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Stackyard News Aug 2011

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Monitoring Preparation for Tupping

The next satellite meeting of the Northumberland Monitor Farm will be held at one of the foremost livestock farms in North Northumberland, Rugley Farm, Alnwick, on Tuesday 23rd August at 5.00pm. The aim of this event is to highlight the importance of good preparation for tupping time, from the dos and don’ts of buying tups, to assessing the condition of your tups and ewes in time for the season ahead.

Alan Jackson

Texel sale ring at Lanark

Rugley Farm has the second oldest Performance Recorded flock of Suffolk sheep in the UK, and this meeting will offer the chance to look over and discuss owner Alan Jackson’s championship flock, which consists of 130 Suffolks and 70 Texels, and his achievements over the years.

Alan & his wife Lorna farm 1300 acres, based at Rugley, the venue for the evening. They have bred Suffolk sheep for 35 years and produce their Suffolks and Texels for sale at Kelso and Hexham Ram Sales. The rams produced at Rugley are consistently in the top 10% of all recorded flocks and twice a lamb has had the highest Index in the UK.

All Monitor Farm meetings are open to all livestock farmers in the region and are designed to be both practical and relevant. At this meeting, following introductions by Steve Dunkley, EBLEX co-ordinator, and Alan Jackson on his farm and flock, Alnorthumbria Vets will give the veterinary view of preparation for tupping, and will provide the practical farmer’s guide to MOT-ing your tups and scoring the condition of your ewes. Carol Davis of EBLEX will discuss the importance of using Estimated Breeding Values [EBVs] in selecting and using Terminal Sires.

Shearling tups
Shearling tups

Commenting Alan Jackson said: “ We are delighted to be hosting this event at Rugley. During the evening our aim is to demonstrate practical techniques as welI as to give farmers an insight into our sheep farming practices here at Rugley. In addition, I know that Simon Bainbridge who farms the Monitor Farm will also be available to discuss his plans for the tupping season.”

The Northumberland Monitor Farm Donkin Rigg, Cambo, Morpeth is farmed by Simon Bainbridge. This 1600 acre farming enterprise, was selected for the three year Monitor Farm Project as it was seen as being highly representative of a Northumbrian livestock farm. The farm is currently in organic conversion and eighteen months into the programme it is being developed as a best practice example for farmers across the North East.

EFFP now has to make a nominal charge, in order to secure funding for the project. The one-off £5 requested is a contribution towards refreshments and information provision, and will be collected at the meeting. Anyone interested in attending the meeting, should preregister with Helen or Sandra on 0870 609 1840 / 01904 771213 or Rugley Farm’s address is Rugley Farm, Rugley, Alnwick NE66 2JE.  

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