OPEN DAY with Gethin Owen, Nant yr Efail, Betws yn Rhos, Abergele

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Sheep farmers had the opportunity to find out how Gethin Owen is future proofing his family’s 700 ewe sheep enterprise at Nant Yr Efail, Betws Yn Rhos, Abergele when he hosted a Farming Connect Welsh Pasture Project open day on Monday 21 August.

‘It’s all about improving our grassland management combined with introducing sheep genetics that thrive in low input systems,” says Gethin. “We are attempting to cut input costs and optimize output by moving away from our traditional system – we believe it’s the only way to go for a future viable unit.

“This season, output has already improved by 14% to 495kg lamb/ha at 13 week weaning; that success is down to introducing the Aberfield complemented with the Pasture Project which has introduced us to rotational grazing and makes sure we measure grass growth and quantity of available dry matter available on a weekly basis,” he explains. “We’re attempting to get the best out of a challenging unit which is incomparable to a lowland farm. 

Gethin’s Aberfield cross Cheviots have scanned 175% as shearlings. He made the first draw of their Texel cross lambs at 14 weeks at an average 18.5kg and 98.6% within the specification. Since then, they are achieving an average 0.3kg per day off red clover swards and stocked at 25 lambs per acre. We are targeting the entire crop finished off forage by December. 

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