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1 management guide aberdeen angus 1

2 Opportunities for Beef Finishers 2 Opportunities for Beef Finishers 3 Mole Valley Farmers and Blade Farming 4 Aberdeen Angus Finishing Scheme 6 Enterprise Costings 7 Ration Guidelines 8 Transition Diet 9 Blade Aberdeen Angus Nuts 10 Nutrition Management 11 Nutrition Management Services / Benefits of the Scheme 12 Aberdeen Angus Grading Grid 13 Daily Liveweight Gain Chart 14 Fertility Calf Rearing Nutrition Feed Management Finishing Processing Retail Avoid the volatility of the store market and go for a more planned approach by buying weaned calves and selling them on a premium price, forward contract. The Blade Aberdeen Angus scheme is expanding fast and there are plenty of opportunities for Beef finishers to take on a Forward price contract with a guaranteed premium. The contract price is very attractive, as long as the cattle hit the required specifications. For the Aberdeen Angus contract, cattle need to be on a managed, grazed system for a minimum of 6 months and finished on a starch based ration in order to get the quality of the meat and fat as uniform as possible. Contents 3

3 Mole Valley Farmers Blade Farming Ltd Mole Valley Farmers was started in 1960 by a small group of farmers around South Molton who were concerned by the discriminatory practices and the large margins being taken by many of their input suppliers. From the outset it was decided to treat all members equally, subject only to quantity allowance and that the Company would operate on the minimum margin to allow continuity and growth. Today it remains one of the few true-cooperatives in the supply industry. Mole Valley Farmers consists of: Nine branches in the south west supplying a vast range of goods to farmers and the public alike. These range from farm inputs to clothing, footwear, garden supplies, pet food and accessories, domestic goods and power tools. Our own feed mills for all animal feeds Fertiliser blending plants A specialist mineral plant A quality farm building division Of special importance are our farmer customers who purchase animal feed, fertilisers and minerals, all manufactured to a high specification by Mole Valley Farmers and delivered direct from point of manufacture to farm or to the branch for collection in small lots. Our beef farming business is dedicated to supplying consistently high quality British Beef to Retailers and their customer, the consumer. It is unique in the UK and it is the only truly integrated beef supply system. We now have in excess of 16,000 head of cattle in our operation making us one of the largest beef farming operations in England, and the demand for beef produced through the Blade franchise is increasing. The complete integration of the business creates the consistency that today s increasingly discerning consumer requires. The Blade Farming business specialises in producing meat to the highest quality for the consumer and the meat being produced through the Blade Aberdeen Angus beef finishing scheme has been proven to be of the highest quality in terms of consumer requirements i.e. it is extremely tender, succulent, full of flavour and juicy. Consequently we are actively looking for more Beef producers to join our Aberdeen Angus finishing scheme. Aberdeen Angus cross calves arrive from our high health status contract calf rearing units onto the finishing farm at 3 months old where they are grown on to be finished by 20 months of age. This simple, extensive system requires the cattle to be grazed for at least 6 months of their life time and also that they are finished on a high cereal diet with a mineral supplement. Cattle that fit these requirements and specifications, and achieve the target carcass weight of 270 kgs dwt will command a significant premium through the abattoir. Blade Farmworks is a full Beef Farm Management software package which is available as part of the Blade franchise. 4 5

4 Aberdeen Angus Finishing Scheme Enterprise Costings Key points of the Aberdeen Angus beef finishing scheme The entire scheme uses a carefully planned approach to beef production First class, high health status batches of weaned calves arrive to order on the Finishing unit A forward price contract of +25p/kgdwt with a guaranteed minimum base price of 2.95p/Kgdwt for the finished cattle is signed soon after the calves arrive on farm, securing a premium price for the cattle provided that they meet the target specifications. Cattle are reared on a forage based diet, as agreed with Blade Farming Cattle must be grazed for at least 6 months during their lifetime Cattle must be finished on a high cereal diet, containing a high vitamin E supplement to enhance the quality of the meat The cattle should be finished by 20 months of age, with a target carcass weight of 270kgs for heifers and 300kgs for steers Finishing cattle at a young age meets the consumer s requirements of consistent, tender, succulent meat and increases the throughput of the unit Nutritional and management advice is available from Mole Valley Farmers qualified nutritionists to ensure that the cattle meet their growth targets Area Revenue Current Farm Performance Blade Farming Performance 980 Comments + 25p from weekly base Concentrate cost t concentrate Forage costs 90 Bedding 85 Vet and med 25 Worming Weaned calf 360 For 100kgs Transport and levies 45 Total 800 Includes all commissions GM 180 Excludes labour Prices correct as at Spring

