Argyll farmers invited to join new grazing project

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Farmers are invited to the launch of a new project in Kintyre aimed at getting more out of that vital commodity – grass.

The first meeting of the ‘Better Grazing’ programme will be held at the Ardshiel Hotel on Monday August 14 . The event will introduce some of the concepts of grazing management that will be covered over the three years of the programme.

The project is one of six launched this month by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) around Scotland as a follow up to the QMS Grazing Group scheme which came to an end in March.

Four meetings will be held in the Campbeltown area each year for the next three years.  Those attending the meetings will hear from expert speakers as well as farmers from around Scotland who will share their experiences of how they have improved their grassland management and the benefits they have seen.

There will also be the opportunity to visit farms of those who have already made changes to their grazing management or to new group members keen to make better use of their grass with the help and support of the rest of the group.

The meeting will also hear from Robert Fleming from Castle Sinniness, Glenluce. He has 240 hectares split among three farms, carrying 250 pedigree Aberdeen Angus and Angus cross cows, as well as a flock of 65 Roussin sheep. Mr Fleming was an active member of the previous QMS South West Grazing Group and encouraged farmers to get involved with the new Better Grazing programme.

He said: ‘Forage use and more specifically grazing management has the potential to be the biggest driver of profitability on farms.’

The topics to be covered include grazing strategies, wintering systems, fencing and watering options, how to extend the grazing system, soil management, the control of internal parasites and ruminant nutrition.

Places at the free-to-attend launch meeting, starting at 10am at the Ardshiel Hotel on Monday, are limited – so contact QMS on 0131 472 4040 or email to reserve a space.