NBA Beef Expo Farm Tours

Friday, 23 Feb 2018 09:00 – 17:00

The NBA will be running farm tours on Friday 23rd February, this will visit three farms (including AFBI, Loughgall).  The results of AgriSearch co-funded research will be featured at each farm visit.  These are:

 

Jonathon Price of Mourneview Farm, Glenavy.

Jonathan Price knows that figures must add up in order to continue farming, a passion he has always had. Jonathan took over his family farm 10 years ago as a third generation farmer. Working alongside his brother, they employ seasonal workers when required.

Jonathan has established a purpose built yard for his beef finishing enterprise, allowing him to finish over 400 cattle per year. Sheds were designed for increased cleanliness, ease of manual labour and enhanced health prospects of all stock. Rubber slats are used throughout the farm as they have increased the lying time of all the livestock and thus increased DLWG significantly whilst reducing incidences of lameness and injury. Straw pens are used for cattle arriving on farm in order to allow them to integrate in to the environment smoothly – this ultimately lowers stress levels, reduces morbidity levels and allows DLWG to be optimised. Cattle are all vaccinated, dosed and clipped (back and tail) upon arrival to Mourneview Farm. Jonathan “buys quality for quality”, always hoping to buy the best on offer at local marts.

 

Gary Fitzpatrick and John Toland who farm at Moss Hill Farm, Aghalee, Armagh

Gary and John developed a joint business in 2006 after realising a market opportunity which resulted from high conacre prices and a surge of bull calves from dairy farms onto the market. By ensuring health protocols were strictly followed and their bespoke nutritional programme was consistently implemented, calves were able to thrive, despite coming from varied sources.

Purpose built sheds were erected with optimal ventilation, lighting and feed space and coupled with quality barley straw and enhanced hygiene practices, allowing the health and vigour of all calves to be optimised all year round.

Dunbia were highly motivated by the top quality calves coming off Moss Hill Farm and had no hesitation in developing a long standing contract with Gary and John for quality Hereford calves which supply the Coop’s Irresistible range.

Gary, John and Dunbia work closely with grower-finisher farms in order to maximise the potential of these calves and bring in-spec, high quality cattle back onto the market. The calves are performance recorded throughout the supply chain and the results are fed back to create a streamlined approach.

 

Francis Lively at the AFBI Loughgall Beef Research Farm.

The Deerpark Farm at Loughgall is the winter accommodation for the AFBI research suckler herd. The herd consists of 100 cows, including Stabiliser and Limousin cross Holstein Friesian genotypes, which has been evaluated since the herd was established back in 2006.

The herd has been bred using synchronisation and artificial insemination, with Stabiliser bulls sweeping after the second service. AFBI have been researching various synchronisation methods as a means of improving herd fertility. The role of sorted semen as a mechanism to breed maternal females for replacements or terminal males for finishing has been undertaken over the last few years.   The use of the female sorted semen on the herd has resulted in additional Stabiliser heifer calves being born relative to male calves which has increased the genetic merit of the breeding females coming into the herd in the future.  It has also enabled a greater proportion of cows to be bred to terminal sires.  The 2017 progeny which include maternally bred Stabiliser females and terminal bred Charolais males will be on display at the farm tour.

In addition to viewing the herd and facilities at AFBI visitors will have the opportunity to meet the researchers and hear the latest findings from a range of DAERA and AgriSearch funded projects.

 

Coaches will take visitors around the farms.  It is planned to have coaches departing from both Dungannon Mart and AFBI Hillsborough.  Coaches will depart at 9am sharp and return at 5pm. Ticket’s are priced at £24 for NBA members and £30 for non-members.  Tickets include admission to the three tour farms, transport and lunch.

 

Tickets can be booked at: https://nationalbeefassociation.digitickets.co.uk/category/10654?branches.branchID=1427