Preparing and managing change in the lead-up to organic conversion at Whitriggs in 2020 was the focus of the Borders Monitor Farm meeting on Wednesday (July 31).
Whitriggs is a partnership between Robert and Lesley Mitchell, and their son Stuart.
The Mitchells run a herd of 170 suckler cows at their 442-hectare farm, as well as a breeding herd of 300 red deer.
Stuart took on the responsibility of day-to-day decision-making at Whitriggs last year and initiated the conversion to organic earlier this year.
A strong line-up of speakers – including James Bretherton from Agscope Ltd, who has been working alongside farmers for more than 20 years, and agronomist David Cairns – offered insight into reviewing the barriers of organic conversion, as well as tips on soil, grassland and weed management relevant to both conventional and organic farmers alike.
It’s a big decision to convert to organic farming and good technical performance and careful planning are fundamental.