3rd July 2014

Kintyre Monitor Farm to Host Open Day and Evening Event

Kintyre Monitor Farm is hosting an open day, ceilidh, BBQ and charity auction and raffle on Friday 18 July.

Glenbarr Farms, one of the network of Quality Meat Scotland monitor farms, is a mixed 1,730 acre (700 ha) unit, located a few miles north of Campbeltown, on the west coast of the Kintyre Peninsula. The farm supports a suckler herd of 140 mainly Aberdeen-Angus cows, just over 500 breeding ewes and approximately 120 acres of spring barley. Land type ranges from hill to shore, with sitka spruce woodland on the higher land occupying more than a third of the farm’s total acreage.

Over the past three years the livestock enterprise has been the focus of regular meetings and presentations targeted at improving farm efficiency and profitability. Each meeting has attracted high turn-outs as others seek to benefit from new ideas and suggestions.

The changes in farm practices introduced as a result of being a monitor farm have started to pay dividends for farmer Duncan Macalister. These include soil improvement, switching to sawdust bedding and increasing barley acreage which has resulted in Mr Macalister being able to sell over 40 surplus tons of barley, adding almost £10,000 to his bottom line.

Fellow farmers and members of the public are invited to come along to the open day, which kicks off at 12 noon with lunch and a farm tour, where they will hear from a range of speakers including QMS Knowledge Transfer Specialist, Michael Blanche, SoilQuest’s Fraser Rennie, Hazel Strachen from Shearwell Data, and former monitor farmer Robert Parker of Drumdow farm, Stranraer. There will also be entertainment for children.

The open day and evening event is kindly sponsored by Ralph Bova Farm Supplies, Johnson & Carmichael, Harbro, Jim Martin Farm Supplies, Westwards Vet Practice, Glenside Tractors, SoilQuest, Andrew McLean Fencing, Peter McKerral & Co Ltd, Donald McLean Contractors and Hamilton Brothers (Campbeltown).

Kintyre-based facilitator Linda McLean said: “We’ve organised a programme which will hopefully appeal to farmers, the general public and their families and we are hoping the open day and evening will be a fitting end to what has been a very successful three year period.

“The monitor farm initiative has not only benefitted Mr Macalister, who is determined to continue to build on and develop the initiatives introduced during his time as a monitor farmer, but also the community group and all who have attended the monitor farm meetings.”

The open day starts at 12 noon and the evening event starts at 7.30pm on Friday 18 July. The full address is: 'The Big Shed', Charlottan, Barrglen, Glenbarr, PA29 6UZ.

For further information on monitor farms and detailed reports of meetings visit www.qmscotland.co.uk/monitor-farms

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