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Stackyard News Nov 2012

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Northumberland Beef Event Praised for Advice and Support

SAC Consulting have been praised for delivering a first class beef event earlier this week. With over 100 farmers attending from across Northumberland and as far away as Nottingham the event proved a major success. In conjunction with Lilburn Estates and held on Monday 19th of November the rain stayed at bay as farmers heard from leading beef specialists and industry experts.

(left to right) Dominic Naylor (Lilburn Estate Farm Manager), Rachel Rowe (Lilburn Estate Senior Manager), Ian Hall (Lilburn Estate General Manager), Richard Jeffreys (Farm Business Consultant with SAC Consulting).

Northumberland Beef Event

Beginning at East Horton Farm near Wooler, attendees were divided into three groups who moved around various stations discussing feed supplies, net feed efficiency, finishing cattle, cross compliance, veterinary treatments pre and post housing and calving periods. Following this the group travelled to Hetton Village Hall where they heard from SAC vets on BVD and Johne’s disease, as well as SAC Consulting’s Richard Jeffreys, George Caldow, Ian Pritchard and Neil Carter.

Richard Jeffreys, from the Wooler based SAC Consulting office introduced the day followed by Dominic Naylor, Farm Manager of Lilburn Estates.
Commenting on the event Richard said;

“We were delighted with the turnout of farmers to the event. We believe people walked away at the end of the day with an up to date knowledge of current trends and factors involved in feeding and breeding beef cattle, as well as taking part in an in-depth discussion on tackling current threats and difficulties within the industry. To have people drive all the way from Nottinghamshire confirmed our thoughts that this would be a highly anticipated event.”

Speaking at station one was Jimmy Hyslop of SAC Consulting and Stephen Corner of KW Feeds.

Jimmy Hyslop introduced the topic of Net Feed Efficiency. He discussed selective breeding and improving efficiency by selecting animals that are the most proficient at converting feed to carcass weight. He saw Net Feed Efficiency as an animal trait as well as a biological measure looking at the metabolic efficiency of an animal.
Richard continued;

“Jimmy Hyslop’s immense detail on Net Feed Efficiency was really cutting edge information and was a great example of the fine science that the beef industry has become”.

Stephen Corner from KW Feeds presented to attendees on feed sources for now and the future as well as discussing world market effects, supply and demand and planning.

Linda Carter commented on behalf of KW Feeds on the alternative feed company’s attendance at the event;

“Stephen Corner is the KW Feeds representative for this area and he is speaking today on feed sources for now and in the future. As an alternative feed company we are wanting to help and advise farmers on nutrition for their animals by way of feeds and supplements, especially as the winter weather approaches and grass growth is slowing dramatically.”

“In both an advisory capacity and as an opportunity to network, SAC Consulting have once again delivered a first class event”.

Attendees at Station Two discussing finishing cattle

Northumberland Beef Event
Station 2 covered cross compliance and feeding cattle outside through the winter, which has become an increasingly topical subject due to the wet year that we have suffered. Ian Cairns of SAC Consulting went on to provide a number of key points, which can be expected in an RPA inspection.

Rhidian Jones of SAC Consulting continued with the theme of out-wintering, by showing the findings of a controlled grazing system, where finishing cattle are set stocked on a paddock system. As grass remains the cheapest form of feed, famers should all be looking at ways in which they can maximise this resource.

Station 3 proved to generate a great deal of discussion on the methods of reducing the incidence of pneumonia, followed by the approach to treatment.

James Hadwin of SAC Consulting went on to highlight calving figures collected from 170 farms in the UK, which illustrate the wide variation in calving periods.

The discussions on calving periods were greatly received looking at 9 week bulling periods for cows, 6 week bulling periods for heifers and why first calvers should be managed accordingly.

The afternoon followed a different format and attendees got the chance to hear in depth presentations on a number of topical subjects. Commenting on the event local farmer Colin Martin of West Kirknewton Farm who attended said;

“I was exceptionally impressed with the beef event and SAC did a great job of making it informative, with a variety of presentations aimed at current issues in the industry. Having the first half on farm meant we could all get the opportunity to view the beef system which Lilburn have adopted, and the results they have produced. It is always interesting to network with other farmers at these events and they are a great opportunity to see what developments are being made within the industry”.

Richard Jeffreys concluded;

“These events are about reiterating the logics behind making decisions, so that a farm can maximise the potential of its current system, which has ultimately been shaped by its individual farm type”.

SAC Consulting with offices at the Wooler Livestock Centre offer farm business services can be contacted on 01668 283 363.

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