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Stirling Farm Event looks at Health and Efficiency of Scotland’s Beef Calf Production.

Published Wednesday, 24th July 2013 in SAC Consulting news

Even farmers are enjoying the good weather, with lush, green grass and calves and lambs growing fast, with the sun on their backs.

But the legacy of last summer and the recent terrible winter and spring remains. A free meeting near Blairdrummond, on Thursday 8th August, organised by consultants from Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) will consider better ways of managing disease and ill health in beef suckler herds, where Scottish beef production begins.

According to Ian Pritchard of SAC Consulting (a Division of SRUC) after a challenging 12 months farmers are now in a more optimistic mood and better able to think ahead.

“The improvement in the weather and buoyant prices now being received for finished cattle and the weaned, suckled calves sold as “stores” for others to finish, has created a more positive attitude among beef farmers. But even with these good prices they shouldn’t be complacent. There is a lot of scope for improving production in the Scottish suckler herd and that’s what we will discuss at Mains of Burnbank, Blairdrummond.”

Ian Pritchard manages the UK wide Premium Cattle Health Scheme for SAC Consulting. It helps members tackle a range of diseases and conditions that can affect animal welfare, drag down efficiency and cost the business through lost production.

Ian has drawn together a range of leading experts who will give advice on topics including the management of pneumonia and other cattle respiratory diseases over the weaning period, dealing with the challenge of liver fluke parasites, the latest information on Johne’s wasting disease in cattle, the threat of midge-borne Schmallenberg disease, weaning management  and targeted winter rationing. The event begins at 11.00 am and will finish at 3.00pm and lunch will be provided.

What will attract many farmers is a chance to tour the host farm Mains of Burnbank, owned by the Graham family. The farm sits above the Carse of Stirling and runs over 1000 ewes as well as the herd of cattle.

“They are renowned for their award winning herd of high quality Limousin cattle,” says Ian Pritchard. But the Graham’s don’t sit on their laurels. They target high levels of production efficiency and embrace new technology to help them. There will be a chance to discuss their herd health policy and management.”

While the event, supported by Zoetis, is free, it will help those organising the catering if those planning to attend register with the SAC Consulting Stirling Office on 01786 450964.

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