Scotland's Farm Advisory Service Podcast

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By: Scotland's Farm Advisory Service Podcast

Scotland's Farm Advisory Service was set up thanks to funding from the Scottish Government and European Union. Our podcast covers a range of topics but all are supposed to either help to support your business be more profitable or look at ways to better use the natural environment.

Grassland Management and Silage Making at Glensaugh
Last Friday at 2:18 PM

In this podcast Malcolm MacDonald speaks to Donald Barrie, farm manager at Glensaugh research farm, and Lorna Macpherson of SAC’s livestock team about grazing management and how to make the best quality silage. Donald outlines his grazing management on the farm and gives us his recipe for top quality silage. Lorna discusses the key principles of rotational grazing, the benefits of silage additives and quantifies how better quality silage can save on concentrate feed.


Precision solutions to animal health & welfare: episode 2
06/01/2021

Welcome along to our animal health & welfare series of eight podcasts.  Each podcast will look at the latest research around animal health & welfare, with the aim of providing you an insight into the latest strategies which are being both developed & implemented.  In this episode Tiffany Mactaggart is joined by Dr Gemma Miller and Dr Jenna Bowen.   Gemma discusses greenhouse gas emissions in cattle including considering feed additives to reduce emissions and livestock precision technology for weighing and condition scoring cows.  Jenna discusses current research looking at detecting disease in calves and using the new UHF cattle tags which...


Thrill of The Hill - Finishing Well
05/29/2021

Beef finishing has long been seen as an inherently intensive activity, however finishing beef cattle at grass can be a productive use of time, while contributing to good habitat management and a lower input, more sustainable system. In episode fourteen of the Thrill of the Hill series the Farm Advisory Service (FAS) talks to beef specialist Lesley Wylie (SAC Consulting) about the challenges faced by the beef sector and some of the practical steps that can be overcome them. Also up for discussion is the responsibility of the beef sector generally to tackle the issues of climate change and biodiversity...


Thrill of The Hill - Concentrating on Calving
05/28/2021

Calving is one of the busiest times of the year for those in the beef sector and a crucial time for things to go right! A successful calving has huge business and climate impacts as well as of health, welfare and farmer mindset. In episode thirteen of the Thrill of the Hill series the Farm Advisory Service (FAS) talks to returning contributor and beef specialist Robert Ramsay (SAC Consulting) about the sector’s state of play post Brexit, top tips for calving success and the importance of keeping safe while working with cattle. Also up for discussion is the successes in...


Thrill of The Hill - Flock Resilience
05/27/2021

While a Brexit trade deal has taken some pressure off the sheep sector the changing political and agricultural landscape means that it must adapt to the new challenges of climate change and biodiversity decline. In episode twelve of the Thrill of the Hill series the Farm Advisory Service (FAS) talks to sheep specialist Kirsten Williams (SAC Consulting) about flock resilience and what that actually means in the face of challenging and uncertain times. Also up for discussion is the importance of body condition scoring, nutrition on the run-up to lambing, sheep as conservation grazers and the impacts of the Sustainable...


Livestock Monthly: Sheep (May 2021)
05/26/2021

In the latest of our livestock monthly podcasts episodes hosted by Beef Specialist Robert Ramsay of SAC Consulting, we talk sheep with Veterinary Investigation Officer, Heather Stevenson of SRUC Veterinary Services and Sheep and grassland specialist, Poppy Frater of SAC Consulting. 


Livestock Monthly: Beef (May 2021)
05/10/2021

In the latest of our livestock monthly podcasts episodes hosted by Beef Specialist Robert Ramsay of SAC Consulting, we talk beef with Veterinary Investigation Officer, Tim Geraghty of SRUC Veterinary Services and Livestock Nutritionist, Karen Stewart of SAC Consulting. 


Precision solutions to animal health & welfare
04/16/2021

Welcome along to our animal health & welfare series of podcasts. Over the course of 2021, we’ll be bringing you 8 podcasts, each falling under the theme of animal health & welfare (latest research), with the aim of providing you an insight into the latest strategies which are being both developed & implemented  In this episode, George Gauley is joined by Dr Claire Morgan-Davies, Dr Fiona Kenyon and Professor Davy McCracken to discuss precision solutions for livestock farming. The guests discuss some of the PLF technology solutions which are currently being used & developed, along with details of the research projects which...


Improving efficiency to stay competitive
04/14/2021

In the latest Farm Advisory Service (FAS) podcast, Rowan Marshall, co-owner of family business, Peter Marshall Farms in Perthshire, describes his experience of applying for a carbon audit and the many benefits it's brought to the farm.  In this recording, Rowan discusses his reasons for applying for a carbon audit, how it has become a customer requirement when selling fruit from the farm and how emissions from the business are benchmarked against other businesses of a similar size. 
 Rowan also discusses the advantages of having a carbon audit done regularly and why it’s so important to be more effici


Livestock Monthly: Dairy
03/25/2021

In the latest of our livestock monthly podcasts episodes hosted by Beef Specialist Robert Ramsay of SAC Consulting, we talk dairy with specialist Lorna MacPherson and Colin Mason of SRUC Vets. 


