Focus to be on sheep at monitor farm meeting

Simon Bainbridge of the Northumberland Monitor Farm with his daughter Abigail

Simon Bainbridge of the Northumberland Monitor Farm with his daughter Abigail

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The May meeting of the Northumberland monitor farm will focus on sheep with senior sheep consultant for the Scottish Agricultural College, John Vipond as keynote speaker.

John, who is regarded as one of the foremost sheep experts in the UK, will be joined by representatives of the British Wool Marketing Board including chairman, Malcom Corbett and regional manager for Scotland, the north east and Ireland, Stephen Ballinger.

The meeting will take place on May 31, starting with registration and the first part of the meeting being held at Rothley East Shield, near Scots Gap at 5pm, and finishing up at Donkin Rigg.

With wool becoming increasingly more valuable in contrast to recent times this meeting will detail some of the factors that the industry is looking for from farmers across the country.

Simon Bainbridge, of Donkin Rigg monitor farm, has been looking into simplifying breeding on the sheep side of the farm’s business.

Over the last lambing season he has trialled a number of different tups, and he is keen to bring in a tup from some of the foremost breeding genetics in the country for next season.

Simon would like to use this opportunity to reassess the breeds currently being used on the farm, and look at the opportunities other breed types may present.

Simon will give those present an update on how lambing has gone on the farm over the last few weeks and detail the split weaning trial he will be testing on the farm in a few months time.

Dr Vipond, who has been reviewing the sheep operation on the monitor farm, will focus on the outcome of his consultation work with Donkin Rigg.

The Northumberland monitor farm currently has a herd of 140 cows plus followers and a flock of 1400 ewes including North of England mules and Swaledale sheep, with some Swaledale cross Hexham type blackfaces.

Simon is keen to encourage sheep farmers to the meeting.

Bookings for May 31 are essential. To reserve a place, please contact EBLEX on 0870 241 528.

Refreshments also will be available on the day of the meeting.