Aboyne farmers host new Grazing Groups initiative

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An Aboyne based farming couple is aiming to increase profitability by maximising kilos produced from grass through a grazing initiative.

New-start farmers, Ahren and Louise Urquhart hosted the first meeting of a series of new Grazing Groups on July 9 at their farm on the banks of the Dee.

Grazing Groups have been set up by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) as part of an initiative aimed at improving livestock producers’ profitability by maximising the kilograms of meat produced per hectare of forage.

Ahren and Louise Urquhart took over the tenancy of Maryfield Farm, Aboyne in 2013.

Making the most of natural resources is a clear priority for them as money is tight with single farm payment.

The couple were looking forward to the first Grazing Group meeting, at which other farmers and experts came together to discuss their enterprise.

New Zealand sheep farmer and grazing expert, Murray Rohloff, brought his expertise to the meeting.

Michael Blanche, QMS Knowledge Transfer Specialist, who is co-ordinating the Grazing Group meetings said: “This first meeting was all about assessing where the host farmer is, setting targets and working out a roadmap to achieve these targets.”

Over the three years of the project the Groups will be looking at all aspects of grass growing and livestock production including feed budgeting at grass and measuring actual grass growth along with soil analysis.