kg and the best return on capital invested in the heifer classes, leaving a margin of £1500. W Patterson and Sons, Ardioch, Keith bred her. Fifteen year old Reece Simmers topped the sale for the second year running when his Limousin cross steer, bred by MacArthur Bros, Mid Fleenas, Nairn, sold to Steven Smith, Sunnyhill for £2600. The steer, weighing 394kg, was placed first in his

A

class and also won the best return on capital invested in the Bullock classes, leaving a margin of £1700. The Overall Championship at the Ledingham Chalmers sponsored event was awarded to Mark Robertson, Fodderletter, with an 11 month old British Blue cross heifer bred by R Hood, Middlehill, Glen Clova. She was purchased at the Spectacular for £800 and weighed in at 404kg. She went on to sell for £2000 to Harry Brown, Auchmaliddie. This was Mr Robertsons second successive Championship after taking the Overall in 2011 with Victor, a Limousin cross steer. The 2012 Champion was named ‘Isa,’ after two famous characters from the well known Scottish television programme Still Game. Mark also received a bid of £2000 for a 16-month-old, 494kg British Blue steer; he sold to Aileen Ritchie, Tamala, Whitecairns. Judge David Blair of Little Inch, Newport on Tay, praised the quality of entries stating that the cattle on show were on a par with those seen at the Spring Show in February. He described his Champion as being very

sweet, well turned out – an easy winner. Other leading prices included £2350 for Lucy Simmers first prize heifer; G A Mitchell, Campdalmore, Tomintoul bred this 11-month-old Charolais cross heifer weighing 418kg. She also sold to Harry Brown, Auchmaliddie. Michael Wilson sold his 16 month old Limousin cross heifer for £2250 to Jack, Kilcoy, Muir of Ord. She was bred by Manson, Upper Northfield, Wick and tipped the scales at 572kg on the day. Jack Hendry, Heads of Auchinderran, Keith was awarded the prize for Best Presented and Paraded Animal with his 478kg Charolais cross heifer. Judge Craig Robertson, Logierait said, “It was fantastic to see such a great show of Young Farmers’ calves and so many young people taking an interest in showing cattle. Overall the standard was exceptionally high and it was obvious a tremendous amount of work had gone into all preparations. We have to encourage them as there are not many young folk these days who want to work with cattle, too many want to sit on their tractors.”

www.farmingscotland.com 16


AUCTION ACTION

farmingscotland.com Issue eighty-two • April 2012

Clyde & Central YFC Over Wintering Competition he Clyde and Central Young Farmers Over Wintering Competition held at the Caledonian Marts (Stirling) on 17th March, was the first of Young Farmers Over Wintered cattle sales – SAYFC members are encouraged to purchase calves in the autumn, feed them during the winter before bringing them out at the annual show. It was well supported with 27 calves entered from 20 SAYFC members. Jean MacKay, Harelaw Darm, Barrhead, topped the sale with her reserve supreme – Stella – a March born Limousin cross heifer originally purchased in Dingwall from breeder John Pirie, Chapelpark, Kingussie. She weighed in at 505kg and sold for £2,800 to J W Taylor, Aikers, South Ronaldsay. Jean, a member of West Renfrewshire YFC, was also awarded the prize for best return on capital

T

invested with this heifer. Second highest price of the sale went to the Champion any other breed, Texas Lady, a yearling British Blue heifer from Craig Malone, Corbiewood, Bannockburn. Gareth Scott, Meikle Ippington, Ardrossan snapped her up for £2,100. Craig originally purchased the heifer for £710 from Bob Cunningham, Nerriby, Bridgend, Islay in autumn 2011. Another calf purchased from Mr Cunningham in Islay, by SSS member Katreen Millar, Port of Menteith, Stirling, sold for £1,800 to J W Taylor, Aikers. This Limousin cross calf, which weighed 450kg was originally purchased by Katreen for £690. Ian Dick, Kipperoch Farm, Dumbarton sold his 440kg Limousin cross to J W Paul, Ballingall, Leslie, Fife, for the sum of £1450. Supreme

