Beef event to improve efficiency

LILBURN Estates near Wooler in North Northumberland are hosting a Beef Day, at its East Horton unit by the Northern Region of the National Beef Association on Wednesday, July 25.

LILBURN Estates near Wooler in North Northumberland are hosting a Beef Day, at its East Horton unit by the Northern Region of the National Beef Association on Wednesday, July 25.

Lilburn manage one of the largest, and most innovative, commercial farms in the UK.

It covers 11,335 hectares with the principal enterprises including cereals and beef cattle.

During the event there will be a farm tour which will allow visitors to see the 1,012 cow suckler herd, its 431 Stabiliser bred replacements, and 1,205 feeding cattle.

In addition to this there will be a morning and afternoon seminar session covering breeding, feeding and market prices.

This will feature three nationally recognised speakers.

The first is Mike Powley, a past holder of the Farmers’ Weekly Beef Farmer of the Year award, who farms near York.

He will explain how he has bred a suckler herd to produce heavy bulls for export which delivered an average slaughter price of £1,012 a head over 2006.

The second is David Hendy, an independent UK beef production consultant.

He will demonstrate how feed is wasted once growth rate declines in finishing cattle.

Graham Thompson, a Hampshire based finisher and English NFU livestock board member will confirm his fears about the current price of finished cattle.

He will offer his thoughts on solutions to the current lack of profit in the beef supply system.

The programme begins at 10am with an opening address from Robert Forster, the retiring NBA chief executive, in what is his last official NBA appearance. In addition to the presentations there will be a wide range of exhibitor’s stands.

The event’s main co-sponsors, and crimping specialists, Kelvin Cave Ltd will offer advice on preparing cereals for stock feeding.

And Eblex will be mounting live demonstrations relating to selection of prime cattle for different markets, the correct selection of cull cows for feeding and slaughter and picking out the best EBV’s for breeding stock.

“We have worked hard to put together a package which will be of interest to every beef farmer in Northern England and Southern Scotland who wants to stay in business,” explained event organiser, Peter Thompson of Berwick.

“Everything on offer is geared for farmers who are actively searching for ways of taking cost out of their systems and being in a better position to take their businesses into profit.

“The event will include information from Scottish Agricultural Colleges on their successful monitor farms scheme.

“It will also include advice from breed society specialists, trade stands covering animal health product, stock identification, stock housing and handling systems and also information from both live and deadweight agents.

“On top of this the YFC will be staging a stock judging competition involving groups of animals provided by the host estate.

“Much of the event will be conducted under cover on a sound concrete base.”

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