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Food & Drink chief to lead dairy sector review

Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead used yesterday's Agriscot to announce Scotland Food & Drink chief executive James Withers is to head up a strategic review of the Scottish dairy industry.

He will be supported by a business advisory group, with high-profile figures from the Scottish dairy sector. The review, which will report to ministers by the end of March, will:

l Review the efficiency and competitiveness of all parts of the dairy supply chain;

l Assess opportunities for collaboration among primary producers and scope for integration;

l Consider the UK and export market opportunities for value-added Scottish dairy products;

l Explore potential for generic market development and brand support;

l Evaluate primary production and processing capacity to maximise export potential.

AGRISCOT SHOW WINNERS

SuperCow champion: Red & White second-calver, Dilandy Debonair Tabitha Red, owned by Gilmour Lawrie, Brieryside, Prestwick and Bryan Yates, East Logan, Castle Douglas.

SuperHeifer champion: Home-bred Ayrshire, Brieryside Profiliz Cherry, owned by Gilmour Lawrie and his son Kevin, Brieryside, Prestwick.

Scotch Beef Farm of the Year: Robert and Jacqueline Neill, Upper Nisbet Farm, near Jedburgh.

Scottish Dairy Farm of the Year: Firm of Andrew Harvey, Drum Farm, Beeswing, Dumfries.

Agriscot Business Skills: First ever female winner, Sara Sands, Southfield Farm, Abernyte, Perth.

First-cut clamp silage: John McAuslin, Farm Manager at Auchincruive, Ayr.

Big-bale silage: W&A Watson, Muir Farm, Mauchline.

MARKET ROUND-UP

The Cumberland & Dumfriesshire Farmers' Mart had 31 prime cattle forward in Dumfries that included six dairy-bred young bulls. Bullocks sold to 230p per kg and averaged 218.9p, while heifers peaked at 222.5p and levelled at 202.1p. Young bulls sold to 153.5p and averaged 130.5p.

The 31 OTM cattle forward saw beef cows average 120.2p and dairy cows at 100.1p. 531 prime lambs sold to £86 per head and 216p per kg to average 157.5p. The firm had 422 cast sheep forward with heavy ewes at £75.50 for Texels and averaging £57.50. Light ewes peaked at £51 for Cheviots were at £41. Craig Wilson sold 767 prime lambs in Newton Stewart to a top of £75 and 169.2p to average 147.8p. There were 213 cast sheep forward with ewes selling to £63.50 for Mules and £48.50 for Blackfaces.

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