Focus On Precision Farming

With serious agriculture very much at the core of the Royal Highland Show, a key issue for the organisers is to ensure that all the equipment, technical know-how and advice is on hand to help farmers and landowners maximise returns from their businesses.

It is essential that the show reflects trends in the industry and with that in mind, the organisers last year placed a special emphasis on precision farming. The interest that the theme generated was so significant that it is being repeated this year, and the agricultural business section will once again include all of the UK’s leading manufacturers, dealers and specialists, many of whom will feature new technology.

The electronics revolution of recent decades has seen a steady growth in precision farming in the UK with an increasing number of arable farmers gathering data and utilising GPS systems to assist in more efficient farm management and crop production.  And it’s not just the arable sector that can benefit. IT and associated technology has also assisted livestock farmers to maximise flock or herd performance and realise the potential of individual animals.

Whether it’s a combine harvester with the latest yield mapping gadgetry or a smart phone app to access herd management information, farmers seeking to increase productivity and cut costs could find the solution at the Royal Highland.

The concept of precision agriculture first emerged in the United States in the early 1980s with recommendation grid maps for fertiliser applications and ph alterations. The advent of GPS receivers allowed farmers to advance this process and the further development of GPS and variable rate spreading techniques has helped to anchor precision farming management practices. In Europe since the 1990s, the UK has led the way.

For arable farmers, precision farming can significantly reduce the amount of nutrient and other crop inputs while simultaneously boosting yields. Put simply, fertiliser that would have been spread in areas of a field that do not require it can be placed in areas that do.  

According to the Home Grown Cereals Authority, when used correctly precision farming technology, which includes yield mapping, automatic steering and variable rate application, can increase the efficiency of farm operations.

There can also be environmental benefits with the more effective and targeted use of fertilisers and agro-chemicals a key component in a more sustainable agriculture. 

By utilising available and emerging technologies, the principles of precision farming can also be applied in the livestock industry.  From electronic identification (EID) to robotic milking, there’s a host of applications all geared to improving efficiency and returns.

For instance, the ultrasound scanning of ewes to forecast lambing percentages and to plan feeding regimes during pregnancy is now a regular management tool for sheep farmers.

In the dairy industry, neck worn transponders monitor the amount of concentrate to be fed to individual cows and when it comes to milk recording, modern IT and communication techniques have revolutionised the flow of information allowing milk producers to access remotely on screen views of their herd data.

Earlier this year, it was announced that a Scottish company had developed a behaviour monitoring collar for beef and dairy cattle which triggers alerts to a farmer’s mobile phone, tablet or PC. It will notify any change of activity, for example, when a cow goes into labour using predictive analytics software.

It used to be said of some forms of farming that it was all “muck and magic”.  For conventional agriculture, whether on an intensive or extensive scale, the modern maxim is more a case of “satellite and software”. Come June, for all the latest precision farming innovations and equipment, set the car GPS to EH28 8NB! 

Focus On Precision Farming
Focus On Precision Farming
Focus On Precision Farming
Things to do for Children - Royal Highland Show 2014
 

Things to do for Children

Remember it is free for children under 16 to visit the Show and this year we are delighted to offer our Free Children’s Wristband service which means that should your little one wander off, we can reunite you quickly.  This service can be found at each of the main public entrances and is operated by Edinburgh Rotary Clubs.

Here are some everyday highlights for little VIPs, but there is a lot more free fun to be had.  Grab yourself a programme to get the most out of your visit.

  • The Clan Cycle Stunt Team – Countryside Area
  • Wiseman Dairies – Follow the route of milk from cow to cup
  • Grand Parade – Main Ring Friday, Saturday and Sunday
  • Honey Tent – Learn the bee dance – Countryside Area
  • Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health Discovery Centre 
  • Storytelling tipi – Countryside Area
  • Climbing walls and kayaking in the Countryside Area
Things to do for Children
Things to do for Children
Things to do for Children
Shopping Heaven - Royal Highland Show 2014
 

Shopping Heaven

Looking for unique items of desire?  Then the Show has something to suit all tastes and pockets.

