THE Royal Northern Agricultural Society’s GrassTech event at Plewlands Farm, Duffus, on Tuesday was an outstanding event which drew an estimated attendance of around 5,000 farmers from Orkney to the Borders.
The large attendance signalled a renewed interest among farmers of the importance of efficient grassland management – particularly in the light of the forthcoming cut-back in support for livestock production in CAP reforms – and the reputation of the prize winning 550-cow beef suckler herd and 450-ewe sheep flock of host farmers, Dean and Andrew Anderson, which were the star attraction for many visitors.
The scene was set by Elgin-based agricultural consultant, Watson Bell, who officially opened the event by suggesting that beef and sheep farmers needed to learn from dairy farmers how to manage their grass.
Dairy farmers can see the effect of feeding right away in terms of milk yield, but the benefits of correct feeding are not so immediately apparent with beef cattle and sheep.
"All too often the association between good grass and livestock output is for many too remote to fully appreciate," he said. "With dairy cows, the time lapse between grazing or consuming silage and its reflection in output is less than 24 hours."
For Eddie Gillanders’ full report from the event and more pictures pick up ‘The Scot’ print version on Thursday night.