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Stackyard News Nov 2012

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Greenmount Sheep Walk And Talk

‘Building a Profitable Sheep Business’ is the intriguing title of the farm walk and conference on Greenmount Campus at Antrim on Wed, Dec 5.

“Not to be missed by lamb producers wanting a better living,” is how Dungiven farmer Ian Buchanan, chairman AgriSearch sheep advisory committee, describes the Wed, Dec 5, event at CAFRE Greenmount Campus.

Ian Buchanan

Part of the Greenmount College centenary celebrations this sheep event for lamb producer looking extra income is organised in conjunction with AgriSearch, AFBI, the LMC and the National Sheep Association.

Meeting at 11.00 am sharp in the CAFRE College’s Abbey Farmyard Sheep Development Centre, off the Antrim to airport road, visiting farmers will view the 180 ewe commercial flock.

This flock, established as recommended by the Northern Ireland Red Meat Industry Taskforce, is a supply chain led initiative using New Zealand genetics as part of the Marks & Spencer’s ‘Sustainable Lamb Project’.

Much has been heard of NZ genetics, but can they bring extra income to British farmers and how well is this type of ewe performing under Northern Ireland conditions?


Following this flock visit and lunch on the main Greenmount Campus two of the most impressive young sheep farmers in the UK will discuss their farming systems. Nuffield Scholar Michael Blanche farms in Perthshire and Russell Scott on the uplands near Newtownstewart, Co Tyrone. They will be joined at the podium by AFBI researchers and a CAFRE Greenmount Campus sheep specialist.

Key topics covered will include upland and lowland breeding strategies, recording to select prolific females and grassland techniques maximising lamb performance. These key areas are the main drivers of output and cost reduction on sheep units, which in turn translates into profit.

Sheep farmers in the top 25% of CAFRE benchmarking demonstrate this by consistently selling more lambs per ewe, having higher stocking rates and making more use of grazed grass.

The National Sheep Association, Northern Ireland branch, will hold their AGM following the afternoon session.

To book your place ph CAFRE on; (028) 9442 6770 or e-mail by Wed, Nov 28.

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