The Young Stock Podcast, supported by Macra, visits Scotland this week, where Declan Marren caught up with beef farmer Duncan Morrison, who has built a successful suckler cow enterprise from scratch over the past six years.

Duncan is a man for the detail and had researched his system extensively through both his degree studies in SRUC as well as visiting farms in Scotland and New Zealand.

Establishing a suckler herd is notoriously difficult, as cashflow can be slow in the early years and scaling the operation can take a lot of time. As well as this, Duncan was trying to do so on a tenanted farm, so the bills had to be paid.

However, with the help of the income from his fencing business combined with some financial assistance from his local livestock mart, Aberdeen and Northern Marts, Duncan was able to buy his first herd of cows and build from there.

Since then, Duncan has taken on a new farm where he leases the cows from a farmer looking to exit the sector over the coming years.

This has a benefit for both parties, as the owner continues to have an income from his herd for the coming years and Duncan can scale the business and build numbers more quickly.

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