Grassland-based systems means profit for the beef producer

UK - A lowland suckler herd, on land near some of the UK's most productive dairying acres, is proving what can be achieved with a low-input system relying heavily on grass, but still capable of producing finished cattle weighing up to 500kg by 10 months old.
calendar icon 20 December 2006
clock icon 1 minute read

On mainly rented land around the farmhouse and buildings at Langford Farm, Lostock Green, Cheshire, beef producer John Gate is expanding his herd to 100 cows. He remains committed to a no-frills system, which is earning him £600 and more a head for suckler bulls sold liveweight at under a year old.

But this is not a high-input operation. Neither does it rely on the most popular breeds that dominate the prime beef ring. With the odd exception, the suckler cows at Langford Farm are Hereford x Holstein-Friesian and all calves are sired by Blonde d'Aquitaine bulls.

Nor does management rely on pumping high intakes of creep feed into spring-born calves. You won't find creep feeders here. And in this exceptional year for grass John Gate was confident enough in the milking ability of his cows to leave the herd outside with calves still suckling their dams until early November with no supplementary feed.

Source: Farmers Weekly

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