Information

National Test Programme - testing actions for sustainable farming phase one: survey report

Testing actions for sustainable farming phase 1 survey was to understand the current state of the uptake of sustainable farming practices and motivations/barriers for farmers and crofters to inform phase 2 of the National Test Programme.


2. Survey Answer Analysis

2.1 Survey Analysis - Overview

All figures below are a combination farmers and crofters who have completed the survey. A total of 803 farmers and 174 crofters completed the survey, which included 106 reactive volunteers. 125 respondents are Women in Agriculture and 84 participants identified as a Young Farmer (<41 years in age).

Not all questions were answered by each participant as the survey was designed to allow livestock and mixed enterprises to answer all sections whilst businesses which are solely arable answered the carbon audit, soil analysis, nutrient management, manure analysis and biodiversity sections. This means when analysing the answers of the survey we must take into account that each question will not have 977 respondents. As the business type was one of the stratification methods in which the target for the survey was based, the enterprise types provided by the respondents was cross checked with the Agricultural Census 2021 data to ensure the information supplied correlated with the Census. As part of the survey, respondents were allowed to pick as many enterprise types as they deemed fit to describe their business. The census data categorised each business by its predominant enterprise type (more than two thirds of the business).

Figure 6 shows the percentage of respondents undertaking actions covered in the survey i.e. specific audits, analysis or plans (Table 6 highlights the raw data of survey responses).

Figure 6: Total responses for each action covered in the survey (%).
Pie chart of all responses for each major action assessed in the survey, displayed as Yes/No and, for Carbon Audit, Intend To Undertake In 2022.
Table 6: Total responses for each action covered in the survey.
Action Type Yes No Total
Carbon Audit 372 451 *154 respondents intend to undertake a Carbon Audit in 2022 but have not yet done so at the time of completing the survey. 977
Soil Testing 713 264 977
Nutrient Management Plan 365 612 977
Manure Analysis 110 867 977
Forage Analysis 445 459 904
Feed Ration Plan 492 411 903
Animal Health and Welfare Plan 716 186 902
Breeding Plan 435 464 899
Biodiversity Audit 278 699 977

Figure 7 presents the geographic spread of survey respondents across Scotland. Each business type is represented by a different coloured shape. Cereal and Mixed farms which took part in the survey are found mostly in the eastern area of Scotland whilst Specialist Sheep and Specialist Cattle businesses are located across Scotland, though they are characteristic of the Highland & Islands. As part of the stratification methodology, Scotland was divided into five NUTS2 regions. Table 7 and Table 8 break down the total number of respondents by NUTS2 region against business type and SLR banding.

Figure 7: The location of the different business types that completed the Testing Actions for Sustainable Farming Survey. [11]
Map of Scotland displaying all respondents locations, categorised by their business type.
Table 7: Total number of respondents by region and business type. The total response rate (denominator) for each business type can be seen in blue under the business type title in brackets.
Business Type Eastern Scotland Highlands & Islands North East Scotland South Scotland West Central Scotland
Cereal (51) 26 4 11 9 1
51.0% 7.8% 21.6% 17.6% 2.0%
Dairy (43) 3 7 0 30 3
7.0% 16.3% 0% 69.8% 7.0%
General Cropping (81) 49 10 13 8 1
60.5% 12.3% 16.0% 9.9% 1.2%
General Cropping - Forage (39) 4 15 7 13 0
10.3% 38.5% 17.9% 33.3% 0.0%
Lowland Cattle & Sheep (58) 17 8 15 18 0
29.3% 13.8% 25.9% 31.0% 0.0%
Mixed (115) 36 27 33 19 0
23.2% 17.4% 21.3% 12.3% 0.0%
Other Cattle & Sheep (LFA) (95) 17 38 4 34 2
17.9% 40.0% 4.2% 35.8% 2.1%
Specialist Cattle (LFA) (255) 18 109 24 96 8
7.1% 42.7% 9.4% 37.6% 3.1%
Specialist horticulture & permanent crops (8) 3 4 1 0 0
37.5% 50.0% 12.5% 0.0% 0.0%
Specialist Pigs (3) 0 0 1 2 0
0.0% 0.0% 33.3% 66.7% 0.0%
Specialist Poultry (2) 0 1 0 1 0
0.0% 50.0% 0.0% 50.0% 0.0%
Specialist Sheep (LFA) (210) 20 126 10 50 4
9.5% 60.0% 4.8% 23.8% 1.9%
Unknown Business Type (17) 0 10 3 3 1
0.0% 58.8% 17.6% 17.6% 5.9%
Total (977)[12] 193 359 122 283 19
19.8% 36.7% 12.5% 29.0% 1.9%
Table 8: Total number of respondents by region and SLR band. The total response rate (denominator) for each SLR band can be seen in blue under the SLR band in brackets.
SLR Band Eastern Scotland Highlands & Islands North East Scotland South Scotland West Central Scotland
0 - <0.25 FTE (Extremely Small) (174) 11 107 19 36 1
6.3% 61.5% 10.9% 20.7% 0.6%
0.25 - <1 FTE (Very Small) (155) 21 73 29 26 6
13.5% 47.1% 18.7% 16.8% 3.9%
1 - <2 FTE (Small) (130) 31 51 12 33 3
23.8% 39.2% 9.2% 25.4% 2.3%
2 - <3 FTE (Medium) (99) 19 31 16 29 4
19.2% 31.3% 16.2% 29.3% 4.0%
3 - <5 FTE (Large) (155) 38 41 17 58 1
24.5% 26.5% 11.0% 37.4% 0.6%
5 or more FTE (Very Large) (251) 73 48 26 100 4
29.1% 19.1% 10.4% 39.8% 1.6%
Unknown SLR (13)[13] 0 8 3 1 0
0.0% 61.5% 23.1% 7.7% 0.0%
Total (977) 13 193 359 122 283 19
19.8% 36.7% 12.5% 29.0% 1.9%

Figure 8 and Figure 9 identify the different business types across Scotland that conduct management actions outlined in this survey. The total response rate (denominator) for each business type can be seen in brackets under each of the business type titles along the vertical axis (Table 9 highlights the raw data of survey responses).

Figure 8: Total number of the different business types that undertake management actions.
Extensive bar chart breaking each business type down by involvement in management actions,  displayed as a percentage of relevant respondents.
Figure 9: Total number of the different business types that undertake management actions.
Continuation of Figure 8 - the remaining six business types.

Soil Testing and Animal Health and Welfare Plans appear to be the most common practices across all enterprise types. Manure Analysis is the least common practice across all enterprise types. Specialised business types appear to undertake less management actions in comparison to businesses that focus on dairy or mixed enterprises.

Table 9: Total number of the different business types that undertake management actions outlined in the survey. The total response rate (denominator) for each business type can be seen in blue under the business type title in brackets.
Business Type Carbon Audit Soil Testing Nutrient Management Plan Manure Analysis Forage Analysis Feed Ration Plan Animal Health & Welfare Plan Breeding Plan Biodiversity Audit
Cereal (51) 19 48 33 10 9 10 17 6 16
37.3% 94.1% 64.7% 19.6% 17.6% 19.6% 33.3% 11.8% 31.4%
Dairy (43) 31 38 30 13 42 38 40 34 10
72.1% 88.4% 69.8% 30.2% 97.7% 88.4% 93.0% 79.1% 23.3%
General Cropping (81) 26 79 57 13 12 17 26 12 27
32.1% 97.5% 70.4% 16.0% 14.8% 21.0% 32.1% 14.8% 33.3%
General Cropping - Forage (39) 5 17 8 1 2 2 8 4 10
12.8% 43.6% 20.5% 2.6% 5.1% 5.1% 20.5% 10.3% 25.6%
Lowland Cattle & Sheep (58) 17 45 19 5 29 31 51 33 10
29.3% 77.6% 32.8% 8.6% 50.0% 53.4% 87.9% 56.9% 17.2%
Mixed (115) 64 98 66 19 79 81 100 61 45
55.7% 85.2% 57.4% 16.5% 68.7% 70.4% 87.0% 53.0% 39.1%
Other Cattle & Sheep (LFA) (95) 45 69 27 6 52 52 88 47 38
47.4% 72.6% 28.4% 6.3% 54.7% 54.7% 92.6% 49.5% 40.0%
Specialist Cattle (LFA) (255) 128 204 99 29 183 172 233 137 63
50.2% 80.0% 38.8% 11.4% 71.8% 67.5% 91.4% 53.7% 24.7%
Specialist horticulture & permanent crops (8) 0 5 2 0 0 0 2 2 1
0.0% 62.5% 25.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 25.0% 25.0% 12.5%
Specialist Pigs (3) 1 3 2 3 1 3 3 2 0
33.3% 100.0% 66.7% 100.0% 33.3% 100.0% 100.0% 66.7% 0.0%
Specialist Poultry (2) 1 1 1 1 0 1 1 0 2
50.0% 50.0% 50.0% 50.0% 0.0% 50.0% 50.0% 0.0% 100.0%
Specialist Sheep (LFA) (210) 33 100 19 9 35 82 140 94 55
15.7% 47.6% 9.0% 4.3% 16.7% 39.0% 66.7% 44.8% 26.2%
Unknown Business Type (17) 2 6 2 1 1 3 7 3 1
11.8% 35.3% 11.8% 5.9% 5.9% 17.6% 41.2% 17.6% 5.9%
Total (977) 372 713 365 110 445 492 716 435 278
38.1% 73.0% 37.4% 11.3% 45.5% 50.4% 73.3% 44.5% 28.5%

Figure 10 below identifies the percentage of businesses with a small to large Standard Labour Requirement (SLR) banding that conduct the various management actions outlined in the survey. The total response rate (denominator) for each SLR banding can be seen in brackets under each of the SLR band titles along the vertical axis (Table 10 highlights the raw data of survey responses).

Figure 10: The SLR banding of the businesses that undertake management actions outlined in the survey.
Extensive bar chart breaking each SLR Band down by involvement in management actions,  displayed as a percentage of relevant respondents.

Soil Testing and Animal Health and Welfare Plans appear to be the most common practices across all SLR bands. Manure Analysis is the least common practice across all SLR bands. There is a trend between management actions taken and the size of the business. The smaller the enterprise as measured by labour input the less likely the business is to undertake management actions, the bigger the enterprise as measured by labour input the more likely the business is to undertake management actions. Although undertaking a Biodiversity Audit appears to be of equal importance no matter the size of the business.

Table 10: The SLR bandings of the businesses that undertake management actions outlined in the survey. The total response rate (denominator) for each businesses SLR banding can be seen in blue under the business type title in brackets.
SLR Band Carbon Audit Soil Testing Nutrient Management Plan Manure Analysis Forage Analysis Feed Ration Plan Animal Health & Welfare Plan Breeding Plan Biodiversity Audit
0 - <0.25 FTE (Extremely Small) (174) 9 37 12 3 11 29 50 36 26
8.6% 35.2% 11.4% 2.9% 10.5% 27.6% 47.6% 34.3% 24.8%
0.25 - <1 FTE (Very Small) (155) 54 120 56 20 61 82 129 77 51
29.2% 64.9% 30.3% 10.8% 33.0% 44.3% 69.7% 41.6% 27.6%
1 - <2 FTE (Small) (130) 36 95 36 7 47 56 98 54 41
27.5% 72.5% 27.5% 5.3% 35.9% 42.7% 74.8% 41.2% 31.3%
2 - <3 FTE (Medium) (99) 47 84 48 13 52 61 85 46 25
44.8% 80.0% 45.7% 12.4% 49.5% 58.1% 81.0% 43.8% 23.8%
3 - <5 FTE (Large) (155) 82 157 77 22 113 106 138 86 58
45.3% 86.7% 42.5% 12.2% 62.4% 58.6% 76.2% 47.5% 32.0%
5 or more FTE (Very Large) (251) 141 213 133 44 159 152 208 131 77
54.9% 82.9% 51.8% 17.1% 61.9% 59.1% 80.9% 51.0% 30.0%
Unknown SLR (13) 3 7 3 1 2 6 8 5 0
23.1% 53.8% 23.1% 7.7% 15.4% 46.2% 61.5% 38.5% 0.0%
Total (977) 372 713 365 110 445 492 716 435 278
38.1% 73.0% 37.4% 11.3% 45.5% 50.4% 73.3% 44.5% 28.5%

Each bar in Figure 11 below shows the estimated percentage share by farm size of all carbon audits undertaken by a given farm type. The total number of carbon audits (denominator) for each farm type is shown in brackets along the vertical axis. For example, of the 19 reported carbon audits undertaken by cereal farms, 26% were undertaken by very large cereal farms. This does not, however, necessarily imply that 26% of very large cereal farms undertake carbon audits. Table 11 shows the supporting data values.

