Aquaponics in Western-Pomerania, Germany
Name of organisation/business: 
University of Rostock
European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (ELER) and national funding (Ministry of Agriculture, Environment and Consumer Protection of Mecklenburg Western Pomerania, MV, Germany).
Innovative use of emerging technologies to improve pig production efficiency
Name of organisation/business: 
Wholesome Pigs (Scotland) Ltd
Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Scheme: £390,696

Ruth MacDonald from the Scottish Rural Network Support Unit reports from the Agri-Innovation Conference held in York on 31 January 2017.

From new ideas to tackle feather pecking in hens to improving the carcase traits of Swaledale sheep, this event provided plenty of inspiration for people looking to try something new in the agricultural sector. 

At a farm visit organised as part of an Agri-Innovation Conference in York, visitors learnt about how a group of farmers in York revolutionised their businesses.

Around 100 people took part in the first meeting of the new Nithsdale Monitor Farm.

The Monitor Farms initiative aims to help improve the productivity, profitability and sustainability of Scottish farm businesses. It is being run jointly by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds. Nine new Monitor Farms are hosting open meetings, with events kicking off on 26 January and running until 6 March 2017.

The Orkney Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG) has awarded funding to investigate the development of an innovative piece of fishing gear.

A three-year post will be created by the Green Fishery Development Strategist project. The post-holder will look into the production of equipment for the sector which will help increase selectivity on the sea bed, helping sustain the fisheries industry.

Lochaber Monitor Farm meeting

The first Lochaber Monitor Farm Meeting is taking place on Thursday 26 January at Strone Farm, and will be hosted by Chris Cameron. Lunch and afternoon session is at Mooring Hotel, lunch will be provided.

The first meeting will cover:

Nine new Monitor Farms across the country will be opening their gates to local farming communities in the coming weeks.

The objective of the Monitor Farm Scotland programme is to help improve the productivity, profitability and sustainability of farm businesses through practical demonstrations, the sharing of best practice and the group approach to addressing industry issues.

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.

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.