30 farmers were welcomed to Rigg House Farm at Branthwaite near Workington, by the Bateson family, where UK grass specialist Charlie Morgan and animal health researcher Dr Fiona Kenyon from the Moredun Research Institute helped them to think through grassland management and intestinal worm management to achieve sustainable production of lamb.
Charlie challenged the farmers to think about the soil life working in their fields to help the grass grow and how to create the right soil conditions that would be resilient in flood and drought. Fiona gave insights from her research about how monitoring the growth rate of lambs, combined with measuring faecal egg counts and identifying which worms were present helped to target the use of anthelmintics to achieve best results and reduce the build-up of resistant worms on a farm. Tabitha Allen demonstrated how the FecPak tool enables quick results on-farm to help with this. Origin Fertilisers, Farmplan, Animax-vet products and Innovis had relevant information for farmers to help them to plan out sustainable management strategies.
Rigg House has been in the Bateson family for 3 generations. It is not an easy farm to manage, with clay soils in a high rainfall area, but it has been transformed by each generation to maximise production of sheep and cattle, and improve the environment.