Despite retiring from farming 5 years ago, William Halley was keen to reignite his passion for livestock farming, this time in a manner which required less labour intensity and lighter commitment. Halley Farming was established in 2017 with the objective of rearing cattle profitably and without subsidy. The main challenge for Halley Farming was to convert the cheapest food, grass, into meat.
Halley Farming leased suitable pasture from a neighbouring farm. Powered Pasture were able to survey the area, and using CAD the field was separated into appropriate grazing areas based upon number of cattle and grazing requirements.
Temporary electric fencing purchased from Powered Pasture was then installed; this was moved on a daily basis, allowing Willie to build and rotate across his grazing platform. These daily shifts allowed the cattle to maximise kg of grass eaten, whilst allowing the grass to recover and sward thicken. The flexibility and ease of use of the electric fencing equipment meant labour and effort was kept to a minimum.
In its first year, Halley Farming achieved 6,950k of live weight gain from 10ha. This equates to 695kg/ha or £1,400Ha.
The business averaged 0.8kg LWG per animal per day from March till October realising a 53% net margin.
In 2018 the business will use lessons learned to optimise the grazing system with the objective of achieving minimum l.OOkg LWG per animal per day, delivering a gross margin of £1,680/ha, equating to a 20% improvement.
Overall, Halley Farming recovered capital costs on equipment within weeks, the field also benefits hugely as the sward thicken during the rotation and pasture quality increased.