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Organic Upland Beef and Sheep Production

Frost, David; Jones, Mark; van Diepen, Pauline and Jackson, Andrew (2007) Organic Upland Beef and Sheep Production. Insitute of Rural Sciences, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, Organic Centre Wales. [Unpublished]

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Summary

The technical guide addresses the issues relevant to the organic beef and sheep sector, acknowledging the questions that are frequently directed to the technical ‘Helpline’ of Organic Centre Wales.
It draws on the experience of the ADAS Research Farm at Pwllpeiran and is intended as a guide for those with an interest in organic beef and sheep production production.
This guide is in three interrelated parts.
The first part deals primarily with technical issues of grassland and beef and sheep management, and provides practical information for farmers on key factors influencing the performance of the system.
The upland organic unit at ADAS Pwllpeiran in mid-Wales was set up in 1993 to examine the feasibility of organic beef and sheep production in the hill situation. The organic unit at Pwllpeiran ADAS research farm located in the Cambrian Mountains Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA) of mid-Wales has 237.5 ha, of which 111 ha achieved full organic status in 1995 and a further 126 ha was added in 2004. There is a suckler herd of Welsh Black cows and a breeding flock of Hardy Speckled Face ewes and Texel crosses.
Annual average rainfal at 300 metres was 1765 mm, compared to over 2500 mm at 550 metres.
Between 1993 and 2001, work focused on the feasibility of organic livestock production in the hills. With EAGGF Objective 5b funding, the unit was compared with the rest of the farm in terms of grassland productivity, livestock and financial per formance. Since 2001, the focus has been on key problems for organic upland farmers, particularly livestock health and welfare. Methods of internal and ectoparasite control, feeding to organic standards and maintaining the quality of forage by reseeding upland pastures have been investigated.
Part 2 is a review of the financial performance of organic beef and sheep farming in Wales, provided by Andrew Jackson, of the Institute of Rural Sciences, University of Wales Aberystwyth. It is based mainly on two DEFRA funded studies:
• Data for organic farms extracted from the main Farm Business Survey in Wales
• A four year project focusing specifically on organic farms, drawing on all Farm Business Survey data collected for organic farms across England and Wales as well as independently collected data.
From these data, it is possible to derive whole farm income data, gross margin and cost of production data to give an overview of the economics of organic dairy farming in Wales for the latest recorded financial periods (2004/05)
The third and final part consists of 2 farmer case studies, which put many of the issues discussed in parts 1 and 2 in the context of individual farm businesses. We are grateful for the co-operation of Blaen y Nant and Cannon Farm.


EPrint Type:Other
Subjects:"Organics" in general
Animal husbandry > Production systems > Sheep and goats
Animal husbandry > Production systems > Beef cattle
Farming Systems > Farm economics
Research affiliation: UK > Univ. Aberystwyth > Organic Centre Wales (OCW)
UK > ADAS
UK > Univ. Aberystwyth > Institute for Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS)
Related Links:http://www.organic.aber.ac.uk
Deposited By: Powell, Ms Jane
ID Code:11093
Deposited On:31 Jul 2007
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:35
Document Language:English
Status:Unpublished
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed
Additional Publishing Information:Organic Farming Technical Guide

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