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Wet Weather Resilience Planning: Isle of Bute Event summary

26 February 2018

Wet weather has had a massive impact on farm businesses across South West Scotland since Autumn 2017.

The meeting focused on how a business can recover through the spring and use lessons learnt to make plans for the future to make farms more resilient to bad weather.

The meeting consisted of a wide range of topics starting with ‘Mental Health’ awareness.  Support is out there and it is important to acknowledge that you are not coping as well as you might like.  The charity RSABI is available to help in whatever way it can and is there to ‘Support People in Scottish Agriculture’.

The topic of how to manage a forage shortage was the next topic for discussion.  Ways to cope included feed budgeting, using alternative feeds, managing stock, reducing bedding requirements and the use of alternatives bedding materials.

The meeting concluded with a discussion about the potential options on rebuilding the forage buffer – through the targeted use of spring fertiliser, maximising silage yields and  repairing field damage.

Take home messages

  • Look after yourself which can be hard but there are people and organisations that are there to help.
  • Make a Plan for the coming year, doing this will make you aware of this years impact and how best to prepare your farm for future challenges.
  • If caught short and don’t have enough feed; minimise mouths or make use of alternative feed from any surrounding resources available.
  • Paddock grazing utilises a smaller area and has high rewards..
  • Clearing and maintaining drainage systems will reduce the volume of surface water in wet weather. Drainage in the summer months may reduce soil compaction and damage compared to the winter months.
  • Spread lime 10 days after slurry and 30 days before slurry; lime will sweeten the grass for grazing.

Please use the links below to download handouts available to take away from the event and related information.


Related Downloads
Forage Budget Worksheet
This is a copy of a forage budget worksheet to help farmers calculate their current silage stocks. It formed part of the delegate pack at the Wet Weather Resilience Planning events in Castle Kennedy & Wigtown
Topics: Rural Business
CAFRE Beef & Sheep Bulletin (2013) “Coping with a fodder shortage on beef & sheep farms”
This is a scanned copy of an historic CAFRE Beef & Sheep Bulletin, focussing on an article titled "Coping with a fodder shortage on beef & sheep farms' from 2013. This was a handout at the recent Wet Weather Resilience Planning events in Castle Kennedy & Wigtown.
Topics: Rural Business
Poaching information document
This is a copy of the handout available at the Wet Weather Resilience Planning events at Castle Kennedy & Wigtown
Topics: Climate Change, Soils and Water Management
Teagasc Advisory Newsletter Jan 2018
This publication from Teagasc contains a section on Early N application which was part of the disucssions during the Wet Weather Resilience Planning event in Crocketford. This document was available as a handout at that meeting.
Topics: Water Management and Rural Business
Stockfeed Vegetables for Spring Calving Suckler Cows
This document was available as a handout at the Wet Weather Resilience Planning event in Crocketford in February 2018
Topics: Rural Business
Farming For A Better Climate: Practical Guide – Field Drainage
Topics: Soils and Water Management
Winning the battle against rushes in upland systems – presentation slides
Presentation slides used at the 'Winning the battle against rushes in upland systems' meeting, October 2017
Topics: Climate Change
The Bedding Materials Directory
This booklet explores the various materials available for bedding.
Better Returns Programme – Management & Control of Common Rush
Topics: Climate Change
Outwintered cattle in a wet field

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