Richard Tudor  -  Soil Health and Fertility in Grasslands: an essential component in improving upland beef and sheep productivity and sutainability

McDonald's Resturants

I live and farm in the uplands of Mid Wales in a culturally rich Welsh speaking area, along with my wife Catrin and children Morgan and Lois.  I have a passion for progressive livestock farming and our landscape. 

Following my studies at Aberystwyth University and a few years working on sheep farms in Oregon and New Zealand I returned home in 1998 eager and enthusiastic to start farming the enthusiasm and eagerness is stronger today than ever. 

Today the farm consists of Salers based suckler cows and Texel cross Mule ewes, selling store cattle and finished lambs with a strong emphasis on production from grass.

I am a strong believer in knowledge transfer, trialling new concepts and practising what you preach, which compliments my role as a Farming Connect demonstration farm.

Away from the farm playing football and rugby have been welcome distractions all be it in a veteran’s capacity today.  Travelling, helping the local YFC and Chairing the local school Governing Body also offer a frequent change of scene.

Finally, I feel honoured to be awarded a Nuffield Farming Scholarship and am incredibly grateful to McDonalds for sponsoring my study and providing me with this study.  The help and support of my family, friends and staff is greatly appreciated allowing me to pursue this prestigious Scholarship.

There is growing recognition of the importance of livestock grazing in maintaining and improving soil health.  Understanding the chemical, physical and biological properties of soil is key to improving upland grassland livestock performance and adopting best practice grazing techniques. As livestock farmers, our general knowledge and understanding of soils is limited and working with naturally acidic soils, changing weather patterns, heavier machinery and disappearing soil biology there is an urgent need for greater knowledge of the relationship between our soils and growing healthy plants, healthy livestock and a healthy environment.

My travels will be based on areas of the world with similar climatic conditions to the UK, hence the UK, New Zealand and Australia and North America with Zimbabwe offering potentially interesting grazing techniques.