Improvements unveiled at final Lochaber monitor farm meeting

Chris Cameron runs Strone Farm near Fort William with his father, Malcolm.

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Farmers in Lochaber are invited to attend the final monitor farm meeting at Strone Farm on Thursday February 20 to hear first-hand about the changes that have resulted in an increase in profitability and efficiency on the 1,200-hectare livestock farm.

Run by Chris Cameron in partnership with his father Malcolm, the family have 520 North Country Cheviot ewes and a herd of 50 breeding Limousin cows at their farm near the Great Glen, one of Scotland’s highest rainfall areas.

Chris and Malcolm signed up as a monitor farm in 2016 and throughout the three years they have made a range of improvements to their farming business including changing their grassland management, how they finish their lambs and their approach to reseeding.

Chris said: ‘Our main aim at Strone has always been to maximise value of stock leaving the farm, and the best way to do this was to grow more grass. During the project we continued to move our ewes and lambs to summer in Inverness and took on a new tenancy locally, which led to more summer grazing.

‘This has resulted in year on year improvements, with lamb weaning percentage peaking at over 100 per cent in 2019 for the first time. The extra grass has allowed us to increase the size of our pedigree Limousin herd by 20 per cent.

‘The monitor farm project has allowed me to learn new techniques, find new grass seed mixes and discover different technologies to help drive the business forward.’

Niall Campbell, Lochaber monitor farm facilitator from SAC Consulting, said: ‘The monitor farm programme has brought the local farming community together and provided access to experts and knowledge that will prove useful in driving their farming businesses forward.

‘I would encourage everyone with an interest in improving their farm business to attend the final meeting which will cover the highlights and lessons learned throughout the three-year project.’

The meeting on Thursday February 20 will be held at Strone Farm near Banavie, Fort William PH33 7PB, and will begin at noon. Lunch will be provided. The meeting is expected to finish by 4.30pm. All are welcome and the event is free.

For further information and to book your place (and lunch), contact SAC Consulting on 01631 563093 or frbsoban@sac.co.uk