Great results lead to Farm Excellence expansion

Thursday, 20 August 2020

AHDB’s Beef & Lamb team is recruiting for its next host farmers after successes with its current project farms. This year, the team will be welcoming five new Monitor Farms to join its existing 15 Strategic Farms.

The project, whose farmers were previously known as Strategic Farms, is part of AHDB’s Farm Excellence programme. It aims to deliver measurable improvements to the performance and profitability of the host business whilst providing a platform for like-minded farmers to share best practice.

Joining the programme will equip farmers with the tools and techniques to evaluate their farm’s strengths and weaknesses. Plus, hosts will have advice and guidance from AHDB specialists, industry consultants and an audience of farmers who can support the growth and development of their business.

Clive Brown, head of knowledge exchange, beef & lamb, said: “Our Strategic Farmers have seen some real benefits delivered on farm over the past three years. We’ve looked at a range of areas from grassland production and nutrition to breeding and animal health to help drive their businesses forward.

“Each farm monitored performance by regularly weighing and benchmarking through our Farmbench tool. All activity carried out on the farm was shared at open farm meetings, which provided attendees the opportunity to learn from the host’s experience. Even though it’s been a relatively short period in terms of livestock production, we’ve already seen major improvements across the board.

“We’re expanding the programme this year and looking to include a wider range of businesses with a particular focus on beef and lamb finishers as well as calf rearers.”

David Barton, Strategic Farmer and NFU south west livestock board chairman, said: “We wanted to take part as we wanted to see how our beef business was doing and where we could improve and we’ve done just that! We were given access to grassland advice from consultant Marc Jones. This gave me the confidence to implement rotational grazing which has helped us improve our grassland management and performance. We’ve also had a farm consultant and nutritionist which have both helped me improve my silage quality – a key target for me.

“I’ve really enjoyed having other farmers attend the events and it’s been good to learn how others do things in their businesses. Taking part has had a really positive impact and the support from the AHDB team has been invaluable.”

To apply, or for more information, visit: Deadline for applications is 30 September 2020.

To download a poster for display in veterinary surgeries, please click here