The potential to increase profitability by meeting processors’ carcase specification requirements will be one of the focus areas of the next meeting of the Borders Monitor Farm on Wednesday 26 September.
Livestock health will also be high on the agenda at the meeting, which involves a visit to Moredun Research Institute and to AK Stoddart’s processing plant.
The Moredun Research Institute conducts world class research into the infectious diseases of livestock. Formed in 1920 by Scottish farmers, it strives to improve animal health and welfare by developing effective vaccines and diagnostic tools for a range of livestock diseases.
During the visit to Moredun, Dr Beth Wells will give an overview of the research and technologies currently being developed at Moredun, including their knowledge exchange projects. This will be followed by a tour of the research farm.
Whitriggs Farm near Denholm, the Borders Monitor Farm, is managed by husband and wife team Robert and Lesley Mitchell, along with their son Stuart. After discovering that their 1,000 Lleyn flock had a problem with Maedi Visna (MV) at the beginning of the year, they are keen to learn more about disease monitoring and management and are really looking forward to the visit to Moredun.
“Moredun do a fantastic job and this visit is a great opportunity to learn more about their current research. It will also allow us to identify which animal health topics local farmers are keen to hear about in more depth at future meetings,” said Lesley Mitchell.
After lunch, the group will move to the A K Stoddart plant at Broxburn to view their processing premises. During the visit, Jim Ford, from AK Stoddarts livestock procurement team, will lead a discussion on current market specification and what buyers are looking for.
Whitriggs farm 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.
Due to the nature of the visits on 26 September, places are scrictly limited. All those attending will be required to complete a biosecurity questionnaire from Moredun which must be completed in advance. Transport will be provided and the minibus is scheduled to leave at 9.15am, looking to return around 5pm.
To reserve your place please contact Fergus Younger, one of the project facilitators, on 07771 966649 or email email@example.com by Friday 21 September. He will then send you a biosecuirty questionnaire and confirm where the minibus will be leaving from.
For more information about the monitor farm programme visit www.monitorfarms.co.uk