Free event to help farmers improve their farm’s efficiency

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Farmers will have the opportunity to find ways to improve their efficiency and ultimately the financial returns to their businesses at a free event at Ladenford Farm near Forfar at 10 a.m., on Tuesday, March 5.

The event, held by SAC Consulting, a division of Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), aims to help farmers growing crops in Tayside and Angus who continue to suffer from the effects a devastating 2012 had on their businesses.

They faced increasingly unpredictable weather and rising input costs while the price of their own products fluctuated wildly in response to global events.

The legacy continues with damaged to fields and farms and less stored crop to sell than they budgeted for.

Four topics will be addressed in the morning session and before the lunch provided.

SRUC Soil Specialist Dr Bruce Ball will show farmers how to assess their soils for problem signs and discuss options available for alleviating soil compaction.

Tony Powell of Michelin will advice on tyre choice and pressures for agricultural equipment.

Dr Fiona Burnett (SRUC) and Bill Thomas (James Hutton Institute) will discuss the best use of chemical inputs and how advances in plant breeding will benefit arable farms in the future.

Two SAC Consulting staff, Chloe McCulloch and Kate Hutcheson will explain how energy buying groups, for electricity and fuels oils, can save significant sums on an annual basis

After lunch there will be two seminars covering crop marketing and precision farming. Senior SAC Rural Business Consultant Julian Bell will provide an update on the cereal markets and give an outline of how a marketing strategy can maximise returns from crops.

Specialist company Soil Essentials will explain how simple precision farming techniques, using GPS technology, can improve soil nutrients save costs and maximising arable crop returns.

There will then be an to revisit any of the four morning workshops or to gather further information and to look over a range of cultivation equipment.

Those planning to attend should register by contacting Euan Hart at the SAC Consulting Forfar office, 01307 464033 or email euan.hart@sac.co.uk