and Limousin Champion, Planet Janet, a Limousin cross from Bryony Muir, Allanfauld, Kilsyth sold for £1400. Bryony’s father, Liam Muir of Upper Onston, Stenness, Orkney, bred this 480kg heifer, by Heathmount Delboy, out of a Limousin cross British Blue dam. Ashley Bothwell, Smithston, Patna, Ayr was the purchaser. The prize for best daily live weight gain went to Andrew Morton, Townfoot of Dundaff, Carronbridge and best turned out stockperson was awarded to John Graham, Mains of Burnbank, Stirling. Averages for 42 heifers – £2.92 p/kg and £1357.14 per head and the 34 bullocks averaged £2.61 p/kz and £1253.53 per head. Overall 76 sold for £2.78 per kilo and £1310.79 per head. The 82 sold in 2011, averaged £2.24 per kilo and £997.44 per head.

Perth & Fife SAYFC Over Wintering Competition trathearn Young Farmer – Ali Prentice – was victorious in the Perthshire and Fife SAYFC Over Wintering Competition hosted by United Auctions (Stirling). His 476kg Charolais heifer, which was awarded the Championship by judge Mr Steele, Craignathro, sold for £1240 to Willie Purden, Strathaven House, Carluke. She was purchased at the Perth Show and Sale of Spring born Calves in October for £800 and was bred by G McGibbon, West Quarter, Alyth. Reserve Overall went to Jill Hunter, Perth and District JAC, with her 512kg Limousin cross heifer. She was purchased by Messrs Stevensons, Balmacolly for £1090. Jill, whose heifer was bred by D Houstoun, Glenkilrie also won the Ripercol Rosebowl for Best Animal from Perthshire. Craig Robertson, Newton of Logierait, won 1st prize light steer

S

with a 433kg British Blue cross bred by Gordon Carrol, Edendiack, Huntly. He was purchased by a buyer from Lincoln for £1170. Craig also won best return on capital invested with a 354kg Limousin cross heifer, which sold for £900 to W Brewster, Wester Boreland. She was originally purchased for £470 at Stirling in November when she scaled 240kg, therefore left a return of 91.48%. Stewart Kennedy, Borlick, Aberfeldy, won the heavyweight steer class with a Charolais cross bullock also bred by G McGibbon, West Quarter, Alyth. He weighed in at 552kg and sold for £1290 to George McFadzean, Woodhead of Mailer, Perth. Best daily liveweight gain was awarded to Perth JAC member Gordon Ewart with a Limousin cross bullock bred at Glenlyon House, Aberfeldy. Jill Hunter won the Best Presented award with her Reserve Overall prize winner.

www.farmingscotland.com 17


farmingscotland.com

ARABLE

Issue eighty-two • April 2012

Reseeding Still Pays Despite Price Rise

espite the increase in the cost of grass seed – up to 50 percent for some cultivars – reseeding remains an excellent investment, according to Barenbrug agricultural manager David Long. “Old and worn out leys lose out in several ways as they are significantly lower yielding – up to 40 percent less productive than a new ley in its first year,” he says. “Couple this loss in production with the lower feed value of the weed grasses in the ley and producing highly digestible silage or maintaining top-quality grazing becomes far more difficult. A worn out ley can also waste money as the weed grasses that fill worn out leys are much less effective at utilising nitrogen. A sward made up of 50 percent weed grasses wastes 30 percent of nitrogen applied – that could be a lot of money. “Also, weed grasses tend to be shallow rooted so, in times of drought stress, they are the first thing in the sward to either die or contract back, causing additional loss of production. It really is a case of good quality grass makes money, while poor quality grass costs money – and that’s true even with the high costs of the grass seed.” Results from a study conducted at AFBI Hillsborough in Northern Ireland underline the savings livestock farmers can make on another input that’s seen its price rise significantly over recent times – concentrate feed. The study looked at the advantages of producing quality silage and the savings that could be made in purchased compound feed. The research shows that 500kg continental steers offered high-quality silage – Dvalue 70, ME 11.2 MJ/kg DM – supplemented with 1.5kg concentrate per head per day are predicted to gain 1kg/day during the finishing period. To obtain a similar level of performance from an average-quality silage with a D-value 65, ME 10.4 MJ/kg DM, or low quality silage with

