From Cereals to High-Quality Feed
At Upper Court Farm in Clifford, the Davies Family launched UC Feeds three years ago which was an alternative to selling grain off the farm when prices were low.
Tom and Julie Davies, who grow wheat, barley and oilseed rape, have decided to enter their new business into the diversification category of the Three Counties Farming Awards.
The Davies family have previously won an award for winning commercial suckler herd and finishing enterprise and has been able to prove the quality of its products through the success of beef unit.
They grow, process and supply a variety of fully noticeable animal feed for sheep and cattle.
Around 70 percent of home-grown cereal is added to each blend which enables the business to offer competitive prices and value for money.
Tom explained the business is committed in producing feed to the highest standards and is dedicated to achieving the best outcome for local farmers’ livestock.
Tom stated, “We began the feed business three years ago as an alternative to selling our grain off the farm when the prices were low”.
“We are now able to add value to our grain and offer a service to the local agricultural community. The feed business has grown organically over the last three years, growing by 18 per cent each year,” said Tom, who manages the whole process from seed to feed”.
He added: “We roll the barley and wheat before mixing with high-quality straights. The whole process takes place at the home farm in Clifford”.
“In 2018 we invested in a new roller mill so we could become more efficient and a new store with dedicated bays for bulk tipping products.
“We are in the process of writing a long-term sustainability plan for the farm, and we plan to work to this with all investments in the future. We recently invested in a Mzuri strip till drill to plant all of our crops, with a sole focus on conservation farming.”
Operations are kept as energy efficient as possible, which included changing the roller mill last year.
Customers are also influenced to decrease waste and to reuse their feed bags or encouraged to buy bulk products.
Julie stated: “As we are farmers ourselves, we appreciate the slim margins farmers are getting when selling cattle and sheep. We are able to offer cost-effective high-quality blends due to our low overheads. This enables our customers to maximise their profits in an industry where margins can be small.”
The family have employed three local members of staff to work across the farm and the feed business. They also support their local rugby club and sponsor regional events.
“Our aim is to maximise animal performance for local farmers from our home-grown feeds, we want to become the trusted supplier for quality nutritional products in the surrounding area.”
The farming awards are open for entries until Wednesday, April 10, 2019, in 12 categories. The awards are organised by Newsquest Media Group, publisher of the Three Counties Farmer, and its sister newspapers and websites the Stroud News and Journal, Gloucestershire Gazette, Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard, Worcestershire News, Hereford times, Ledbury Reporter, Malvern Gazette, Evesham and Cotsworld Journal, Bromsgrove Messenger, Kidderminster Shuttle, Droitwich Advertiser, Tenbury Wells Advertiser and Redditch Advertiser.