Manor Farm Dorchester (2017 - 2021)
About Manor Farm Dorchester (2017 - 2021)
Beef & Lamb Strategic Farmer from 2017 until 2021
610ha mixed farm in Dorset, consisting of 565ha of grasses, 49ha of white clover and rye grass and 5ha of peas and barley
Livestock include a 140 head herd of suckler cows consisting of Aberdeen Angus and Hereford breeds as well as a calf rearing enterprise
Flock of 1200 North Country Cheviot ewes
When Bertie joined the Strategic Farm programme his aims were to:
- Introduce rotational grazing whilst improving pasture quality
- Improve cow performance
- React to market changes and grasp opportunities as they arise
Driven by a desire to improve efficiencies and run a profitable business Bertie made a number of changes to his business as part of the Strategic Farm programme.
He implemented rotational grazing as well as reseeding with herbal leys, to cut costs and improve soil quality. He also saw an opportunity to set up a new TB Isolation Unit due to changes in euthanasia practices in the dairy herd. Creating this enterprise has enabled him to make use of the available resources and improved cash flow.
Bertie has also worked hard to improve suckler cow performance. At the start of the programme cows calved all year round which has now been moved to a spring and autumn block. In the future Bertie aims to just calve in the spring to make management easier. By focusing on cow performance and culling harshly, Bertie has managed to increase cow efficiency with cows weaning 40% of their weight, as opposed to 35% at the start of the programme.
In 2020 Bertie won Farmers Weekly, Young Farmer of the Year
For more information on improving cow fertility read https://ahdb.org.uk/knowledge-library/optimising-suckler-herd-fertility-for-better-returns-2
If you are interested in starting your own calf rearing enterprise visit https://ahdb.org.uk/knowledge-library/better-returns-from-calf-rearing
Bertie farms a herd of 140 suckler cows consisting of Aberdeen Angus and Hereford breeds along with a flock of 1,200 North Country Cheviot ewes in Dorchester, Dorset.