A new agricultural EIP-AGRI Focus Group on benchmarking draws attention to the benefits and makes a number of recommendations for improvements.

Benchmarking is finding out how you are doing compared to other similar businesses and using this information to improve. For farmers this can include comparing data on feed costs, herd health, crop yields and so on.

Four Agriculture Champions have been appointed by the Scottish Government.

The Agriculture Champions will help develop an Agriculture Strategy to guide the long-term sustainable future for Scottish agriculture.

The four Agriculture Champions are:

The deadline for applications to the Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Fund (KTIF) is Thursday 2 February 2017.

KTIF is designed to support projects that increase farmers’ skills and knowledge by delivering training, coaching, courses and farm visits, and by supporting on-the-ground improvements in competitiveness, efficiency and sustainability.

A €2 million European Union (EU) project to increase lamb survival rates, funded under Horizon 2020, has been announced.

Scottish farmers and researchers will work with people in Spain, Romania, Italy, France, Ireland  and Turkey to reduce lamb deaths.

Between 2 to 6 million lambs in the UK die every year before they are three days old.[1] 

Tyne Esk LEADER approved six projects in their first round of funding.

A total of £267,000 was awarded to the six projects, which include community, farm diversification and enterprise projects. The Tyne Esk LEADER programme covers Mid- and East Lothian.

You can find information on the approved projects below.

And you can find out more about the Jerba Campervans' project in their Case Study.

Run by sisters Kirsty and Aimee Budge, Bigton Farm in Shetland is the sixth of nine new monitor farms being established in Scotland.

Twenty three year old Kirsty and nineteen year old Aimee are passionate about farming and keen to improve the farm business.  They are also eager to raise awareness of the importance of farming on Shetland and the role of women in agriculture.

Dumfries and Galloway LEADER Local Action Group are delighted, in a backdrop of change, to have committed £867,041.10 to a mix of community, enterprise and farm diversification projects since March 2016.

A limited number of free Farm Woodland Assessments are being offered across the Central Scotland Green Network area.

The Central Scotland Green Network (CSGN) Trust are offering the assessments on behalf of Forestry Commission Scotland to help farms and estates identify opportunities for new and existing woodland to support their farm businesses.

Are you planning on doing any agri-environmental management in 2017?

This could be part of an Agri-Environment Climate Scheme (AECS) scheme, a greening measure, or just a desire to do something different. Want to know if your management makes a difference? Soil Association Scotland can help you find out! 

Soil Health: how to revolutionise your farm’s profitability

A practical, informative meeting with James Bretherton, AgScope, on why soil health is crucial for optimum production of crops and livestock, how you can influence soil health to provide higher yields and healthier stock, looking at and beyond the chemical and the physical. Providing answers to your soil related questions.

Booking is required. For further information please call on Lyn 07899 791748 or email