28th February 2017

Grazing Group Meetings Review Key Opportunities for Farmers

The hosts of Quality Meat Scotland’s six Grazing Groups are set to highlight the key changes they have successfully introduced at the final round of free meetings in the coming weeks.

Launched in 2014, Quality Meat Scotland’s three-year Grazing Group project is now drawing to a close. The final meetings will be informal events to review the principles of grazing management and discuss how improved grazing regimes can benefit the businesses of those who attend.

The main objective of the QMS Grazing Groups is to improve livestock producers’ profitability by maximising the kilograms of meat they produce per hectare by using grass more efficiently.

At each of the forthcoming meetings, the grazing group hosts will reflect on what changes they have made on their farms over the past three years, and highlight any benefits they have seen from improving their grazing management.

Poppy Frater, Sheep Specialist from SAC Consulting, a division of SRUC, Scotland’s Rural College, will also attend the meetings and introduce Farmax software.  This computer programme can provide a forecast of a farm’s performance from pasture

Originally developed in New Zealand, this software is currently being trialled in Scotland and at the meeting Ms Frater will challenge those attending to put what they’ve learned over the programme into practice and improve the profitability for either the host farm, or another farm within the grazing group by making ‘what if’ changes to grazing management.

Michael Blanche, Knowledge Transfer Specialist at QMS is keen to highlight the many benefits of improving grazing management. He commented: “We know that in Scotland we can grow grass; but thinking about how we graze it in order to utilise as much of it as possible allows the opportunity to not only reduce costs, but also to increase output per hectare.

“These are large drivers of profitability and we’re beginning to see positive results from hosts and group members who are making changes to their grazing management.”

The QMS Grazing Group project has been incredibly successful and farmers across Scotland are now implementing changes to their grazing regimes to benefit their businesses.

“We’re delighted with the success of the Grazing Groups, and feedback from group members is that making changes to grazing management is paying dividends. As we start to see these benefits, we are getting increasing interest in attending these meetings,” said Emily Grant, QMS Grassland Co-ordinator and one of the meeting facilitators.

“Although the current programme is now drawing to a close, we will be introducing a second round of grazing groups later in the year.  Watch this space!”

Attendance at these final meetings is free. For further information on the Grazing Group meetings and to book a place at one of the six forthcoming meetings, contact QMS on 0131 472 4040 or email: egrant@qmscotland.co.uk

Grazing Group dates:

South West - Monday 6 March, 11.00 – 14.30, meet at Glen of Luce Hall, Auchenmalg, Glen Luce, Stranraer, DG8 0GR.

Perthshire - Tuesday 7 March, 10.50 – 14.30, meet at Birnam Institute, by Dunkeld, PH8 0DS.

North East - Tuesday 7 March, 18.00 – 21.30, meet at Boat Inn, Aboyne, AB34 5EL.

Borders - Wednesday 8 March, 18.00 – 21.30, meet at The Lodge, Carfraemill, TD2 6RA

Lanark - Thursday 9 March, 10.00 – 13.00, meet at Thankerton Village Hall, Thankerton. ML12 6NZ

North - Friday 10 March, 11.00 – 14:30, meet at Seaboard Centre, Ballintore, Tain. IV20 1UA.

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