Wooler beef event attracts over 100

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SAC Consulting has been praised for staging a first-class beef event in partnership with Lilburn Estates.

With over 100 farmers attending from as far away as Nottingham, the event proved to be a major success.

Local farmer Colin Martin of West Kirknewton Farm, said: “I was exceptionally impressed with the beef event. Having the first half on a farm meant we could all get the opportunity to view the beef system which Lilburn have adopted, and the results they have produced.

“It is always interesting to network with other farmers at these events and they are a great opportunity to see what developments are being made within the industry.”

Beginning at East Horton Farm near Wooler, attendees were divided into groups, each moving around various stations discussing feed supplies, net feed efficiency, finishing cattle, cross compliance, veterinary treatments and calving periods.

Following this the group travelled to Hetton Village Hall, where they heard from SAC vets on BVD and Johne’s disease, as well as SAC Consulting’s Richard Jeffreys, George Caldow, Ian Pritchard and Neil Carter.

Richard Jeffreys from the Wooler-based SAC Consulting office introduced the day followed by Dominic Naylor, farm manager of Lilburn Estates.

Richard said: “We were delighted with the turnout of farmers to the event. We believe people walked away with an up to date knowledge of current trends involved in feeding and breeding beef cattle, as well as taking part in an in-depth discussion on tackling current threats and difficulties within the industry.”

Speaking at station one was Jimmy Hyslop of SAC Consulting and Stephen Corner of KW Feeds.

He introduced the net feed efficiency. He discussed selective breeding and improving efficiency by selecting animals that are the most proficient at converting feed to carcass weight.

Station two covered cross compliance and feeding cattle outside through the winter, a topical subject due to the wet year we have suffered. Ian Cairns provided a number of key points to be expected in an RPA inspection.

Rhidian Jones continued with the theme of out-wintering, by showing the findings of a controlled grazing system, where finishing cattle are set stocked on a paddock system. As grass remains the cheapest form of feed, farmers should be looking at ways to maximise this resource.

James Hadwin went on to highlight calving figures collected from 170 farms, showing the wide variation in calving periods.

Richard Jeffreys concluded: “These events are about reiterating the logics behind making decisions, so that a farm can maximise the potential of its current system, which has ultimately been shaped by its individual farm type.”