5 Ration Guidelines Transition Diet Age (Months) Weight (kg) DLWG (kg) Phase Ration (kg/head/day) Concentrate Forage* Grower Turnout Mid Grass House Mid House Finish - - * grass silage 25% dry matter, 10.5 MJ/kg DM Phase Days Feed Input kg/head Concentrate Forage Grower Turnout Mid Grass House Mid House Finish Total The transition period is when any animal has to go through a change in feeding regime and environment. The reared calf goes through the greatest change of its whole lifetime, this change has to be handled with great care and attention to detail as the performance of the reared calf at this point will have a dramatic effect on the lifetime performance of the animal. When a batch of calves are delivered from a Blade contracted rearer onto a Blade contracted finishing farm, the calves up to this point have been fed ad lib calf rearer nuts and good quality straw. The approach is to transfer the animal from this feeding regime onto a diet of 3 kilos per head per day of a transitional 16% rearing diet coupled with good quality forage ad lib. This transition period is for approximately 21 days allowing the animals to settle into their new environment, considerably reducing the stress on the calf. After this period the animal can then be more easily introduced to the existing farm feeding regime. 8 9

6 Blade Aberdeen Angus Nuts Nutrition Management All cattle require energy, protein, minerals, trace elements and vitamins for maintenance and growth, the amount and type of supplementation is critical Mole Valley Farmers have developed a specific product for the Aberdeen Angus system. Blade Aberdeen Angus Nuts are based on extensive research and farm evaluation and are formulated to a detailed nutrient specification. Blade Aberdeen Angus nuts are high in nutrient density, starch and digestible fibre based energy source, containing a range of protein sources with different rates of rumen degradation to optimise rumen microbial protein production, a high level of rumen by-pass protein to boost total protein supply and a market leading mineral, trace element and vitamin supplement package. Typical major ingredients include wheat, barley, wheat feed, sugar beet pulp, palm kernel, rape and soya hulls. Typical Declaration Oil 4% Protein 16% Fibre 7.5% Copper Selenium Vitamin A Vitamin D Vitamin E 60 mg/kg 0.6 mg/kg 10,000 iu/kg 2,000 iu/kg 60 iu/kg The product contains high levels of vitamin E, results have shown an improved shelf life of the meat with increased vitamin E levels in the diet. All ingredients are routinely monitored using a sophisticated quality control process in order to ensure confidence and safety throughout the food chain. Ensure high quality conserved forage Consider the use of maize silage Use a proven, cost-effective silage additive Analyse forage Supplement forage with the optimum type and amount of concentrate feed Use detailed beef ration programme to establish optimum diet at all stages of production system Consider the benefits of a simple feed system Monitor animal growth rates at regular intervals Implement good grazing management to ensure that growth from grass is maximised Implement soil test Review grass varieties, reseeding policy and fertiliser programme. Introduce concentrates at grass at the correct time to ensure target growth rates are achieved Ensure animals are housed at the right time Ensure adequate water supply 10 11

7 Nutrition Management Services Aberdeen Angus Grading Grid Features Benefits Cattle are trimmed to the UK specification Forage analysis Forage quantity check Forage cost check Detailed beef ration plan Soil analysis Fertiliser management programme Improve feed conversion Reduce feed costs Increase income from higher throughput No reduction of growth rate at critical stages Reduce veterinary costs Reduce mortality Grading Grid L 4H 5L 5H E U U Base R Base Base O O Benefits of the Scheme Premium beef contract Supply of weaned calves Nutritional program Software package Technical support Veterinary advice Health planning Grassland management Parasitic control program Budget and forward planning P P Weight Ranges: To receive the above all cattle must be in the following weight range of Heifers / Steers: kg dwt Underweight Deductions: Heifers / Steers: kg = -10p/kg kg = -24p/kg kg and less = -40p/kg Overweight Deductions: Heifers / Steers: kg and above = -10p /kg Deductions: Abattoir charges: Blade commission: 2% 12 13

8 Daily liveweight gain chart Aberdeen Angus x cattle Minimum slaughter weight 520kgs Lwg 500 Liveweight (kgs) Feed growing diet for frame growth, avoiding fat cattle. Target.85Kg dlwg, increasing to 1.0Kg dlwg Age (m) Date Average weight (kgs) Age (months) Weight (kgs) Dlwg (kg/d) Feed finishing diet to slaughter. Target 1.0 Kg dlwg If cattle are not achieving the required liveweight gain, please contact your Feed supplier or Blade Farming

9 Contact Adam May Mole Valley Feed Solutions Lachlan Maclachlan Mole Valley Feed Solutions Gavin Iles Blade Farming Richard Jones Blade Farming 16 Tel: Mole Valley Feed Solutions Ltd Moorland House, Station Road, South Molton, North Devon EX36 3BH Tel: Fax: Visit us online at

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