Figure 11: The business types and SLR bandings of respondents who have undertaken a carbon audit.
Bar chart breaking each business type down, by percentage, into constituent SLR Bands for all respondants who have undertaken a Carbon Audit.
Table 11: The business types and SLR bandings of respondents who have undertaken a carbon audit. The total response rate (denominator) for each businesses type can be seen in blue under the business type title in brackets.
Business Type 0 - <0.25 FTE (Extremely Small) 0.25 - <1 FTE (Very Small) 1 - <2 FTE (Small) 2 - <3 FTE (Medium) 3 - <5 FTE (Large) 5 or more FTE (Very Large) Unknown SLR
Cereal (19) 0 2 5 4 3 5 0
0.0% 10.5% 26.3% 21.1% 15.8% 26.3% 0.0%
Dairy (31) 0 1 2 1 3 24 0
0.0% 3.2% 6.5% 3.2% 9.7% 77.4% 0.0%
General Cropping (26) 0 1 3 3 10 9 0
0.0% 3.8% 11.5% 11.5% 38.5% 34.6% 0.0%
General Cropping - Forage (5) 3 1 0 1 0 0 0
60.0% 20.0% 0.0% 20.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Lowland Cattle & Sheep (17) 0 2 3 4 2 6 0
0.0% 11.8% 17.6% 23.5% 11.8% 35.3% 0.0%
Mixed (64) 0 4 4 11 17 28 0
0.0% 6.3% 6.3% 17.2% 26.6% 43.8% 0.0%
Other Cattle & Sheep (LFA) (45) 0 0 5 6 16 18 0
0.0% 0.0% 11.1% 13.3% 35.6% 40.0% 0.0%
Specialist Cattle (LFA) (128) 4 15 13 20 31 45 0
3.0% 12.9% 11.9% 15.8% 19.8% 36.6% 0.0%
Specialist horticulture & permanent crops (0) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Specialist Pigs (1) 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 100.0% 0.0%
Specialist Poultry (1) 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 100.0% 0.0%
Specialist Sheep (LFA) (33) 1 8 6 1 4 13 0
3.0% 24.2% 18.2% 3.0% 12.1% 39.4% 0.0%
Unknown Business Type (2) 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 100.0%
Total (372) 8 34 41 51 86 150 2
2.2% 9.1% 11.0% 13.7% 23.1% 40.3% 0.5%

Each bar in Figure 12 below shows the estimated percentage share by farm size of all soil testing analysis undertaken by a given farm type. The total number of soil testing analyses (denominator) for each farm type is shown in brackets along the vertical axis. For example, of the 48 reported soil testing analyses undertaken by cereal farms, 17% were undertaken by very large cereal farms. This does not, however, necessarily imply that 17% of very large cereal farms undertake soil testing. Table 12 shows the supporting data values.

Figure 12: The business types and SLR bandings of respondents who have undertaken soil testing.
Bar chart breaking each business type down, by percentage, into constituent SLR Bands for all respondants who have undertaken Soil Testing.
Table 12: The business types and SLR bandings of respondents who have undertaken soil testing. The total response rate (denominator) for each businesses type can be seen in blue under the business type title in brackets.
Business Type 0 - <0.25 FTE (Extremely Small) 0.25 - <1 FTE (Very Small) 1 - <2 FTE (Small) 2 - <3 FTE (Medium) 3 - <5 FTE (Large) 5 or more FTE (Very Large) Unknown SLR
Cereal (48) 6 9 11 10 4 8 0
12.5% 18.8% 22.9% 20.8% 8.3% 16.7% 0.0%
Dairy (38) 1 1 4 2 5 25 0
2.6% 2.6% 10.5% 5.3% 13.2% 65.8% 0.0%
General Cropping (79) 0 8 14 8 21 28 0
0.0% 10.1% 17.7% 10.1% 26.6% 35.4% 0.0%
General Cropping - Forage (17) 13 1 1 1 1 0 0
76.5% 5.9% 5.9% 5.9% 5.9% 0.0% 0.0%
Lowland Cattle & Sheep (45) 4 11 10 8 6 6 0
8.9% 24.4% 22.2% 17.8% 13.3% 13.3% 0.0%
Mixed (98) 0 8 12 13 25 40 0
0.0% 8.2% 12.2% 13.3% 25.5% 40.8% 0.0%
Other Cattle & Sheep (LFA) (69) 1 4 6 9 20 29 0
1.4% 5.8% 8.7% 13.0% 29.0% 42.0% 0.0%
Specialist Cattle (LFA) (204) 6 31 22 29 52 64 0
2.9% 15.2% 10.8% 14.2% 25.5% 31.4% 0.0%
Specialist horticulture & permanent crops (5) 0 0 0 1 1 3 0
0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 20.0% 20.0% 60.0% 0.0%
Specialist Pigs (3) 0 0 1 0 0 2 0
0.0% 0.0% 33.3% 0.0% 0.0% 66.7% 0.0%
Specialist Poultry (1) 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 100.0% 0.0%
Specialist Sheep (LFA) (100) 24 26 15 5 7 23 0
24.0% 26.0% 15.0% 5.0% 7.0% 23.0% 0.0%
Unknown Business Type (6) 0 0 0 0 0 0 6
0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 100.0%
Total (713) 55 99 96 86 142 229 6
7.7% 13.9% 13.5% 12.1% 19.9% 32.1% 0.8%

Each bar in Figure 13 below shows the estimated percentage share by farm size of all nutrient management plans undertaken by a given farm type. The total number of nutrient management plans (denominator) for each farm type is shown in brackets along the vertical axis. For example, of the 33 reported nutrient management plans undertaken by cereal farms, 21% were undertaken by very large cereal farms. This does not, however, necessarily imply that 21% of very large cereal farms undertake nutrient management plans. Table 13 shows the supporting data values.

Figure 13: The business types and SLR bandings of respondents who have undertaken a nutrient management plan.
Bar chart breaking each business type down, by percentage, into constituent SLR Bands for all respondants who have undertaken a Nutrient Management Plan.
Table 13: The business types and SLR bandings of respondents who have undertaken a nutrient management plan. The total response rate (denominator) for each businesses type can be seen in blue under the business type title in brackets.
Business Type 0 - <0.25 FTE (Extremely Small) 0.25 - <1 FTE (Very Small) 1 - <2 FTE (Small) 2 - <3 FTE (Medium) 3 - <5 FTE (Large) 5 or more FTE (Very Large) Unknown SLR
Cereal (33) 2 8 6 6 4 7 0
6.1% 24.2% 18.2% 18.2% 12.1% 21.2% 0.0%
Dairy (30) 0 0 4 2 3 21 0
0.0% 0.0% 13.3% 6.7% 10.0% 70.0% 0.0%
General Cropping (57) 0 5 8 6 14 24 0
0.0% 8.8% 14.0% 10.5% 24.6% 42.1% 0.0%
General Cropping - Forage (8) 6 0 1 1 0 0 0
75.0% 0.0% 12.5% 12.5% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Lowland Cattle & Sheep (19) 1 6 3 3 4 2 0
5.3% 31.6% 15.8% 15.8% 21.1% 10.5% 0.0%
Mixed (66) 1 5 6 8 17 29 0
1.5% 7.6% 9.1% 12.1% 25.8% 43.9% 0.0%
Other Cattle & Sheep (LFA) (27) 0 1 4 3 8 11 0
0.0% 3.7% 14.8% 11.1% 29.6% 40.7% 0.0%
Specialist Cattle (LFA) (99) 1 16 10 19 19 34 0
1.0% 16.2% 10.1% 19.2% 19.2% 34.3% 0.0%
Specialist horticulture & permanent crops (2) 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 100.0% 0.0%
Specialist Pigs (2) 0 0 1 0 0 1 0
0.0% 0.0% 50.0% 0.0% 0.0% 50.0% 0.0%
Specialist Poultry (1) 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 100.0% 0.0%
Specialist Sheep (LFA) (19) 2 5 0 2 3 7 0
10.5% 26.3% 0.0% 10.5% 15.8% 36.8% 0.0%
Unknown Business Type (2) 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 100.0%
Total (365) 13 46 43 50 72 139 2
3.6% 12.6% 11.8% 13.7% 19.7% 38.1% 0.5%

Each bar in Figure 14 below shows the estimated percentage share by farm size of all manure analysis undertaken by a given farm type. The total number of manure analyses (denominator) for each farm type is shown in brackets along the vertical axis. For example, of the 10 reported manure analyses undertaken by cereal farms, 20% were undertaken by very large cereal farms. This does not, however, necessarily imply that 20% of very large cereal farms undertake manure analysis. Table 14 shows the supporting data values.

Figure 14: The business types and SLR bandings of respondents who have undertaken manure analysis.
Bar chart breaking each business type down, by percentage, into constituent SLR Bands for all respondants who have undertaken Manure Analysis.
Table 14: The business types and SLR bandings of respondents who have undertaken manure analysis. The total response rate (denominator) for each businesses type can be seen in blue under the business type title in brackets.
Business Type 0 - <0.25 FTE (Extremely Small) 0.25 - <1 FTE (Very Small) 1 - <2 FTE (Small) 2 - <3 FTE (Medium) 3 - <5 FTE (Large) 5 or more FTE (Very Large) Unknown SLR
Cereal (10) 0 2 2 2 2 2 0
0.0% 20.0% 20.0% 20.0% 20.0% 20.0% 0.0%
Dairy (13) 0 0 2 1 1 9 0
0.0% 0.0% 15.4% 7.7% 7.7% 69.2% 0.0%
General Cropping (13) 0 2 3 1 2 5 0
0.0% 15.4% 23.1% 7.7% 15.4% 38.5% 0.0%
General Cropping - Forage (1) 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 100.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Lowland Cattle & Sheep (5) 0 0 2 2 1 0 0
0.0% 0.0% 40.0% 40.0% 20.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Mixed (19) 0 1 0 2 2 14 0
0.0% 5.3% 0.0% 10.5% 10.5% 73.7% 0.0%
Other Cattle & Sheep (LFA) (6) 0 0 0 1 1 4 0
0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 16.7% 16.7% 66.7% 0.0%
Specialist Cattle (LFA) (29) 2 2 2 5 9 9 0
6.9% 6.9% 6.9% 17.2% 31.0% 31.0% 0.0%
Specialist horticulture & permanent crops (0) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Specialist Pigs (3) 0 0 1 0 0 2 0
0.0% 0.0% 33.3% 0.0% 0.0% 66.7% 0.0%
Specialist Poultry (1) 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 100.0% 0.0%
Specialist Sheep (LFA) (9) 2 3 1 1 1 1 0
22.2% 33.3% 11.1% 11.1% 11.1% 11.1% 0.0%
Unknown Business Type (1) 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 100.0%
Total (110) 4 10 13 16 19 47 1
3.6% 9.1% 11.8% 14.5% 17.3% 42.7% 0.9%

Each bar in Figure 15 below shows the estimated percentage share by farm size of all forage analysis undertaken by a given farm type. The total number of forage analyses (denominator) for each farm type is shown in brackets along the vertical axis. For example, of the 9 reported forage analyses undertaken by cereal farms, 11% were undertaken by very large cereal farms. This does not, however, necessarily imply that 11% of very large cereal farms undertake forage analysis. Table 15 shows the supporting data values.

