SBA Farm Walk - Knockenjig Farm, Sanquhar

    24th January 2018

    Over 150 farmers attend this weeks farm walk at Knockenjig farm, Sanquhar. A big thank you to the Walker brothers Michael and Stuart for opening the gates to their state of art unit and mainline sponsors Calfmatters from Boehringer and Calltech Crystalyx for their insightful talks.

    Kath Aplin, Boehringer Ingelheim highlighted three key foundations to optimising neonatal health: good air quality, sufficient quality colostrum and dry bedding. Once these are achieved the additional use of vaccines can help prevent disease.

    Touching on antibiotics Kath stated “Antibiotics must be treated with the respect they deserve and used only as treatment rather than prevention. By ensuring management is optimised we can help reduce our usage as an industry.”

    Dr Cliff Lister, spoke of Calltech’s recent research and the benefits of diet supplementation. Karen Stewart, SAC was on hand throughout the day to answer questions on the farms cattle rations and advice on nutrition around calving. “Getting your home grown forage analysed and balancing the ration according to cow condition is key to managing cows pre calving.”

    Michael and Stuart took groups of farmers around the farm explaining there new shed design to reduce labour requirements, the programme for replacement heifers the importance of collecting data from kill sheets and link back to genetic lines in order to constantly improve calf performance.

    Speaking about the farm walk, Scott Henderson, Vice Chairman of the SBA said, “It was a great pleasure to see a family letting the younger generation take the lead in the business and they to have the confidence to invest in the beef industry.”

    The SBA plans to get in touch with the main purchasers of the 2017 crop of calves and arrange a farm walk in late summer to follow them through the finishing stage.

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