National Beef Association
For everyone with an interest in the British beef industry

NBA announce farm tours as part of Beef Expo 2020

11th March 2020

Region: National

Two informative and educational farm tours have been confirmed in the Darlington area for Wednesday 27th May, ahead of the NBA Beef Expo 2020 taking place the following day, Thursday 28th May at Darlington Farmers Auction Mart’s (DFAM) new state-of-the-art Humbleton Park Auction Centre.

NBA Beef Expo is the largest technical beef event in the UK, and the farm tours are an important element showcasing the innovative thinking behind some of the country’s progressive farm operations. This year, the farm tours will be delivered by kind permission of the Suddes and Richardson families.

The Suddes family have farmed at South Farm, Cornsay for over 100 years. The business is a family affair, Rob and Janis farm alongside their sons Richard and Karl. Sitting at 900ft, the 800-acre unit carries 120 pedigree Limousin cows.

Pedigree bulls are sold at Carlisle and also local auctions, including Darlington and Hexham; those not suitable for breeding are finished on home-grown rations and sold live at 12-14 months old through Darlington market.

Of the 800 acres, 500 are arable, the remainder are pasture. External to the home farm, a further 400 acres are worked on a shared farming basis, and the farm’s contracting business drills and combines a further 600 acres. All crops are established using no-till.

Bracken House, Melsonby, has been farmed by the Richardsons since 1916. Totalling 780 acres, the business has always finished cattle, sourcing cattle live from local markets. The farm finishes between six and seven hundred head per year, split between bulls and steers. Finished bulls are sold live at Darlington market, the steers are sold deadweight through Woodheads or ABP.

In 2004, Bracken House was only the second farm in the UK to build a Roundhouse, with another being added in 2019. The two Roundhouses hold a total of 390-head, and have integrated handling systems. The family also own and operate Lowgrange Quarry Ltd.

The farm tours represent an additional and informative element to the exhibition taking place the following day. Drawing in 4,000 beef farmers annually, the NBA Beef Expo is considered a major showcase for pedigree and commercial breed societies who want to promote the quality of their cattle.

Displaying some of the finest examples of British breeding anywhere in the UK, farmers, exhibitors, agricultural companies and interested members of the public use the annual event to network, do business and share knowledge. A full seminar programme and working machinery demonstrations will also be announced shortly.

Numbers for the farm tours are limited, and early booking is advisable. Tickets are priced at £35, which includes lunch and transport between the farms. To reserve your place, please contact Katie Pearson on 07393 452544 or email [email protected]

New reduced entry fees for NBA Beef Expo, at just £10 per person, are available in advance only by visiting