Farming For a Better Climate Podcast Series
In 2020, we launched our podcast series. Each month we'll hear from guest speakers, ranging from experienced farmers and leading industry experts - all of whom have experience and knowledge of how to adapt to a changing climate.
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The benefits of reduced tillage
In this Episode Agricultural consultants Zach Reilly and David Ross speak about the positives of reduced tillage from a soil, financial and carbon perspectives. They also highlight some of the challenges of incorporating such a system and look at what practical steps can be taken to start on a pathway to reduced tillage and regenerative agriculture.
Visit our Soil Regenerative Agriculture Group page to find out how 5 Scottish farmers are working together and supporting each other as they all move towards reduced tillage and regenerative agriculture practices.
Adapting to a changing climate
In this episode Séamus Murphy speaks to Environment consultant Iain Boyd and Anna Beswick of Adaptation Scotland about what the impacts of climate change are going to be on Scotland and Scottish agriculture. The podcast focuses on what can be done now to build resilience into current farm businesses to ensure a sustainable future. The recent SAC Consulting publication 'Climate change adaptation for agriculture - Is your farm ready?' is discussed heavily.
Grazing Strategies: One size doesn't fit all
In this episode SAC Consulting sheep specialist Poppy Frater speaks to farmers Alex Brewster of Rotmell Farm and Graham Lofthouse of Bankhouse farm about their own respective grazing strategies. Both Alex and Graham are on a journey to improve their grazing but have done so in different ways while dealing with the different challenges of soils, weather and animal behaviour thrown up over the years on each of their farms. Both farmers highlight the importance of finding a system that suits your farm business and that one size doesn't fit all when it comes to grazing strategies.
Hardgrove Farm: Improving efficiencies with herd health & fertility management
In this Farming for a Better Climate podcast environment consultant Séamus Murphy and dairy specialist Dr.Lorna MacPherson speak to dairy farmer Alistair Marshall and farm manager Ken McFeely of Hardgrove Farm. The discussion looks at how Hardgrove Farm has managed to increase efficiency in production, which can ultimately reduce emissions, through an increased focus on health and fertility planning over the last few years. There are lots of take away points for any farmer looking to improve efficiency in the dairy herd and reduce their carbon footprint.
In this episode Poppy Frater, SAC Consulting's Sheep & Grassland Specialist chats with Nikki Yoxall, from Grampian Graziers and Finn Weddle, a farm advisor and director within Reforesting Scotland. Poppy, Nikki and Finn have a really interesting discussion about the many benefits of Agroforestry systems, from improved animal welfare with the improved shelter, nutritional benefits from grazing access to different tree species and other health benefits, e.g. parasitic control from the naturally occurring chemicals ingested with the range of plants found within a woodland flora.
Nikki farms rare breed, native cattle in Aberdeenshire and provides interesting updates and posts on the #TheWeeMob on her Twitter page @Howemill. (Photo credit for this podcast image goes to Nikki Yoxall) . Finn can be found on Twitter at @DesignAndConker where you can access his regular 'Regenerative Livelihood Podcast'.
Improving Efficiencies in the Dairy Herd
In this episode, we hear from Lorna MacPherson, Senior Dairy Consultant with SAC Consulting, and Megan Fergusson, Veterinary Investigation Office with SRUC Veterinary Services. The topics discussed include improving herd health, fertility and nutrition as ways to improve efficiencies within the dairy herd.
Farming in an economically viable and environmentally sustainable manner at Balcaskie, Fife
In this episode we listen in as Beef Specialist Consultant, Robert Ramsay, chats to Sam Parson, the Farms Estate Director at the Balcaskie Estate, Fife. Sam explains that the farm has a 50-year outlook for the business and as a result both economic resilience and climate change led farm management changes. The estate is now transitioning the in-hand farm enterprises to a fully organic status incorporating a more regenerative system. We hear more about the grazing management employed on the estate, including the practicalities of managing bale and rotation grazing systems.
We also have a Case Study to download featuring Balcaskie Estate - Making Use of Bale Grazing at Balcaskie Estate.
A revisit to Woodhead - a previous Climate Change Focus Farm
In this episode we revisit Woodhead near Newmilns in Ayrshire and chat with dairy farmer John Kerr and agricultural consultant Alexander Pirie. John was a Climate Change Focus Farm host from 2014 - 2018 and made significant financial savings whilst reducing his farm carbon footprint by 6%. We hear his thoughts about the project, what he gained from his time as a host and how he has continued to make further improvements to the farm business to further increase business efficiency.
Climate Change in Agriculture & Rewilding
In this episode, we hear from Professor Davy McCracken (SRUC Hill & Mountain Research Centre at Kirkton & Auchtertyre)