Award-winning beef farmer sells suckler herd in switch to dairy

Former Beef Farmer of the Year Richard Tudor is selling his award-winning herd as he makes the transition from beef to dairy farming in Powys, mid-Wales.

The herd dispersal will see 120 of his Salers and Simmental-based cows in the ring with calves at foot, as well as 35 heifers that have been running with the bull and are due to be scanned prior to the sale.

When Mr Tudor took the Farmers Weekly Beef Farmer of the Year title in 2016, the judges praised him for outstanding gross margins of £704 a cow – £100 above the best Welsh upland farms on average.

See also: Farmers Weekly Awards 2016: Beef Farmer of the Year

Over many years, he has been perfecting his breeding programme to develop a medium-sized cow that will thrive in upland conditions.

However, with Brexit as the catalyst and the “headache” of the threat of TB, Mr Tudor has decided to convert to dairy farming so needs to de-stock before buying more heifer calves to rear.

“My Nuffield scholarship and Brexit have come together to make me think where I want to be in 10 years.

“We are a good grass farm and the focus has always been on turning grass into money, so with succession planning too, dairy seems like a natural progression for us,” Mr Tudor told Farmers Weekly.

The Llysun herd

The focus with the herd has been on fertility, with attention to easy-calving and easy-fleshing stock.

As a result, the herd has been achieving a six-week conception rate of 92-94% in recent years.

Cows are put to a Charolais terminal sire and in previous years calves have been sold as 10-month-old stores at Welshpool, averaging about 420kg.

Sale details

The sale will take place at Welshpool Livestock Sales on Saturday 27 October at 11am.

Viewings before the sale date are welcomed, and Richard can be contacted on 07793 458825 or reached on Twitter: @RichTudorLlysun.