Maximising Live Lambs

Published Monday, 27th May 2019 in SAC Consulting news

Borders farmer Graham Lofthouse, one of the speakers at Maximising Live Lambs. Picture: QMS
Borders farmer Graham Lofthouse, one of the speakers at Maximising Live Lambs. Picture: QMS

A Scottish sheep farmer who achieved “phenomenal” lamb loss results of only 6 per cent last year – around 10 per cent below the national average – will be among the speakers at a free industry event.

Graham Lofthouse, the former AgriScot Sheep Farmer of the Year who has a 540-strong flock in the Borders, will share his experiences at Maximising Live Lambs in Midlothian on Tuesday 4 June.

Organised by SAC Consulting, part of Scotland’s Rural College, the event is aimed at members of the industry, including farmers, vets, feed merchants and auctioneers.

Among the other speakers will be Kirsten Williams and Poppy Frater from SAC Consulting, who will provide the key findings of the Live Lambs project; SRUC’s Professor Cathy Dwyer, who will discuss her work on improving neonatal survival through observing animal behaviour; and Donald Barrie from Glensaugh – a James Hutton Institute focus farm in Aberdeenshire.

The University of Edinburgh’s Dr Alexander Corbishley, meanwhile, will discuss the importance of sustainable antibiotic use in sheep flocks.

Kirsten Williams, co-facilitator of the Live Lambs project, said: “There is not a great deal that farmers can do to influence lamb price, but they can work on reducing the cost of production by rearing more lambs from the same number of ewes, by trying to reduce mortality.This free event is an excellent opportunity for members of the industry to find out more about the latest research and gain advice from farmers who have enjoyed excellent results in this challenging area.”

Live Lambs is a three-year project delivered by SAC Consulting aimed at understanding and overcoming the challenges of lamb mortality on Scottish Farms. 

The project team has worked with six focus farms around the main sheep areas of Scotland as well as one in the North of England.  The main barriers have been identified to increase the average number of lambs per ewe, and solutions have been identified to aid farm profitability and viability, enhance animal welfare and reduce the carbon footprint of the sheep industries.

The project is funded by the Scottish Government through the Scottish Rural Development Programme Knowledge Transfer Innovation Fund (KTIF).

Maximising Live Lambs takes place at the Roslin Institute Building, Easter Bush Campus, Midlothian, EH25 9RG on Tuesday 4 June (10.30am-3pm).

Those who would like to attend can book a place here or contact Val Angus on 01835 823 322 or email val.angus@sac.co.uk

Any journalists who would like to attend, please contact tom.maxwell@sruc.ac.uk; 0131 535 4196.

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