Scottish farming’s digital future demonstrated at SLE Walk & Talk

Press Release

Digital innovation in Scottish farming has been showcased at a walk and talk event organised by rural business association, Scottish Land & Estates.

Hosted by Buccleuch’s Borders Estate at Bowhill near Selkirk, attendees heard from farm manager Sion Williams how the adoption of technology was improving outcomes across the business.

Bowhill Farming Ltd spans 6,555 hectare of mixed hill/upland. Enterprises include a herd of premium health Aberdeen Angus cows, a flock of Scottish Blackfaced breeding ewes, a large free-range poultry unit, an anaerobic digester, deer farming, as well as a small amount of arable cropping grown mainly for stock feed.

Mr Williams provided a tour of the farm and looked at technology’s role in increasing productivity, reducing risks and creating a sustainable future. Topics discussed included benchmarking, slurry management, rotational grazing, animal performance and health as well as soil health.

Bowhill is also an active partner in a number of research projects and is one of the 32 Agri-EPI Centre Satellite Farms.

Gavin Dick, from Agri-EPI Centre’s satellite farm network, also joined the walk and talk event and together they explained the technologies being used such as satellite imagery looking at pasture levels, cattle boluses recording cattle temperatures and using water drinking weighers. 

Tracey Roan, Regional Support Officer (Dumfries & Galloway) at Scottish Land & Estates said: “The walk and talk was a really informative event which showcased how a leading farming business such as Bowhill is using technology to improve every area of their farming enterprises.

“Attendees were impressed by what Sion and his colleagues were achieving and were keen to learn more about how technological advances could be utilised on smaller farming units and the costs and benefits associated with that.

“It was a chance to ask questions, share knowledge and views and think about where Scottish farming will advance to over the next decade and beyond. There is no shortage of challenges when we consider how to improve productivity, animal health and environmental outcomes whilst maintaining Scotland’s world class reputation for food and drink production.

“Our appreciation goes to Sion, Buccleuch and Gavin for hosting attendees and giving everyone something to think about.”