Farm meeting puts focus on renewables

RENEWABLES and trace elements in cattle and sheep will be the hot topics for discussion at the next Northumberland Monitor Farm meeting to be held at Donkin Rigg next week.

At this on-farm meeting on Tuesday, Kate Phillips, principal livestock consultant for ADAS, will talk about the practical supplementation of trace elements in cattle and sheep and Louis Fell, partner at George F White, will focus on renewables.

This evening is open to farmers, landowners and any associated rural businesses.

Farmer Simon Bainbridge will give his round-up of recent activity on his 1,600-acre farm.

Kate will then take those attending on a tour of the farm to talk about trace elements.

She will be looking at the livestock and discussing the key trace elements that are often lacking in beef and sheep production, such as selenium, cobalt and copper, methods of supplementation and how to assess needs through sampling.

Louis Fell, who has already been to the farm to look at its potential for renewables, will give a presentation of his findings on both the opportunities and limitations for renewable energy at Donkin Rigg.

He will provide hands-on advice and give a realistic view on pay back and the practicalities of installing main wind and PV on a farm scale basis.

This will be followed by a walk around the farm buildings at Donkin Rigg to assess possible PV sites.

The aim of the meeting is to have a continuation of last month’s meeting which covered forage and grassland, this time concentrating on trace elements for cattle and sheep.

Added to the advice on renewable energy it will meet the ultimate aim of all the meetings to improve performance and production.

The Northumberland Monitor Farm Project is organised by English Farming and Food Partnerships, EBLEX, Alnorthumbria Vets and the North Northumberland Agricultural Training Association, with generous funding from Defra through Landskills NE - managed by Lantra, it is part of the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE), funded by the European Fund for Rural Development and Defra.

Anyone interested in attending the meeting, which takes place at 5pm, should preregister with Helen or Sandra on 0870 609 1840/01904 771213 or