Farm Tours & Dinner
NBA Farm Tours - A British Beef Industry Insight
The farm tours are always a great day out and visitors come from far and wide each year to see the best of the regions beef farms.
Farm One: James Evans, Partridge Farm, Linley, Bishops Castle
James Evans’ Patridge Farm situated in Linley, near Bishops Castle spans just over 800 hectares (2,000 acres) and is home to his 300 Stabiliser suckler cows and 1,000 Lleyn ewes. The sucklers are split into two units, a 180-cow spring-calving herd and a 120-cow autumn-calving herd both producing quality maternal high health status breeding stock and bulls finished in a semi intensive system.
In 2007, James who farms in partnership with his brother Rob and father John, converted from traditional dairy cross sucklers to an all Stabiliser performance recorded herd, completely overhauling his beef enterprise. Performance recording was a key player in the decision to transfer to the breed. James believes strongly that beef producers should make use Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs), allowing them to identify animals that are truly genetically superior rather than relying on aesthetics which are often not directly correlated to performance.
Farm Two: Marc Jones, Trefnant Hall, Welshpool
Trefnant Hall farm is a 500-acre tenanted farm situated on the Powis Estate which is run by Marc Jones in partnership with his parents David and Jane. Prior to 2009 the farm lambed 1200 Welsh Mules inside in February and kept 120 Limousin cross suckler cows, producing store cattle at 14 months. The system was reliant on housing and concentrates and unfortunately did not achieve profits higher than the single farm payment.
In 2009, Marc took part in the Hybu Cig Cymru Scholarship to New Zealand and came back with new ideas to improve the farms profitability. His aims were to improve utilisation of grass and forage crops on the farm to reduce the cost of production as well as maximising stocking rate and output.
Fast forward 9 years. The sheep enterprise now consists of 800 Lleyn and Romney ewes which lamb outside and are outwintered on fodder beet. The cattle enterprise has changed dramatically too. Marc now buys in approximately 300 Angus and Hereford calves from Meadow Quality each winter and rears them through to finish at 20-24 months, grazing them through the spring and summer months and out-wintering on fodder beat. The calves are then marketed to Dunbia or through Meadow Quality at 250-320kg dead weight.
A further 450 calves a year are contract reared from 3 to 15 weeks of age for Dunbia. All calves are sourced from Co-op and Sainsbury’ dairy farms and are sold on to contract finishers.
The farm has seen a massive turnaround in both output and profitability and now aims to produce 1 tonne of live weight per hectare as well as a profit which is three times the single farm payment.
Farm Three: Jonny Cornes, Bayston Hill, Shrewsbury
The third farm tour will take visitors to Jonny Cornes farm, at Bayston Hill just outside Shrewsbury. Here he and his family finish approx. 1800 stores, bought in from local markets and fed on home grown fodder beet, grain and grass silage as well as ad lib straw.
The ration, fed ad lib in hoppers also contains live yeast to prevent acidosis and a 16% protein pellet. On arrival cattle are all vaccinated against IBR before being housed in straw bedded yards in groups of approx. 80. Muck from the unit is then utilised on the 1000 acres of arable ground.
Two of the sheds on farm are approved finishing units (AFUs), with a third due to be added. These sheds have excellent biosecurity and provide an outlet for cattle bought directly from herds currently down with TB, an increasing issue in the area.
The Cornes also finish approx. 15,000 lambs on fodder beat grown both their own and neighbouring farms, utilising land from July through July to September, that will then be used for spring cropping of beat and maize.
Bookings can be made online, farm tour tickets are £30 (inc VAT) for NBA members and £36 (inc VAT) for non-members and are inclusive of all transport and a hot lunch on farm.
NBA Beef Expo - Beef Industry Dinner
The NBA Beef Expo - Beef Industry Dinner Dance will be held on the evening of the 24th May at the renowned Netley Hall Estate in Shropshire.
The dinner will include a drinks reception, three course dinner, with the best of British beef, raffle, after dinner speaker and dancing.
A perfect opportunity to network with people in the beef sector.