If you’ve got a passion for shopping then you need to head for the following areas:-

  • Shopping Arcade & Marquee and Crafts Zone – gorgeous items of desire including home
  • Equestrian Village – everything you need for both horse and rider – all top brands available
  • Outdoor Living – enter via the floral walkway and peruse items for your garden from plants to Swedish barbecue huts
  • Food & Drink Hall – come hungry there is so much to try – we challenge you not to buy!
  • Motor Zone – looking for new car, pick-up vehicle, quad-bike or motorbike ? You’ll find all major manufacturers represented at the Show
  • Lifestyle Village – as the name suggests, this is where you will find the latest lifestyle accessories from phones to spa baths, swimming pools and furniture
Shopping Heaven
Shopping Heaven
Shopping Heaven
Enjoying food at the Show - Royal Highland Show 2014
 

Enjoying food at the Show

The “Feed the Show” theme will highlight the region’s artisan food and drink producers – look out for various exhibitors in the Food Hall.

Enjoying food at the Show On the hoof

There are lots of quality assured food retailers at the Show selling everything from traditional sweets to pizza made to order!  We have provided plenty of picnic areas for you to sit and relax either overlooking the main ring or near one of our music stages.

Enjoying food at the Show Fine dining

A private members’ dining area can be found at the MacRobert Pavilion.  This is open to Members and their guests.  It is table service and offers a lovely chance to relax and chat with friends.  To enquire about becoming a member click here

Enjoying food at the Show for free

Indulge in Scotland's larder at The Food Hall and bring some home to share with friends and family. With over almost 100 exhibitors at The Show, you'll find so much to tempt you and with samples aplenty, you’ll find yourself returning for more!

Enjoying food at the Show
Enjoying food at the Show
Enjoying food at the Show
Forestry - Royal Highland Show 2014
 

Forestry

An all-action part of the showground involves everything from chainsaw carving, horse logging and the hugely popular pole climbing. 

Want to learn the best way to climb a tree?  Then head to this area for exhilarating action. .  Remember all exhibitions and demonstrations take place through all four days of the show and are free!

Check back in May for the 2014 timetable.

Forestry
BEWARE - EXHIBITOR DIRECTORY SCAM - Royal Highland Show 2014
 

BEWARE - EXHIBITOR DIRECTORY SCAM

If you have received a letter about an Exhibitor Directory for the Royal Highland Show from EXPO-GUIDE, ignore/discard it as it is COMPLETELY BOGUS.

If you sign up you may potentially be liable to pay a sum of 1271 Euros as written in the footer on the second page confirming your details!!  Note that the footer of the covering letter has an address in Mexico or abroad.

Despite our considerable efforts to outlaw this activity these letters to our exhibitors continue to be sent each year in the name of the Royal Highland Show and RHASS, but because they emanate from Mexico there is nothing that we can do to block them. 

We already have all exhibitor details for the genuine Show Catalogue  -from your exhibitor application form and this information is not shared with any third parties.  The bogus company obtain details from previously published and printed Show Catalogues.

BEWARE - EXHIBITOR DIRECTORY SCAM
A Banquet of Flavours - Royal Highland Show 2014
 

A Banquet of Flavours

It’s all senses to the fore for foodies at this year’s Royal Highland Show.

The Food Hall will feature a host of quality and award-winning products from almost 100 companies plus a line-up of some of Scotland’s top chefs demonstrating their culinary skills.

Check back in May for the 2014 Cookery timetables.

A Banquet of Flavours
A Banquet of Flavours
A Banquet of Flavours
SCHOOLS - Let RHET organise your visit to the Show! - Royal Highland Show 2014
 

SCHOOLS - Let RHET organise your visit to the Show!

Royal Highalnd Education Trust (RHET) aims to provide the opportunity for every child in Scotland to learn about food, farming and the countryside, and to create a wider understanding of the environmental, economic and social realities of rural Scotland. Click on the link at the top of the Show homepage to be redirected.

The Royal Highland Education Trust (RHET) Children's Discovery Centre is based in Avenue Q of the showground. The centre is run by the Royal Highland Education Trust (RHET) and open to anyone and everyone, offering a range of fun, interactive and hands-on activities for children of all ages.  Find out more about RHET in Scotland

The RHET education programme is available to booked school and nursery groups, and offers:  
  • Bookable education programme sessions
  • Interactive learning
  • Educational drop-in activities
  • Guided tours
  • Curriculum-linked education packs 
On arrival at the show, booked school groups are greeted by RHET staff and volunteers, who will ensure you find where you need to be as quickly as possible.
 
Groups have the option of a guided tour of the showground with one of our RHET volunteers and learn all about the different attractions, or head straight to the RHET Children's Discovery Centre to get stuck-in to your chosen activities.  Our tours can be tailored to meet your specific needs, however there is no obligation to participate in RHET activities should groups wish to enter as a school party and follow their own programme.
 
RHET staff and volunteers are on hand to guide and assist with activities, and RHET are extremely grateful to their dedicated team of volunteers and activity providers who give up their time for education at the Royal Highland Show.  Their expertise and enthusiasm is gladly shared with the children who visit the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health Discovery Centre, either as members of the public or in a school party.
SCHOOLS - Let RHET organise your visit to the Show!
SCHOOLS - Let RHET organise your visit to the Show!
SCHOOLS - Let RHET organise your visit to the Show!
FUTURE SHOW DATES - Royal Highland Show 2014
 

FUTURE SHOW DATES

Future Show dates approved by RHASS Board of Directors in March 2014

The 175th Royal Highland Show will take place on Thursday 18th to Sunday 21st June 2015

Dates for subsequent years -    
       16-19 June 2016
       15-18 June 2017
      


 

FUTURE SHOW DATES
FUTURE SHOW DATES
FUTURE SHOW DATES
GIRL BMX POWER AT THE ROYAL HIGHLAND SHOW 2014 - Royal Highland Show 2014
 

GIRL BMX POWER AT THE ROYAL HIGHLAND SHOW 2014

The UK’S No.1 Female BMX Freestyler, Kayley Ashworth, will be making a welcome return to the Royal Highland Show in 2014 as part of The Clan BMX Stunt Team.  The 24 year old from Bangor, Wales, is keen to show that cycling, and indeed stunt cycling, is not just for boys!

After suffering a fall at the RHS in 2012, which landed her in hospital with damage to her ulna and radius, Kayley cannot wait to get back to Scotland and give everyone a great stunt show.  She also wants to see everyone who helped her after her accident and thank them for looking after her, ‘The Scots are great!” Kayley explains, “They helped me so much after my fall and I still keep in touch.”

Young people at the RHS will have the opportunity to take part in bookable private sessions with The Clan straight after each show, where they can have a Q&A sitting with the riders and receive signed autographs.  Kayley is particularly keen to talk to young girls about the sport and encourage them not to be put off by activities that are dominated by boys.  There are only a handful of girls in BMX Freestyling in the UK and Kayley believes more should get involved as it is great for boosting confidence, keeping healthy and meeting new people.   

The Clan team will also be visiting Primary Schools up and down Scotland in March and April visiting pupils to talk about getting into cycling, and safety whilst on their bikes, as part of a campaign called ‘Give Me Cycle Space’. Then in June the team will be back at RHS where Kayley says she particularly enjoys visiting the Young Farmers HQ and Traditional Rural Craft Class.