D

18

a D-value 60, ME 8.8 MJ/kg DM, an additional 2.3 or 4.9kg concentrates/ day respectively would be required. Over a five-month finishing period this would be equal to an additional 0.36 and 0.76 tonne of concentrate per head, and would increase concentrate input by £87 and £182 per head, for the average and low-quality silage respectively, relative to high-quality silage. The importance of sward quality also affects sheep performance; work from New Zealand shows a straight-line relationship between grass quality and live-weight gain. A 30kg lamb grazing 9 ME grass, with dead and stemmy material, will gain no weight, compared to the same lamb on 11 ME grass, a short, dense leafy sward, who will achieve live-weight gains of 200 gm/day. For high weight gains, lambs need a diet with an ME higher than 11. This means green, leafy pastures, with low levels of dead matter or stem, and preferably high levels of clover. The importance of white clover in the sward cannot be ignored; trials have shown a 30 percent increase in lamb output from grazing a sward with a high white clover content compared to a similar sward receiving high levels of nitrogen. David concludes: “The dairy cow is also severely affected by loss in grass quality with a fall in yield due to worn out pastures reducing milk output by up to 50 percent. To get the best out of your grassland, keep the grass young and in good condition; and especially if it has been damaged by the recent drought conditions, consider re-seeding with a more drought-tolerant mixture that includes drought-tolerant species like tall fescue, cocksfoot and Timothy.” For your free copy of the Grass & Forage Seeds 2012 catalogue call Barenbrug on 01359 272000 or email info@baruk.co.uk. Alternatively, visit www.barenbrug.co.uk for a pdf.

Drought Buster imagrain UK has introduced a new grass seed mixture called Drought Buster, designed to withstand hot, dry weather that can lead to a shortage of grass. It includes continental plant types, and varieties specifically chosen for their ability to tolerate longer periods of drought. The Drought Buster mixture contains purpose-bred forage tall fescues, Matrix Enhanced Ryegrass, Ensign Plus white clover and tetraploid ryegrasses. The seed is treated with Headstart and Integral to enhance establishment. Drought Buster is available in 25kg bags. Limagrain’s Ian Misselbrook explains: “Tall fescues and Matrix Enhanced Ryegrass recover rapidly in

L

drought conditions, and are used effectively on the continent. The mixture includes Herbie perennial ryegrass, used widely in Spain, as it is also tolerant to heat and drought, as well as deep rooting tetraploid ryegrasses. The inclusion of our Ensign Plus white clover blend will help fill any mid-summer grazing gaps, when ryegrasses are less productive. “We are already experiencing drought conditions in certain regions of the UK, and Limagrain has developed Drought Buster, specifically with this in mind. The species and varieties included in this seed mixture have proved successful in southern Europe.”


MONITOR FARM

farmingscotland.com Issue eighty-two • April 2012

GPS Soil Mapping Hot Topic on Monitor Farm s a guide to targeting fertiliser and lime applications, GPS soil mapping can provide accurate and detailed assessments and this was one of the topics discussed at a recent Moray and Nairn Monitor Farm meeting at Cluny Farm near Forres. Cluny is part of the national programme of monitor farms, which are led by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS). It is a 1,060 acre unit, farmed by Robbie Newlands, his wife Kirsty and his father, also Robbie. They run a suckler herd of more than 170 cows and 650 breeding ewes, with all progeny finished. Spring barley acreage totals around 150. The importance of soil analysis as a tool to help achieve optimum grassland and crop yield, has been discussed at numerous monitor farm meetings throughout Scotland. Like many farmers, Robbie Newlands is aware that some areas of the land he farms are more productive than others, with productivity variation also apparent within individual fields. “Travelling in the combine cab during harvest provides an ideal opportunity to easily spot the better and poorer areas in a field,” explained Robbie Newlands. “And it’s clear from grass growth that some parts of the farm are not performing as well as we would like. “Also, we’re keen to try to keep the trace elements at the correct levels. We know that our soils are low in cobalt and sometimes vaccinate the lambs with Vitamin B12 to counter this. “Some farmers within the monitor farm community group have been GPS soil mapping for a few years and have recommended that we do some at Cluny. So we plan to GPS map 100 acres for pH, Phosphorus and Potassium this year on a mixture of grass and arable. “A couple of years ago, we took on an additional 70 acres, half a mile away from the farm, and it’s very clear that some areas of this land are producing more than others, but since taking it on, we’ve limed it, and until the lime has finished breaking down, the soil won’t give a true assessment reading.” At the monitor farm meeting, George Duncan of Agri Solutions near Alford in Aberdeenshire, explained the logistics of GPS soil mapping as a way to accurately establish variations in Phosphorus, Potassium, Magnesium and pH levels in individual fields.