Figure 15: The business types and SLR bandings of respondents who have undertaken forage analysis.
Bar chart breaking each business type down, by percentage, into constituent SLR Bands for all respondants who have undertaken Forage Analysis.
Table 15: The business types and SLR bandings of respondents who have undertaken forage analysis. The total response rate (denominator) for each businesses type can be seen in blue under the business type title in brackets.
Business Type 0 - <0.25 FTE (Extremely Small) 0.25 - <1 FTE (Very Small) 1 - <2 FTE (Small) 2 - <3 FTE (Medium) 3 - <5 FTE (Large) 5 or more FTE (Very Large) Unknown SLR
Cereal (9) 0 1 3 2 2 1 0
0.0% 11.1% 33.3% 22.2% 22.2% 11.1% 0.0%
Dairy (42) 0 1 4 3 5 29 0
0.0% 2.4% 9.5% 7.1% 11.9% 69.0% 0.0%
General Cropping (12) 0 0 3 1 5 3 0
0.0% 0.0% 25.0% 8.3% 41.7% 25.0% 0.0%
General Cropping - Forage (2) 2 0 0 0 0 0 0
100.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Lowland Cattle & Sheep (29) 2 6 5 5 5 6 0
6.9% 20.7% 17.2% 17.2% 17.2% 20.7% 0.0%
Mixed (79) 0 4 7 11 21 36 0
0.0% 5.1% 8.9% 13.9% 26.6% 45.6% 0.0%
Other Cattle & Sheep (LFA) (52) 1 1 3 6 16 25 0
1.9% 1.9% 5.8% 11.5% 30.8% 48.1% 0.0%
Specialist Cattle (LFA) (183) 5 18 18 32 51 59 0
2.7% 9.8% 9.8% 17.5% 27.9% 32.2% 0.0%
Specialist horticulture & permanent crops (0) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Specialist Pigs (1) 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 100.0% 0.0%
Specialist Poultry (0) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Specialist Sheep (LFA) (35) 6 6 7 1 4 11 0
17.1% 17.1% 20.0% 2.9% 11.4% 31.4% 0.0%
Unknown Business Type (1) 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 100.0%
Total (445) 16 37 50 61 109 171 1
3.6% 8.3% 11.2% 13.7% 24.5% 38.4% 0.2%

Each bar in Figure 16 below shows the estimated percentage share by farm size of all feed ration plans undertaken by a given farm type. The total number of feed ration plans (denominator) for each farm type is shown in brackets along the vertical axis. For example, of the 10 reported feed ration plans undertaken by cereal farms, 20% were undertaken by very large cereal farms. This does not, however, necessarily imply that 20% of very large cereal farms undertake feed ration plans. Table 16 shows the supporting data values.

Figure 16: The business types and SLR bandings of respondents who have undertaken a feed ration plan.
Bar chart breaking each business type down, by percentage, into constituent SLR Bands for all respondants who have undertaken a Feed Ration Plan.
Table 16: The business types and SLR bandings of respondents who have undertaken a feed ration plan. The total response rate (denominator) for each businesses type can be seen in blue under the business type title in brackets.
Business Type 0 - <0.25 FTE (Extremely Small) 0.25 - <1 FTE (Very Small) 1 - <2 FTE (Small) 2 - <3 FTE (Medium) 3 - <5 FTE (Large) 5 or more FTE (Very Large) Unknown SLR
Cereal (10) 0 1 4 1 2 2 0
0.0% 10.0% 40.0% 10.0% 20.0% 20.0% 0.0%
Dairy (38) 0 1 4 1 5 27 0
0.0% 2.6% 10.5% 2.6% 13.2% 71.1% 0.0%
General Cropping (17) 0 1 3 1 6 6 0
0.0% 5.9% 17.6% 5.9% 35.3% 35.3% 0.0%
General Cropping - Forage (2) 1 0 1 0 0 0 0
50.0% 0.0% 50.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Lowland Cattle & Sheep (31) 3 6 6 7 3 6 0
9.7% 19.4% 19.4% 22.6% 9.7% 19.4% 0.0%
Mixed (81) 1 6 7 12 20 35 0
1.2% 7.4% 8.6% 14.8% 24.7% 43.2% 0.0%
Other Cattle & Sheep (LFA) (52) 2 3 7 6 13 21 0
3.8% 5.8% 13.5% 11.5% 25.0% 40.4% 0.0%
Specialist Cattle (LFA) (172) 8 25 16 26 45 52 0
4.7% 14.5% 9.3% 15.1% 26.2% 30.2% 0.0%
Specialist horticulture & permanent crops (0) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Specialist Pigs (3) 0 0 1 0 0 2 0
0.0% 0.0% 33.3% 0.0% 0.0% 66.7% 0.0%
Specialist Poultry (1) 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 100.0% 0.0%
Specialist Sheep (LFA) (82) 23 26 12 3 6 12 0
28.0% 31.7% 14.6% 3.7% 7.3% 14.6% 0.0%
Unknown Business Type (3) 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 100.0%
Total (492) 38 69 61 57 100 164 3
7.7% 14.0% 12.4% 11.6% 20.3% 33.3% 0.6%

Each bar in Figure 17 below shows the estimated percentage share by farm size of all animal health and welfare plans undertaken by a given farm type. The total number of animal health and welfare plans (denominator) for each farm type is shown in brackets along the vertical axis. For example, of the 17 reported animal health and welfare plans undertaken by cereal farms, 18% were undertaken by very large cereal farms. This does not, however, necessarily imply that 18% of very large cereal farms undertake animal health and welfare plans. Table 17 shows the supporting data values.

Figure 17: The business types and SLR bandings of respondents who have undertaken an animal health and welfare plan.
Bar chart breaking each business type down, by percentage, into constituent SLR Bands for all respondants who have undertaken an Animal Health and Welfare Plan.
Table 17: The business types and SLR bandings of respondents who have undertaken an animal health and welfare plan. The total response rate (denominator) for each businesses type can be seen in blue under the business type title in brackets.
Business Type 0 - <0.25 FTE (Extremely Small) 0.25 - <1 FTE (Very Small) 1 - <2 FTE (Small) 2 - <3 FTE (Medium) 3 - <5 FTE (Large) 5 or more FTE (Very Large) Unknown SLR
Cereal (17) 1 3 4 4 2 3 0
5.9% 17.6% 23.5% 23.5% 11.8% 17.6% 0.0%
Dairy (40) 0 1 4 2 4 29 0
0.0% 2.5% 10.0% 5.0% 10.0% 72.5% 0.0%
General Cropping (26) 0 2 4 2 9 9 0
0.0% 7.7% 15.4% 7.7% 34.6% 34.6% 0.0%
General Cropping - Forage (8) 6 0 1 0 0 1 0
75.0% 0.0% 12.5% 0.0% 0.0% 12.5% 0.0%
Lowland Cattle & Sheep (51) 5 13 11 8 6 8 0
9.8% 25.5% 21.6% 15.7% 11.8% 15.7% 0.0%
Mixed (100) 3 10 12 12 24 39 0
3.0% 10.0% 12.0% 12.0% 24.0% 39.0% 0.0%
Other Cattle & Sheep (LFA) (88) 1 9 12 12 22 32 0
1.1% 10.2% 13.6% 13.6% 25.0% 36.4% 0.0%
Specialist Cattle (LFA) (233) 10 44 29 35 50 65 0
4.3% 18.9% 12.4% 15.0% 21.5% 27.9% 0.0%
Specialist horticulture & permanent crops (2) 0 0 1 0 0 1 0
0.0% 0.0% 50.0% 0.0% 0.0% 50.0% 0.0%
Specialist Pigs (3) 0 0 1 0 0 2 0
0.0% 0.0% 33.3% 0.0% 0.0% 66.7% 0.0%
Specialist Poultry (1) 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 100.0% 0.0%
Specialist Sheep (LFA) (140) 43 33 23 5 11 25 0
30.7% 23.6% 16.4% 3.6% 7.9% 17.9% 0.0%
Unknown Business Type (7) 0 0 0 0 0 0 7
0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 100.0%
Total (716) 69 115 102 80 128 215 7
9.6% 16.1% 14.2% 11.2% 17.9% 30.0% 1.0%

Each bar in Figure 18 below shows the estimated percentage share by farm size of all breeding plans undertaken by a given farm type. The total number of breeding plans (denominator) for each farm type is shown in brackets along the vertical axis. For example, of the 6 reported breeding plans undertaken by cereal farms, 17% were undertaken by very large cereal farms. This does not, however, necessarily imply that 17% of very large cereal farms undertake breeding plans. Table 17 shows the supporting data values.

Figure 18: The business types and SLR bandings of respondents who have undertaken a breeding plan.
Bar chart breaking each business type down, by percentage, into constituent SLR Bands for all respondants who have undertaken a Breeding Plan.
Table 18: The business types and SLR bandings of respondents who have undertaken a breeding plan. The total response rate (denominator) for each businesses type can be seen in blue under the business type title in brackets.
Business Type 0 - <0.25 FTE (Extremely Small) 0.25 - <1 FTE (Very Small) 1 - <2 FTE (Small) 2 - <3 FTE (Medium) 3 - <5 FTE (Large) 5 or more FTE (Very Large) Unknown SLR
Cereal (6) 1 0 3 0 1 1 0
16.7% 0.0% 50.0% 0.0% 16.7% 16.7% 0.0%
Dairy (34) 0 1 4 1 4 24 0
0.0% 2.9% 11.8% 2.9% 11.8% 70.6% 0.0%
General Cropping (12) 0 1 2 1 2 6 0
0.0% 8.3% 16.7% 8.3% 16.7% 50.0% 0.0%
General Cropping - Forage (4) 3 0 0 0 0 1 0
75.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 25.0% 0.0%
Lowland Cattle & Sheep (33) 4 7 9 5 2 6 0
12.1% 21.2% 27.3% 15.2% 6.1% 18.2% 0.0%
Mixed (61) 4 5 6 6 14 26 0
6.6% 8.2% 9.8% 9.8% 23.0% 42.6% 0.0%
Other Cattle & Sheep (LFA) (47) 0 3 4 5 12 23 0
0.0% 6.4% 8.5% 10.6% 25.5% 48.9% 0.0%
Specialist Cattle (LFA) (137) 8 23 12 19 33 42 0
5.8% 16.8% 8.8% 13.9% 24.1% 30.7% 0.0%
Specialist horticulture & permanent crops (2) 0 0 1 0 0 1 0
0.0% 0.0% 50.0% 0.0% 0.0% 50.0% 0.0%
Specialist Pigs (2) 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 100.0% 0.0%
Specialist Poultry (0) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Specialist Sheep (LFA) (94) 31 30 12 2 7 12 0
33.0% 31.9% 12.8% 2.1% 7.4% 12.8% 0.0%
Unknown Business Type (3) 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 100.0%
Total (435) 51 70 53 39 75 144 3
11.7% 16.1% 12.2% 9.0% 17.2% 33.1% 0.7%

Each bar in Figure 19 below shows the estimated percentage share by farm size of all biodiversity audits undertaken by a given farm type. The total number of biodiversity audits (denominator) for each farm type is shown in brackets along the vertical axis. For example, of the 16 reported biodiversity audits undertaken by cereal farms, 13% were undertaken by very large cereal farms. This does not, however, necessarily imply that 13% of very large cereal farms undertake biodiversity audits. Table 19 shows the supporting data values.

Figure 19: The business types and SLR bandings of respondents who have undertaken a biodiversity plan.
Bar chart breaking each business type down, by percentage, into constituent SLR Bands for all respondants who have undertaken a Biodiversity Audit.
Table 19: The business types and SLR bandings of respondents who have undertaken a biodiversity plan. The total response rate (denominator) for each businesses type can be seen in blue under the business type title in brackets.
Business Type 0 - <0.25 FTE (Extremely Small) 0.25 - <1 FTE (Very Small) 1 - <2 FTE (Small) 2 - <3 FTE (Medium) 3 - <5 FTE (Large) 5 or more FTE (Very Large) Unknown SLR
Cereal (16) 1 5 4 2 2 2 0
6.3% 31.3% 25.0% 12.5% 12.5% 12.5% 0.0%
Dairy (10) 0 0 2 0 1 7 0
0.0% 0.0% 20.0% 0.0% 10.0% 70.0% 0.0%
General Cropping (27) 0 3 4 2 6 12 0
0.0% 11.1% 14.8% 7.4% 22.2% 44.4% 0.0%
General Cropping - Forage (10) 7 1 0 1 0 1 0
70.0% 45.5% 0.0% 0.0% 9.1% 0.0% 0.0%
Lowland Cattle & Sheep (10) 1 2 3 1 1 2 0
10.0% 20.0% 30.0% 10.0% 10.0% 20.0% 0.0%
Mixed (45) 2 0 5 5 12 21 0
4.4% 0.0% 11.1% 11.1% 26.7% 46.7% 0.0%
Other Cattle & Sheep (LFA) (38) 1 3 4 4 9 17 0
2.6% 7.9% 10.5% 10.5% 23.7% 44.7% 0.0%
Specialist Cattle (LFA) (63) 4 17 7 9 13 13 0
6.3% 27.0% 11.1% 14.3% 20.6% 20.6% 0.0%
Specialist horticulture & permanent crops (1) 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 100.0% 0.0%
Specialist Pigs (0) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Specialist Poultry (0) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Specialist Sheep (LFA) (55) 17 11 8 1 5 13 0
30.9% 20.0% 14.5% 1.8% 9.1% 23.6% 0.0%
Unknown Business Type (1) 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 100.0%
Total (276) 33 42 37 25 49 89 1
12.0% 15.2% 13.4% 9.1% 17.8% 32.2% 0.4%

2.2 Business Overview Questions

This section breaks down the results of each question within the survey. Not all questions were answered by each respondent as the survey was designed to allow livestock and mixed enterprises to answer all sections whilst business which are solely arable/horticulture answered the carbon audit, soil analysis, nutrient management, manure analysis and biodiversity sections. This means when analysing the answers of the survey it must be taken into account that not all of the questions will have 977 responses.

