Growing for optimum output at Dumfriesshire Monitor Farm summer meeting

8 Jul 2024

‘Growing for optimum output’ is the focus of this summer’s Dumfriesshire Monitor Farm open meeting on Tuesday 30 July at Barnbackle, Lochfoot. Booking for the meeting, which runs from 3.30pm-6.30pm, is now open.

Visitors will be able to focus on sheep and cattle performance as they discuss latest findings and farm options with a number of experts. Speakers will include John Smith, auctioneer from Wallets Marts, who will run a workshop on selecting lambs. This will include practical guidance on selecting lambs for market to maximise profitability and meet market demands.

John will be discussing weight and size requirements, conformation and muscling, plus health and condition of lambs. He will also look at current market trends and demands, as well as focussing on understanding buyer preferences and specifications.

Ali Haggerty from Stewartry Vets will discuss the importance of Body Condition Scoring (BCS) sheep, including a live demo, optimal BCS targets and nutrition for different stages of the sheep production cycle and the impact on fertility, lambing success, and overall flock health.

She will also give an update on an on-going research project at the Dumfriesshire Monitor Farm which involves Stewartry Vets and Glasgow University. So far, the research has identified a variance in BCS of ewes from tupping through to lambing. Ali will discuss these findings, the consequences and actions taken as a result at Barnbackle.

Paddy Jack from DLF Seeds will be talking about weaning lambs onto clover, including timing, minimising stress and grazing management for optimum clover use. He will provide insights into the benefits and drawbacks, as well as discussing establishing and managing clover – and how it stacks up financially.

Visitors will also hear an update from Monitor Farmer Richard McCornick, with a focus on the farm’s cattle enterprise. He will be discussing the farm’s production and marketing targets, its breed choice and a move to spring calving.

Monitor Farm regional advisor Maura Wilson said: “This will be a great meeting, focussing on growing for optimum output. The speakers will all provide practical information and advice, whether it’s thinking about weaning, selling this year’s lambs or planning for next spring.”

The meeting runs from 3.30pm-6.30pm, and booking is essential to secure a space. Car parking is limited, so car share if possible. Please wear suitable outdoor clothing, and clean vehicles, footwear, and clothing before attending for biosecurity. No children under 16 or dogs are allowed.

Dumfriesshire Monitor Farm summer meeting – Tuesday 30 July, 3.30pm-6.30pm at Barnbackle Farm, Lochfoot DG2 8NX. Booking: