Benefits of cattle EID to be showcased at Agriscot

The benefits of using electronic identification (EID) in cattle are set to be highlighted during a demonstration at AgriScot, one of the premier events in UK agriculture on 18 November.

Sponsored by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), the demonstration will be held in the main ring at 11.30am and will focus on the use of EID to monitor and track liveweight gain of finishing cattle on various rations, select breeding stock and the detection of health issues. Hosting the demonstration is Borders farmer and previous winner of the Scotch Beef Farm of the Year award, Robert Neill, along with beef expert Basil Lowman from SAC Consulting (a division of Scotland’s Rural College).

As in previous years, live cattle will feature in the demonstration to ensure that it’s as close to a real on-farm scenario as possible. Students from SRUC Oatridge will also be on hand to highlight some of the ways EID will impact on the future of the beef sector. Mr Neil, who joined the AgriScot board this year and has completed a Nuffield Scholarship on cattle EID, said: “For the beef industry to survive in an ever-changing world, farmers need to be using information, which can be collected using EID, to make more informed decisions about their business.”

Dr Lowman added: “We tend to think of EID as just a means of identifying an individual animal but it has the potential to be much more useful. It can reduce labour and, importantly, allow adjustments to the management of each individual animal to maximise their performance and produce a more profitable product. In the demonstration, Robert and I will show how technology, most of which is readily available, can achieve these objectives and make a real difference to the bottom line profitability of Scotland’s beef herds.”

The demonstration will be held in the main ring at 11.30am at Agriscot on Wednesday 18 November.

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