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Profitable farming in a changing climate – event summary

12 December 2016

Milnathort farmer Mark Thomson welcomed Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham MSP to the family farm Tillyrie on Monday 12th December for a meeting showcasing cost effective measures farmers can take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The free event was part of a programme organised by the Scottish Government’s recently launched Farm Advisory Service. The discussions and demonstrations planned for the Tillyrie meeting build on the work of another Scottish Government initiative, Farming for a Better Climate.

Rebecca Audsley, SAC Consulting’s Environment team leader, said: “Throughout Scotland we have worked alongside farmers like Mark Thomson and his neighbours to find ways of farming more efficiently.

“We have measured farm carbon footprints to help us identify where the greatest benefits can be achieved, such as lowering energy use and its costs or producing more kilos of beef a year from the same resources. Farmers are learning that efficiencies like that add value to their businesses as well as helping the climate.”

During the day farmer Mark Thomson will explained how he and his family manage over 300 hectares at Tillyrie, from its lower cropping land to the higher ground where he keeps his herd of Luing beef cows and cross-bred breeding ewes. Experts from SAC Consulting will discuss livestock performance, soil condition, animal health issues and explain the carbon foot printing process.

The event began with the arrival of the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham MSP, saying: “Scotland’s farmers and crofters already play a vital role as custodians of our land and environment.

“However, climate change is presenting major new challenges for all of us, and we will have to work together more closely if those challenges are to be met.

“That’s why I want to ensure farmers and crofters get the support they need to ensure they can build successful businesses, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“There’s much work to be done – around a quarter of Scotland’s emissions come from agriculture.

“But it is possible to reduce those emissions by improving livestock health, while cutting fertiliser bills and increasing yields through better soils.

“Access to the most up-to-date advice will enable famers to play their full part in the fight against climate change, which is already resulting in more extreme weather conditions more often.”

Speakers and topics

Roseanna Cunningham
MSP (Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform)
Topic: Scotland’s Climate Change Plan

Mark Thomson
Topic: Hear how the mixed unit is managed at Tillyrie

Jimmy Hyslop
Beef and Sheep Consultant SAC Consulting
Topic: Maximizing livestock performance: how can you improve the efficiency of your beef and sheep enterprise?

Seamus Donnelly
Senior Agricultural Consultant SAC Consulting
Topic: Is your soil in top condition? Are you making the best use of nutrients on the farm – could you save on the fertiliser bill?

Gillian Reid
Rural Business Consultant SAC Consulting
Topic: Carbon footprinting can highlight business inefficiencies – hear how other farmers have saved money and cut carbon with no loss of productivity

Anne Seaton
Topic: Improved performance through optimising animal health


Related Downloads
Profitable Farming in a Changing Climate – Delegate Pack
This is the information pack that was provided as part of the Tillyrie Farm meeting - 'Profitable Farming in a Changing Climate'

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