Newton Farm Facts

Host Farmers

  • Newton Farm Demonstration Farm is farmed by Richard and Helen Roderick. They have three sons, Andy, 19, studying economics at Nottingham University; Tudor, 18, studying agriculture at Hartpury College; and Matthew, 16, who is still at school.
  • Richard joined the family business in 1984 after leaving the Welsh Agricultural College, Aberystwyth when the farm extended to 220 acres.
  • Helen is a qualified management accountant and works part-time for the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority.
  • Jason Grooby works with us on the farm alongside farming in Llandovery.


  • Newton Farm comprises 650 acres, 450 acres owned, 200 rented, within the Brecon Beacons National Park.
  • The farm includes 80 acres of woodland and scrub.
  • The farm is within the Glastir Advanced scheme since 2015.




  • The herd consists of 80 suckler cows.
  • In 2012, Stabiliser cows were introduced to the herd. There are currently 41 breeding females on the farm and two Stabiliser bulls. AI has also been used to improve genetics.
  • Progeny are finished or sold in Brecon Market as forward stores.


  • 1,050 breeding ewes are kept, with 260 replacement ewe lambs, 100 of which were tupped last autumn.
  • The flock consists mainly of Suffolk cross Mule with 100 Aberfield cross ewe lambs.
  • A mixture of Innovis genetics is used – Abermax and Aberfield, and some Charollais rams.
  • Teaser rams are used in early September, before rams are introduced in the last week of the month. Ewes are scanned in early December, housed and sheared before Christmas.
  • In 2016 the scanning percentage was 192% for the main flock and 175% for yearlings.
  • On housing, ewes self-feed on silage clamped in two pits, with feeding barriers across the four faces moved 10cm each day.
  • Singles are fed silage only, with concentrates fed to triplets four weeks before lambing and twins two weeks before.
  • 90% of ewes lamb between February 18th and March 5th.
  • By the end of June 800 lambs are marketed at an average weight of 19.5kg.


  • 55 acres of cereals grown on the farm.
  • 250 acres of grassland has been rejuvenated with clover and grass, leading to better quality pasture, in order to finish lambs off grass in a shorter period.
  • Red clover is included in silage production as a source of high quality home-grown protein to decrease finishing costs of lambs post-weaning.
  • A wildlife cover crop was planted last year and been used by the Llangorse Bird Ringers Group to monitor bird species and numbers.
  • In 2013, plantain, a herbal mix and normal grass leys were grown on the farm as part of a Farming Connect Farming Innovation Fund trial on finishing lambs. The performance and longevity of the crops continues to be monitored.

Additional information

  • The business includes a self-catering holiday cottage.
  • Primary school children are welcomed to the farm each year.
  • Environmental schemes have protected hay meadows and provide nesting sites for lapwings.
  • 15km of hedgerows have been created and restored, providing corridors for wildlife.
  • The business has worked with the Vincent Wildlife Trust to restore hedgerows in key flight paths of the rare Lesser Horseshoe bat.
  • They currently are working with CADW and the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority to restore the site of an Iron Age hillfort on the farm. Ten Highland cattle have been bought as conservation grazers.