Slurry - Application and Management
03/23/2021

With Hugh McClymont, SRUC's Crichton Royal Farm

In this podcast the Farm Advisory Service sits down with farm manager for the SRUC’s Crichton Royal Farm, Hugh McClymont. With a range of kit available when it comes to applying slurry understanding what is best for your farm is crucial, particularly with a transition from splash plates on the way and increasingly volatile weather patterns and ground conditions. On hand to discuss these issues is Hugh, with a wealth of knowledge and experience, ready to give his thoughts on the recent Sustainable Agriculture Capital Grant Scheme (SACGS), the need to...


Livestock Monthly: Sheep
03/08/2021

In the latest of our livestock monthly podcasts episodes hosted by Beef Specialist Robert Ramsay of SAC Consulting, we talk sheep with specialist Kirsten Williams and Veterinary Investigation Officer, Eilidh Corr.


Ever Thought Of Pigs As A Commercial Opportunity? - Rearing
03/05/2021


Ever Thought Of Pigs As A Commercial Opportunity? - Breeding
03/03/2021


Ever Thought Of Pigs As A Commercial Opportunity?
03/01/2021


Feeding for Fertility
03/01/2021

Listen to farmer Andrew Houston from Glenkilrie farm, Glenshee and vet Graeme Richardson from Thrums Veterinary Group in Kirriemuir chat about the importance of nutritional management in the suckler herd. Andrew and Graeme discuss their involvement in the KTIF Scottish Government Funded Project “Feeding for Fertility in the Suckler Herd”.  Andrew talks through their farming system, moving from two block calvings to all spring calving and calving heifers at two years of age. Graeme discusses the benefits of using metabolic profiling in the suckler herd as a tool to aid nutritional management and fertility.


Forward Thinking Farmers: Adam from Oink
02/23/2021


Women In Agriculture- Lesley Mitchell
02/22/2021


Forward Thinking Farmers: Neil Thomson
02/19/2021


Multi-species Grassland Management for Productivity
02/16/2021

With Iain Graham, Killochries Farm In this podcast the Farm Advisory Service sits down with farm manager and regenerative agriculture enthusiast, Iain Graham. With the need to balance the demands of farming in a more sustainable manner and drive efficiencies across sectors, multi-species grassland offers win win potential. As someone who is only recently new to the benefits of multi-species grassland, Iain discusses the motivations for change across his farming system, the biodiversity conservation impacts, resource management, the improvements in grazing efficiency, the questions answered and those still to be.


Beef Supply Chain
02/15/2021


Predator Control For the Conservation of Ground-Nesting Birds
02/12/2021

Predator control for the conservation of ground-nesting birds can sometimes be a controversial issue.  In this podcast,  Senior Conservation Consultant at SAC Consulting, Paul Chapman, discusses the practicalities with NatureScot’s Alastair MacGugan and hears about an alternative approach to predator-prey conflicts in the Cairngorms Connect project, from Kenny Kortland of Forestry and Land Scotland.


Multi-species Grassland Management for Productivity
02/08/2021

In this podcast the Farm Advisory Service sits down with farm manager and regenerative agriculture enthusiast, Iain Graham. With the need to balance the demands of farming in a more sustainable manner and drive efficiencies across sectors, multi-species grassland offers win win potential. As someone who is only recently new to the benefits of multi-species grassland, Iain discusses the motivations for change across his farming system, the biodiversity conservation impacts, resource management, the improvements in grazing efficiency, the questions answered and those still to be.


What's Stopping You? - Barbara Girvan
02/05/2021


Nutrient Strategy - Green Manures
02/03/2021

Find out more about nutrient management and cover crops from the Farm Advisory Service website (https://www.fas.scot/crops-soils/soils/) . In this episode George Gauley is joined by David Fuller - Shapcott from Sweethope Farm (https://www.sweethope-farm.co.uk/) , near Kelso along with Audrey Litterick from Earth care technical. David uses a low tillage system alongside a winter – spring rotation as a method of improving soil health and organic matter. Over the years David has also had experience with integrating green manures into his system. Audrey has over 25 years’ experience as a crop and environmental scientist. During the past...


Nutrient Strategy - Compost
02/01/2021

For further detail on soil organic matter & composting please visit the Farm Advisory Service's Kerchesters Farm webpage. (https://www.fas.scot/crops-soils/soils/kerchesters-farm-roxburghshire/) In this episode George Gauley is joined by Jim McFarlane from Edrington Estate & Audrey Litterick from Earth care technical. Jim runs a non-livestock, arable system and has been using a min till establishment for the last 20 years. His focus is to preserve soil organic matter and improve soil microbial activity. Audrey has over 25 years’ experience as a crop and environmental scientist. During the past 12 years she has specialised in composting and AD systems, fertilisers, and the us...


