McCain Foods announced it will establish a bursary scheme at the Scottish Agricultural College (SAC), which will simultaneously offer students access to excellent learning resources, practical experience and access to private sector insight.
After the coldest winter in Scotland for 49 years, grassland in many areas has suffered winter kill and swards are in poor condition. So to prevent a lack of summer grazing or silage shortages, farmers need to put a reseeding or overseeding plan into action to repair the swards and regain their productivity, says Limagrain's Ian Misselbrook.
Grass is one of the most valuable assets on a livestock enterprise and remains the dominant feed for the dairy, beef and sheep sector, however, in the majority of cases it is never actually sold off-farm, which makes valuing it difficult. One way of looking at the financial contribution of grass is to look at the value of milk that can potentially be produced from 1 DM tonne by considering its energy content.
The Scottish seed potato crop may have shrunk from its post Second World War total when more than 300,000 tonnes or tons as they were in those days, of seed were sent down to England every year.
The combined output from the raspberry, strawberry, broccoli and cauliflower growers is now almost on a par with the total output from the Scottish sheep industry or the dairy sector.
Correcting chemical imbalances and
physical problems in the soil helped raise yields of saleable potatoes by over 60% in a farm trial completed in
Ayrshire by The Glenside Group last autumn.
Early spring is a good time to check out the state of the white clover in swards, see how well it has survived the winter, and to plan strategies to manage it, says DairyCo extension officer Chris Duller.
The poor weather and difficult growing
conditions experienced during 2008/9 highlighted the importance of both arable crops and grassland re-seeds
establishing a healthy root system as early as possible in the season, says Robert McCoull, Technical Director of agronomic specialists The Glenside Group: “Many farmers were left counting the cost of poor crop performance after the difficult autumn of 2008. The most common problem was crops' failure todevelop a healthy root system, so they never reached optimum yields, no matter what inputs were supplied during the growing season.
As seedsmen, our role can be summarised in the words of Gilbert White. Natural Historian & Ecologist 1788. “The Growth of two blades of Grass where one alone was seen before.”
Spylaw farm, Kelso, is sometimes called the best arable farm in Scotland and so it was a very suitable location for this year’s Tillage event, where all the latest cultivating and seeding
machinery was put through its paces.