MORE than 100 farmers attended an event in north Northumberland to hear from leading beef industry experts on development in the sector, with some travelling from the Midlands for the day.
The day, organised by SAC Consulting in Wooler and Lilburn Estates, kicked off at East Horton Farm with discussions about feed supplies, net feed efficiency, finishing cattle, cross compliance, veterinary treatments pre and post housing and calving periods.
Jimmy Hyslop of SAC Consulting and Stephen Corner of KW Feeds discussed net feed efficiency, selective breeding and improving efficiency by selecting animals that are the most proficient at converting feed to carcass weight.
The next stop on the farm tour covered cross compliance and feeding cattle outside through the winter and the third centred on reducing the incidence of pneumonia, followed by the approach to treating cattle.
James Hadwin, of SAC Consulting, also looked at calving figures collected from 170 farms in the UK, which illustrated the wide variation in calving periods and management of cows, heifers and first time calvers.
The group then moved on to Hetton Village Hall for the afternoon sessions, 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.
Mr Jeffreys said: “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.”
During the afternoon, there were a number of in-depth presentations on topical subjects.
Colin Martin, of West Kirknewton Farm, 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. 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.”