Crofts and small farms

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Here you will find information specially developed for crofters and smallholders. Topics include Common Grazings, livestock, crops, crofting legislation and the environment.  You’ll also find details of our subscription which provides bespoke advice at a reduced price for small farms under 30 hectares, and crofters.


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    African Swine Fever (ASF)

    The disease is spreading in Europe (1). It has been confirmed in wild boar and feral pigs as well as in commercial and backyard pigs in Central and Eastern Europe….

    Derelict to productive: Seeing Your Croft’s Potential – Event Summary

    This event was extremely well received and feed-back from participants was extremely positive. Take home messages: Getting to know your croft can take a long time – much like getting…

    Horticultural Hercules: The Mighty Polycrub – Event Summary

    The event was a very well attended and was a highly engaging meeting to discuss crofting horticulture. Audrey Litterick covered the fundamentals of soil health and nutrient management where attendees…

    Smallholder Training Event – Selecting lambs fit for the Abattoir (Darvel) – Event Summary

    Assessing whether lambs are ready for slaughter is best done by hands-on feeling the lambs’ back, ribs and tail, and also weighing the lamb. Each market outlet has its advantages…

    Know the score

    Sheep examination can help to maximise your productivity  A new technical note illustrates how to perform the simple physical examination, the results of which allow farmers to adjust management and…

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    Scottish Smallholders Festival 2018

    The Scottish Smallholder Festival is Scotland’s largest smallholder event, celebrating the best of Scottish smallholding, growing and craft. Organised by smallholders and growers, it is aimed at all those with an interest…

    Practical Small Farm Workshop – Lanark

    This event is open to all small businesses and new keepers.

    An Introduction to Sheep Keeping

    For any crofter who has taken on sheep, the setup rules and regulations can be a minefield of daunting red tape. Lewis and Harris sheep keepers are welcome to come…

    Derelict to Productive: Implementing your 5 year plan

    This event is the second in a series of three on bringing your croft (or part of your croft) from under-productive, to productive. These sessions broadly follow a ‘5 year…

    Women in Agriculture Orkney – ‘Figuring it Out’ – Book Keeping in the 21st Century

    Whether you are exempt from Making Tax Digital and want a robust paper-based book keeping system, or you have/will be moving to a cloud based system and want to make…

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    TN702: Body Condition Scoring of Mature Sheep

    TN702: Body Condition Scoring of Mature Sheep

    Practical Guide: Pollinators types and food sources on small units

    Practical Guide: Pollinators Types and Food Sources on small units



    Under reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), it is mandatory for farmers and crofters who apply to the Basic Payment Scheme to comply with Greening requirements.

    Publication Type: Greening Topics: Crofts and small farms and Farm business
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    TN702: Body Condition Scoring of Mature Sheep

    Body Condition scoring (BCS) of sheep is a quick and simple management tool to assess the body reserves of sheep throughout the year.
    Condition scoring is a physical rather than visual examination of sheep. Flocks are often made up of different breeds which have varying frame sizes, fleece cover and genetics, and sheep may have gut fill or a full fleece. Therefore it is extremely difficult to assess the body reserves of a mature sheep visually.

    Info note – Hot weather July2018

    Information Note – Summer 2018: Hot weather and potential risks to livestock health and welfare

    How to Create Early Cover for Corncrakes

    Corncrakes are a small, migratory bird that spend their winters in Central and Western Africa, and their summers in Northern Europe. They used to be
    widespread in the UK, but are now on the red endangered list, and are limited to a few small populations in the Inner and Outer Hebrides, Skye, Orkney and Durness on the mainland of Scotland.

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