Nine new Monitor Farms in Scotland, each with different focus
This is the first such project of its kind, where two levy bodies, with support from The Moredun Foundation, have come together to tackle issues facing farmers and land owners at a whole-farm level.
There will be nine new monitor farms across Scotland, all based at farm businesses typical to their location. Each of the nine farms will have a different focus determined by the predominant farming in that area; however, the farms will work together to bring all relevant aspects of farm businesses to each group.
This whole farm approach, while still maintaining sector specialisms, will help Scottish farmers to make real developments in changing farm business management practices, resulting in improved agricultural efficiency, environmental management and mitigating climate change
Each monitor farm will be run for three complete livestock cycles or cropping years, holding 18 facilitated meetings across the period and be linked between meetings through social and traditional media.
There will be a focus on introducing innovative ideas from industry, research and technology into the project for the benefit of participating farmers, emphasising production efficiency, environmental management and climate change.
Along with looking at business management skills, a key element of this project is to cultivate an awareness of the need to, and benefit from, protecting and enhancing the environment beyond compliance with Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) regulations.
The announcement of the new Monitor Farm programme comes on the back of ScotGov approval for £1.2m in funding through its Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Fund (KTIF). ■