Event - North East Organic Discussion Group Meeting 20th September 2019


North East Organic Discussion Group Meeting

Date: Friday 20th September 2019 (booking essential either by contacting Aileen Buchanan, SAC Consulting Elgin on 01343 548787 or aileen.buchanan@sac.co.uk or online via this link)

Time: 1.30pm to 4.30pm

Location: Knock Farm, Knock, Huntly AB54 7LD courtesy of SOPA Members Roger and Beth Polson and last year’s hosts of EcoAgri Tech.

Theme: Winter feed rations & nutrition, sustainable farming, conservation and diffuse pollution.

The meeting will start with a farm walk to view livestock and crops as well as some of the habitat features created on farm such as hedges, ponds and the reed bed.   Paul Chapman a conservation specialist with SAC Consulting Solutions will be in attendance to discuss and give advice on farm biodiversity and conservation.  Plus, Lorna McPherson, a consultant with SAC Consulting Solutions, will speak on winter livestock nutrition.

940 cowsFarm Background: Knock Farm, a well-known local mixed organic farm, measuring some 434ha, lying between Huntly and Keith is farmed by Roger & Beth Polson.

The farm has been managed organically since 2006 and supports a herd of 70 Simmental cross and Aberdeen Angus cross cows with progeny finished between 20 and 26 months old.  Plus, a flock of Blackface (150) and Scotch Mule (250) breeding ewes, with all lambs finished on the farm.

A closed system has been in operation since 1996 for the cattle and sheep enterprises with the exception of breeding bulls, rams and 45 replacement Blackface ewe lambs purchased annually.

The farm produces its own silage and the aim is to be as self-sufficient in feed as possible, only buying in minerals and a little soya.  Crops including spring barley, a barley and pea mix (for the ewes) and for the first time this year, beans, are grown.  About a quarter of the farm is now committed to commercial forestry, amenity woodland and conservation areas.

The business also operates a livery and provides cross country training facilities as well as hosting occasional equine competitions.

SOPA 940   Knock silage sampleThis is the second meeting of four planned for the third year (2019/20) of the NE Organic Farming Discussion Group.  If you want to know more about the meeting or the discussion group in general please contact Aileen Buchanan, SAC Consulting Elgin on 01343 548 787 or e: aileen.buchanan@sac.co.uk. 

The North East Organic Farming Discussion Group has been established and funded through the Farm Advisory Service (FAS), facilitated by SAC and now in its second year. The group is Free to join for existing organic producers and those considering converting their business to organic management within the North East area.  The meetings provide a fantastic opportunity to find out about organic farming, to get together to exchange ideas, learn from each other and hear about current research.


Published date: 22 Aug 2019