A

The first step is to create a field shape outline map by travelling around the field boundary with a GPS data logger, recording the location every few seconds. A grid of either a hectare or an acre, (farmer’s choice), is super-imposed onto the field shape outline. Nine, six inch deep core samples are taken from different locations within each grid and are then referenced. The soil analysis results from the nine cores of each grid are amalgamated to provide a single figure for that specific grid area.

The farmer is then either supplied with a field map showing the nutrient levels for each grid, which he can use as a guide for fertiliser and/or slurry/FYM application. Or the farmer is supplied with a variable rate spreading file for use with a GPS guided spreader. “By applying fertiliser and/or lime where it’s needed, and not spreading it where it’s not needed, can help to reduce costs as well as reducing the environmental impact; thanks to limiting application to only the areas where it’s required,” explained George Duncan.

Robbie Newlands has been complimented in the past by the community group for his low “rust” cost which means he has no excessive, expensive machinery and therefore does not have a fertiliser spreader to directly link into the GPS nutrient level map. However, he knows a man who does – “The local contractor has all the kit,” he commented. Adding – “We could attempt to do it with our own GPS system, but it would only be a guide and not vari-rate. And going by the advice from other farmers who’re GPS soil mapping, the spreading is worth doing properly!”

19


farmingscotland.com

NEW ENTRANT

Issue eighty-two •April 2012

Fyall’s Focus

by John Fyall s I write it is raining outside, for the first time in nearly a month and we anticipate snow. We have been enjoying a great spell of sun, with record March temperatures in the locality. I am lambing less sheep this year due to other work commitments, but in weather like this the job is easy, with lambs and calves going straight to the field the day after they are penned. A couple of nights out have also been allowed – the first being a kind invite to the 50th birthday of a man, who left the farming industry to work for an oil industry service company. He was brave enough to invest everything into a growing firm and by applying the same hard work ethic, so often found in our industry, he is now at the helm of one of the fastest growing firms in his sector, with interests around the world. His fortune will now be far more than anything he could have hoped for in farming and yet when questioned what he will do on his retirement? He hopes to keep a few cows! The second night was to our North East Farm Management Association Dinner, to be entertained by speaker Jim McCarthy, like me a first generation entrant to agriculture. He started in Ireland, building up a business with 2000 acres over more than 20 holdings. He was part of a group to take on 50,000 acres in Argentina and has interest in dairying in New Zealand and Missouri, farms in Eastern Europe and has now set his sights on Central Africa. After remarking on the tremendous investment seen in North East farms, Jim wasted no time in setting about his hosts; “Argentinean farmers are a million times better than British ones” (due to open market conditions), and stated the only real reason our small farmers can justify a combine in every steading is as a virility symbol!

A

20

We were in no doubt by the end of the speech of his desire to see corporate farming liberated in Europe by subsidy withdrawal and allowance of new technologies. Many of his points were sensible, some were cruel truth and all were entertaining and we were grateful to have such a speaker. One question I had to ask him though was why agriculture? As someone who has personally experienced higher earnings and lesser hours off farm, I justify to myself that I am here because I enjoy it. Even with an overdraft and pressing deadlines I still find satisfaction and fulfilment in farming, especially in weather like March 2012. But Jim McCarthy, who entered our industry to work as a farmer, now (I presumed) no longer milks cows or breaks in a seedbed himself and I am sure if he had applied his drive and hard work in the oil industry could probably be a wealthier man; so why be an agri-businessman if the returns are lower than other arenas and he cannot experience the joy of day to day miracles on the ground? Because he answered, he still gets a buzz from it, the drive of business and trying new things is what makes him tick. I am in no doubt that Jim and his backers have made money and like us all probably share the optimism that one day agriculture could be very profitable again. But there are only so many companies like his that we could stand in our small island and is this the way forward? Recently at another meeting hobby farmers were slated, but I could argue I am a hobby farmer. I know folk with 1000 acres that could fit that description. A hobby is a pursuit that you do for pleasure without making money. Take away the subsidy and many people would fall into that category rather than the title of agri-businessman. In recent years many have considered pocketing their historic subsidy and farming less. It could be more profitable and take away pressures to make the job more enjoyable. What to do myself? I am very busy off farm and have the opportunity of more work, but at the same time am trying to grow a farming business, but could very well cut the seasonal lets and enjoy farming on a hundred acres and have more time and spare cash. If my Euro millions number came up would I buy a nice unit, raise enough produce to keep one family busy and have a big healthy bank account as a fallback. Or would I take on as big a unit as I could afford and throw all the hours in the year at keeping it going forward? It is a tough call, I’m sure you’ve thought about it....