GIRL BMX POWER AT THE ROYAL HIGHLAND SHOW 2014
GIRL BMX POWER AT THE ROYAL HIGHLAND SHOW 2014
GIRL BMX POWER AT THE ROYAL HIGHLAND SHOW 2014
Rettie’s Winning Partnership with RHS - Royal Highland Show 2014
 

Rettie’s Winning Partnership with RHS

Richard and Carol Rettie farm at Aberdona Mains, by Alloa in Clackmannanshire. They show their own beef cattle and have a livery business showing cattle for other breeders. They have two sons, Jamie & Chas - Jamie also shows his own beef cattle.

Richard and Carol were both born into farming and have been exhibiting at the Royal Highland for 14 years. Prior to that, Richard exhibited for the Brampton Charolais herd for a number of years.  It would appear that the Highland runs deep in their blood too; Carol's uncle Ian Anderson and cousins Lynne and Dawn, plus Richard’s father Alistair Rettie and grandfather Albert Rettie, also exhibited for many years. Additionally, their son Jamie made his first appearance as an exhibitor at the Highland a few years ago with his own Angus herd and will (hopefully) be returning this year too.

Carol said that the preparation for the Highland starts around three to six months prior, when they take delivery of show cattle for livery. They break in any unbroken animals, begin the training and washing process, and try them at smaller shows first to make sure they are ready for the Show.

The couple’s Royal Highland awards include 4 Beef Shorthorn Championships (3 in a row for Mark Holmes), 2 Hereford Championships, 1 Aberdeen Angus Reserve Supreme & 2 Aberdeen Angus Female Championships, all for livery clients.  The icing on the cake was winning the John Miller Perpetual Challenge Trophy in 2008. This trophy is awarded to the Stockperson in the Sheep, Heavy Horse, Cattle and Dairy Cattle sections in rotation who makes the best presentation of their stock, and the greatest contribution to fostering goodwill in the stocklines.

Over the years they have shown a total of 8 breeds at the Show.  When asked about the importance of the Highland to them, Carol said that it is everything, “It is all about the Highland …the AA breed is very strong in Scotland, with strong competition ….so, to us, the main show to win would be the Royal Highland." Carol also discussed the value of a win to the business, “Winning is always a great bonus, it’s good for business and it’s what we’re all trying to achieve.  Plus the social side at the Highland is fantastic.”

Other shows that the couple attends include The Royal Welsh and The Great Yorkshire Show, but it’s the Highland that is the main event for them. Carol said that it is the first big one and the most important, as it’s the one where everyone is keyed up for doing well, “It sets the pace for the shows that follow...you know you are going to be up against the best of the best at the Royal Highland Show.” 

Richard and Carol will be returning to the Royal Highland Show in 2014 to exhibit this year’s show animals.

Rettie’s Winning Partnership with RHS
2014 Show Judging Times and Rings - Royal Highland Show 2014
 

2014 Show Judging Times and Rings

With over 5000 entries from all over the UK and Ireland, the show will be living up to its “Best Event” award with a magnificent display of beef and dairy cattle, sheep, goats, horses and poultry. 

Download the 2014 Show Judging Times and Rings 

The Royal Highland Show will be the place to be to view some of the country’s best livestock. The Greatest Show will be a packed house, especially in the cattle hall and sheep marquees.  With this level of entries we can promise show visitors some keen competition in the judging rings and, of course, one of the spectacular sights of the show, the grand parades of prize winning cattle and horses.

2014 Show Judging Times and Rings
2014 Show Judging Times and Rings
2014 Show Judging Times and Rings
The Royal Highland Show is Family Affair for the Hunters - Royal Highland Show 2014
 

The Royal Highland Show is Family Affair for the Hunters

Exhibiting at the RHS is definitely a family affair for Robert Hunter, his wife Lorraine and their three children Karen (19), Alison (16) and Mark (14).  The family breed and show dairy cattle from their farm in Shotts, Lanarkshire.  They have been attending the Royal Highland since 1982 when they moved over from Ballymoney, N.Ireland and exhibiting since 2004.  Robert, Karen and Alison all look after the breeding and showing of the cattle and Lorraine deals with the administrative side of things.  Although Mark is not as interested in showing cattle as he is in the machinery, he was still determined that the family would win the John Miller Perpetual Challenge trophy at the 2009 Show, and win it they did!

