Evening farm walk for UGS at Kilkeel
and live on Freeview channel 276
The farm business comprises a dairy-beef origin beef enterprise and a 250 ewe sheep flock with around 12 acres of winter barley also grown.
Around 80-90 Aberdeen Angus/British Blue X heifers are purchased at 2-3 weeks of age during October/November each year and finished at around 24 months of age, predominately off grass. Over the past six years concentrate feeding has greatly reduced from around 1300kg/head to 500kg/head being largely achieved through a focus on improved grazing management and making high quality silage. James measures his swards regularly and this greatly aids management of grass surpluses and taking out high quality big bale grass during periods of peak growth.In the sheep flock performance tested Primera rams are put to the 250 Rouge x Texel ewes and 70 ewe lambs each year. The adult ewes commence lambing in March with the yearlings lambing in April. The flock is also managed on a rotational grazing system with a great focus placed on improving lamb performance. Lambs are sold into the Tesco sustainable lamb group.James has recently incorporated multi-species swards into his system and has also used red clover in some of his swards.
It is interesting that the farm was previously a World War 2 airfield used by US troops. The concrete runways have since been broken up and used to build 12,000 metres of field boundaries. Each field is approximately 7-8 acres and in the last few years these fields have been subdivided to provide two day grazing paddocks. Although the farm is prone to drought, grass yields of 9-12 tonnes Dry Matter/ha can be produced annually.
All in all this promises to be an interesting visit for all grassland farmers who want to learn about improving grass management and meeting the challenges faced on individual farms.
The UGS President David Linton and his Executive Committee look forward to a good attendance on Tuesday, 22nd August at Kilkeel with proceedings getting underway with a cup of tea/coffee on arrival from 6.00pm and the farm walk proper starting at 6.30pm sharp followed by a BBQ meal from 8.00pm onwards.
Directions. In Kilkeel follow the directions for Greencastle. Nicholsons Road is on the left-hand side approximately 1.5 miles past the Kilmorey Arms Hotel with the farm located approximately 0.5 miles on right hand side – signposted into the car park. UGS Signs will also be in place.
Animal Health and BiosecurityTo prevent the spread of disease between farms it is essential that clean wellington boots and clothes not normally used on the home farm are worn.
Prior booking is ESSENTIAL so please contact UGS Secretary George Reid by text or phone on 07920037910 or email to [email protected]