FOURTH generation farmer Dai Charles Evans says support from the TAG project gave him the tools to better manage the development of his lambs from birth to slaughter on his 285- acre farm near Lampeter.
Working in partnership with his wife Eryl, who manages the EID technology of the ewes and lambs at Tan y Graig, Silian, both agree registering stock details electronically has given them the power to manage better breeding ewes, deliver productive lambs and manage grass production.
This has led to better quality lambs sold for slaughter which, in turn, offers better farm profitability. Dai and Eryl, who have three children, were hosting the TAG project “Future Flock Event” at Tan y Graig June 2 being officially opened by deputy food and farming minister Rebecca Evans. Dai said: “At the end of the day, we aim to produce quality Welsh lamb for consumers plus ensure profitability for our family farm enterprise.
“The TAG project has given us the tools, and the know-how, to embrace the European changes put upon us in relation to electronic identification of breeding stock. “We received an EID reader to input stock ear tags as we handle them, an electronic weighing scale plus the software to input information about each and every ewe, lamb and ram we own here at Tan y Graig.
“The TAG project enabled us begin the process of stock data recording, bringing information to us at the touch of a button, as we handle stock on the farm.”
Eryl said: “We can now record how lambs are developing from birth, which breeds are progressing well and which fields on the farm are offering us the best lamb productivity day by day. “It gives us the opportunity to change tack if we see a batch of lambs not developing as they should in one field, for example.
It’s offered us an insight into digital recorded information surrounding our stock.” Running two breeds at Tan y Graig, 300 Welsh Mules and 250 Tregaron Welsh mountain ewes, lambing occurs indoors for ease of general management and data collection.
“The Welsh Mules are bought in at Christmas and shorn ready for lambing mid-February, with the Welsh mountain ewes following once the Welsh Mules have finished. “Lambs are sold through Dunbia, Llanybydder, a few miles down the road under the Sainsburys Lamb Development Group scheme.” Forty Belgian Blue cross sucklers now form part of the farming enterprise after the decision to cease milking in 2000.
The Belgian Blue crosses calve in May and June with calves sold at Tregaron Market at 15 months and weighing between 400 and 500 kilos. Fifty dairy heifers are also reared on contract to a nearby dairy enterprise.
Further information regarding the event can be found on www.menterabusnes.co.uk/en/tag;
or by contacting Emyr Owen, TAG rroject co-ordinator firstname.lastname@example.org,