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Outlook is bright for beef farmers
THE future of beef farming is brighter than it has been for 20 years, a North Yorkshire livestock farmer has said.
Mike Powley, a fourth generation farmer who has 100 suckler cows on 300 rented acres at Elm House Farm, Green Hammerton, urged farmers to look at their business to ensure they were able to take advantage of the export opportunities and growing markets.
He said: “We are in a good place and I think the red meat industry has a very bright future. I think it is probably more positive than it has been for 20 years. We are facing an ever growing population and an ever-expanding market place. The potential to tap into the Chinese market, for example, is huge for the red meat industry.”
Mr Powley, who runs the family farm with his parents, said they set targets like in any other business, and in the past year they achieved their target to produce one kilogramme of weight gain a day from their bulls.
The farm also spent eight years growing red clover to produce high quality silage as an affordable home-grown feed, which he said improved productivity and reduced cost.
He also said: “If you don’t have the right genetics then state-of-the-art facilities mean nothing and the rest of it is a waste of time.”
Mr Powley, who runs his own delivery box scheme for beef from his heifers, said it was important to think of alternative income streams.
“Now, more than ever, it is time to look at the detail. Make sure your business is fit for purpose. We have to shrug off the image of a farmer leaning against a gate and chewing straw. We need to be upbeat, look to the future and work out how to do things differently in order to improve our productivity,” he said.
Mr Powley will talk to farmers at the Northern Farming Conference, which will advise farmers on developments in the agricultural industry and business planning at the Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate on November 9.