Alnwick livestock farmer benefits from use of new technology to make data-driven decisions

With farmers in the region facing plenty of challenges, a Northumberland livestock farmer is growing his business his own way.

Thursday, 12th November 2020, 4:45 pm

James Drummond, from Lemmington Hill Head near Alnwick, is one of the country’s leading sheep and beef breeders.

While Brexit and trade deal debates impacting agriculture continue to unfold in Westminster and Brussels, James has introduced new technology and new methods to help ensure the continued success of his business no matter the outcome.

His farm is one of the first in the North East to begin using new farm management technology from AgriWebb.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

James Drummond of Lemmington Hill Head, near Alnwick.

James uses the mobile app to easily record large amounts of information about his animals and the land they graze, then uses that data to make better-informed decisions about his 1,950 sheep and cattle.

This has increased the farm’s profitability and ensures his 220 hectares of land are farmed as sustainably as possible.

Using this mobile technology is underpinning a range of on-farm innovation. For example, this year, James has grown an unconventional feed mix for his flock and herd which will be used in the winter months. The app will show how this is benefiting his animals’ growth.

“We try to incorporate things on farm that people aren’t really doing yet,” says James. “I believe we were one of the first sheep farms to grow plantain in the UK.

James Drummond, of Lemmington Hill Head just outside Alnwick, is one of the first in the North East to begin using new farm management technology from AgriWebb.

"It has fantastic drought tolerance and is typically associated with much warmer climates – certainly not northern England!

"As the climate changes, and other challenges arise, it’s vital we find new ways to sustainably keep our animals and undertake more breeding. We can track and forecast our animals’ weight gain to see the difference our approach is making.”

James is also a breeding partner for Innovis and is currently involved in their programme to rear a new breed of fast-growing, highly prolific Aberdale sheep.

“It’s important to select the best performing animals for each generation of breeding,” said James. “To do this, we now use AgriWebb to track a huge amount of data from the moment each lamb or calf is born. Given it’s such a pivotal time for our industry, new technology that helps us to be smarter with breeding, achieve better growth rates, and prove the quality of British meat is vital.”

James Drummond on his farm, near Alnwick.

Read More

Read More
Northumberland farmer warns of risk to UK agriculture if food standards bill rej...

The dramatic events of 2020 are having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers and consequently the advertising that we receive. We are now more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news by buying a copy of our newspaper. If you can, please do pick up a copy when you are at the shops. Thank you for your support.

Cattle at Lemmington Hill Head.
Lemmington Hill Head, near Alnwick.