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SUCCESSFUL SIMMENTAL COMMERCIAL OPEN DAY AT TREFAIR FARM, ST EVAL, CORNWALL
The Cornwall Simmental Club Commercial Open Day, kindly hosted by Ian and Sandra Backway & Family based at Trerair Farm, St Eval, saw a good turnout allied to some top cattle on Sunday 13th August.
The Backways farm over one hundred and forty hectares and which borders the redundant R.A.F. St Eval airfield. The land is 92m above sea level and exposed to the north coast with Trevose Head just 2.6 kms away.
Their fifty suckler cows also include ten pedigree Longhorns. Two pedigree Simmental bulls, Killiworgie Iceman (Kilbride Farm Comber) and Crowgey Las Vegas (Corrick Harrison) run with the commercials while their Longhorn bull Blackbrook F1 is used on the pedigree cows and all the heifers. Currently eighty home-bred and purchased suckled calves, will be sold as stores through Truro and Hallworthy livestock markets at fifteen to eighteen months. One hundred and fifty Texel ewes complete their livestock numbers.
Ian and Sandra started their suckler herd by buying dairy x beef heifers calves out of Truro market and started crossing them with the best pedigree beef bulls they could afford. After trying various breeds, they settled on Simmentals because of their temperament, and with them growing their spring born calves so well on grass alone. Most of their cows are pure bred.
The calves are weaned in late October and housed until April when herd replacements to calve at three are selected. The retained heifers and mature cattle are outwintered and cope with all the might of the Atlantic gales sheltered by the thick Cornish hedges. Calving starts in March outdoors and since using the pedigree Longhorn bulls on first time mothers over fifty have calved unaided.
Ten hectares of spring barley are grown for cattle feed. A further twenty hectares produces a mixture of vegetables to supply three wholesalers and their farm shop with brassicas, swedes, and potatoes. The family grow all their own plant and cut six days a week for eleven months of the year to fulfil their orders!!
After the farm tour the visitors were treated to a proper “Cornish Cakey Tea” where a packed table of home-made refreshments drew gasps of awe from the children present.
The afternoon concluded with a presentation by Martyn Tripp on Mighty-Min organically stabilised essential trace mineral supplements. Sold successfully throughout the whole of Australia for more than twenty years the company is expanding its manufacturing and marketing operations into the UK. Working with Cornish members of the family, Cornish Liquid Minerals was launched two years ago and covers the southwest of England. Using the unique “Floater Doser”, mineral supplements are dispensed into animals drinking water troughs.
The Cornwall Simmental Club Chairman Barrie Wynter gave a vote of thanks and presented Ian and Sandra with gifts as a mark of appreciation for all their hard work to make the afternoon a great success.
The stores photographed sold very well. Steers topped at £1555 for a pair of 16 months old at Hallworthy on 17th August. The twenty-seven steers all averaged £1420, all 15-18 months. Five heifers averaged £1225, 16-18 months old at Truro Livestock Market 16th August. Top price at both markets.