Why Llion would be an effective mentor

  • Former Farming Connect demonstration farmer Llion, owns an 850 acre upland farm in Conwy, where he predominantly farms beef and sheep. A keen advocate of lifelong learning, he never passes up any opportunity to learn and improve his skills through workshops, webinars, podcasts, discussion groups as well as attending relevant open days etc. 
  • Fluent Welsh speaker Llion is happy to share his knowledge and experience with others, and has plenty of ‘real life’ on-farm experiences he’s happy to share, not only on systems and projects that have been successful, but he’ll give you an honest snapshot of any that haven’t worked out well too. 
  • Passionate and enthusiastic about farming, Llion is always eager to introduce innovative ways to improve efficiency through using technology, data, genomics etc. Through being part of various projects with Farming Connect, Hybu Cig Cymru and by attending events and conferences, he has many industry contacts, and he’ll be happy for you to tap into this knowledge network too. 
  • All Llion’s cattle have EID links with Bluetooth to the stick reader, weigh bars and software app on mobile devices which means weighing and all other data input can be done quickly and efficiently. The software can calculate instantly the dead/liveweight gain; or if management or nutritional changes are needed these can then be implemented promptly.      
  • He rotationally grazes most of the farm for both cattle and sheep. Part of the Grasscheck project, he takes grass measurements weekly which are entered onto Agrinet, providing data that which aids grassland management to maximise grass utilisation. Grass quality can also be sampled through the project. This has also enabled him to reduce costs while benefitting stock performance.  

Current farm business

  • Moelogan is an upland farm consisting of peaty, heavy clay soils. The farm yard stands at 1,000ft and ranges up to 1,500ft at the top, making up part of the Hiraethog mountain range. The challenges are the high rainfall, exposed nature of the location and short growing season. 
  • We keep a flock of crossbred Abberfield ewes that currently lamb indoors and Improved Welsh ewes that lamb outside. Our aim is eventually to only have an Improved Welsh flock to reduce labour, vet and med and overall input cost. To improve the decision making on the ewe lamb replacement, one of the projects we undertook whilst a Farming Connect demonstration farm, was to record more data from the flock. We also took part in the hill ram project with Hybu Cig Cymru which enabled us to DNA-sample 300 of the Welsh ewes and their offspring. Having the parentage data and genetic information enabled us to better select our future flock.  
  • The cattle herd includes 110 cows and 42 heifers. The best pure bred male offspring from our spring-calving Stabiliser beef herd are sold as breeding bulls, the rest are sold as stores at 9/10 months old. The female offspring are kept as replacements or sold for breeding. AI is used to take advantage of the best available genetics.
  • Most of the farm is split into paddocks, measured weekly as part of the GrassCheckGB project. Llion says he has gained so much knowledge from the project, in particular understanding which are the best-performing  paddocks and identifying those which need improving.  He enjoys learning the views of others through chats on the project’s WhatsApp group and believes that sharing tips and experiences is very beneficial.  Weekly weather and growth predictions and averages over the years also help him manage the grazing more effectively.

Qualifications/achievements/ experience

  • HND Agriculture Llysfasi College
  • Worked full time on a dairy farm for 18 years
  • Started farming for himself in 2013 on a tenanted National Trust farm then moved to Moelogan in 2018.

Top tips for business success 

“Invest in data recording technology to aid decision-making and identify efficiencies.”
“Identify poor performers and remove them from the flock or herd.”
“Make time to visit farm open days, join discussion groups. Always look outside your own business for motivation and inspiration!”