Kingston Maurward College
Widecombe in the Moor
East Alsery Farm
St Micheal Penkivel
1. David and Jane Cutter, Monkhill Farm, Blaisdon, LONGHOPE, Glos. GL17 0AJ
This is a 150 acre beef and sheep farm. The farm runs 22 suckler cows and 400 Lleyn, Welsh Mule and Texel cross Welsh ewes. The ewes lamb indoors in March and lambs are sold finished from June to December. The targets set for the farm include: reduce lamb losses to 10%, reduce ewe losses to less than 3% and barren ewes to less than 2 %.
2. Martin and Paula Whitaker, Overtown Farm, Cranham, GLOUCESTER, Glos. GL4 8HQ
This is a 560 acre organic beef, sheep and arable farm. The farm runs a herd of 70 suckler cows and a flock of 350 ewes. The ewes are mostly Scotch half-breds crossed with Lleyn and Texels. The ewes lamb indoors in April and lambs are sold finished between July and January. The aim is to increase scanning to 175%, finish lambs faster and improve the quality of the breeding ewes.
3. Simon Willes and Roger Coomes, Ladbarrow Farm, Aldsworth, CHELTENHAM, Glos. GL54 3PS
The whole farm is 1,250 acres. The sheep flock consists of 1,100 North Country Mule ewes and these are mated with Texel tups. All replacements are purchased and lambed as shearlings. Ewes are housed for lambing in early March and ewes lamb in two batches of approximately 600. Lambs are sold finished from mid July with later lambs finished on stubble turnips from November onwards. The aim is to adopt SCOPS principles, improve grassland management and reduce the incidence of mastitis.
4. Robin Swanton, North Farm, SWINDON, Wiltshire. SN8 1QE
This is a 700 acre farm including sheep, pig and arable enterprises. The sheep flock is comprised of 450 North Country Mule and Suffolk cross Mule ewes. The NC Mules are mated with Suffolk rams and the ewe lambs retained as replacements. The Suffolk cross Mule ewes are mated with Texel rams. Lambing takes place inside during March. Currently two thirds of lambs are sold as stores and one third are sold finished. This year Robin hopes to improve scanning and rearing percentages and finish more lambs.
5. Adam Frampton, Manor Farm, Hammoon, STURMINSTER, Dorset DT10 2PB
The farm is a 620 acre traditional beef, sheep and arable business. 200 cattle are finished each year and these are bought in as calves from a local dairy farm. A suckler herd has recently been introduced. The sheep flock includes 200 Scotch Halfbred and Suffolk cross ewes and these are mated with Charollais tups. Ewes lamb outside in late February and are housed for 24 hours post lambing. Lambs are all finished off grass and sold from May onwards. This year the aim is to reduce the barren rate and adopt SCOPS principles for parasite control.
6. Kingston Maurward College, DORCHESTER, Dorset. DT2 8PY
The total farm area is 280 ha of which 125ha are in an arable rotation and the grassland is divided between the dairy, sheep and beef. There is also a pig enterprise. The sheep flock consists of 480 Mule and Lleyn ewes. The ewes are mated with Charollais, Suffolk and Texel tups. Ewes are scanned and housed for lambing. Lambing takes place in March and lambs are sold finished from June onwards. The targets set for the farm this year are to improve carcase conformation, reduce losses from pasteurella and improve ewe nutrition.
7. Mike Mouland, Horn Farm, CHARD, Somerset. TA20 4DP
1,330 acre tenanted farm with sheep, cattle and arable enterprises. The flock includes 230 Dorset cross ewes lambing in December/January, 1,400 Mule ewes and 250 ewe lambs. The ewes are mated with Suffolk, Texel and Poll Dorset tups. All the ewes are housed for lambing. Replacements are purchased and tupped as ewe lambs. The majority of lambs are sold finished from October onwards. The aim for this year is to improve lamb output and reduce the level of abortion in the ewe lambs.
8. Chris Salisbury, Bickenhall Farm, Bickenhall, TAUNTON, Somerset. TA3 6TX
This is a 440 acre tenanted farm with sheep, suckler cows, horses on livery and some arable land. The sheep enterprise is new to the business and started in 2008. The flock has grown to 500 ewes over the last 4 years. The ewes are pure Lleyn and these are mated with Texel, Hampshire Down and New Zealand Suffolk tups. The cattle enterprise is being wound down and the plan is to increase the flock to 1,000 ewes over the next 3 to 5 years. The ewes lamb outside in April and lambs are sold finished and as stores largely through Sedgemoor market. This year Chris will take on SCOPS principles to control worms, aim to increase lamb sales and improve selection of lambs for sale.
9. David Knight, Wydon Farm, MINEHEAD, Somerset TA24 8SJ
This is a 600 acre tenanted farm owned by the National Trust. The family also own another 200 acre farm. The farm has over 300 head of cattle (90 suckler cows and followers) and 640 Exmoor Mule and Mule cross ewes. The ewes lamb indoors in February and April. Lambs are sold finished from June to January. The aim is to reduce lamb losses to 10% and reduce the incidence of prolapse.
