Fraser Scott has been a large-scale commercial beef producer on his 2,600-acre Northumberland farm for many years, but only recently put a toe in the water with the Wagyu breed.
Fraser Scott has been a large-scale commercial beef producer on his 2,600-acre Northumberland farm for many years, but only recently put a toe in the water with the Wagyu breed.

First buying 87 head in 2022, he had to overcome preconceptions about the breed which he quickly discovered were misplaced.

A total mixed ration was compiled by independent nutritionist, Lizz Clarke, which comprises grass silage, waste potato chips, barley, Vitagold, with minerals and limestone flour.

Silage is treated with Kelvin Cave’s top-of-the-range preservative, Safesil Pro, which is said by Fraser to be essential in maintaining the ration’s quality.

“You can’t finish beef cattle on what I’d call suckler cow silage and Safesil is vital for enhancing our forage quality,” he says. “It allows us to move across a 90-foot-wide silage face with complete confidence that the forage has retained its nutritional value and will remain stable and cool.”

The overall TMR analyses with a metabolisable energy (ME) of 12.6MJ/kg DM, protein at 14.5% and starch at a hefty 34%.

Lizz explains: “The Wagyu have to be fed a high starch diet, ideally through the entire growing and finishing period, to achieve the required marbling.”

This is fed at a rate of 30kg (freshweight) per head, achieving a daily dry matter intake of 12.6kg.

Remaining on the farm from around 18-19 months to 23-25 months and from around 450kg to an average weight of 680kg (heifers and steers), the F1, dairy cross Wagyu kill out at a target average of 52%.

Fraser says he’s very pleased with the outcome for the Wagyu business so far and will continue to bring in stock through Warrendale Wagyu’s integrated supply chain.

He says: “It’s a much more relaxing way of finishing beef than dealing with the turbulence of store cattle prices.

“We pay a fixed price for stores in pence per kilo; the cattle arrive with no transport cost; and there’s no carcase weight limit; no killing charges; and we have a ration put together by Lizz.

“We are paid a base price of £5 per kilo and we find they finish remarkably well. And if we can achieve a high score for marbling we are significantly better off.”

The top marbling score achieved by the farm has been nine and the best-performing animal in the farm’s first batch had a 416kg carcase with a high marbling score.

Fraser says he’s very pleased with the outcome for the Wagyu business so far and will continue to bring in stock through Warrendale Wagyu’s integrated supply chain.

He says: “It’s a much more relaxing way of finishing beef than dealing with the turbulence of store cattle prices. “We pay a fixed price for stores in pence per kilo; the cattle arrive with no transport cost; and there’s no carcase weight limit; no killing charges; and we have a ration put together by Lizz.

“We are paid a base price of £5 per kilo and we find they finish remarkably well. And if we can achieve a high score for marbling we are significantly better off.”

Fraser Scott and his son, Oliver, above with a group of Wagyu, aged around 20 months and below, inspecting the silage.
Fraser Scott and his son, Oliver, above with a group of Wagyu, aged around 20 months and below, inspecting the silage.

The top marbling score achieved by the farm has been nine and the best-performing animal in the farm’s first batch had a 416kg carcase with a high marbling score.

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