NFUS | Highlands

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Highlands

Ian Wilson

As a farmer, as well as a regional manager for NFU Scotland, I have a wide understanding of the core issues affecting farmers and crofters from day to day.  

With my son Paul and wife Angela running the farm at home, with help from our daughters too, we are fully involved in the issues around getting younger people on to farms and women in agriculture too.
The Highland region is the largest region of NFU Scotland’s nine regions, covering both a geographically large and varied region but also a very diverse region in agricultural terms, boasting more than 900 members.

In Highland region, there is a range of agriculture from the smallest crofters with a couple of sheep, to the large agricultural businesses with thousands of hectares of cropping land.

Generally, the most productive land is on the eastern coast along the Moray Firth, with Caithness at the north being mainly a grass area supporting thousands of suckler cows.

Easter Ross, the Black Isle and the Nairnshire, Morayshire coast have mainly larger numbers of suckler cows with malting barley and distilling wheat grown to supply the many whisky distilleries in the region. This coastal area also supports seed potato production along with field vegetables, both conventional and organic. There historically were large numbers of dairy cows and pigs too but they have gone with only a few herds remaining. The islands, western and southern side of the region is mostly covered by hill sheep and hill suckler cows on some very extensive challenging hill farms.

With this being very much a store livestock-producing area, there is a fulltime livestock auction market in Dingwall and several seasonal centres including Skye, Uist, Lewis, Fort William, Lairg and Quoybrae in Caithness. There are also two medium-sized abattoirs in Grantown and Dingwall which cater for the three main species cattle, sheep and pigs.

Ian Wilson
Tel: 07775 915988
Email: ian.wilson@nfus.org.uk

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