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North East Organic Farming Discussion Group – Craibstone Visit (Event Summary)

13 June 2018

This was the second meeting of year two of the North East Organic Farming Discussion Group.

We started with a farm tour of Craibstone led by Stewart Rae the Farm Manager. During this Tim Geraghty, Veterinary Centre Manager, SAC Consulting talked and led a discussion on Long Bone Deformity in Calves. This was extremely interesting. It would appear that it is very complicated, not, as yet, fully understood and needs further investigation. Possible causes are:- nutritional defect, toxin, infectious disease and genetic. It can be a one year problem and just disappear or ongoing. The risk factors would appear to be:-

  • spring born calves
  • feeding an all silage ration in mid-gestation
  • drought during mid-gestation
  • dietary managanese deficiency
  • dietary zinc deficiency
  • poor diet quality generally
  • no grain in ration

For more information his presentation can be found here and a NADIS information note can be found here.

Other topics covered and discussed on the farm tour were:- grass reseeds, soil analyses and the conversion/ integration of additional land.

On the return to the Ferguson Building Robin Walker, Research Agronomist, Crops and Soil Systems  gave a presentation on intercropping and current research that is being done. There was particular interest in growing protein crops.

For more information his presentation can be found here

If you would like to be a part of the group or find out more please contact

A group of beef cows and calves standing in a grassland field

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