North Ayrshire Monitor Farm

John Howie
North Ayrshire
Farm sectors:
Cereals & Oilseeds
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About North Ayrshire Monitor Farm

  • 140ha
  • Livestock and cereals
  • Monitor Farm since 2016
  • The Scottish Monitor Farms programme is being funded by £1.25million secured from the Scottish Government and European Union’s Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Fund. It is run jointly by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds. 

Girtridge Farm near Dundonald in Ayrshire, is run by 27-year-old John Howie in partnership with his mother Margaret and his sister Mary. The family moved to Girtridge in 2000 and in 2010 John took over the day-to-day management of the farm.

The 140-hectare farm sits in an elevated position just outside Dundonald in south west Scotland, and the family also own a further 35 hectares of grazing land nearby.

The main farm enterprise is buying in store cattle and finishing them for sale direct to local abattoirs but the family also have a herd of 10 suckler cows. The farm runs 140 cross ewes producing Suffolk and Texel prime lambs that are mainly sold through nearby Ayr market. Everything grown on the farm is used on-farm including 56 hectares of silage and hay and 28 hectares of spring barley.

John feels fortunate that Girtridge is very versatile. This means the farm is not restricted to one type of farming policy and he is happy to consider a future change in direction as a result of the monitor farm process.

He said: “Ultimately I would like to grow the business and expand the farm as efficiently as possible, maximising profit and reducing costs,”

“I am really looking forward to learning from other farmers and looking at what we could do at Girtridge to strengthen our business. I think it will be a huge learning curve, but one that I will benefit from, as well as the local farmers who get involved.” 

A summary of the first year as a Monitor Farm can be found here

The Livestock Plus article on North Ayrshire Monitor Farm is here

Check out the North Ayrshire Monitor Farm facebook page.