A NEW interactive demonstration highlighting the benefits of regularly weighing beef cattle will be held at AgriScot later this month.

Audience participation will be involved in the demonstration, which is supported by Quality Meat Scotland, with visitors encouraged to use digital voting pads to take part in a quiz.

QMS head of industry development, Douglas Bell, explained that the aim of the demonstration was to highlight the changes that can be seen in herds with regular weighing of livestock: "The regular weighing of growing cattle allows their performance to be carefully monitored and changes, for example, to rations, can be made in good time if identified early.

“Weighing is an important tool when selecting cattle for slaughter, to ensure processor requirements are met.”

Weighing livestock can also identify any issues or illness in herds, added the head of SAC Consulting's beef and sheep team, Gavin Hill, who will lead the demonstration at the event: “A further benefit of weighing is that the correct dosage of veterinary medicines can be accurately gauged, avoiding over-dosing or under-dosing as a result of guessing weights or going with a herd average.

"As well as the day-to-day herd management benefits, weighing cattle can also help with more strategic decisions in relation to beef production systems," said Mr Hill. “Cow efficiency, in terms of the weight of calf weaned per 100kg of cow, is increasingly being recognised as a key benchmark for suckler herds trying to maximise efficiency.

"Clearly, if cows and calves are not weighed, this ratio cannot be calculated with any certainty.”

AgriScot vice-chairman Robert Neill added: "I have had a policy of regularly weighing cattle, on my own farm, for a number of years now. I feel it has allowed my beef business to become much more efficient.

“It will be great to have QMS and the SRUC students demonstrating the benefits of regular cattle weighing to AgriScot visitors.”

The demonstration is scheduled to start in the main ring of AgriScot on November 15 at 11.30am.