10. Mervyn Brice, Beacon View, Stoodleigh, TIVERTON, Devon. EX16 9QG
Mervyn farms 600 ewes on 300 acres. Most of the land is rented on short term agreements. The 600 ewes are split into early, spring and organic flocks. The early lambing ewes are Poll Dorset's and have been lambing in October/November and lambs are finished indoors. The rest of the ewes are mostly Lleyn or Poll Dorset. Mervyn is considering moving his early ewes into the spring lambing flocks. Targets set for the farm include; reduce lamb concentrate use, finish lambs faster off grass and improve carcass weights.
11. Brian Ayre, Kimbland Farm, Brayford, BARNSTAPLE, Devon. EX32 7PS
This is a 450 acre sheep and beef farm. 180 cattle are finished each year using calves bought in from a local dairy farm. There are 830 ewes, mostly Texel cross with some Lleyn and Highlander crosses. Ewes are winter shorn and lamb at the end of March and in early April indoors. Lambs are finished off grass and sold from July to December. Stephen (Brian's son) runs a further 360 Texel and Mule cross ewes on rented land following a similar system. The aim is to increase lambs reared to 175%, reduce barren rate to 2% and finish lambs faster off grass.
12. William Dracup, Broadaford, Widecombe-in- the- Moor, NEWTON ABBOT, Devon TQ13 7TX
This is a 220 acre traditional sheep and beef farm on Dartmoor. The farm runs 34 suckler cows finishing all calves on the farm. The flock includes 150 Whiteface Dartmoor and 110 Suffolk cross Whiteface Dartmoor ewes lambing outside in April. Lambs are sold from July to March. The aim is to reduce lamb losses, reduce ewe losses, improve grassland and reduce concentrate use, and finish lambs cheaper and faster.
13. Jenny Star, East Alsery Farm, Bradworthy, HOLSWORTHY, Devon. EX22 7RW
East Alsery is a 200 acre traditional beef and sheep farm. There are 50 suckler cows and 280 Lleyn cross ewes and 110 ewe lambs. Ewes and ewe lambs, lamb outdoors in April. Finished lambs are sold from August through to March direct to the abattoir. Targets set for the farm include; increase scanning to 190%, improve grassland and finish lambs faster.
14. Richard Hawke, Bodgate Farm, LAUNCESTON, Cornwall, PL15 8ND.
This is a 500 acre farm including beef, sheep and cereal enterprises growing cereals for home farm feeds. The sheep flock comprises of 800 New Zealand Romney ewes which are put to Romney and Highlander tups with lambing taking place in the spring. With the farm converting to sheep from arable, it has a lot of new leys to rear lamb efficiently. The Hawke family aim to improve their handling system at Bodgate Farm using specialist advice from industry experts.
15. Dupath Farm, CALLINGTON, Cornwall, PL17 8AD.
The main enterprises on this 380-acre family farm in the Tamar Valley are sheep and beef production. In addition to the grassland, there are 20 acres of potatoes and 45 acres of cereals. The March-lambing flock comprises of 370 breeding Mules which are put to Charollais rams. All replacements are bought in, and all lambs are sold fat rather than as stores. 180 beef calves are reared to finish: batches of around 30 one-month old dairy-cross calves are sourced via markets for this purpose. The enterprise has diversified: butchery training courses are offered, and a function room is available for hire. For further details see www.dupathfarm.co.uk. Prior to tupping this year, ewes are to be vaccinated against enzootic abortion and toxoplasmosis; it is hoped this will improve lambing figures. Future aims are to improve record keeping and hence monitoring of flock performance, and to reduce losses in neonatal lambs.
16. Dave Turner, Mendennick Farm, TORPOINT, Cornwall, PL11 3AU.
This is a 1,250 acre farm situated on the southeast coastline. The farm is organic and currently in conversion. Most of the farm is in Higher Level Stewardship which affects farming practices. The farm comprises of 50 suckler cows and two flocks of ewes lambing February and March. The sheep enterprise consists of over 2,000 lowland ewes predominantly Highlander cross breeds put to various rams.
17. The Menhinick Family, Burniere Farm, WADEBRIDGE, Cornwall, PL27 6EH.
This is a 550 acre beef, sheep and arable farm. Sixty cattle are finished annually from calves bought from local dairy farms or purchased as stores. The sheep flock comprises of 340 Dorset cross ewes lambing from mid-January and 100 home-bred ewe lambs lambing from mid-March. The last two crops of replacements have been sired by Rissington Highlander rams and the rest of the flock sired by Charollais rams. Lambs are sold deadweight from the end of April. The aim of the Menhinicks is to make this flock as “easy care” as possible by continuing to improve feet, reduce incidence of prolapses, improve ease of lambing and reduce mastitis incidence.
18. Jeremy Hosking, Fentongollan Farm, TRURO, Cornwall, TR2 4AQ.
Fentongollan Farm incorporates a number of contract farming, share farming and farm business tenancy agreements with its 2,500 acres of farmed land in total. The majority of the land is down to combinable crops and daffodils with 600 acres of less suitable cropping land down to grass for the sheep enterprise. The flock consisting of over a thousand Dorset ewes, was predominantly an autumn lambing flock selling finished lambs to Waitrose. However recently the decision has been made to make the majority of the flock spring lambing using Innovis blood lines to try and increase lambing percentages.