In 2023 we will be following three farms through vlogs, as they plan their forage and feed supplies to reduce the risk of challenging weather. Watch our introductory video as our team introduce the farmers and their systems.
Joe Baker, Windshiel Farm (Scottish Borders)
This year we will be following Joe Baker at Windshiel Farm near Duns in the Scottish Borders. Joe is trialling various cropping methods in order to improve forage production resilience in our increasingly unpredictable summer weather.
Following our initial visit to Joe on June 22nd, we returned on September 8th to hear how his arable silage grew, see the success of the undersown reseed, assess the lucerne, and revisit his wintering plans.
For our final visit to Windshiel on January 18th 2024, we hear how the cows are doing on forage crops, we return to Joe's pasture cropping experiment with forage rye and see the sheep doing well on wholecrop silage. Joe puts a lot of emphasis on having diverse species and diverse strategies in order to be prepared for different weather extremes.
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Robert Marshall, Kincraigie Farm (Aberdeenshire)
With wet springs and unpredictable summers, Robert Marshall has changed his cropping to mitigate crop and yield losses. This year he has grown winter beans, winter rye and winter oats, along with his spring barley to complement his suckler cow enterprise. Hear about it in this short vlog recorded at the start of August 2023.
We visited Robert again on the 17th of November for an update on his crops and cattle. He got through a challenging harvest and an extremely wet backend. His beans and rye have been treated, analysed and are now being fed in a ration to his young stock.
We visited Robert at the end of February for the final update of the vlog series. We have seen the beans and rye growing, being harvested and now the results of feeding these throughout the winter. The current winter crop has had a challenging winter, but Robert see's this system as a "no brainer" for both environmental and financial benefits.
Stuart Lammont, Kinnabus Farm (Isle of Islay)
This year we will be following Stuart Lammont at RSPB's Kinnabus Farm on Islay as part of the Resilience Vlog series.
Prone to wet winters and a high fluke burden, Stuart has been adopting a test-and-treat approach to liver fluke control at Kinnabus to manage resistance and benefit dung beetles and cough. He's also adapting the outdoor wintering system for cattle and sheep and adopting No Fence collars on cattle to improve grazing management.
We visited Stuart again on 26th October to get an update on fluke testing so far this season and hear why they have adopted NoFence collars on cattle to improve grazing management, reduce wintering costs, minimise poaching and avoid 'flukey' areas.
In his final Vlog, Stuart Lammont shares how testing for fluke has delayed the first drench for ewes until December and takes us on a tour of how NoFence collars on the cattle have been used for conservation and winter grazing this year.
We have followed Stuart Lamont on Islay throughout the year, to understand how he is changing farming practices to build resilience against climate change and meet the RSPB farms conservation objectives. In this short case study, we highlight these changes. Read more >>
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Related External Materials
Alternative forages may hold potential for your farm to improve resilience to changing climate and benefit animal performance. In this video, Poppy Frater, SAC Consulting and William Flemming, Germinal GB, discuss the different options available to livestock farmers and important considerations to improve chances of success.
In this video, hear Jack Munro of SAC Consulting about how to assess compaction issues in grassland and select the appropriate machinery to alleviate it for improved grassland productivity and resilience.
Growing beans and rye allows for many benefits in nitrogen fixing, deep tap root, bulk of straw, weather resilience, etc. In this video Lorna Shaw discusses how to store and feed the grain from these crops throughout the winter period.
In this time lapse video, we positioned a camera on a crop of winter beans from spring through to harvest. In this you can see how the crop comes through winter, flowers, extends, creation of pods, and then ripens for harvest.
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