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Stackyard News Dec  07

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    Launch of Lothian & Borders Arable Monitor Farm

Nearly 50 farmers and professionals from the rural community attended the launch of the most recently established Monitor Farm project in the Lothian and Border region; Woodhead Farm, near Gifford, East Lothian.

Monitor Farm Group tour Woodhead Farm

Monitor Farm Group tour Woodhead Farm

The launch event on 20 November included a tour of the farm, conducted by Monitor Farmer, Hugh Broad.
The Lothian & Borders Arable Monitor Farm project at Woodhead is being undertaken in conjunction with HGCA, Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise and will be in two parts:

  • Firstly the Monitor Farm, which is typical of the area, will provide a focus for a Community Group of local farmers who will become more involved in the decision making process.
  • Secondly, three Arable Business Groups, which will be formed within the Lothian and Border areas, will discuss and adapt the findings of the Monitor Farm to their own circumstances.

The Community Group will not only have a membership comprised of farmers, but will involve members from the wider community, and will set objectives such as improving profitability, adopting best practice, taking a whole farm business approach, discussing items of common concern, measuring performance, benchmarking (Monitor Farm and group results) and small scale trials & demonstrations. It is believed that through the setting of such objectives will lead to better decisions, a positive attitude to change, and faster adoption of proven ideas.

Jenny Batchelor, HGCA, said, “The aim is to improve the viability and efficiency of farms in the area by promoting best practice and encouraging the uptake of new ideas as well as tried and trusted farming techniques”.

The Monitor Farm concept was originally introduced by Iain Riddell, SAC Select Services, with Woodhead joining a network of 15 established Monitor Farms across Scotland. He said,
"Today, we want to form the Farm Community Group, and get to know the farm and farmer, as well as creating achievable objectives for future meetings”

The massive fluctuations in the grain price this year, and the difficulty in actually realising the highest prices meant the group were keen to discuss how best to market their crop for the coming year. This subject will form the basis of the next meeting to be held at Woodhead on Wednesday 16th January.

link Good for Corn Worrying for Horn
link Catana OSR Joins HGCA Recommended List
link Lothian and Borders Farmers Invited to Participate in New Arable Monitor Farm

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