Profitable suckler cows - nothing fancy, just functional (Dorset)

Past Event - booking closed

Thursday, 26 January 2023

10:30am - 2:30pm

Launceston Farm, Tarrant Launceston, Blandford Forum, Dorset

DT11 8BY

Does breeding the right suckler cow to fit a low input system need to be complicated? The answer is no, not if you know how. Being clear about what you’re trying to achieve on your farm and using your system to select the cows that fit, is how Nerbas Bros. Aberdeen Angus, Canada, have developed a profitable suckler cow that works for them.

Arron Nerbas will join AHDB and the Aberdeen Angus society for three on-farm events in January to discuss what makes a suckler system profitable including how genetics, selection and management pressure can be used to breed a cow that fits and performs well.

All three host farms are outwintering and incorporating bale grazing into their systems. At Launceston Farm in Dorset, Jimi Collis and his herd manager, Matt House, manage 240 organic, mainly Stabiliser cross suckler cows on a low input system. They calve half the herd in spring and half in autumn, achieving a six-week calving period with a 94% in calf rate. All heifers calve at two-years old and they run a systems-based approach to selection, whereby cows that don’t thrive are removed, leaving only the most profitable animals in the herd.

What will be discussed?

  • What the most important traits are for your farm and how the farming system and environment can impact them
  • What ‘good’ looks like. The physical indicators of a successful cow within a low input system
  • What Arron and the host farmer need their cows to do and how they achieve that
  • Bale grazing and outwintering to achieve a low input system

This event forms part of the AHDB Maternal Matters campaign, helping suckler producers breed heifer replacements which are efficient, profitable and fit for the future. Attendees will go home with some clear ‘rules’ for the management of their system to ensure a more profitable suckler cow is produced.

Lunch and hot drinks will be served, and attendees must be over the age of 16. This event is aimed at suckler producers looking to develop their farm business. If you have any queries about this event, please get in touch with Senior Knowledge Exchange Manager Amy Hughes and she’ll be happy to help. Email: or call 07805804806.


The other two farm events in this series include:


Arron Nerbas will also be speaking at the 75th British Cattle Breeding Conference, in Telford, Shropshire, on the 23rd and 24th January.

British cattle breeding conference - Challenging Traditions



If you have any questions about this event, please contact us using the details below.


T 07805804806