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Welsh Sheep 2009 - Challenges of Farming in the Welsh Hills
28/01/09

The challenges of farming land rising to 1750 feet in the Hiraethog Hills will be a main feature of NSA Welsh Sheep 2009. The event takes place on Tuesday 19 May at Cernioge Bach, Pentrefoelas, near Betws y Coed, just off the A5.

www.welshsheep.org.uk

NSA Welsh Sheep 2009

The farming enterprise extends to more than 200 hectares, with a further 141 hectares of common grazing and is run by Dewi Ellis and his parents, Eifion and Ann. The family runs 1150 Lleyn pedigree ewes and 100 Suckler Cows plus followers.

This year the family has got together with other members of the North Wales Lleyn Club to cross the Lleyn ewes with a range of terminal sires. The Ellis family has put 120 ewes to Hampshire and Meatlink rams and 250 to Texels.

"We want to show really what the Lleyn can do", says Dewi. "We’ve used the Texel before and were pleased with the results. It will be really interesting to show the range of lambs the Lleyn can produce."

The ewes usually lamb in late April and May and are all M.V.Accredited but this year will be lambing in March. The flock has only used ARR/ARR Rams since 2001. It’s also part of as the Llywio Lleyn Group. The farm is FAWL Farm Assured.

"We have always used very correct rams of good quality", stresses Dewi. "Since the N.S.P have started genotyping, we’re lucky that all our Stock Rams were Group 1. In Wales we have been able to genotype through the Welsh Ewe Genotype Scheme all ewe lambs since 2002 with most results coming back as Group 1 or 2.

"Also our Culling has been drastic, if there is a problem of any sort, they are culled into the fatstock market. Our policy is not to pass on these problems to other breeders."

The Cattle enterprise consists of 100 Suckler Cows plus followers. The Stabiliser cattle are in their seventh year at Cernioge Bach, with cows, heifers and bulls for sale. They are recorded with Signet.

There will be three competitions at the event. These include a Ready, Steady, Cook competition, Stock Judging of Lleyn Sheep and Stabiliser cattle plus a Welsh NSA Young Shepherd of the Year competition.

The major Sponsors this year are Hybu Cig Cymru and Novartis animal health, mainline sponsors are Innovis and Asda/Welsh Country Foods. Rumenco is also a sponsor.

NSA Welsh Sheep 2009 is a one-day technical event attracting several thousand visitors. It combines the opportunity for flockmasters to update on all the latest information with a pleasant social occasion.

The event has something for everyone in the sheep industry and provides a platform for its representatives including politicians, officials, breed societies, and independent and commercial organisation. A key venue for the trade and an informal meeting ground for producers, it also keeps the media up to date with the latest news and information about the industry.

link Oxford Farming Conference 2009
link FAO International Year of Natural Fibres 2009
link NSA North Sheep 2009 Announces Novartis as Major Sponsor

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