Suckler cow enterprise evaluation

Suckler herds play a vital role in Welsh agriculture, contributing significantly to our nation's beef production and have a role to play within habitat management in Wales. However, it is crucial to ensure optimal efficiencies which require attention to detail and improvement in protein and energy self-sufficiency.

Following the completion of a  review of their business in September 2023, Awel y Grug have been delving deeper into the financial cost and the labour requirement of their winter / spring calving 30-cow suckler herd, predominantly Limousin or Limousin crosses, and on average 30 store cattle for finishing. This deeper dive has resulted in the farm weighing up the pros and cons of dispersing the whole suckler herd and increasing sheep numbers. 

The second project at Awel y Grug will be a desktop study focusing on the suckler herd in greater detail to provide adequate evidence, data and suggestions based on a modelling exercise to ensure each option is considered in regard to future changes for the business. The review will focus on both technical and financial performance and investigate management changes to improve efficiency and enterprise performance. 

The project will also contribute to the Sustainable Land Management outcomes including:

  • resource efficiency
  • resilient ecosystems
  • reduced greenhouse gas emissions
  • protected natural landscapes and historic environment
  • high animal health and welfare