< Beef Farm Visit - Thursday 14th November 2019

The British Cattle Breeders Club are looking forward to visiting Oak House Farm in Yorkshire on Thursday 14th November 2019. The newly built farmstead at Oak House Farm is based at Green Hammerton near York. The visit takes place by kind permission of the Powley family.

Oak House Farm is the base for a family partnership that covers 130ha, with 50ha owned and 80ha rented from 5 different landlords. The arable enterprise covers 60ha growing winter wheat, winter and spring barley, spring beans and red clover for silage in the rotation. Conservation tillage/no-till is used to establish crops and 20ha of cover crops are grown each year. The remaining 70ha is a selection of long-term leys, permanent pasture and higher-level stewardship that support the 90 head suckler herd.

The suckler herd is based round South Devon x Limousin home bred cows. Pure South Devon’s are AI’d with high EBV maternal Limousins using female sexed semen. Norwegian Reds are being trialled in place of the Limousins to bring greater fertility, small cows, more milk and better feet into the herd. The hybrid heifers are then calved at two years old to an easy calving Angus and subsequently served with high EBV terminal trait British Blues and some Charolais. Everything is AI, with no stock bulls on the farm. Calving starts on the 10th March for a nine-week period. The cows are rotationally grazed all summer and progeny weaned at the end of October at housing.

The newly built farmstead on a green field site is designed to house the herd expanding to 140 cows as a one-man operation.

The buildings, designed by the Powley’s, are animal focused, light, airy and machine friendly.

The dedicated isolation/calving/handling building is pivotal to the operation with multiple adaptable pens, a round forcing tub and curved race leading to a manual squeeze crush with electronic weigh bars and EID linked to a Gallagher weigh head. Genus breeder tags will be used to spot cows for service through the system in the summer.

Mike will also be speaking at our annual conference from 20 – 22 January 2020. The full conference programme and online booking will be available shortly.

Everyone is welcome, please register your places here or with the secretary on 07966 032079 or heidi.bradbury@cattlebreeders.org.uk

Lunch will be provided at The Anchor, Whixley YO26 8AG, kindly supported by Genus.