2.2.1 Land Permanently Owned by the Occupier

95.2% (930) of the respondents permanently or partially own the land they occupy (Figure 20). The areas range from 1 ha to 106745 ha in size.

Figure 20: Permanent land owners in Scotland.
Pie chart dividing respondants by their land owner status; Permanently Own Land or Do Not Permanently Own Land.

2.2.2 Land rented on a full or seasonal tenancy (365 days or more)

31.8% (311) of the respondents rented land on a full tenancy (Figure 21) with areas ranging from 1 ha to 14054 ha in size.

Figure 21: Rented land on a full tenancy in Scotland.
Pie chart dividing respondants by their rental status; those that rent on a full teneancy and those that do not rent on a full tenancy. A full tenancy being 365 days or more.

37.4% (365) of the respondents rent seasonally with areas (Figure 22) ranging from 1 ha to 4243 ha in size.

Figure 22: Rented land on a seasonal basis in Scotland.
Pie chart dividing respondants by their seasonal rent status; those that rent seasonally and those that do not.

2.2.3 Types of enterprises

The majority of the survey respondents have a primarily livestock enterprise, accounting for 48.7% (476) of businesses (Figure 23). Respondents who have a primarily arable enterprise account for 7.8% (76) of the total number of participants.

Figure 23: Types of agricultural enterprises represented in the survey.
Pie chart categorising the types of agricultural enterprise run by respondants into four groups;  Livestock, Mixed, Arable/Horticulture and Other.

Beef (58%) and Sheep (64.9%) are the predominant enterprise types, closely followed by Arable farming (37.2%) (Figure 24 and Table 20).

Figure 24: Types of enterprises by the respondents of the survey.
Bar chart displaying the participants by the type of enterprise, chosen from the survey-provided list.

Other common enterprises identified that were not included in the list provided as part of the survey include woodlands/forestry (27 respondents), horses/livery (11 respondents) and hay production (8 respondents) (Figure 25 and Table 20).

Figure 25: Additional enterprises identified as part of the survey.
Bar chart showing respondants by the additional answers provided using the Other option in the survey.
Table 20: Enterprises of the respondents of the survey.
Enterprise Type Total Respondents Percentage (Denominator 977)
Beef 567 58.0%
Sheep 634 64.9%
Dairy 67 6.9%
Poultry 62 6.3%
Pig 34 3.5%
Deer 7 0.7%
Arable 364 37.3%
Horticulture 36 3.7%
Diversified 114 11.7%
Forage Crops 2 0.2%
Permanent Grass 6 0.6%
Hay Production 8 0.8%
Goats 4 0.4%
Bees 5 0.5%
Horses/Livery 11 1.1%
Woodlands/Forestry 27 2.8%

2.2.4 Identify of the Respondents

The majority of the respondents identified themselves as farmers, accounting for 82.2% (803) (Figure 26).

Figure 26: Number of farmers and crofters that participated in the survey.
Pie chart dividing respondants by their farming status; Crofter or Farmer.

2.2.5 Maintenance of Farm Records

Although there is a large number of respondents who use paper records (656), only 20.6% (202) of the total business surveyed use paper records solely (Figures 27, 28 and Table 21). 32.9% (321) of the business only use electronic methods to maintain their farm records and 46.5% (454) of business use a means of both electronic and paper record keeping.

Figure 27: Methods used to maintain farm records.
Bar chart of how farm records are maintained by businesses; Paper Records, Personal Computer Records, Mobile Apps or Bespoke Farm Computer Software.
Table 21: Methods used to maintain farm records.
Participant Total Respondents Percentage (Denominator 977)
Paper records 656 67.1%
Own computer records 571 58.4%
Mobile phone applications (Apps) 116 11.9%
Bespoke farm computer software package 349 35.7%
Figure 28: Methods used to maintain farm records.
Pie chart dividing the maintenance of farm records by Paper, Elctroincs and a Mix.

2.2.6 Who maintains the Business Records?

61.9% (605) of the respondents keep their own records while 38.1% (372) obtain assistance from other sources such as a family member (20.5%, 200) or an agent (16.8%, 164) (Figures 29, 30 and Table 22). Other sources that the respondents highlighted as being a source for keeping business records included accountants/book keepers (1.7%, 17) and farm secretaries (0.7%, 7) (Figure 31 and Table 22).

Figure 29: Assistance with record keeping.
Pie chart assessing respondants by their assistance with record keeping; Keep their own records or Obtain assistance from other sources.
Figure 30: Sources that assist with record keeping.
Bar chart showing the range of outside help used by reposndants in record keeping; Agent, Employee, Family Member, Friend and Other.
Figure 31: Other sources of business record keeping.
Bar chart breaking down the Other answers, continued from previous Figure.
Table 22: Other sources of business record keeping.
Business Record Keeping Source Total Respondents Percentage (Denominator 977)
Agent 164 16.8%
Employee 63 6.4%
Family member 200 20.5%
Friend 7 0.7%
Agronomist 1 0.1%
Contractor 3 0.3%
Trust/Network Organisations 2 0.2%
RPID 5 0.5%
Farm Secretary 7 0.7%
Accountant 17 1.7%

2.3 Carbon Audit

2.3.1 Businesses undertaking carbon audits

372 of the respondents have had a carbon audit on their business accounting for 38.1% of the total number of respondents (Figure 32). Whilst the majority of the participants have not carried out a Carbon Audit 61.9% (605), reasons for not carrying out a carbon audit can be found in section 2.3.5. 15.8% (154) of respondents are planning on carrying out an audit in 2022 (Figure 32).

Figure 32: Businesses undertaking carbon audits.
Pie chart dislpaying breakdown of carbon audit involvemnet by respondants; Yes, No and Intend to do one in 2022.

Out of the 372 respondents who have conducted a carbon audit, The majority of respondents 70.2% (261) have only conducted one carbon audit in the last five years (Figure 33 and Table 23) and so highlighting that this is becoming a more prominent practice within the agricultural sector. There appears to be a drop in participants undergoing a carbon audit between 2020 and 2021 but this may reflect changes due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, or potentially that the farmers that are more likely to carry out the carbon audit have done it in more recent years.

Figure 33: Year in which a carbon audit was undertaken for a business.
Bar chart showing the numbers of carbon audits performed by year, 2018-2022, with an added bar for those Earlier Than 2018.
Table 23: Year in which a carbon audit was undertaken for a business.
Year of Carbon Audit Total Respondents Percentage (Denominator 372)
2022 55 14.8%
2021 116 31.2%
2020 137 36.8%
2019 100 26.9%
2018 56 15.1%
Earlier than 2018 61 16.4%

2.3.2 Carbon audit tools

The most popular carbon audit tool used by the respondents is AgreCalc accounting for 65.6% (244). It was however pointed out that AgreCalc is designed for large farms and mono cultures and that improving the software for smaller and more diverse farms would be a huge improvement (Figure 34 and Table 24).

Other carbon audit tools used by the respondents included Farm Carbon Toolkit, Alltech and Intellync. 4.3% (16) of the respondents did not know what tools were used as they had an agency or commercial company (SRUC, SAC, Sainsbury’s, Arla) complete the carbon audit for them.

Figure 34: Types of carbon tools used by the respondents.
Bar chart presenting the carbon audit tools used by respondants; AgreCalc, Cool Farm Tool, Solagro, I Do Not Know and Other.
Table 24: Types of carbon tools used by respondents.
Carbon Audit tool Total Respondents Percentage (Denominator 372)
AgreCalc 244 65.6%
Cool Farm Tool 11 3.0%
Solagro (JRC) Carbon Calculator 1 0.3%
I do not know 97 26.1%
Other 29 7.8%

2.3.3 Who did the carbon audit?

Results indicate that 80.7% (300) of participants use an outside source to carry out a carbon audit (Figure 35).

Figure 35: Source undertaking carbon audit.
Pie chart for the source of the carbon audit; Self-assesed or Accredited Agent.

2.3.4 Why businesses undertook a carbon audit?

According to the respondents, the primary reason for 48.4% (180) of the respondents to have completed a carbon audit was due to it being part of the Beef Efficiency Scheme (48.4%, 180) closely followed 34.1% (127) by the funding was available at the time to have the carbon audit done (Figure 36 and Table 25).

1.6% (6) of respondents also pointed out that they completed a carbon audit because of the Scottish Farm Business Survey also out of their own interest as noting it was necessary to apply for organic status.

Figure 36: Reasons as to why respondents have undertaken a carbon audit.
A bar chart displaying the reasons of respondants for doing a carbon audit.
Table 25: Reasons as to why respondents have undertaken a carbon audit.
Carbon Audit Reasons Total Respondents Percentage (Denominator 372)
Business efficiency 110 29.6%
Baseline for business 100 26.9%
Funding was available to have it done 127 34.1%
Recommended to do it 59 15.9%
As part of the Beef Efficiency Scheme (BES) 180 48.4%
A requirement of the buyer(s) of my product(s) 48 12.9%
To reduce greenhouse gas emissions 59 15.9%
Other 33 8.9%

2.3.5 The reason why businesses have not undertaken a carbon audit

A large quantity of the respondents (605) who have not completed a carbon audit, 54% (327), state that they do not know enough about the process. 28.1% (170) due to time, closely followed with 26.4% (160) of respondents stating cost (Figure 37 and Table 26). Respondents noted that the carbon tools currently on the market do not always match their enterprises (for example, crofts, bogs, deer and renewables) making it difficult to get accurate readings. These is also a belief as there is no carbon audit standardisation that the tools currently on the market do not account for carbon accurately. Others state that they feel that the agricultural industry is being unfairly targeted when there are bigger carbon culprits across Scotland.

Figure 37: Reasons as to why respondents have not undertaken a carbon audit.
A bar chart displaying the reasons of respondants for not doing a carbon audit.
Table 26: Reasons as to why respondents have not undertaken a carbon audit.
Reason for not undertaking carbon audit Total Respondents Percentage (Denominator 605)
I do not have all the information required by a carbon audit tool 129 21.3%
I do not have the necessary equipment 89 14.7%
I do not think it is relevant to my business 114 18.8%
A carbon audit is not required by the buyer(s) of my product(s) 146 24.1%
I do not know enough about it 327 54.0%
Cost 160 26.4%
Time 170 28.1%
It is not part of my quality assurance scheme 94 15.5%
I do not see the benefit in doing a carbon audit 75 12.4%
I do not think it can accurately calculate my carbon footprint 107 17.7%
I have not been in business long enough 20 3.3%
Other 79 13.1%

2.3.6 Changes to businesses as a result of a carbon audit

Figure 38 shows that just 51.6% (192) of the participants that have conducted a carbon audit in the past have not made any changes suggested to them in their carbon audit. Further insight into why participants of the survey are not carrying out these audit suggestions can be found in section 2.3.12.

Figure 38: Number of respondents that undertook changes after a carbon audit.
A bar chart displaying the reasons of respondants for not doing a carbon audit.

2.3.7 The energy efficiency changes respondents implemented/intend to implement following a carbon audit

Those who have implemented/or intend to implement energy efficiency changes following a carbon audit (180), 55.6% (100) noted the biggest change was/would be to the assessment of the efficiency of working practices. 47.2% (85) stated the reduction of energy lighting and a further 47.2% (85) noted the assessment of the efficiency of existing vehicles, fixed equipment and machinery (Figure 39 and Table 27).

Respondents also noted that there were no collection systems in Northern Scotland for the recycling of agricultural plastics.

Figure 39: Energy efficiency changes after a carbon audit.
Bar chart listing the number of respondants and the energy efficiency changes they have implemented/intend to implement following a carbon audit.
Table 27: Energy efficiency changes after a carbon audit.
Energy Efficiency Changes Total Respondents Percentage (Denominator 180)
Assess efficiency of existing vehicle, fixed equipment and machinery (e.g. assess capacity/sizing of systems, regular and rigorous maintenance, renew inefficient equipment) 85 47.2%
Assess efficiency of working practices (e.g. tillage, passes) 100 55.6%
Carry out a renewable energy feasibility study (e.g. consider installing wind turbine or micro-hydro scheme, solar panels, heat pumps) 51 28.3%
Installed renewable energy generation 28 15.6%
Heat recovery systems 7 3.9%
Improve building infrastructure 37 20.6%
Reduce energy lighting 85 47.2%
Fuel efficiency 64 35.6%
Waste management 53 29.4%
Recycling materials 70 38.9%
Monitor electricity usage 76 42.2%
Not applicable (N/A) 6 3.3%
Other 20 11.1%

2.3.8 The technology efficiency changes respondents implemented/intend to implement following a carbon audit

Those who have implemented/or intend to implement technology efficiency changes following a carbon audit (180), 38.3% (69), noted the biggest change was/would be the use of precision technology. While a further 38.3% (69) have implemented/or intend to implement the use of EID equipment (Figure 40 and Table 28).

