Book now for South Ayrshire Monitor Farm meeting on key hill farm topics

3 Jun 2024

There’s a focus on hill farming and contending with the changing farming climate at the summer open meeting of the South Ayrshire Monitor Farm.

Bookings are now open for the meeting at Blair Farm, Crosshill, Maybole, on Wednesday 26 June at 3pm, when Monitor Farmers John and David Andrew will be joined by hill livestock and grass weed specialists to discuss key farming issues and potential solutions.

John and David, who farm the 1,350 acre hill unit will be talking about their current system and production figures from their 150 suckler cows and 550 hill ewes. With a changing farming climate, how will they make the most of their suckler cows and breeding ewes on the hill and the challenges and opportunities it presents? Visitors will have a chance to see the farm and livestock and to discuss options.

Local farmer and Management Group member David Whiteford of Maxwelston Farm, Dailly, Girvan will also be speaking, He has drastically changed his farming system from sheep grazing on the hill and cattle housed over winter, to crossbred sheep on the in-bye and his hill land growing grass over summer for deferred winter grazing for his cows, reducing wintering costs. He will talk about changing beef and sheep breeds on-farm, and about growing crops for cattle to graze in winter.

Visitors will also get a sneak preview of a new spot spraying system from Soil Essentials which will help control weeds in grassland, including docks. The SKAi system uses a smart camera system to detect target weed species and controls a sprayer, allowing spot spraying to help tackle weeds and reduce herbicide use.

Christine Cuthbertson, Monitor Farm West region adviser said: “The afternoon will give visitors the opportunity to see the livestock and ground at Blair Farm and engage with some really current issues and great guest speakers.”

A barbeque will round off the visit, and booking is essential. Car parking is very limited – car share if possible, please wear suitable outdoor clothing and sturdy/waterproof footwear and ensure good biosecurity – clean vehicles, footwear and clothing before attending. Children under 16 and dogs are not permitted.

South Ayrshire Monitor Farm summer meeting

Wednesday 26 June, 3pm-7.30pm at Blair Farm, Crosshill, Maybole, Ayrshire, KA19 7QQ

Booking is essential;