Page 11 - Commercial Suffolks 2019
P. 11

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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