Commercial

Quiet, easy calved, plenty of milk to rear a calf each year and great foragers

Millerston cows by Podehole Beefeater

Millerston cows by Podehole Beefeater

Ask Jack Ramsay to sum up Beef Shorthorn and he responds in one sentence. “Quiet, easy calved, plenty of milk to rear a calf every year and great at foraging.” Jack along with Grace speaks from more than 20 years of experience, not only from establishing and developing their Millerston herd of 30 breeding females, but also from running a complementary 40 cow Beef Shorthorn cross suckler herd based at Mauchline, near Ayr.

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Low input mixed farming: Beef Shorthorn complements a min-till arable system

Beef Shorthorn cows with their six month old calves

Beef Shorthorn cows with their six month old calves

If you are a fan of BBC Radio 4’s The Archers, then you’ll be aware of that Home Farm is introducing a no-till strategy. Adam Macey is in fact taking a leaf out of the Cherry family’s books. Brothers, John and Paul Cherry together with Paul’s son, Alexander are among a growing number of farmers focused on reducing inputs not only to cut costs but also to enhance soil health.

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High output, low input livestock production without payments

Roger and Tom Elliott

Blueprint for future systems

Roger and Tom Elliott have developed a blueprint mixed livestock enterprise. The father and son partnership say they have already established a sustainable business on parks and traditional pasture land rented from local estates which are void of all support payments. And they have discovered for themselves that Beef Shorthorn has a key role to play on their relatively high output, low input system in which ‘every single animal has to stand on its own four feet’.

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Beef Shorthorn fits like a glove on one of Anglesey’s low input LFA units

Bodior Farm, Rhoscolyn, Anglesey

We visit the Bulmer family’s Bodior estate located on the tip of windswept Anglesey where Beef Shorthorn is proving to fit like a glove on the low input LFA unit. The herd grazes for literally 365 days of the year, it thrives on the rough stuff – heath, marsh, shrub and scrub, it calves outdoors within a tight six-week period, has a 95% rearing rate and an average 12 crops of calves.

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