Northumbrian Quality Feeds (NQF) is marking the end of the harvest by holding its first open evening, to give farmers the opportunity to find out what goes into making the feed that will sustain their livestock over the winter.
The event, on Tuesday October 15, which includes speakers and trade stands, is open to farmers from across NQF’s Northumberland and Borders heartland.
Visitors will hear from in-house nutritionist John Naylor about the benefits of creating a bespoke feeding system for optimum results.
Guest speaker Malcolm Corbett, chairman of the British Wool Marketing Board, will discuss current and future opportunities in the sheep sector.
NQF is opening the doors at its Easington Farm base near Belford shortly after diversifying into conventional feed.
Originally set up by farmers Stuart and Wendy Hyslop in 2007 as Northumbrian Organic Feeds, the new name reflects the company’s wider remit.
Stuart said: “We diversified due to demand from customers but we are maintaining the ethos we started out with – creating quality feed for local livestock from locally-grown crops.
“Traceability in the food chain is an important issue for humans, and we believe the same sort of attention to detail should be given to the fodder we give our livestock.
“We’re strong believers in buying and eating local.
“By hosting an open evening, farmers will be able to see exactly what goes into creating their animal feeds and get an idea of the really extensive range we now produce to meet their needs.”
NQF is the only feed company in Northumberland with a compound food plant and visitors will be able to see the processing plant and mill in operation.
The plant produces a range of nuts, rolls, pellets, mixtures and blends and NQF also has straights, liquid feeds and minerals available.
Nutritionist and NQF general manager John Naylor will give a guide to the huge range of organic and conventional feeds sold at Easington Farm and demonstrate how bespoke feeds are created to meet individual farmers’ requirements.
Part of John’s remit is to make on-site visits to tailor these specially-produced feeds, whether they are for cattle, sheep, pigs or poultry.
This can include forage and mineral analysis and blood-testing stock to ensure their exact nutritional needs are met.
He said: “Meeting the precise needs of your stock based on your animals, your land and your winter housing and feeding plans, helps to get the best possible results and maximise your returns.”
Craig and Fiona Mellor, livestock farmers from Annstead Farm near Bamburgh, have received technical input for many years.
A bespoke feeding system is put in place for feeding their 650 breeding ewes, 900 lambs and 100 head of suckler cows, the progeny of which sold as 12 to 14-month-old store animals.
Craig, who farms with his sister Fiona, said there are advantages to this personalised approach.
He said: “Where possible, we utilise our own forage and John help tailors different rations for our different stock types using the most appropriate supplements and minerals, which we purchase from Northumberland Quality Feeds.
“We find that the nutritional advice we receive from John is very beneficial to the end results.”
When livestock farmers come to NQF, they are not just buying a product, they are buying a service. NQF really is a one-stop shop for feed requirements.
NQF delivers to customers in Northumberland and the Borders or farms can collect from the site, where there is always a comprehensive range in stock.
The business also now sells Henpen, a quality and cost-effective poultry manure suitable for conventional and organic enterprises.
The open evening starts at 4pm on October 15 and will be supported by local trade stands including Rickerby’s, Pender Feed, The Gecko Cattle System, Frank Wrights, Mick Hope of Wooler, Ancroft Tractors and Acklington Mart, Richard Brown and Alnorthumbria Vets.
Supper will be served afterwards.
Anyone interested in attending or looking for further information about products can contact John on 07816213801 or 01668 213400, or visit www.northumbrian qualityfeeds.co.uk