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Myerscough Col new landKnowledge Transfer - Meetings and Events

Taking Stock

Taking Stock: Nine farmers who've put shared information into action

You’ve been to meetings, discussed ideas and questioned specialists... now read how nine North West farmers have used that experience on their own farms.  

“If you don't get out and see what other people are doing then you’ll never challenge what you're doing is right.” - Stephen Lord, beef and sheep farmer from Cumbria.

"Visiting other farms has been invaluable in terms of seeing how other people do things." - Andrew Blacoe, dairy farmer from Lancashire.

Group work case studies of farmers that took part in the RDPE NW Livestock Programme, managed and delivered by Myerscough College in partnership with Cumbria Farmer Network and Reaseheath College.

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Monitor Farm Booklet lessons learned

North West Monitor Farms: The lessons learned from the farmers involved

Four years on, over 100 meetings and 200 farmers sharing ideas, this booklet looks at the objectives and achievements of the six farms and associated farmer groups that took part in the RDPE NW Livestock Programme monitor farms project between 2009 and 2013.

Managed by Myerscough College. Delivered by Myerscough College, Cumbria Farmer Network and Reaseheath College.

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 SAC logo NEW

Animal Health and Welfare Planning

(managed and delivered by SAC Consulting, farm vets and advisors in the NW between 2009-2014)
Beef and sheep case study picture of Ayrtons

The Ayrtons - Uplands Beef and Sheep

Health plan highlights performance-related issues on extensive hill farm....

Lancashire beef and sheep producer Robert Ayrton and sons Luke and Daniel have reaped major benefits from an RDPE NW Livestock Programme Animal Health Plan.

"The disease investigation and control has tightened the calving pattern and the mineral boluses have improved DLWG in the calves."

"Levels of footrot were a concern and vaccination has made a huge difference. Mineral deficiency was also a problem and the new handling system means that the sheep can be given a bolus for selenium and copper every six months." - Vet Jim McKinstry.

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Photograph of Martin Fishwick

Martin Fishwick - Beef

Health plan focuses Lancashire family farm for the future and makes job in hand easier today....

The Fishwicks took advantage of having an animal health plan drawn up to determine the health status of the herd. Blood testing was done for leptospirosis and BVD, particularly as cattle had been bought in to increase numbers, which also highlighted any mineral deficiencies.

"It’s easy to get stuck in a bit of a rut without taking a step back to look at where you are going and what you want to achieve." - Martin Fishwick

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Photograph of Fawcetts

Tim and Sandra Fawcett - Sheep

In 2009, abortion, mid-season growth of lambs and lameness were issues Cumbria sheep farmers Tim and Sandra Fawcett wanted to tackle, and having heard about the RDPE Northwest Livestock Programme from their vet, they decided to have an animal health and welfare plan drawn up with SAC advisor Ian Cairns.

Three years later, and with future plans to increase ewe numbers, the Fawcetts now have an improved lambing percentage with finishing lambs achieving higher weights at an earlier age.

"As a result of carrying out the health plan, our lambing percentage has gone up by 20% meaning the equivalent of another 80 lambs reared, either for sale or as flock replacements which is important as we’re developing the flock."

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Photograph of Andy Gibbon

Andy Gibbon - Beef

Out-dated cattle handling facilities were adding extra time and risk to the daily routine of Cheshire beef and sheep farmer Andy Gibbon.

Now improved efficiency and a safer working environment means he is weighing animals more regularly, paying closer attention to growth rates and correctly worming / treating cattle as soon as they arrive on the farm - all contributing to farm competitiveness and improved animal health and welfare.

"We've been able to put a vaccination programme in place to tackle the problems identified by the blood tests."

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Photograph of David Goodier

David Goodier - Pigs

It was evident to Lancashire pig farmer David Goodier that better housing was the solution to reducing pre-weaning piglet mortality on his farm... now he's seeing on average an extra piglet per sow surviving.

"...developing an action plan to address each issue made us focus on what needed doing and where we could get help."

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Photograph of John Waller

John Waller - Dairy

Plenty of milk and plenty of problems. That seems to sum up the situation that John Waller faced 12 months ago with his herd of 110 dairy cows.

"By calving our heifers earlier and reducing our calving index and metabolic disease incidence we are budgeted to be £5,000 per year better off."

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Promar LogoNutrient Management Planning

(managed and delivered by Promar in the NW between 2009-2014)
Photograph of Richard Close

Richard Close

Big savings for Morecambe Bay dairy farmer / slurry separator improves slurry storage.

"Through more tailored fertiliser application and by making better use of slurry I reckon we’ve saved about £4,000 this year alone."

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Promar LogoResource Efficiency Audit

(managed and delivered by Promar in the NW between 2009-2014)
Photograph of Ed Friend

Ed Friend

Energy costs reduced on Cheshire dairy farm.

"The resource efficiency audit gave us ideas that we wouldn't have otherwise considered."

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