Antony is a well known business advisor and member of the AHDB Beef and Lamb Progressive Sheep Group; he is also one of a relatively small group of industry representatives to have been punched by Dr Liz Genever – making his involvement in RamCompare all the more remarkable. This editorial explains why we were so keen to get him involved.
Who are you and where do you farm?
Antony manages 500 ha at Moat Farm with help from his father as well as an 850ha joint venture arable unit in the Cotswolds. Antony handles the administration and costings for the joint venture in return for his business partner handling the day-to-day management of his 400ha arable cropping.
As a rural business advisor, benchmarking is critical to all decision making on both farm businesses with costs of production carefully tracked.
After scrutinizing his sheep business with advice from industry experts he has implemented change to drive his sheep enterprise toward profitability through quicker finish, higher stocking rates and monitoring grass performance.
- Farming 365ha arable (wheat, rape and spring beans) and 350 ewes in partnership with father
- Introducing new grass leys and swift forage crops.
- Formed and administers a 850ha arable partnership in the Cotswolds
- Aims to grow wheat at a profit before subsidy
- Both farms are in ELS
- Christmas free range 800-flock turkey business
- 2010 Farmers Weekly “Young Farmer of the Year” Finalist
- Detailed analysis of each business
- Willing openness to discuss difficult farming issues with the public
How would you describe your sheep enterprise?
System: No concentrates are fed to ewes, instead wintering them on forage rape, and Lucerne immediately prior to lambing
What sort of ewes do you have?
Very young ewe flock of 350 ewes, Beulah x Aberfield with the full flock being put into this trial comprising 200 two years olds and 150 first time lambing shearlings.
Have you used recorded rams in the past?
Antony has been using performance recorded Charollais and Suffolk rams.
How does the sheep enterprise run?
Tupping: 12th September rams turned out for four weeks, ewes run with teaser prior to tupping, conception rate is 1.6 and increasing
Lambing: Early Feb – mid Mar, all males are castrated
Post lambing management – ewes and lambs are turned out in blocks of 70 with singles and multiples mixed, and from around 2 weeks old they start to join together and are managed as a single mob from then on.
Lambs are finished from May through to September with the average age around 100 days, currently selling to Randall Parker.
What excites you about the project?
“I am aware of the perceived benefits of these different terminal sire breeds. I feel it is important to be involved in this project because I have always wanted an impartial study to compare where each breed is in relation to the other. I hope this study will help me and the industry as a whole make a more informed decision when picking terminal sires” said Antony.