The UK's No. 1 Farm Business Event

AgriScot 2022

AgriScot 2022 – Showring Morning Session

Silage Competition
Heifer Classes
SuperHeifer Presentation
Beef Demonstration

Farm of the Year Awards 2022

Arable Farm of the Year
Dairy Farm of the Year
Beef Farm of the Year
Sheep Farm of the Year
Diversified Farm of the Year
Business Skills Award

AgriScot 2022 – Showring Afternoon Session

Cow Classes
Best Stall Award
SuperCow Presentation

The Seminars 2022

Business Resilience – Brodies LLP and RBS

A reality check on the current economic challenges facing farming was delivered during the Brodies LLP and Royal Bank of Scotland session, offering advice for businesses to weather the storm. With a recession pending, they touched on how to build resilience into your business, but also the legal implications and potential opportunities that can be considered during these times, with a nod to diversification and spreading risk across multiple enterprises.

Panellists shared their predictions for the future and how we can expect to see customers reducing spending, particularly in areas considered luxuries and advised businesses looking to hire new staff, to carefully consider the wages they are offering, to match with people’s expectations.

Monitor Farm Announcement – QMS

Nine new Scottish monitor farms were announced at AgriScot during the QMS session, with past farmers from the programme sharing their experiences.
The initiative led by QMS and AHDB will run over the next four years, bringing together industry and experts to help them assess the individual farm’s performance, explore opportunities, and develop solutions to the challenges they face.
The monitor programme was endorsed by Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon: “This long-running programme is ideally placed to support the wider agricultural sector to optimise production, contributing to our food security while helping meet our climate change and net zero targets.”

Panellist and Monitor Farm Programme Manager Beth Alexander told delegates that since the initiative first launched in 2003, it has ‘pioneered new ways of working, experimented with fresh ideas and, most importantly, improved the productivity and profitability of the businesses it has worked with. The journeys these farms go on will be as unique as the farms themselves.’

The nine QMS and AHDB Monitor Farms this cycle are:

  • Malcolm and Callum Smith, at Auchernack, Grantown on Spey.
  • Bruce and Vicky Irvine, Sauchentree Farm, New Aberdour, Fraserburgh
  • Duncan and Claire Morrison, Meikle Maldron, Torphins, Aberdeenshire
  • The McNicol family, Castleton Farm, East Lothian
  • The Duncan family, Lands of Drumhead, Balfron Station, Stirlingshire
  • The Archibald family, Craigens Fatm, Gruinart, Islay
  • The Andrew family, Rowanston. Maybole, South Ayrshire
  • The McCornick family, Barnbackle Farm, Lochfoot, Dumfries
  • The Wilson, family, Cowbog, Morebattle, Kelso

Scottish Dairy Hub & Kite Consultancy

This interactive discussion on the dairy industry in Scotland brought some robust questions from the floor on what the sector needs, the realities of the support and rewards for climate change mitigation on farm, dairy’s fundamental role in food security and where dairy products sit in foreign trade deals. The panel – George Burgess Director of Agriculture & Rural Economy at Scottish Government, Paul Savage UK Agricultural Director at Arla Foods, Sarah Simpson, dairy farm director, Agri-Policy Specialist and ARIOB member, and journalist and market analyst Chris Walkland – brought views from different areas of the industry.


The Importance of Soil Sampling – SoilEssentials & Agri-EPI Centre

During a seminar exploring the importance of soil sampling, run by Soil Essentials and Agri-EPI Centre, farmers were encouraged to make the most of the current Scottish Government funding available for soil sampling and to take steps to prioritise soil health, by improving their nutrient management.
Claire Hodge from AgriEpi-Centre told delegates: “Soil sampling and looking after soil health is feeding into a healthy agricultural system.
“So much emphasis is put on the carbon debate when it comes to our soils, but nutrient management is so important and getting the right balance sheet.“If we are asking farmers to collect data we need to create an action plan to maintain and protect our soils, as well as use this information to inform change.”

Delgates heard how how soil sampling programmes are being rolled out globally and what technology can be deployed on the farm to capture this information.

NFU Scotland head-to head

AgriScot crowds gathered in their droves for the NFUS seminar which saw President Martin Kennedy and Cabinet Secretary Mairi Gougeon tackle issues ranging from support for Scotland’s pig sector to an update on agricultural policy.
The Cabinet Secretary was pushed on the ‘slow pace’ of delivery of the Ag Bill, with farmers raising concerns about ‘four years of talks, expert panels and promises’, yet ongoing uncertainty and a lack of detail in the current proposals. Ms Gougeon defended the pace of the Ag Bill, saying ‘We have to balance the ambition of our approach with the need to take the industry with us’, adding her assurances that there would be ‘no cliff edges for the industry’. Mr Kennedy highlighted the problems south of the border with the ELMS scheme and stressed that Scotland couldn’t afford to make a similar mistake. He said: “Yes we have to move fast but we have to move in the right direction. Now we are seeing a real review of what is happening south of the border, people are going off the cliff edge, we can’t afford to do that In Scotland. It is better to take time to get it right and showcase our ability to take the lead when it comes to future support.”

Animal Health Update – Moredun Foundation

Delegates were given an animal health update from the Moredun foundation which included recent research on Johne’s disease from Dr Craig Watkins. He explored the different control options including an update on the Gudair vaccine, explaining that it does reduce infection and transmission of the disease but should be used as part of a suite of measures. “The vaccine should be seen as a tool as part of a management control scheme alongside other measures such as strict biosecurity and a test and cull policy. There was also an update on the BVD eradication campaign in Scotland by Dr George Russell George who described how work at Moredun is helping improve their understanding of the virus strains involved.

Future-proofing Farming’s Workforce – SAOS

An interactive session on ‘Future-proofing Farming’s Workforce’ was led by SAOS, with delegates sharing their own labour challenges and ideas on how to counter some of the stereotypes around farming jobs as being low-skilled and poorly paid. Panellist Rory Christie highlighted the rise in technology on farm and the high level of skills needed for its operation.
“There are so many changes being thrown at the farming sector, which means that its workforce is having to adapt. You must be skilled to cope with that.”
He shared the challenges he was seeing with an initiative he recently launched on his own dairy farm, looking at improving flexibility by offering four days on, four days off, to prospective workers. He revealed that in six months, he had received 150 notes of interest, 25 from the UK and only one job at the end of it. “People didn’t believe we would be flexible or pay well,” he stressed, adding that the sector needs to find ways to improve perceptions if it is to overcome the current labour predicament.

Cattle EID – the next steps

An insight into the future of Ultra High Frequency (UHF) tagging for cattle in Scotland’s livestock supply chain was brought to AgriScot by ScotEID, the ANM Group and the Institute of Auctioneers (IAAS).
With over 3.5m reads to date, the technology is now well under way and its development has been finely tuned with the live input of the ANM Group with Isabel Buchan and her livestock team at Thainstone, as well as 300 volunteer farmers.
With plans for it to become compulsory from January 2024, the seminar explained how it works at farm level, how and why producers should get involved, and urged early voluntary uptake.

AgriScot Archive

Check out our archive of previous AgriScot events