Glenlivet welcomes Scotland’s beef industry later this month when well-respected northern farmers, the Durnos, host a major industry open day.
Suckled calf producers need to increase herd profitability
The event, organised by SAC, will focus on the challenges facing hard-pressed suckled calf producers and explain ways of ensuring survival by increasing herd profitability.
Traditionally the calves reared in Scotland’s hills and uplands and sold to lowland farmers for fattening have supplied us with world-renowned Scotch beef. However, while sale ring prices have improved recently, many upland farmers continue to downsize their herds or leave the sector altogether. This reduction in the supply of raw material is worrying lowland finishers, auctioneers, slaughterers and retailers.
The SAC event at Auchorachan on Wednesday, 26th August, supported by the Scottish Government, will address the problems facing hill farmers. It will suggest ways of controlling costs, increasing efficiency and improving profitability. SAC experts will outline new approaches to herd health, nutrition and better breeding. There will be advice on balancing the needs of the environment on a modern, productive hill farm.
Auchorachan, on the Crown Estate and farmed by D & R Durno & Sons, is an ideal venue for the event. Just short of 3,000 acres, it climbs to 2,000 feet above Glenlivet. With only 460 acres ploughable the 160 suckler cows and 550 Blackface ewes are a key part of the business. In addition the Durno family are involved in several environmental schemes, a key element of modern land management.
Farmer Michael Durno is a well-respected cattle man, very much involved with livestock health initiatives. He farms with the help of his father, Leslie and son, Craig, the fourth generation at Auchorachan. Michael's mother, Jo has been a tireless campaigner for farming and crofting communities in the uplands.
The event will start at 11.00 am on 26th August with a welcome by SAC Chief Executive, Professor Bill McKelvey. With presentations and farm tours there will be much to see and learn. Several commercial companies will also have representatives available. Alan Craig, the new Chief Executive of the ANM Group, and a man deeply involved with the livestock and meat trade will give the closing address.
To book a place, farmers should phone SAC on 01467 625385.
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