A NORTHUMBERLAND estate is to host a specialist beef event.

The Lilburn Estates and the Wooler-based division of SAC Consulting will stage the event at East Horton Farm, near Wooler, on Monday, November 19, from 10.30am to 3pm.

SAC experts and a number of other respected speakers will discuss the future of the beef industry and how changes in the short term can improve beef herd health and productivity.

An integral part of the day will be a tour of the Lilburn Estates beef unit. Dominic Naylor, farm manager, will give an overview of the entire farming enterprise.

The estate has 1,200 breeding cows and a similar number of progeny. Bulls are finished for one year and heifers for 18 months and the farm keeps about 300 replacement heifers. There are also 11,500 breeding ewes and 3,000 acres of combinable cropping.

Richard Jeffreys, local SAC consultant, said: “This is the first event of this type and gives farmers and breeders the opportunity to see firsthand one of the largest livestock farming enterprises in the North of England.

“We will hold a firm focus on health in the beef herd, feeding the suckler cows and feed safety.

“For any farmerlooking to improve their herd health and, therefore, outputs, thisis a day not to be missed.”

In the morning, farmers will visit three stations for presentations from experts.

At station one, Jimmy Hyslop, of SAC, will discuss net feed efficiency, and Stephen Corner, of KW feeds, will discuss feed sources for now and the future. At station two, SAC’s Rhidian Jones and Ian Cairns will discuss options for finishing cattle, feeding in wet weather and cross compliance.

Station three will have James Hadwin and Ian Pritchard, of SAC, discussing calving and the profitable cow. Urs Schaeli, from Cheviot Vets, will look at cattle health pre- and posthousing.

After lunch, herd health will be the focus. SAC vet Richard Jeffreys will cover BVD and Johne’s disease; Ian Pritchard, the Premium Cattle Health Scheme; and Neil Carter will provide an update on ELS schemes.

Mr Pritchard said: “BVD is responsible for significant losses and impacts on reproductive traits in the cow and on the health of the calf.

“Cost-effective control measures will result in improved herd output.

Showing that herds are free from BVD virus will also add value to the sale of stock.

“Johne’s disease cannot be treated and the animal has to be culled or else they die.

“If your herd is closed or you are selling stock for breeding, it is vital to sell them with assurance and that can be obtained with accreditation through the Premium Cattle Health Scheme operated by SAC and licensed by CHeCS, a leading cattle health scheme in Great Britain.”