Around the Regions Kay Adam - Angus ambing is here once again and as I sit down to composes this article, It’s Mother’s Day, the sun is shining, lambs are skipping around the paddock, Bob has finished all the sowing and we are just waiting to see our new venture to pop through the ground. The 1st of March saw Bob sow a field of protein beans, a feed that we are using more and more of lately but finding it harder and harder to source, so he’s decided to give it a go this year and grow our own. But one thing is for sure he’s definitely not looking forward to the prospect of washing out the combine in late October! Andrew and James are both now away at boarding school during the week, so I have inherited the job of feeding the ferret, not my favourite job but last week he managed to get a rabbit in the wood pile while he was out for exercise, so that one less to eat my flowers. Lately the boys haven’t been spending much of their weekends here at Newhouse they have a much bigger attraction to fill their weekends....... My sister Hazel and her husband Robert McNee have bought a farm, after a few years of searching, they are now in residence at Over Finlarg Farm, which is only 4 miles from Newhouse so I have lost all my weekend time with the boys! Fencing and draining experts they shall become. Anybody who knows my sister will find this quite normal, but one of the last things to move to Finlarg was the cooker, so guess who’s been doing a

L

lot of extra catering. But it is lovely to have them so close and Uncle Robert is God in the eyes of the boys. It will be interested to see what breed of cattle dominates the pastures in a few years time as its Hazel’s Limousins verses Robert’s Luings at the moment – let the battle commence! We’ve had a good start to the bull sales this year and it’s great to see all breeds of cattle getting a boost. I’ve had another project on my to do list for a while – it is now up and running – our herd website. It, along with face book has been a great marketing tool before the bull sales. We post up photos of the stock going to the sales and you can have a look from the comfort of your armchair! If you want to look us up you’ll find us at www.adamnewhouse.com and hopefully I’ll get pictures of the May batch of bulls on it soon. There have been a few changes up at Auldallan – the hill farm; I spent four and a half weeks caravanning there last spring..... no, it was no holiday, our shepherd left just before lambing. So armed with my late father’s dog, I had a lambing to complete and looking back I did enjoy it but I didn’t come back the size 12 that I had wished for! I gained 3 blackie pets and a rather bad dose of orf on my thumb, but there is something about being the only person out in the fields, at one with nature...well that’s what I thought. But seemingly my voice carries very well, and it wasn’t always sweet listening to me shouting at my dog when it was catching the wrong ewe!!

(So the game keepers told me) We have stopped breeding Blackface tups and moved away from using the Perthshire type. It was all South type tups that went out with the ewes this year; we felt our ewes were becoming too inbred and a move to using south type should hopefully help this. We have also increased the size of the flock with the addition of 200 Lairg type Cheviots. We have admired them for a while and thought we would give them ago, so some Cheviot tups were bought as well and most importantly for me we employed a new shepherd Brain Cocker (pictured below) in the month of July so hopefully I don’t need another caravanning holiday this year! I’ve had a few judging jobs this past summer and it’s always a bit of a busman’s holiday when we get asked to judge a show. This summer I had the job of judging the National Limousin Show in Tullamore, Southern Ireland, this was probably the largest show I will ever judge with the most outstanding classes of females I have ever seen. My nerves always play up beforehand, but once I was in the ring I loved it! In November I had the Aberdeen Angus Calf show to judge at the Winter Fair. This was the breed I first fell in love with and used to show my Angus cow all over the place when I was young. But this was also the breed that Dad used to be the pre bull sale inspector, at the old Perth Mart and he was given the nick name of Doctor Death, So I hope I don’t become known as Doctors Deaths Daughter!!

