Northumberland Strategic Farm event report - 19.02.20

Strategic Farm - a productive Sheep Flock?

Date: 19 February 2020

Speakers: Steven Lawson (Strategic Farmer), Lee-Anne Oliver (vet, Scott Mitchell Associates) and Sam Charlton (AHDB)

Update from South Farm, Northumberland Beef & Lamb Strategic Farm

  • Key changes since joining the Farm Excellence Strategic Farm programme include implementing rotational grazing which has increased grass utilisation and reduced silage from November 2019

  • Reduced lambs sold by 10 weeks

  • Reduced lameness from 18% to below 2%

  • FEC PAK utilised and Shearwell EID system in place

Take-home messages

  • Improved forage utilisation

  • Improved efficiencies which should result in increased productivity

  • Valuable use of EID data to inform business decisions

Benefits of EID technology on farm

Take-home messages

  • Lamb growth to 8 weeks is critical and accounts for future lamb performance

  • Light lambs (<%15 of target 8 week weight) increase mortality and costs to finish

  • Good management of ewe body condition score (BCS) at tupping and scanning improve flock productivity

  • Scanning management groups separately provides more detailed data and informs business decisions

  • Only collect data which can later be used to inform business and flock management decisions 

Worm control in pre-lambing ewes

Take-home messages

  • Target worm control in ewes pre-lambing to reduce worm burden on pastures that will affect growing lambs later in the season

  • Consult your vet to choose the correct worm treatment to tackle anthelmintic resistance building up on farm

  • Consider the use of Faecal Egg Counts (FEC) to target worm treatments

Further information

The next event will focus on grassland management and is on Thursday 11 June 2020 at South Farm