Figure 40: Technology efficiency changes after a carbon audit.
Bar chart listing the number of respondants and the technological changes they have implemented/intend to implement following a carbon audit.
Table 28: Technology efficiency changes after a carbon audit.
Technology Efficiency Changes Total Respondents Percentage (Denominator 180)
Use of EID equipment (Electronic Identification) 69 38.3%
Precision technology 69 38.3%
Enhanced Software 20 11.1%
Automated processes 11 6.1%
Make more use of modern control systems (e.g. use temperature and ventilation sensors/controls, log and evaluate data) 13 7.2%
Not applicable (N/A) 52 28.9%
Other 9 5.0%

2.3.9 The crop and soil efficiency changes respondents implemented/intend to implement following a carbon audit

Those who have implemented/or intend to implement crop and soil changes following a carbon audit (180), 70% (126) noted the biggest change was/would be livestock manure efficiency. 56.7% (102) stated the efficient use of inputs and 49.4% (89) noted inorganic fertiliser efficiency (Figure 41 and Table 29). Respondents noted that soil sampling was also practiced as well as plant tissue analysis.

Figure 41: Crop and soil management changes after a carbon audit.
Bar chart listing the number of respondants and the crop and soil management efficiency changes they have implemented/intend to implement following a carbon audit.
Table 29: Crop and soil management changes after a carbon audit.
Crop and Soil Management Changes Total Respondents Percentage (Denominator 180)
Inorganic fertiliser efficiency 89 49.4%
Livestock manure efficiency 126 70.0%
Nutrient Management plans 81 45.0%
Soil protection 65 36.1%
Efficient use of inputs 102 56.7%
Not applicable (N/A) 13 7.2%
Other 16 8.9%

2.3.10 The livestock management changes respondents implemented/intend to implement following a carbon audit

Those who have implemented/or intend to implement livestock changes following a carbon audit (180), 55.6% (100) noted the biggest change was/would be breeding and fertility improvements. 53.9% (97) stated animal health measures including disease control and 48.9% (88) noted feeding regime improvements (Figure 42 and Table 30). Respondents noted that they implemented better grazing management and replaced livestock more suited to the environment in which the business is based. ‘Other’ answers highlight the conversion to organic farming.

Figure 42: Livestock management changes after a carbon audit.
Bar chart listing the number of respondants and the livestock changes they have implemented/intend to implement following a carbon audit.
Table 30: Livestock management changes after a carbon audit.
Livestock Management Changes Total Respondents Percentage (Denominator 180)
Animal health measures including disease control 97 53.9%
Breeding & fertility improvements 100 55.6%
Performance benchmarking 70 38.9%
Feeding regime improvements 88 48.9%
Use of methane reducing feed additives 22 12.2%
Faster finishing of livestock 48 26.7%
Other livestock management improvements 38 21.1%
Not applicable (N/A) 20 11.1%
Other 14 7.8%

2.3.11 Proportion changes proposed by the audit were implemented

49.4% (89) of respondents have implemented over half of the changes proposed by the carbon audit. 27.2% (49) respondents have implemented less than quarter of the changes proposed by the carbon audit (Figure 43).

Figure 43: Proportion of changes made after a carbon audit.
Pie chart showing the proportion implemented of the total number of chnages proposed by the carbon audit; 1%-24%, 25%-49%, 50%-74%, 75%-99% and 100%.

2.3.12 Reasons why actions have not been implemented following a carbon audit

Out of the 192 respondents who did not implement actions following a carbon audit 29.7% (57) noted that there were no recommendations for change to their holding (Figure 44 and Table 31).

Figure 44: Reasons as to why respondents have not undertaken changes after a carbon audit.
A bar chart displaying the reasons of respondants for not undertaking actions following a carbon audit.
Table 31: Reasons as to why respondents have not undertaken changes after a carbon audit.
Reasons for not making changes after a carbon audit Total Respondents Percentage (Denominator 192)
Implementation cost of recommended measures was too high 24 12.5%
Specialised advice and training was not available 13 6.8%
Measures recommended were not relevant to my enterprise 36 18.8%
Actions do not fit with my business cycle/plan 33 17.2%
Lack of time 24 12.5%
Not considered a business priority to date 50 26.0%
No recommendations for change 57 29.7%
Other 47 24.5%

2.4 Soil Testing

2.4.1 Businesses undertaking soil testing

Of the total respondents (977), 73% (713) state that they carry out soil testing for their enterprise (Figure 45).

Figure 45: Respondents undertaking soil testing.
Pie chart dislpaying breakdown of soil testing involvement by respondants; Yes and No

2.4.2 Why businesses carry out soil testing

Out of the 713 respondents who stated that they do soil testing, 66.9% (477) of these respondents carry out soil testing to reduce input costs. 66.5% (474) noted that soil testing aids in the targeted use of inorganic fertiliser could be considered another cost saving measure (Figure 46 and Table 32).

Figure 46: Reasons as to why respondents undertake soil testing.
Bar chart displaying the reasons respondants carry out soil testing.
Table 32: Reasons as to why respondents undertake soil testing.
Reasons for soil testing Total Respondents Percentage (Denominator 713)
Reduce input costs 477 66.9%
Targeted use for organic manure 298 41.8%
Targeted use of inorganic fertiliser 474 66.5%
Informs decision making on crop rotations 267 37.4%
Advised to do so by my consultant 94 13.2%

2.4.3 Soil testing measurements

pH accounts for 98.9% (705) of the soil testing measurements taken by the participants of this survey, with only 41.2% (294) of respondents conducting organic matter analysis (Figure 47 and Table 33).

Figure 47: Soil testing measurements undertaken.
Bar chart of the type of measurements taken by respondants; pH, Organic Matter, Chemistry(Phosphate/Potassium) and Trace Elements (Magnesium, Zinc etc).
Table 33: Soil testing measurements undertaken.
Soil testing measurements Total Respondents Percentage (Denominator 713)
pH 705 98.9%
Organic matter 294 41.2%
Chemistry (Phosphate/Potassium) 617 86.5%
Trace elements (Magnesium, Zinc etc.) 493 69.1%

2.4.4 The frequency of which businesses take soil testing measurements

In most cases pH, Organic matter, Chemistry and Trace element measurements are taken across a sample of fields over a 4-5 year cycle with only three respondents doing pH, trace element and organic matter analysis every 6 months (Figure 48 and Table 34).

Respondents have noted that they take the measurements normally when reseeding their fields or changing the crop type. Others also mentioned that in addition to the measurements included in this survey they also undertake plant tissue analysis and analysis of the soil microbiology.

Figure 48: Frequency of soil testing.
Bar chart breaking down the type of measuremnts undertaken in soil testing by their frequency of Every 6 months, Anually, Every Second Year and a 4-5 Year Cycle.
Table 34: Frequency of soil testing.
Soil Testing Measurements (Denominator 713) Every 6 months Annually Every second year 4-5 year cycle
pH 1 39 85 577
0.14% 5.47% 11.92% 80.93%
Organic matter 1 19 40 301
0.14% 2.66% 5.61% 42.22%
Chemistry (Phosphate/Potassium) 0 38 66 529
0.00% 5.33% 9.26% 74.19%
Trace elements (Magnesium, Zinc etc.) 1 32 57 428
0.14% 4.49% 7.99% 60.03%

2.5 Nutrient Management Plan

Out of the 365 (37.4%) respondents who stated that they have a nutrient management plan, 49% (179) use an advisor to complete the plan, while 51% (186) complete the plan themselves (Figure 49 and 50).

Figure 49: Respondents who have a nutrient management plan.
Yes/No pie chart asking respondants whether they have a nutrient management plan.
Figure 50: Source undertaking the nutrient management plan.
Pie chart identifying the source of the nutrient management plan; Self-created or Advisor.

The method used predominantly to record a nutrient management plan by the respondents is paper accounting for 40.8% (149) of respondents followed 29.3% (107) who use the SRUC Technical Notes. 20.5% (75) of the respondents use paper records only to record their nutrient management plan (Figure 51 and Table 35).

Other system used by the respondents included RHIZA, Muddy Boots, National Milk Records (NMR), Scottish Agronomy and SOYL along with Nitrogen Vulnerable Zones (NVZ) plans in collaboration with Scottish Agencies (SRUC and SAC).

Figure 51: The system used by respondents.
Bar chart identifying the system used by respondants to create the nutrient management plan.
Table 35: The system used by respondents.
Nutrient Management Plan System Total Respondents Percentage (Denominator 365)
Planet 36 9.9%
SRUC Technical Notes (Scotland's Rural College) 107 29.3%
Farm business software 27 7.4%
Paper plan/record 149 40.8%
I do not know 59 16.2%
Other 28 7.7%

A Nutrient Management Plan is a requirement for farms located within a Nitrate Vulnerable Zone (NVZ). Out of the 365 businesses who responded “Yes” to carrying out a Nutrient Management Plan, 54.8% (200) are located within a NVZ (Figure 52).

Figure 52: Business undertaking Nutrient management Plans in relation to the Nitrate Vulnerable Zones ( NVZ). [14]
Map of Scotland displaying all famrs undertaking a nutrient mangagement plan and their location in relaiton to Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZs).

2.6 Soil Management

In terms of soil management, the most common practice conducted by 53.9% (527) of respondents is keeping pH at an optimum level. 52.1% (509) target the use of organic manure (Figure 53 and Table 36).

54.2% (529) of respondents have never integrated pulses/legumes into cropping. 53.1% (519) have never used catch or cover crops and 52.8% (516) have never used nitrification inhibitors (Figure 53). 37.6% (367) of the respondents do not know enough about the use of nitrification inhibitors while 19% (186) do not know enough about visual evaluation of soil structure (VESS).

Figure 53: Soil management practices undertaken.
Extensive bar chart displaying the range of actions undertaken in soil management, each broken down by regularity.
Table 36: Soil management practices undertaken.
Soil Management Practices (Denominator 977) I don't know enough about it I have never done it Occasionally Regularly
Use of precision technology 143 424 188 222
14.6% 43.4% 19.2% 22.7%
Visual evaluation of soil structure (VESS) 186 323 265 203
19.0% 33.1% 27.1% 20.8%
Introduce multi-species grass swards e.g. chicory, plantain, clover mix etc. 77 398 245 257
7.9% 40.7% 25.1% 26.3%
Minimise tillage e.g. direct drilling/min till or over-seeding practices 61 47 292 217
6.2% 4.8% 29.9% 22.2%
Use of catch and cover crops 99 519 220 139
10.1% 53.1% 22.5% 14.2%
Use of Nitrification inhibitors 367 516 73 21
37.6% 52.8% 7.5% 2.1%
Reduced use of pesticides 48 197 315 417
4.9% 20.2% 32.2% 42.7%
Rotate crops to build nutrients and soil structure 38 354 184 401
3.9% 36.2% 18.8% 41.0%
Integrate pulses/legumes into cropping 96 529 173 179
9.8% 54.1% 17.7% 18.3%
Targeted use of inorganic fertiliser 50 233 196 498
5.1% 23.8% 20.1% 51.0%
Targeted use for organic manure 43 212 213 509
4.4% 21.7% 21.8% 52.1%
Reduced use of inorganic nutrient inputs 88 157 332 400
9.0% 16.1% 34.0% 40.9%
Continuous soil cover 154 196 173 454
15.8% 20.1% 17.7% 46.5%
Keeping pH at an optimum level 55 152 243 527
5.6% 15.6% 24.9% 53.9%

2.7 Manure Analysis

2.7.1 Business undertaking manure analysis

11% of the total respondents complete manure analysis (Figure 54). Reasons for participants not undertaking manure analysis can be found in section 2.7.5.

Figure 54: Respondents undertaking manure analysis.
Yes/No pie chart asking respondants whether they undertake manure analysis

2.7.2 Most common type of manure analysis

The most common type of manure analysis according to the 110 respondents who do undertake manure analysis is farm yard manure accounting for 55.5% (61) of the respondents (Figure 55).

Figure 55: Types of manure that undergo manure analysis.
Pie chart displaying the types of manure analysis undertaken; Farm Yard Manure, Digestate, Poultry, Slurry and Sewage Sludge.

