At the Angus Monitor Farm Open Day on 15 July the Stodart family will discuss how far they have come, and where they want to be by the end of the project.
Since the family signed up to the Monitor Farm Scotland programme late in 2016 they have made some big steps forward. They’ve moved into egg production, their sheep numbers have almost doubled without taking on any more land and they have significantly improved their cattle fertility, however they know there is more to be done.
Monitor farmer Rob Stodart explains: “We’ve been really pleased with our progress this year, we have made some really big changes to how we work and we are starting to see the benefits. At this coming meeting we’ll talk about what we’ve covered but we’ll also be discussing what we do in the next 18 months.
“A couple of key areas will be the sheep, taking a more focused approach to rotational grazing, making sure we have the right breed for our system and then moving towards a closed flock. We want to trial using EID with the cattle to improve our feeding and management there, and we want to focus more on arable, looking to maximise our yield without increasing inputs, with a focus on soil health. We are also in the process of succession planning.”
Local farmers will be able to make suggestions for areas to cover in the next 18 months at the coming Open Day which starts with a farm tour at the family’s Drowndubbs unit. Attendees will visit four stations – cattle, sheep, grassland and arable – and speak to the Stodarts, and members of the project’s Management Team, about the plans for the year ahead. Karen Stewart from SAC Consulting will also discuss managing forage during prolonged dry periods.
After the tour the groups will return to Mill of Inverarity Farm for a charity stock judging contest (using a selection of the Stodart’s livestock) which will cost £5 to enter and the proceeds will be donated to research into Crohns disease. The afternoon will be closed with a BBQ
The Angus Monitor is one of nine monitor farms established in Scotland as part of a joint initiative by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds with funding from the Scottish Government. The aim of the monitor farm programme is to help improve the productivity, profitability and sustainability of Scottish farm businesses.
The Monitor Farm meeting will take place on Drownubbs Farm, on Sunday 15 July from 2pm to approximately 6pm. The event is free to attend but to assist with catering attendees should book a place by contacting Stacey Hamilton by phone (01569 762305) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).