AgriScot, which takes place next month at Ingliston, has announced the main themes to be covered by the seminar programme at the event. Contract farming, dairy performance and trees all feature strongly on the AgriScot seminar programme.
Forestry Commission Scotland and Scottish Woodlands will stage a seminar to highlight the potential opportunities for and benefits of integrating forestry into farming in order to maximise business productivity and diversify incomes.
Virginia Scott Harden of Forestry Commission Scotland commented:
“Traditional agriculture is facing unprecedented challenges, including uncertainty over the future of subsidies and payment for the provision of environmental services. In these undoubtedly difficult times, the value of business diversification and of increasing future business resilience is brought into sharp focus and we want to invite more farmers to take a closer look at how woodland creation can help them realise those benefits.
“By looking at existing agricultural businesses that already benefit from woodland creation, we will explore the financial support available for woodland creation, timber demand, forestry as an investment and its use in adding value to unproductive land. We will also outline some of the less well-known aspects of forestry – such as livestock and crop productivity benefits, diffuse pollution control and natural flood management.”
A focus on contract farming and share farming is likely to be of interest to existing farmers and new entrants, following recent legislative changes in agricultural leases.
Respected agricultural lawyer, Clive Phillips, a Partner at Brodies LLP, will host an afternoon seminar exploring contract and share farming arrangements, whilst in the morning, NFUS also plan a session examining these alternative business models.
NFUS, who along with NFU Mutual are main sponsors of the seminar programme, will also host their traditional key-note seminar featuring Cabinet Secretary, Fergus Ewing and NFUS President Andrew McCornick.
The outlook, opportunities, and obstacles for Scottish dairy farmers will be up for discussion at Kite Consultancy seminar presided over by their senior consultant David Keiley and Chris Walkland, an independent market analyst. To complement this, the Scottish Dairy Hub will again host a Question Time event. The Hub panel will include Tom Hind (Chief Strategy Officer at AHDB), Rory Christie (Dairy Farmer), Roddy Maclean (RBS Director of Agriculture) and Ian Potter (Industry Commentator). Also, on the dairy front, a seminar by Cargill will focus on managing the factors that affect calf and heifer growth in order to optimise animal performance and improving the overall profitability of dairy enterprises.
Event Chairman, Robert Neill commented on the AgriScot seminar programme:
“The whole AgriScot team is delighted to be bringing together this year’s event on behalf of our fellow farming and agri-professional colleagues.
“Resilience has become a bit of a buzzword at present. However, personally, as we look at an uncertain, post-Brexit future, I think that the aim of building resilience into farming businesses is an absolute necessity.”
“The AgriScot seminar programme, and indeed the whole AgriScot event, is going to be a must-attend for those seeking to ensure their farming businesses are strong enough to cope with any threats and take advantage of any opportunities lying ahead.”
“The opportunity to put both the Cabinet Secretary and NFUS president on the spot regarding policy and the chance to hear and discuss new ideas in the seminars and throughout the packed trade stands is not to be missed.”