In terms of his arrangements for exhibiting, Robert, after a bit of coaxing, divulged his secret weapon…. Karen and Alison! “The girls are seriously good at preparing” Robert divulges, “They are so organised they were discussing what we are taking to the show just this weekend!” When asked if he still has a say in things he replied, “Yes, yes, I have input – but I’ll usually just go with what they say!”  He added that it’s basically down to what’s on form at the time.  They calve at particular times of the year specifically for exhibiting at the Highland, so the next few weeks will tell them exactly what they have.

Robert and his family have no shortage of awards from their time exhibiting at the Highland.  In 2011 they won Champion Interbreed Heifer in Milk and at last year’s show with Jersey cattle they won, amongst others, Best Heifer Champion Jersey and Best Dairy Animal Bred by an Exhibitor. Robert explains that when it comes to good business the Highland is “a fantastic shop window...It is the show to win at.  We won last year, and 2010 and also 2009…the strength of the Highland is that…there are people from all over the world there…. it’s global…we’ve sold stock to Ireland, England…all on the back of what we’ve won at the Royal Highland Show. That sort of success is impossible to achieve if you don’t go out and exhibit at the Show.  The reputation it brings is invaluable.”

The Hunters won’t rest on their laurels though; there are still awards to be won, such as Champion Dairy Cow, which Robert says is the “ultimate” achievement.  He is already preparing to win it….in 2015! “You’ve always got to plan ahead!” he advises.

Although the majority of his cattle will be completely new to the RHS, there is one special lady who is making a comeback after sitting out a couple of years. ‘Clydevalley Julian Flora EX95’, who won back in 2009 and 2010, will be entered into the Senior Cow in Milk Class having had 7 calves. Her granddaughter will be at the show making her first appearance.  So, it looks like the RHS is not just a family affair for the Hunters, but their cattle too!

The Royal Highland Show is Family Affair for the Hunters
The Royal Highland Show is Family Affair for the Hunters
Bringing Quality, Innovation and Value to the Royal Highland Show - Royal Highland Show 2014
 

Bringing Quality, Innovation and Value to the Royal Highland Show

“The best way to predict the future is to invent it”- Alan Kay

WRAG is a British company established for over 25 years. Based in the East Midlands, WRAG is completely dedicated to farming and allied industries here in the UK.  As a small engineering company, initially refurbishing used agricultural machinery to a very high standard, it progressed to the manufacture of the WRAG post driver and log splitters, as well as sub manufacturing and distribution for other businesses in the agricultural industry.

WRAG have exhibited at the Royal Highland Show successfully for over ten years.   They view the ‘Highland’ as one of the UK’s premier shows pulling in customers from far and wide including England and Northern Ireland. 

Tim Wright, MD of WRAG said:

“As a company, we see the Royal Highland Show as a true agricultural show; a place where potential customers travel to knowing that the most up to date products can be viewed. WRAG attend the event not only to meet new customers, but also to catch up with existing customers who want to see how our machines have progressed over the years.  It is certainly a show where considerable business is done.”

This year at the Royal Highland Show WRAG will have as a centrepiece the New DIADEM and the new OPUS (design registration granted). These two machines are innovations that take the post driver to the next level - completely different products to the rest of the range, but still very much a WRAG Post Driver.

The versatility of these two machines cannot be beaten. Rock spikes, which WRAG introduced to their range fifteen years ago, are just one option that can be fitted to the machines at the customer’s request.

Bringing Quality, Innovation and Value to the Royal Highland Show
Bringing Quality, Innovation and Value to the Royal Highland Show
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