I was asked if I could give a talk to a group of Agriculture students at Reaseheath College, Cheshire on structured beef production. The essence of the talk was highlight the importance of playing to your strengths in beef production, turning your money over quicker and keeping your eye on costs at the same time.
I began the presentation by talking about what is actually quite obvious – that the beef supply chain is a long one, from the gestation period of a cow, through to birth, rearing the calf, growing the store beast and fattening the beast for processing. The beef supply chain is effectively a 30 to 36-month production process. That is long, long time for farmers to have their money tied up.
The benefits of employing a structured beef production lie in breaking the cycle of beef production down into three manageable chunks:
1. Calf rearing
Taking a baby calf aged 3 or 4 weeks old, feeding the calf milk replacement, weaning the calf off milk and putting the calf onto straw, sileage and nuts.
2. Cattle growing
Taking a weaned calf aged about 4 months old and growing it to a 450 kg store animal with frame but not too much flesh.
Taking a store animal and feeding it up into a fat animal ready for slaughter.
It may be that your farm only has space to do one of the above stages in the beef production process. Or perhaps you are a dairy farmer with spare grazing or you may just want to specialise in fattening. The beauty of structured production is that you can focus on each stage in the cycle, drill down into your costs and be sure that you are getting a return on your investment. And of course one of the main advantages is that money is turned over more regularly, so cash flow moves quicker.
In reference to our company, Select Livestock can help any UK farmer choose the stage that best suits their farm, and provide both quality livestock and the market for that livestock.
The students of Reaseheath Agriculutural College understood the importance of knowing your costs, and realising where your strengths in beef production lie. In our interactive session, they asked knowledgeable and perceptive questions and left me with the overall impression that – in this group of young farmers – the future of beef production was in safe hands!
If you have any questions about structuring the beef production process, please call me on 01743 718504 or use our website’s contact form.