18th January 2017

Strong Line-Up of Speakers Announced for Grazing Conferences

A strong line-up of speakers from Scotland and overseas has been recruited to speak at a Grazing Conferences being held at Moffat House Hotel on Wednesday 8 February and Huntingtower Hotel in Perth on Thursday 9 February.

“Better Grazing = Better Business” are free events, organised by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), which will look at how managing grazing can help improve the bottom line for sheep and beef producers.

The two conferences will guide delegates through the key principles of grazing management, and highlight how it can help unlock the financial and production potential in grazed grass. 

Those who attend will hear from some world-leading grazing consultants as well as from other farmers who have successfully implemented changes to their grazing regimes to benefit their businesses.

In the morning, Andre Van Barneveld from Graise Consultancy in Ireland will speak about the value in grass and how it can increase profitability. He will highlight how farmers can maximise the proportion of grass in the diet through ensuring quality and quantity of grass grown.  

He will be joined by Trevor Cook a vet and sheep and beef production consultant from Totally Vets Ltd in Feilding, New Zealand.  Mr Cook specialises in advising farmers on all aspects production from grass-based systems and will speak about how livestock production revolves around feed and link this to grass production and profit.

The final morning speaker is Jim Logan, QMS Borders Grazing Group host farmer at Pirntaton, Fountainhall, Galashiels. The 570-hectare beef and sheep unit runs from 230 metres to 520 metres and has a mixture of temporary and permanent grass with a significant area of rough grazing and some fodder crops. Mr Logan has made several changes to his system over the course of the three-year grazing group project and will share how he has managed to reduce costs and increase output. 

After lunch, farmer Alan Cowan from Northumberland will be joined by farmer Robert Fleming from South Milton Farm near Stranraer at the event in Moffat, and Michael Shannon from Thankerton at the event in Perth, and will talk about the systems they have in place to manage grazing more effectively on their farms.

All three farmers run low cost cattle and sheep enterprises through having a strong focus on maximising the grass they grow and utilise, output efficiency and cost control.  These sessions will see the farmers team up with the experts and provide delegates the opportunity to ask questions and learn about how better grazing has led to better business for them.

Emily Grant, Grassland Coordinator at QMS, commented: “Using the grass grown on the farm to drive profitability involves making the most of the grass available, managing the surpluses and deficits whilst balancing this with the needs of livestock production.  Changes to grazing management can help achieve this balance and offer opportunities to increase output per hectare and reduce costs.”

She added: “We hope that those attending these events will gain an insight into the sort of systems that have been successfully implemented in Scotland and be inspired to consider making changes to their own systems”.

The “Better Grazing = Better Business” events on 8 and 9 February begin at 10am and end at 3pm. Lunch will be provided. To reserve you place at this event phone QMS on 0131 472 4040 or email info@qmscotland.co.uk

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