2.7.3 Why businesses carry out manure analysis

The main reason for 73.6% (81) of respondents to carry out manure analysis is to help them target the use of applications (Figure 56 and Table 37). Others made note that they had to do manure analysis as it was a requirement of their organic farming scheme. Others noted that they had to have their manure analysed to meet the PAS110 analysis requirements.

Figure 56: Reasons as to why respondents carry out manure analysis.
Bar chart detaling why respondants carry out manure analysis; Targeted use of applications, Cut costs, Reduce fertiliser use and Other.
Table 37: Reasons as to why respondents carry out many analysis.
Reasons for Manure Analysis Total Respondents Percentage (Denominator 110)
Target use of applications 81 73.6%
Cut costs 56 50.9%
Reduce fertiliser use 76 69.1%
Other 12 10.9%

2.7.4 The changes made by businesses as a result of the manure analysis.

Since conducting manure analysis, 70% (77) of the respondents have reduced the amount of chemical fertiliser applied to their land followed, 51.8% (57) have changed the organic manure application rates (Figure 57 and Table 38). Respondents noted that the main change for their business has been the switch in focus from chemical nutrition to biological, others stated it was necessary to make changes to become more organic.

Figure 57: Changes made by respondents as a result of manure analysis.
Bar chart displaying the types of changes made to a respondants business as a result of the carbon audit.
Table 38: Changes made by respondents as a result of manure analysis.
Changes made after Manure Analysis Total Respondents Percentage (Denominator 110)
Reduced chemical fertiliser application 77 70.0%
Changed organic manure application rates 57 51.8%
Use slurry additives/inoculants 11 10.0%
Low emission manure and slurry spreading 18 16.4%
No action taken 14 12.7%
Other 5 4.5%

2.7.5 Why businesses have not carried out manure analysis

Of the 867 respondents who stated that they do not carry out manure analysis, 36.1% (313) of them do not see the need in manure analysis while 28.5% (247) do not believe it is relevant to their business (Figure 58).

5.7% (49) of respondents have stated that their farms do not produce enough manure to merit getting it tested while 1.5% (13) had never heard of manure analysis before encountering it in this survey. On a positive note, 1.4% (12) mentioned that they plan on performing manure analysis in the future (Figure 59 and Table 39).

Figure 58: Reasons as to why respondents do not carry out manure analysis.
A bar chart displaying the reasons of respondants for not doing manure analysis.
Figure 59: More reasons as to why respondents do not carry out manure analysis.
Bar chart displaying the array of Other answers given for reasons as to why respondants did not carry out manure analysis.
Table 39: Reasons as to why respondents do not carry out manure analysis.
Reasons as to why respondents do not carry out Manure Analysis Total Respondents Percentage (Denominator 867)
Cost 194 22.4%
Time 136 15.7%
Export it 8 0.9%
Difficult to interpret results 110 12.7%
Not relevant to my business 247 28.5%
I do not see the need to do it 313 36.1%
Considers manure analysis to be variable and inaccurate 11 1.3%
Does not use manure on their farm 29 3.3%
Does not produce enough farm yard manure 49 5.7%
Do not know enough about the process 12 1.4%
Did not realise it was something they could do 13 1.5%
Plan on performing manure in the future 12 1.4%
Never considered carrying manure analysis out 22 2.5%
Use published figures from agencies 12 1.4%
Other 206 23.8%

2.8 Forage Analysis

2.8.1 Businesses undertaking forage analysis

As seen in the graph below 49.2% (445) of the participants who have livestock enterprises undertake forage analysis for their business (Figure 60). Reasons as to why producers have not undertaken forage analysis can be found in section 2.8.4.

Figure 60: Respondents undertaking forage analysis.
Yes/No pie chart asking respondants if they undertake forage analysis.

2.8.2 The types of forage analysis undertaken by businesses

91.2% (406) of the respondents use analysis techniques on their silage (Figure 61 and Table 40).

Figure 61: Types of forage analysed.
Pie chart displaying the types of forage analysis undertaken; Silge, Hay, Haylage, Whole Crop Cereal and Straw.
Table 40: Types of forage analysed.
Forage Analysis Type Total Respondents Percentage (Denominator 445)
Silage 406 91.2%
Hay 51 11.5%
Haylage 89 20.0%
Whole crop cereals 51 11.5%
Straw 7 1.6%

2.8.3 Changes made to business as a result of forage analysis

53.5% (238) respondents noted that they decreased the volume of concentrates per head after conducting forage analysis. 40.2% (179) have changed the volume of forage feed. 20.2% (90) of the respondents noted that they have not taken any actions after receiving the results of the forage analysis (Figure 62 and Table 41).

Many respondents noted that the results they receive from forage analysis will dictate what actions they undertake that year – it differs year upon year. Others noted that they undertake forage analysis every year and change winter rations according to the results – therefore at times concentrate use goes up, sometimes it reduces, sometimes it stays the same. It depends on both the analysis results and the stock being fed.

Figure 62: Changes made after forage analysis.
Bar chart assessing the changes, if any, made by businesses as a result of the forage analysis.
Table 41: Changes made after forage analysis.
Forage Changes Total Respondents Percentage (Denominator 445)
Increased volume of concentrates per head 139 31.2%
Decreased volume of concentrates per head 238 53.5%
Changed volume of forage fed 179 40.2%
No action taken 90 20.2%
Other 52 11.7%

2.8.4 Why some businesses do not carry out forage analysis

The majority of respondents (459) have not carried out forage analysis as 35.7% (164) do not believe it is relevant to their business while 30.7% (141) do not see the need in doing the analysis (Figure 63 and Table 42).

Respondents noted that examining their livestock performance or considering their weights are enough of an indicator as to whether the forage is of good quality along with helping the respondent determine how much feed to supply the livestock with. Others stated that their business is too small for it to be worth the cost. 1.3% (6) stated that they did not know enough about the process while others are considering undertaking forage analysis in the future.

Figure 63: Reasons as to why respondents have not undertaken forage analysis.
Bar chart displaying the reasons why respondants did not carry out forage analysis.
Table 42: Reasons as to why respondents have not undertaken forage analysis.
Reasons for not making changes after forage analysis Total Respondents Percentage (Denominator 459)
Cost 87 19.0%
Difficult to interpret results 28 6.1%
Only purchase small amounts of forage 81 17.6%
I do not see the need to do this 141 30.7%
Not relevant to my business 164 35.7%
Other 87 19.0%

2.9 Feed Ration Plan

2.9.1 Businesses undertaking a feed ration plan

Out of the 903 respondents who answered this section of the survey, 54.5% (492) have undertaken a feed ration plan (Figure 64). Reasons as to why businesses have not undertaken a feed ration plan can be found in section 2.9.5.

Figure 64: Respondents undertaking a feed ration plan.
Yes/No pie chart asking respondants if they undertake a feed ration plan.

2.9.2 Business types undertaking feed ration plans

71.8% (353) of respondents who carry out feed ration plans (492) undertake it for their beef followed by 51.8% (255) who undertake it for their sheep (Figure 65 and Table 43). Respondents also noted that they carry out feed ration plans for their horses as well bees.

Figure 65: Enterprises of respondents that undertake a feed ration plan.
Bar chart breaking down the enterprises for which respondants carry out a feed ration plan.
Table 43: Enterprise types of respondents that undertake a feed ration plan.
Enterprise Type Total Respondents Percentage (Denominator 492)
Beef 353 71.7%
Sheep 255 51.8%
Dairy 57 11.6%
Poultry 9 1.8%
Pig 10 2.0%
Deer 3 0.6%
Other 5 1.0%

2.9.3 Who created the feed ration plan and how often is it reviewed

55.7% (274) of the respondents create their own feed ration plan followed by 48.8% (240) who get assistance from a feed representative (Figure 66 and Table 44). 48% (236), of the respondents carry out reviews of their feed ration plan each year, while 30.7% (151) update their plan on a more continuous basis (Figure 67 and Table 45).

Figure 66: Source that created the feed ration plan.
Bar chart identifying the source of the feed ration plan; Self-Created, Feed Rep, Independent Nutritionist or a Consultant.
Table 44: Enterprise types of respondents that undertake a feed ration plan.
Who created the feed ration plan Total Respondents Percentage (Denominator 492)
Self 274 55.7%
Feed Representative 240 48.8%
Independent Nutritionist 72 14.6%
Consultant 59 12.0%
Figure 67: Frequency at which feed ration plan reviews are undertaken.
Bar chart displaying the regularity of reviews of the feed ration plan.
Table 45: Frequency at which feed ration plan reviews are undertaken.
Feed Ration Plan Occurrence Total Respondents Percentage (Denominator 492)
Annually 236 48.0%
Every six months 24 4.9%
Summer/Winter 40 8.1%
Stage of lactation 6 1.2%
Calving/lambing 22 4.5%
Continuously 151 30.7%
Growth stage 13 2.6%

2.9.4 Actions made by a business as a result of a feed ration plan

60.8% (299) of respondents noted that they implemented continuous monitoring after initially completing a feed ration plan. 56.1% (276) reduced concentrates usage per head (Figure 68 and Table 46). 5.1% (25) of the respondents noted that they take no action after completing of a feed ration plan (Figure 68 and Table 46).

Figure 68: Actions implemented after feed ration plan.
Bar chart displaying the actions respondants have implemented as a result of the feed ration plan.
Table 46: Actions implemented after feed ration plan.
Feed Ration Plan Actions Total Respondents Percentage (Denominator 492)
Reduced concentrate usage per head 276 56.1%
Increased concentrate usage per head 148 30.1%
Continual monitoring 299 60.8%
Use methane reducing feed additives 37 7.5%
No action taken 25 5.1%
Other 28 5.7%

2.9.5 Why businesses do not carry out feed ration plans

Of the 411 respondents have not carried out a feed plan, 42.3% (174) did not believe it is relevant to their business and 39.2.% (161) do not see the need in doing the analysis (Figure 69 and Table 47).

Many of the respondents stated that they rely on body condition scoring of animals appropriate for the time of year. Others noted that they do not have the relevant equipment for weighing and dispensing feed while others are Pasture for Life certified and therefore do not give feed to their livestock.

Figure 69: Reasons as to why respondents have not carried out a feed ration plan.
Bar chart identifying the reasons why respondants do not carry out a feed ration plan.
Table 47: Reasons as to why respondents have not carried out a feed ration plan.
Reasons why respondents have not undertaken a feed ration plan Total Respondents Percentage (Denominator 411)
Cost 52 12.7%
I do not see the need to do this 161 39.2%
Not relevant to my business 174 42.3%
Other 88 21.4%

2.10 Animal Health and Welfare Plan

2.10.1 Businesses undertaking an animal health and welfare plan

Out of the 902 respondents who answered this section of the survey, 79.4% (716) have an animal health and welfare plan (Figure 70). Reasons as to why participants have not undertaken an animal health and welfare plan can be found in section 2.10.7.

Figure 70: Respondents undertaking an animal health and welfare plan.
Yes/No pie chart asking respondants if they have a health and welfare plan.

2.10.2 Businesses with an accredited animal health and welfare plan

76.8% (550) of the accredited animal health and welfare plans used by the respondents (716) is Quality Meat Scotland (Figure 71 and Table 48). 16.2% (116) of the respondents do not have an accredited plan at present but a small group of these respondents are currently awaiting approval to join Quality Meat Scotland.

Other animal health and welfare accredited plans used by the respondents included Pasture for Life, Demeter and Organic Association, Quality Assured Farm Venison, High Health Herdcare, Biobest, SAHPS: The Animal Health Planning System and Marks and Spencer’s Accredited Scheme via Scotbeef.

Figure 71: Accredited plan used by respondents.
Bar chart breakdown of the accredited plans, if applicable, that respondants use.
Table 48: Accredited plan used by respondents.
Animal health and welfare plan accreditation Total Respondents Percentage (Denominator 716)
Scottish Organic Producers Association (SOPA) 29 4.1%
Quality Meat Scotland 550 76.8%
Premium Cattle Health Scheme 97 13.5%
Red Tractor Scheme 71 9.9%
British Lion Eggs 3 0.4%
Linking Environment and Farming (LEAF) Marque 11 1.5%
Scottish Quality Wild Venison Assurance Scheme 5 0.7%
Soil Association 14 2.0%
Organic Assurance Scheme 7 1.0%
No - I do not have an accredited plan 116 16.2%
Other 49 6.8%

2.10.3 Who created the animal health and welfare plan?

76.1% (545) of animal health and welfare plans (716) are created by the respondents vet (Figure 72 and Table 49). 20.7% (148) of the respondents create their animal health and welfare plan without the assistance of a vet or advisor.

