The Stodart family will be looking for advice on overhauling their cattle enterprise at their next Angus monitor farm meeting on Thursday 7 December.
Currently Mill of Inverarity farm has 200 suckler cows (Simmental and Limousin crosses), with 150 stores and 150 finishers, however Rob Stodart isn’t certain they have the right breed for their system.
He says: “I’m concerned that our Limmy crosses, many of which are now being put to a Limmy bull, are going to become almost purebred Limousin and they will lose the good mothering and milk characteristics that we need. We’d like to take advice from other farmers about the future herd.”
The meeting will start on farm with a look at the present cattle enterprise before moving on to the nearby mart for what the team hopes will be a lively workshop which will see suggestions for real changes to their current system.
As well as discussing cow breed the group will also debate the use of AI versus natural service, benefits of a closed herd and how best to achieve it, consider the possibility of moving to only spring calving and whether they should sell store or finished, or both.
Rob says: “I think 2018 will see changes to how we farm here at the Mill. We need to ensure we are working as efficiently as possible and we’re really open to new ideas and hearing other farmers’ experiences to help us decide the future of the herd”.
On the arable side there will also be a review of the 2017 season, covering how the Stodarts coped with the challenging harvest, how the crops fared in terms of yield and quality, autumn planting decisions, as well as a discussion on spring planting plans.
Mill of Inverarity is now part of the Monitor Farm Scotland initiative, managed by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds.
The aim of the programme, which is funded by the Scottish Government, is to help improve the productivity, profitability and sustainability of Scottish farm businesses through practical demonstrations, the sharing of best practice and the discussion of up-to-date issues.
The meeting will begin at Mill of Inverarity Farm, Forfar, Angus, DD8 2JN at 10.30am, before moving onto Forfar Mart for lunch. It will close at 3pm.
The event is free to attend but to assist with catering attendees should book a place by contacting Stacey Hamilton by phone (01569 762305) or email (email@example.com).
For more information about the monitor farm programme www.monitorfarms.co.uk.