Welsh Charolais Beef Heifer in Pembrokeshire - Biltong 

We are proud to be a traditional, mixed Pembrokeshire farm. By this we mean that as well as grazing our cattle on pasture, we also utilise the land to grow a variety of arable crops, which ensures we have a steady supply of feed and bedding during the colder months. During winter, the nutritional value of grass drops significantly, this along with the increased rainfall means that grazing outdoors all year round would not provide adequate nutrition for our livestock and would also cause long term damage to the land itself. 

As well as being a very self-sufficient system, the other upside of the 'mixed' farming model is that we are able to continuously rotate which land is used for grazing, silage crops, cereals and root vegetables such as fodder beet. By carefully managing these rotations we can ensure that no set of nutrients are over-depleted by continuously growing the same crops in the same soil.

Our crop rotations are the results of over 100 years of practice and we are still improving every day. By getting this balance right it means we can reduce soil erosion, improve soil fertility and minimise our need for adding fertilisers.

Additionally, all of the manure produced whilst housing our cattle throughout the winter is spread over our fields as a natural fertiliser, returning vital nutrients back to the soil and ensuring nothing goes to waste.

The Crops We Grow

Here in Pembrokeshire we are fortunately placed on the edge of the gulf stream, giving the county a mild climate and longer growing seasons than many other parts of Wales and the UK, a vital element for the famous 'Pembrokeshire Early Potatoes'. This unique climate also gives rise to superb quality grass and we take full advantage, grazing our cattle outdoors for as many days of the year as possible. Between May and July we also harvest grass and turn it into silage (a partially fermented form of grass) which forms the main-part of our winter feed.

Welsh Silage with forage harvester in pembrokeshire - shot by drone - biltong

Through August and September we are busy harvesting wheat and barley. We mill the grain and use it as a high energy feed whilst the straw is baled for use as bedding throughout the winter

October sees us harvesting our maize crop, again as silage. Whilst lower in protein, this has a higher starch and fibre content than our grass silage. 

Our final crop of the year to harvest is fodder beet, the most recent addition to our arable rotation. This is a high energy crop that allows a better yield per acre than cereals and is easier to store once out of the ground (the green tops being cut off at harvest will be grazed afterwards by sheep).

By having a variety of feeds at our disposal, each with their own nutritional qualities, we can fine tune the diet of our housed cattle to suit their stage in the rearing process and consistently produce the highest quality beef all year round.