Low input approach could mean profit

Edmund Bailey, the new NFU Cymru deputy president, believes that a low input approach to upland livestock production will keep his farm in business.

He and his brother William lamb 2200 mountain ewes outdoors at Gors-y-Gedol, Llanbedr in Meirionethshire and over-winter 100 suckler cows in sand dunes at Plas-y-Bryn, their coastal farm.

Hardiness and foraging ability are given priority over fertility and growth rates with most lambs and cattle sold as stores.

“Our system is kept as simple as possible,” said Mr Bailey.

“Our stocking rate is less than it was 50 years ago, very few Welsh farmers can say that.

“The Tir Gofal payments are a valuable bonus that allow us to manage our land and stock on the sustainable and traditional lines that the EU wants to encourage.”

Asked about the impending NFU elections Mr Bailey hit out at the Better NFU campaign.

“There is tremendous frustration, and in some cases desperation in the industry.

Some mischief makers are exploiting these difficult times to attack the NFU, but the union will not get the best deal for members by shouting louder.

“I hope the Better NFU will be put very firmly in its place at the forthcoming elections.”