Figure 72: Source that created animal health and welfare plan.
Bar chart identifying the source of the health and welfare plan; Self-Created, Advisor and Vet.
Table 49: Reasons to why respondents have carried out an animal health and welfare plan.
Who created the animal health & welfare plan Total Respondents Percentage (Denominator 716)
Self 359 50.1%
Advisor 48 6.7%
Vet 545 76.1%

2.10.4 Why businesses carry out an animal health and welfare plan

A large majority of the respondents (716) create an animal health and welfare plan because 77% (551) believe it to be good practice (Figure 73 and Table 50). Respondents have stated that the plan is very useful as it ensures that the health and welfare of the animals within the business are maintained or else improved throughout the year. 77.2% (553) of respondents also have noted that an animal health and welfare plan is required as part of their assurance schemes.

Figure 73: Reasons to why respondents have carried out an animal health and welfare plan.
Bar chart displaying the reasons why respondants carry out a health and wlefare plan.
Table 50: Reasons to why respondents have carried out an animal health and welfare plan.
Reasons for animal health and welfare plan Total Respondents Percentage (Denominator 716)
A requirement of the buyer(s) of my product(s) 173 24.2%
Requirement for assurance scheme 553 77.2%
Good practice 551 77%
Other 30 4.2%

2.10.5 Reviews of animal health and welfare plan

78.5% (562) of respondents review their animal health and welfare plans on a yearly basis (Figure 74 and Table 51).

Figure 74: Frequency at which respondents have carried out an animal health and welfare plan.
Bar chart displaying the regularity of reviews of the health and welfare plan.
Table 51: Frequency at which respondents have carried out an animal health and welfare plan.
Animal health and welfare plan occurrence Total Respondents Percentage (Denominator 716)
Over a year 89 12.4%
Annually 562 78.5%
6 months 30 4.2%
3 months 15 2.1%
Monthly 20 2.8%

2.10.6 Actions businesses carry out due to an animal health and welfare plan

Due to having an animal health and welfare plan, 83.5% (598) of the respondents treat their livestock to control parasites. 74.3% (532) administer mineral and trace elements and 74.3% (532) also vaccinate for disease (Figure 75 and Table 52).

30.2% (216) of respondents have never benchmarked livestock performance. 28.2% (202) have never given their livestock treatments to reduce mastitis. 5.9% (42) do not know enough about benchmark livestock performance and 4.5% (32) do not know enough about health screening (Figure 75).

Figure 75: Actions undertaken after animal health and welfare plan.
Extensive bar chart displaying the range of actions undertaken in a health and welfare plan, each broken down by regularity.
Table 52: Actions undertaken after animal health and welfare plan.
Animal health and welfare plan practices (Denominator 716) Regularly Occasionally I have never done it I don't know enough
Monitor antibiotic use 513 132 65 6
71.6% 18.4% 9.1% 0.8%
Test for disease 371 269 74 2
51.8% 37.6% 10.3% 0.3%
Vaccinate for disease 532 134 48 2
74.3% 18.7% 6.7% 0.3%
Health screening 326 231 127 32
45.5% 32.3% 17.7% 4.5%
Actions to reduce lameness 519 148 46 3
72.5% 20.7% 6.4% 0.4%
Treatment to reduce mastitis 194 307 202 13
27.1% 42.9% 28.2% 1.8%
Treatments to control parasites 598 110 7 3
83.5% 15.4% 1.0% 0.4%
Administer mineral & trace element supplements 532 142 39 3
74.3% 19.8% 5.4% 0.4%
Benchmark livestock performance 244 214 216 42
34.1% 29.9% 30.2% 5.9%

2.10.7 Why businesses do not have an animal health and welfare plan

45.2% (84) of respondents have not carried out an animal health and welfare plan (186) due to it not being required for their business. 31.2% (58) have not carried out a plan because they do not see the need for one (Figure 76 and Table 53). 9.1% (17) of respondents do state that although they do monitor the health and wellbeing of their livestock they do not have a formal plan.

Figure 76: Reasons as to why respondents have not carried out an animal health and welfare plan.
Bar chart identifying the reasons why respondants do not have a health and welfare plan.
Table 53: Reasons as to why respondents have not carried out an animal health and welfare plan.
Reason for not undertaking a animal health and welfare plan Total Respondents Percentage (Denominator 186)
Cost 23 12.4%
Time 13 7.0%
Not required for my business 84 45.2%
I do not see the need for this 50 26.9%
Other 58 31.2%

2.10.8 Actions businesses carry out due to having an animal health and welfare plan but have not documented

Although the respondents do not have a formal animal health and welfare plan, 52.7% (98) regularly preform treatments to control parasites, 49.5% (92) administer mineral & trace element supplements and 45.2% (84) undertake actions to reduce lameness (Figure 77 and Table 54).

60.8% (113) of respondents have never benchmarked livestock performance. 59.1% (110) have never given treatments to reduce mastitis and 55.9% (104) have never had a health screening for their livestock (Figure 77 and Table 52). 12.9% (24) of respondents and 10.2% (19) do not know enough about benchmarking livestock performance or health screening respectively (Figure 77 and Table 54).

Figure 77: Actions undertaken after animal health and welfare plan which have not been documented.
Extensive bar chart displaying the range of actions undertaken in a health and welfare plan but are not documented, each broken down by regularity.
Table 54: Actions undertaken after animal health and welfare plan which have not been documented.
Animal health and welfare plan practices - not documented (Denominator 186) Regularly Occasionally I have never done it I don't know enough
Monitor antibiotic use 58 30 85 11
31.2% 16.1% 45.7% 5.9%
Test for disease 29 49 93 13
15.6% 26.3% 50.0% 7.0%
Vaccinate for disease 72 37 67 8
38.7% 19.9% 36.0% 4.3%
Health screening 41 20 104 19
22.0% 10.8% 55.9% 10.2%
Actions to reduce lameness 84 37 54 9
45.2% 19.9% 29.0% 4.8%
Treatment to reduce mastitis 18 43 110 13
9.7% 23.1% 59.1% 7.0%
Treatments to control parasites 98 23 55 8
52.7% 12.4% 29.6% 4.3%
Administer mineral & trace element supplements 92 27 56 9
49.5% 14.5% 30.1% 4.8%
Benchmark livestock performance 26 21 113 24
14.0% 11.3% 60.8% 12.9%

2.11 Breeding Plan

2.11.1 Businesses undertaking a breeding plan

Out of the 900 respondents who answered this section of the survey, 48.3% (435) have undertaken a breeding plan (Figure 78). Reasons as to why businesses have not undertaken a breeding plan can be found in section 2.11.5.

Figure 78: Respondents undertaking a breeding plan.
Yes/No pie chart asking respondants if they have a breeding plan.

2.11.2 Who created the breeding plan and how often is it reviewed

92.2% (401) of the respondents create their own breeding plan. 7.8% (34) get assistance from an advisor (Figure 79). 66.9% (291) of the respondents carry out reviews of their breeding plan each year (Figure 80 and Table 55).

Figure 79: Source that created the breeding plan.
Bar chart identifying the source of the breeding plan; Self-Created or Advisor.
Figure 80: Frequency at which respondents carry out a review of their breeding plan.
Bar chart displaying the regularity of reviews of the breeding plan.
Table 55: Frequency at which respondents carry out a review of their breeding plan.
Breeding plan occurrence Total Respondents Percentage (Denominator 435)
Over a year 61 14.0%
Annually 291 66.9%
6 months 42 9.7%
3 months 23 5.3%
Monthly 18 4.1%

2.11.3 Reasons businesses have created a breeding plan

84.1% (366) of the respondents have created a breeding plan to improve livestock performance while 71.3% (310) state that a plan improves business efficiency (Figure 81 and Table 56). Respondents also noted have a breeding plan helped with safety and the ease of handling livestock along with improving food conversion and reducing the age to slaughter.

Figure 81: Reasons to why respondents carry out a breeding plan.
Bar chart displaying the reasons why respondants carry out a breeding plan.
Table 56: Reasons to why respondents carry out a breeding plan.
Reason for breeding plan Total Respondents Percentage (Denominator 435)
To improve livestock genetics 271 62.3%
To improve livestock health 290 66.7%
To improve livestock performance 366 84.1%
Business efficiency 310 71.3%
Other 22 5.1%

2.11.4 Actions businesses carry out due to having a breeding plan

Due to having a breeding plan, 83.9% (365) of respondents regularly breed their own replacements. 76.1% (331) regularly have pregnancy scans conducted on their livestock and 64.6% (281) use body condition scoring (Figure 82 and Table 57).

79.8% (347) of the respondents have never used sexed semen in livestock production and 75.9% (330) have never taken the pelvic measure of their cattle. 15.6% (68) and 6.2% (27) of respondents do not know enough about breeding livestock for lower emissions or taking the pelvic measure of cattle respectively.

Respondents also noted the importance of choosing the suitability of cows going to which type of bull or breed of bull and therefore size, previous calving history, general health and maternal instincts should also be considered.

Figure 82: Actions undertaken by respondents after breeding plan.
Extensive bar chart displaying the range of actions undertaken in a breeding plan, each broken down by regularity.
Table 57: Actions undertaken by respondents after breeding plan.
Breeding plan practices - documented (Denominator 435) Regularly Occasionally I have never done it I don't know enough
Semen testing sires 72 131 228 4
16.6% 30.1% 52.4% 0.9%
Pregnancy scanning 331 60 44 0
76.1% 13.8% 10.1% 0.0%
Body condition scoring 281 106 43 5
64.6% 24.4% 9.9% 1.1%
Weight monitoring 218 114 103 0
50.1% 26.2% 23.7% 0.0%
Breeding for lower emissions 22 31 314 68
5.1% 7.1% 72.2% 15.6%
Breed own replacements 365 52 17 1
83.9% 12.0% 3.9% 0.2%
Use Estimated Breeding Values for stock selection 158 122 136 19
36.3% 28.0% 31.3% 4.4%
Stricter culling regime 275 125 34 1
63.2% 28.7% 7.8% 0.2%
Breeding for increased growth rate 247 105 79 4
56.8% 24.1% 18.2% 0.9%
Increasing breeding percentage rates 265 90 71 9
60.9% 20.7% 16.3% 2.1%
Reducing age at first calving 148 76 196 15
34.0% 17.5% 45.1% 3.4%
Reducing calving interval 179 71 168 17
41.1% 16.3% 38.6% 3.9%
Pelvic measure of cattle 35 43 330 27
8.0% 9.9% 75.9% 6.2%
Using sexed semen in livestock production 43 24 347 21
9.9% 5.5% 79.8% 4.8%

2.11.5 Why businesses do not have a breeding plan

Of the 464 respondents that do not have a breeding plan, 38.6% (179) of respondents carry out actions related to a breeding plan but have not documented the processes (Figure 83 and Table 58). 31.3% (145) respondents have noted that a breeding plan is not relevant to their business, this is normally due to the business not being large enough or the business not having livestock (Figure 83). Although 23.3% (108) of respondents note that they do not see the need to do a breeding plan and 1.1% (5) state that they never thought about doing a breeding plan.

Figure 83: Reasons as to why respondents have not carried out a breeding plan.
Bar chart identifying the reasons why respondants do not have a breeding plan.
Table 58: Reasons as to why respondents have not carried out a breeding plan.
Reason for not undertaking a breeding plan Total Respondents Percentage (Denominator 464)
Cost 38 8.2%
Time 56 12.1%
Lack labour 31 6.7%
I do not see the need to do this 108 23.3%
Carry out actions but not documented 179 38.6%
Not relevant to my business 145 31.3%
Other 67 14.4%

2.11.6 Actions businesses carry out but have not documented

Although the respondents do not have a formal breeding plan, 57.6% (268) regularly breed their own replacements and 44.3% (206) undertake pregnancy scanning of their livestock (Figure 84 and Table 59).

86.7% (403) of respondents have never used sexed semen in livestock production and 86% (400) have never taken the pelvic measure of their cattle. 81.7% (380) of respondents have never breed livestock for lower emissions. 12.9% (60) of respondents do not know enough about breeding livestock for lower emissions. While 8.4% (39) and 7.5% (35) do not know enough about Estimated Breeding Values for stock selection or taking pelvic measure of their cattle respectively (Figure 84).

