Broome Park Farm, Duff Burrell
World Angus Forum delegates visiting Broome Park at Alnwick, as part of the north England/Scottish Borders tour, will be viewing Duff Burrell’s 180-cow herd, will see the herd running on 500ha whereby offspring are finished off grass at 500 days of age.
Some 20 to 40 heifers are bulled each year as replacements as mature cows aren’t usually kept past 10 years of age. There are normally four to six stock bulls on the farm for use. Presently Duff is using Aln Lord Bounty, a S A V Net Worth, alongside the recently used a S A V Final Answer son. Also in use is Weeton Black Jack P419, which Duff is marketing worldwide, a Sydgen C C & 7 son, as well as sons of Te Mania Berkley, Ardrossan Admiral, Blackhaugh Refocus H782 and Mohnen Dynamite 1356. He has also used Young Dale sires as well and have a Freys’s Opportunity 148A son in use this year.
The majority of stock bulls are sourced by importing embryos. “High health status is imperative here and public sales come with some added health risks.” Duff feels Breedplan is an important tool and ‘figures’ are a driving force. “Sadly in the UK, beef cattle farmers are paid for weight with little emphasis on carcass quality. We try to improve all traits and achieve good growth rates so cattle achieve kill weight at 500 days.”
The herd was established in 1998 with females from the Fairoaks and Wedderlie herds with the aim being to produce beef profitably. Duff openly admits, “I’m a beef farmer rather than a pedigree breeder at heart so at all times a commercial focus is maintained”. Pedigree sales are a welcome bonus, but a large cross section of bulls are sold commercially.
“A few bulls are sold locally off the farm each year. A considerable number of heifers are available every year and we usually send some across the Channel. We have been fortunate to do business with Angus Trading EU and Karpathen Meats for several years. Beef cattle are sold direct to the abattoir, often through A K Stoddart or Scotbeef,” he adds.
The vision at Broome Park is clear and visitors to the herd will likely hear how Duff plans to continue to improve the herd through carefully selected genetics, while driving down cost and producing better carcasses.
Running alongside the Aberdeen-Angus herd is approximately 60 sheep and about 20hf of wheat is grown in order to reseed grass.