There’s not a day goes by that I don’t have a thought about my late Dad. As I wrote my last article for farmingscotland.com Dad was very ill and sadly lost his battle with cancer. I will have to give him a wee mention as he was my inspiration and encouraged me to follow my dreams... which at age 4 to be a cattle wifey wasn’t too hard!!! Dad worked hard, and passed on his love of livestock to all his family and as many of his friends know he partied hard too and liked nothing more than to be asked to judge a show. And when I was judging around the country last summer, and found myself torn between two animals I’d ask myself what would Dad have done and the answer then become quite clear. Well as I finish my news for Newhouse this spring, remember if you need a bull in May look us up at Stirling or Carlisle and let’s hope the weather is kind for the hill lambing, the Cheviots do well and that the pigeons don’t eat all the beans before they get through the ground!


farmingscotland.com

AG ART

Issue eighty-two • April 2012

Amazing Art nstantly recognisable as £44 000 Highland Strom from Connachan, the oil painting, of a Blackface Tup, in the window of the Dufftown art studio draws in passing visitors to the Whisky drenched Banffshire town. “Rome was built on seven hills, Dufftown stands on seven stills,” – Mortlach, Glenfiddich, Balvenie, Glendullan, Dufftown, Pottyvaich and Kininvie – have proved of great benefit for artist Frances Minns, who has sold numerous paintings across the country and further a field to passing trade. The Highland Bull pictured above was a commission from Berkshire. From an early age a love of animals drew Frances into a career as a Vet Nurse, leading onto teaching at various colleges across the country – Thurso and the Barony in Dumfriesshire. She is presently lecturing Animal Care, up to HND level, full time at Aberdeen College. Incidentally the Animal Care section at Clinerty is being relocated to buildings at the SAC campus. Her father introduced her to the work of Alfred Munnings at Norwich Castle Museum, when she was a youngster. It was his painting of “Sunny June” that inspired this talented artist that horses and farm animals could be beautifully reproduced on canvas. Frances went on to gain a degree in Fine Art. She now spends all her spare time capturing and painting horses and animals in still life in order to display their unique qualities. She works in oils, acrylics pastels and pencil. “I believe that in order to paint animals at their best, I typically spend several hours with “clients” taking a series of photographs. The owners

I

22

then choose what they think displays the best view of their animal as they see them, before I begin to reproduce it on canvas.” Frances is ‘quite mobile’ and prepared to travel the length and breadth of the country to capture photographs of the livestock before painting commences. She charges between £270 to £350 for framed commissions. She is the first to admit that after a life time of Veterinary Practice and teaching at various Colleges throughout Scotland, she has only being playing at her painting but now feels that all her experience has given her an insight into how to best capture animals. “I would love to paint full time,” she shared. Until now her work has mainly been sold by word of mouth. Taking on the shop last year has broadened her clientele base and her website – www.francesminns.co.uk – will be launched this afternoon as well as a Facebook page. Sale of geclee prints and cards were kicking off at Easter. “If it takes off I will give up teaching,” she added. Frances is married to Calum Gill, stockman at Glenrinnes, but keeps her own name for her artwork. She has three grown up children from a previous marriage – one works as a spraying engineer for AM Phillips. As well as painting on canvas, Frances is willing to paint farm signs and show kists. From the wonderful artwork I viewed in the studio in Dufftown, in my opinion, it will certainly not be long before Frances is wielding a paintbrush on a daily basis.

Frances Working in

Availa

Show kists and www.francesminns.co Moblie – 07787414354


ces Minns Animal Artist

king in Oils, Acrylics, Pastels & Pencil

Available for Commissions

ists and farm signs to order. Prints available inns.co.uk frances@francesminns.co.uk 7414354 Answer Machine – 01340 820448 23


Issue 82  

Monthly farming magazine, written by farmers for farmers.

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you