Visitors attending the UK’s national beef event, Beef
Expo 2008, at Perth Agricultural Centre on Wednesday, May 21,
will have the opportunity on the day before the event of visiting
two leading Perthshire beef farms.
The pre-event tour on Tuesday, May 20, will feature pedigree herds
of Aberdeen-Angus, Charolais, Simmental and Luing cattle and large-scale
commercial beef enterprises on both farms.
Coaches will leave Perth Agricultural Centre at 9.00am on May
20 for the visits to Ballathie Estate, Kinclaven, Stanley, courtesy
of estate owner, John Milligan, and Incheoch, Alyth, courtesy of
farmers, Finlay and Judy McGowan, son Neil, and daughter, Clare.
In addition to viewing two outstanding pedigree and suckler beef
operations, there will be a demonstration on cattle handling at
Ballathie by world-renowned expert, Prof Temple Grandin from Colorado
State University, USA, and a demonstration at Incheoch of the Luing
Cattle Society’s pioneering dam classification programme
by the society’s breed development officers, Robert McNee
and Neil McGowan.
Places on the farm tour are limited and must be pre-booked with
the event organiser, Euan Emslie. The cost is £12 + VAT per
person, including a packed lunch, and coaches will return to Perth
Agricultural Centre in good time for the start of the pre-event
conference at 4.00pm.
Beef Expo 2008, organised by the National Beef Association and
sponsored by Lloyds TSB Agriculture, is returning to Scotland this
year for the first time since 2004. Theme of this year’s
event is “Engage with Beef – Sustainable Systems”.
The 1500-acre Ballathie Estate is one of the most attractive lowland
estates in Scotland and the Ballathie herds of Aberdeen-Angus and
Charolais, each with 20 pedigree cows, have come to prominence
in recent years, along with the 200-cow suckler herd of Aberdeen-Angus
cross cows which are crossed with Charolais bulls.
Beef from the farm is sold in the farm shop and restaurant and
the nearby Ballathie House Hotel which is also owned by estate
owner, John Milligan.
An extensive range of modern farm buildings completed five years
ago will be an additional attraction and is the base for Ballathie
Livery Services which offers a comprehensive range of flushing
and embryo transfer services, as well as the preparation of animals
for show and sale.
The 1500-acre estate, located within a loop of the River Tay,
is renowned for its innovative conservation and environmental policies
and benefits from a wide range of wildlife habitats and diverse
selection of flora and fauna which has been actively encouraged
as part of a five-year integrated conservation plan.
The estate comprises a mix of amenities, including farmland, forestry,
residential, fishing, conservation and recreational facilities
An Integrated Crop Management (ICM) approach has been adopted to
combine efficient, profitable farming with the estate’s important
conservation and environmental objectives.
The emphasis at Incheoch is on easy-care cattle selected for growth
rate, eye muscle and ease of calving. The McGowan family run a
total of 200 cows and followers and a flock of 1100 ewes, including
700 Lleyn, on 1200 acres.
The Simmental herd was founded in 1973 and at Perth in February
sold a bull for 22,000gns to equal the UK record price for a Simmental.
However, most bulls are sold privately on the farm. The herd includes
30 polled females following the introduction of a polled sire 20
Luing bulls have sold for up to 14,000gns and 12,000gns and a
bull from the herd sold for the second top price of 8000gns at
Castle Douglas in February. The 100-cow herd is outwintered and
the aim has always been to produce long-living, easy-care cows.
Heifers are calved at two years of age and the average culling
age is over 15, with some cows continuing to produce at 20 years
of age. Steers are finished at two years of age on grass, whole-crop
silage and straights and last year averaged 380kg deadweight to
average more than £800/head.
A 40-cow strong herd of Sim-Luing cows produces steers and heifers
for the store and breeding markets.
USA Expert Temple Grandin is Key Guest at Beef Expo 2008
Top Speakers Lined Up for Beef Expo 2008
Aberdeen-Angus Enjoying Mini-Export Boom