Denholm farm at forefront of efficiency drive

Robert and Lesley Mitchell, along with son Stuart, farm at Whitriggs near Denholm.
Robert and Lesley Mitchell, along with son Stuart, farm at Whitriggs near Denholm.

A Denholm farm will be at the heart of moves to improve livestock performance and reduce costs across the Borders next week.

Robert and Lesley Mitchell, along with son Stuart, farm at Whitriggs, and the family are constantly looking for ways to improve the performance of their suckler herd and their Lleyn flock.

The Mitchells have 140 suckler cows, a combination of beef shorthorn cross and Aberdeen Angus cross.

And at a Borders monitor meeting at the farm next Wednesday, the family, along with Catherine Gayle from Hawick Vets, will lead a discussion on fertility and synchronisation.

Mr Mitchell said: “We have a spring-calving herd and are keen to tighten up our calving period if we can.

“We think there is a potential benefit in synchronising our cows, especially our heifers, to ensure that they get into calf quickly and are looking forward to hearing what other local farmers think.”

Whitriggs has 442 hectares of mainly semi-permanent and permanent grassland.

At the last such meeting in May, the Mitchells discussed ways in which they could improve their grassland management.

They have since established eight hectares of paddock grazing for their cattle and will share their initial thoughts on the system with the group at the meeting.

The aim of the programme is to help improve the productivity, profitability and sustainability of farm businesses through practical demonstrations, the sharing of best practice and the discussion of up-to-date issues.

The event is free, but for catering purposes, those interested in going along on should contact Stephen Young, one of the project facilitators, on 07502 339613 or email stephen.young@saos.coop