A Powys Farm has created a new feed which is cheaper and just nutritious for sheep and cattle.

The home mix ration has been created by Berriew farmers Richard and Donna Jenkins with help from experts at Farming Connect and uses high quality ingredients whilst incorporating homegrown forage.

The new mix has provided a cheaper alternative to bought-in concentrates for pregnant ewes and beef cattle.


The farm had traditionally fed ewes an 18 protein nut for up to six weeks before lambing and housed their cattle on a compound feed too. But they found buying feed in compound form was proving expensive at £270 - £340 per tonne at 2021 prices, and that feed wasn’t necessarily best suited to all stock.

With support from Farming Connect development officer, Elin Haf Williams, who facilitated the application, Richard and five other local farmers accessed group funding through the Farming Connect Advisory Service for a ration plan. This advice was delivered by sheep and beef nutritionist James Hadwin, of Agriplan Cymru.

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“This was an extremely valuable service because we were able to have a detailed analysis of the forage we had available on the farm,” said Richard.

“James calculated the requirements of each cattle group over the winter months and for the ewes pre-lambing, to create suitable ration plans.”

Along with grass and whole crop silage, the ration included maize and sugar beet pulp and a high protein and mineral balancer, with the triplets getting wheat distillers and high protein soya too.

The business captured savings of £40-£55 a tonne in the cattle diet although savings in the sheep system were harder to quantify.

For those wanting to switchover Mr Hadwin said: “Blood tests are useful to check that the diet is adequate – it also reduces the nerves of changing a system.

“Traditionally, twins fed eight weeks pre-lambing will eat between 30-40kg of concentrate, which works out at just under £12 per ewe @ £340 per tonne.

“This can be better than halved through monitoring silage quality and ewe condition.’’