Animal Health is Wealth
02/01/2021

Following on from Animal Health is Wealth webinar (https://www.fas.scot/publication/animal-health-is-wealth/) , James Orr talks to The Woodlands Trust Scotland farmer Janet Pringle and her vet, Rhona Anderson of Forth Valley Vets, about their experience of hands on practical Health Planning. Covering the barriers, challenges that they faced and the benefits that they have seen from undertaking proactive Animal Health Planning.


Sheep management in coastal areas
01/28/2021

Sheep and Grassland Specialist Poppy Frater talks to Richard Briggs of Briggs Shetland Lamb (http://www.briggs-shetlandlamb.co.uk/) – a company which sells Shetland lamb across the country from London to Lerwick.  We discuss the importance of small-scale abattoirs, the value of coastal lamb to lamb eating quality and consumer health and access to a UK wide market.  Richard remains optimistic about the future of good quality lamb post-COVID disturbance and with a resurgence of the conscientious consumer asking about where their meat comes from.  We encourage others to seek similar opportunities for coastal lamb by talking with the whole suppl...


Common Grazing Finances
01/27/2021

Common Grazing finances can be bewildering – but they don’t have to be!  Listen to Arthur MacDonald explain what committees need to do and tools and resources that are available to help them.  #crofting #commongrazing   Further resources   Common Grazings Discussion Group from the Farm Advisory Service (fas.scot) (https://www.fas.scot/discussion-groups/common-grazings/) Common Grazings | Crofting Commission (scotland.gov.uk) (https://www.crofting.scotland.gov.uk/common-grazings) Crofting Agricultural Grant Scheme | Helping farmers in Scotland | Farm Advisory Service (fas.scot) (https://www.fas.scot/rural-business/crofts-small-farms/cags-grants/)


Woodlands Maintenance
01/26/2021

For more information about Woodland Creation & Management visit the Farm Woodlands (https://www.fas.scot/crops-soils/farm-woodlands/) section on our website. In this podcast, Forestry Consultant Ben Law discusses woodland maintenance with Eric Boyd, a forestry contractor with over 42 years of experience in planting and maintaining Scotland’s trees.    Topics discussed include:  control of weeds on woodland creation and restock sites maintenance planning from the outset of a woodland creation scheme weevil control on restock sites the challenges of managing bracken provision of welfare facilities within forestry sites.


Winter Agronomy Digital Roadshows – Business Resilience and Markets
01/25/2021

The Winter Agronomy Roadshows in January for this year will be delivered on-line as a combination of technical lectures, podcasts and interactive discussion sessions (https://www.fas.scot/news/winter-agronomy-digital-roadshows-2021/) . In this podcast we're joined David Doodle and Anthony Spate from the Market Intelligence Department at AHDB


Animal Health Monthly: Beef
01/25/2021

The first in our monthly podcasts episodes hosted by Beef Specialist Robert Ramsay of SAC Consulting.  The series will bring together specialists and vets to discuss topical trends and themes on health topics and diseases which are cause for concern at that time and provide technical and management advice on reducing the risk of such diseases.  This month Robert talks to Veterinary Investigation Officer, Tim Geraghty of SRUC Veterinary Services and Livestock Nutritionist, Karen Stewart of SAC Consulting.


Soil Nutrient Network - Lanarkshire
01/23/2021


Living off the land: expert help to support self-sufficient croft
01/22/2021

Listen to our latest podcast interview with Mark Foxwell, a successful crofter based in Sutherland who applied for business development support through FAS to improve his crofting business.    Mark and his wife moved to their croft up in the highlands in 2018 to become more self-sufficient. As part of their crofting business, they manage a smallholding of livestock including cows, sheep, pigs and chickens, run a thriving horticultural business and produce tree planting stock, in addition to fuel for their energy needs.    In this podcast, Mark describes how expert help with an integrated land management plan (ILMP), specialist advice, mentoring and a ca...


The Thrill Of The Hill - Research & Policy
01/22/2021

Research and development within Scottish agriculture will be key to a successful green recovery, building an efficient and sustainable rural economy and mitigating against the threats posed by climate change. In this special bonus episode of the Thrill of the Hill series the Farm Advisory Service (FAS) is fortunate to talk to Prof Davy McCracken, Head of the Hill & Mountain Research Centre about innovations in agriculture, as specifically the uplands. Topics include driving efficiency and better grazing in the uplands, balancing conservation and climate concerns, high nature value farming, threats of climate change and what the green recovery and future...


Thrill Of The Hill - Enhancing Peatlands
01/20/2021


Thrill Of The Hill - Wildcats
01/18/2021


Winter Agronomy Digital Roadshows – Crop Selection and Variety Performance
01/18/2021

The Winter Agronomy Roadshows this year will be delivered on-line as a combination of technical lectures, podcasts and interactive discussion sessions (https://www.fas.scot/news/winter-agronomy-digital-roadshows-2021/) . In this podcast, we talk to Peter Lindsay, a crops specialist from SAC Consulting and Will Hamilton, a farmer from Borders who specialises in combinable crops.


Thrill Of The Hill - Common Grazings
01/15/2021


Thrill Of The Hill - Deer
01/13/2021