A Herefordshire farm has been chosen from hundreds of applicants to become one of AHDB’s new Monitor Farms. Three other beef and lamb farms from across England will be joining Ian Farrant of Underley, Herefordshire in the prestigious Farm Excellence programme, all of which operate on a variety of different systems.
The Farrant family moved to Underley 15 years ago separating the beef finishing side of the business from the family dairy business located in Oxfordshire. The 600ac farm lies on the Worcestershire/Herefordshire border and comprises grassland with a mixture of permanent pasture and ryegrass/white clover leys with 100ac of maize, 150ac of wheat and a hazelnut orchard. There’s a herd of dairy beef cattle, sourced from the family dairy and the business finishes 750 cattle a year.
The other three Monitor Farms are:
- David Cross, Norfolk
- Rob and Liz Priest, Devon
- Harry Sordy, Northumberland
Samantha Charlton, senior knowledge exchange manager at AHDB, said: “We’re pleased to welcome our new farms on board. We had a large number of applicants this year and it was really difficult to choose only four to participate in the four-year project.
“We began the project in 2017 and over the past five years we’ve worked with 16 Strategic Farms which have all had success in implementing best practice, resulting in improved financial performance. As part of the programme, we also engaged directly with thousands of levy payers through the on-farm events and online webinars.”
Ian Farrant, said: “We’ve been involved with similar projects in the past and found it a great opportunity to get outside advice and opinions on our business. It’s slightly nerve-wracking to open your farm to others, but we’ve found it’s so valuable to share ideas and gain advice from other local farmers.
“They key focus for us is looking at soil health, a better use of mixed species leys and using our farm yard manure more efficiently. But we’re always open to new ideas and suggestions from others and I look forward to seeing it evolve.”
Ian’s event is on 18 August on farm, with the others taking place throughout the summer. In all of the launch events there will be a focus on key areas of a functioning farm business including environmental matters, breeding, health, grassland management and financial performance.
To book your free place at one of the events, visit: www.ahdb.org.uk/events.
To find out more about the Farming Excellence program and to follow our new Monitor Farmers’ progress, visit: www.ahdb.org.uk/farm-excellence/beef-lamb
For more on beef and dairy farming, read about the effects of lameness here.