Page 10 - Commercial Suffolks 2019
P. 10

uthill farm is situated in the heart of
                                                                                                   the Northumberland countryside
                                                                                              T and has been farmed for four
                                                                                              generations by the  Johnson family.
                                                                                              Allan Johnson’s philosophy is to drive
                                                                                              maximum value by breeding and buying
                                                                                              top quality stock which delivers the same
                                                                                              return as some larger enterprises. “We
                                                                                              use Suffolks extensively in our farm
                                                                                              sheep enterprise  because we like a
                                                                                              fast growing lamb that quickly reaches
                                                                                              a saleable weight at a young age. The
                                                                                              Suffolk provides a hardy active lamb that
                                                                                              is quick to suck, and finish faster than   Mule ewe. They also find that the Suffolk
                                                                                              other breeds. Being finished of grass,   ewe out of the North of England Mule is
             We talk to the latest generation of a farming dynasty who                        there are minimum input costs and they   an exceptional  breeding  sheep  when
                 find that Suffolk provides a hardy and active lamb                           are ideal for our approach” Allan said.   crossed with any terminal sire producing
                                                                                                                                                     quality lambs with
                                                                                              The farm has 450                                       tight skins.
                                                                                              ewes of which 220  “Suffolk provides
                                                                                              North of England                                       Lambing starts at the
                                                                                              Mules are put to       a hardy active                  end of March and
                                                                                              the Suffolk to breed                                   continues through
                                                                                              finished lambs           lamb that is                  April. Ewes are
                                                                                              and ewe lambs                                          lambed outside and
                                                                                              as replacements.  quick to suck and                    the Suffolk lambs
                                                                                              70 ewe lambs are    finishes quickly”                  do not receive any
                                                                                              also privately sold                                    supplementary
                                                                                              each year to regular                                   feeding as they
                                                                                              customers.                 Allan Johnson               easily finish off the
                                                                                                                                                     grass and their
                                                                                              Suffolk tups are purchased at Kelso Ram   mothers’ milk. Allan said “Our aim is to
                                                                                              Sales in September. Allan looks for good   sell the majority of finished lambs at 14 to
                                                                                              skins and a silky black hair to breed quality   18 weeks. The lambs are sold at 20 – 22kg
                                                                                              ewe lambs from the North of England   deadweight to Dawn Carnaby and the
                                                                                                                                    Suffolk meets this specification easily due
                                                                                                                                    to the fast growth rate and consistently
                                                                                                                                    grading U and R2/3L. We take the heavier
                                                                                                                                    lambs to Scots Gap Mart”.
                                                                                                                                    Aberdeen  Angus store cattle are
                                                                                                                                    also  finished  on  the  farm  and  it  won
                                                                                                                                    the  Scotbeef Aberdeen Angus  grass
                                                                                                                                    finishing competition in 2017. The judges
                                                                                                                                    commented that the grass management
          Allan, Alexis, Archie
          and James Johnson                                                                                                         on the farm was excellent and  Allan
                                                                                                                                    pointed out that Suffolk sheep fit into the
                                                                                                                                    farm enterprise perfectly. ■
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