Richard Pennock - Investigating different farming systems to improve efficiency in the UK beef industry
I am 30 years old and have been been involved in the agricultural industry for most of my life. I graduated from Harper Adams in 2005 with a HND in Agriculture and Mechanisation, and then trained and worked as a agronomist for several years before taking up my current position as assistant farm manager for Sir KD Morrison at Myton Hall Farms.
I live with my partner Becky on the farm, a large beef finishing unit and arable farm. We house 1000 finishing cattle all year round. The cattle are bought in at 18 months old, finished in around 120 days on a maize, silage and cereal-based diet, and are supplied to Morrisons supermarkets. We also farm 1100 acres of arable land and 300 texel-cross and mule ewes.
My chosen topic is improving efficiency within the UK beef industry. Beef is such a major part of the business I am involved in and as a forward thinking, progressive business we are always looking for ways to increase productivity and improve margins. I feel that this is an approach which the beef industry as a whole needs to adopt, as with current economic challenges, and little room for a rise in retail beef prices, cost savings within the production systems themselves may be the only way to maintain positive margins.