Figure 84: Actions undertaken by respondents after breeding plan which are not documented.
Extensive bar chart displaying the range of actions undertaken in a breeding plan but are not documented, each broken down by regularity.
Table 59: Actions undertaken by respondents but have not documented.
Breeding plan practices - Not documented (Denominator 464) Regularly Occasionally I have never done it I don't know enough
Semen testing sires 33 81 335 16
7.1% 17.5% 72.2% 3.4%
Pregnancy scanning 206 70 180 9
44.4% 15.1% 38.8% 1.9%
Body condition scoring 139 128 186 12
30.0% 27.6% 40.1% 2.6%
Weight monitoring 108 123 223 11
23.3% 26.5% 48.1% 2.4%
Breeding for lower emissions 12 13 380 60
2.6% 2.8% 81.9% 12.9%
Breed own replacements 268 62 125 10
57.8% 13.4% 26.9% 2.2%
Use Estimated Breeding Values for stock selection 70 81 275 39
15.1% 17.5% 59.3% 8.4%
Stricter culling regime 138 144 171 12
29.7% 31.0% 36.9% 2.6%
Breeding for increased growth rate 112 105 227 21
24.1% 22.6% 48.9% 4.5%
Increasing breeding percentage rates 123 98 219 25
26.5% 21.1% 47.2% 5.4%
Reducing age at first calving 54 80 304 27
11.6% 17.2% 65.5% 5.8%
Reducing calving interval 81 70 287 27
17.5% 15.1% 61.9% 5.8%
Pelvic measure of cattle 12 18 400 35
2.6% 3.9% 86.2% 7.5%
Using sexed semen in livestock production 13 15 403 34
2.8% 3.2% 86.9% 7.3%

2.12 Biodiversity

2.12.1 Businesses undertaking a biodiversity audits

Out of the total number of respondents (977), 28.5% (278) have undertaken a biodiversity audit (Figure 85). Reasons as to why businesses have not undertaken a breeding plan can be found in section 2.12.3.

Figure 85: Respondents that have undertaken a biodiversity audit.
Yes/No pie chart asking respondants if they have undertaken a biodiversity audit.

2.12.2 Reasons why businesses have undertaken a biodiversity audit

60.8% (169) of the respondents (278) who have undertaken a biodiversity audit state the reason for doing so was because it was a requirement for a Agri-environment scheme they were taking part in (Figure 86 and Table 60). 55.4% (154) have also noted that they undertook the audit to better assess and understand what biodiversity they have on their business.

In addition, respondents have also noted that they undertook the biodiversity audit out of their own personal interest. Others stated that they did the audit as it was a requirement of the Scottish Quality Crops assurance scheme and/or have land that are parts of Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and are audited regularly.

Figure 86: Reasons to why respondents have undertaken a biodiversity audit.
Bar chart displaying the reasons why respondants carry out a biodiversity audit
Table 60: Reasons why respondents have undertaken a biodiversity audit.
Reason for biodiversity audit Total Respondents Percentage (Denominator 278)
To assess and understand what biodiversity is on the farm 154 55.4%
To identify measures to improve biodiversity 111 39.9%
Requirement for an Agri-environment scheme 169 60.8%
For the buyer(s) of my product(s) 28 10.1%
Other 55 19.8%

2.12.3 Why businesses have not carried out a biodiversity audit

The main reason 55.9% (391) of respondents have not undertaken a biodiversity audit is because they do not know what it involves, 46.1% (322) do not how to do one and 37.9% (265) do not know where to find help if they did wish to conduct an audit (Figure 87 and Table 61). Others have also stated that they had never heard of a biodiversity audit before taking the survey. Some respondents have noted that they do not have the time to conduct a biodiversity audit. Others have mentioned that they visually monitor and do try to encourage biodiversity but do not document their findings.

Figure 87: Reasons to why respondents have not undertaken a biodiversity audit.
Bar chart identifying the reasons why respondants have not carried out a biodiversity audit.
Table 61: Reasons why respondents have not undertaken a biodiversity audit.
Reasons for not undertaking biodiversity audit Total Respondents Percentage (Denominator 699)
I do not know what it involves 391 55.9%
I do not know how to do one 322 46.1%
I do not know where to go to get help to do one 265 37.9%
Cost 206 29.5%
I do not see the need to do this 182 26.0%
Not relevant to my business 116 16.6%
Other 109 15.6%

2.12.4 Reasons businesses would potentially undertake a biodiversity audit in the future

Although 79.4% (573) of respondents (722) have noted that financial assistance and 61.4% (443) of respondents have stated that training in how to undertake a basic biodiversity audit would encourage them to undertake a biodiversity audit (Figure 88 and Table 62). Many respondents commented that unless there was a good reason, a better understanding and a benefit to the business as to why a biodiversity audit should be taken they would continue to resist conducting an audit.

Figure 88: Reasons why respondents would potentially undertake a biodiversity audit in the future.
Bar chart recording the incentives that would encourage respondants to undertake a biodiversity audit.
Table 62: Reasons why respondents would potentially undertake a biodiversity audit in the future.
Reasons for undertaking biodiversity audit in future Total Respondents Percentage (Denominator 722)
Financial assistance 573 79.4%
Training in how to undertake a basic biodiversity audit 443 61.4%
Technology to record data on site 262 36.3%
Other 100 13.9%

2.12.5 Additional steps to support biodiversity and why undertake them

80% (782) of respondents are taking additional steps to support the creation, enhancement or preservation of suitable habitats on their land (Figure 89).

Figure 89: Respondents taking additional steps for biodiversity.
Yes/No pie chart asking respondants if they, in addition to cross compliance, undertake other actions involved in supporting the creation, enhnacement or preservation of suitable habitats.

83.9% (656) of respondents have undertaken additional steps to support the creation, enhancement or preservation of suitable habitats on their land is because they wish to support biodiversity. 30.8% (241) have undertaken these additional tasks due to it being part of an Agri-environment scheme (Figure 90 and Table 63). The majority of the respondents stated that they had a responsibility to support their local biodiversity and they had a genuine interest in biodiversity and wish to improve it as best they could.

Figure 90: Reasons why respondents have undertaken additional steps for biodiversity.
Bar chart identifying the reasons why respondants carry out these additional actions noted in Figure 89.
Table 63: Reasons why respondents have undertaken additional steps for biodiversity.
Reasons for additional steps for biodiversity Total Respondents Percentage (Denominator 782)
To support biodiversity 656 83.9%
Part of an agri-environment scheme 241 30.8%
For the buyer(s) of my product(s) 68 8.7%
Other 160 20.5%

2.12.6 Organic Certification

Only 5.9% (46) of the respondents are certified as organic (Figure 91).

Figure 91: Respondents certified organic.
Yes/No pie chart asking respondants if they are organic.

2.12.7 Encouraging biodiversity within farming businesses

Out of the 782 respondents who answered this question, 77.8% (608) of respondents maintain field and water habitat margins on a regular basis. 67% (524) identify and do not alter permanent natural habitats and 56.4% (441) consider wildlife needs when crop/grassland use planning (Figure 92 and Table 64).

57% (446) of respondents have never done training sessions or workshops on local biodiversity issues. While 7.2% (56) do not know enough about what training sessions or workshop are available. Peatland/wetland restoration and preservation does not apply to 63.4% (496) of the respondents as their businesses are not based within these particular types of land forms.

Respondents have also mentioned the use of bird and owl boxes, control of foxes and crows, maintenance of dry stone dykes, tick prevention measures, aerial bracken control and regular shepherding to ensure even grazing of rough pasture.

Figure 92: Actions undertaken by respondents to help biodiversity.
Bar chart displaying the actions undertaken by respondants to aid biodiversity on their land, further broken down by regularity.
Table 64: Actions undertaken by respondents to aid biodiversity on their land.
Actions taken to aid biodiversity (Denominator 782) Regularly Occasionally I have never done it I don't know enough Not applicable (N/A)
Identify and do not alter permanent natural habitats 524 169 30 24 35
67.0% 21.6% 3.8% 3.1% 4.5%
Maintain field and water habitat margins 608 110 24 11 29
77.7% 14.1% 3.1% 1.4% 3.7%
To reduce the use of pesticides or to reduce target areas for pesticide use 441 204 30 3 104
56.4% 26.1% 3.8% 0.4% 13.3%
Small scale woodland creation 219 259 207 21 76
28.0% 33.1% 26.5% 2.7% 9.7%
Peatland/wetland preservation 201 146 172 36 227
25.7% 18.7% 22.0% 4.6% 29.0%
Peatland/wetland restoration 47 69 346 51 269
6.0% 8.8% 44.2% 6.5% 34.4%
Attend training sessions or workshops on local diversity issues 51 180 446 56 49
6.5% 23.0% 57.0% 7.2% 6.3%
Leave stubbles or other crop cover in place over winter 295 130 103 12 242
37.7% 16.6% 13.2% 1.5% 30.9%
Prevent damage resulting from livestock having free access to the water environment 358 199 89 12 124
45.8% 25.4% 11.4% 1.5% 15.9%
Consider wildlife needs when crop/grassland use planning 392 269 58 16 47
50.1% 34.4% 7.4% 2.0% 6.0%

2.12.8 Businesses not carrying out additional steps for biodiversity and why?

The main reason respondents (195) have not carried out additional steps to support the creation, enhancement or preservation of suitable habitats on their land is because 52.3% (102) feel that there is not enough information about the topic (Figure 93 and Table 65). 28.2% (55) of respondents have also stated that they are concerned that the measures are too costly. 27.7% (54) feel that the measures may impact production on the holding and 24.6% (48) feel it will have a detrimental impact on the business with the time taken to undertake these measures being a main concern. Others noted they were happy with the biodiversity currently on their land and they saw no need for further modifications to their business as it could upset the already established biodiversity balance which changes itself according to nature, weather and the availability of food and shelter.

Figure 93: Reasons why respondents have undertaken additional steps for biodiversity.
Bar chart identifying the reasons why respondants do not carry out the additional actions noted in Figure 89.
Table 65: Reasons why respondents have not undertaken additional steps for biodiversity.
Reasons for not undertaking additional steps for biodiversity Total Respondents Percentage (Denominator 195)
I need more advice to know what to do 102 52.3%
Concerned these measures are detrimental to my business 44 22.6%
Concern of the impact on production 54 27.7%
Too costly 55 28.2%
I do not see the need to do this 48 24.6%
Not relevant to my business 27 13.8%
Other 21 10.8%

2.12.9 Why businesses potential would undertake additional steps for biodiversity

Of the 195 respondents who have not carried out additional steps to support the creation, enhancement or preservation of suitable habitats on their land, 83.6% (163) stated that financial assistance would encourage them while 65.1% (127) noted the need for free or low cost advice (Figure 94 and Table 66). Respondents also noted that if there were no competitive schemes, that the schemes were equally accessible they would be encouraged to practice more methods to support the creation, enhancement or preservation of suitable habitats on their land. Another respondent noted that if there was evidence that measures could help their business, they would also be encouraged to further enhance the biodiversity within their business.

Figure 94: Reasons why respondents would potentially undertake further actions for biodiversity in the future.
Bar chart displaying the incentives that woulf encourage respondants to carry out additional activities on their land to aid biodiversity.
Table 66: Reasons why respondents would potentially undertake further actions for biodiversity in the future.
Reasons for undertaking additional biodiversity activities in future Total Respondents Percentage (Denominator 195)
Financial assistance 163 83.6%
Free or low cost advice 127 65.1%
Help with the application process for schemes 104 53.3%
Other 15 7.7%

2.13 Communication Channels

60.3% (589) of the respondents when looking for information on new agricultural practices would review Farming press articles. 60.1% (587) would have ad-hoc discussions with other farmers/crofters/land managers (Figure 95 and Table 67).

50.4% (492) of respondents went to official government websites for advice (Figure 95). Respondents did note that they sometimes found these sites difficult to work through and perceived the language used as ‘legal talk’ rather than ‘plain talk’. Websites that respondents found useful included the Farming Forum, Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT), SAC, Farming Advice Service (FAS), Bee Base, NatureScot, RSPB, Wildlife Trust Scotland, Woodland Trust, Bird Track, Working for Waders, Scottish Bee Keepers Association.

Figure 95: Agricultural information sources for respondents.
Bar chart identifying the sources of information respondants go to when assessing new agricultural practices.
Table 67: Agricultural information sources for respondents.
Communication channels Total Respondents Percentage (Denominator 977)
Official Government Websites 492 50.4%
Farm Advisor 462 47.3%
Social Media Platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.) 343 35.1%
Ad-hoc discussions with other farmers/crofters/land managers 587 60.1%
Meet-ups, e.g. monitor farm meetings, discussion groups etc. 396 40.5%
Farming Advisory Service 435 44.5%
Farming Press 589 60.3%
Product Representative 175 17.9%
Vet 479 49.0%
Online 151 15.5%
Other 101 10.3%

Contact

Email: TSF_Mailbox@gov.scot

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