Glossary of Beef Farming Related Terms


Aberdeen Angus x: Crossbred calves from the dairy herd are required for the finishing scheme

Aberdeen Angus: Breed of choice for the Blade Farming scheme

ABM approved hauliers: Only ABM approved hauliers may used to transport Blade cattle

ABP UK: Our parent company; the UK's largest beef processor, setting standards in Beef processing

Arla: One of the leading milk buyers and processors in the UK


BCMS (British Cattle Movement Service): BCMS is a specialised cattle tracing organisation for Great Britain which operates the Cattle Tracing System (CTS) on behalf of Scottish, English and Welsh Ministers

Bio-security: High levels of bio-security are practiced on Blade units and encouraged throughout the production chain

Blade Farming Ltd: This innovative business was founded in 2000 and is the UK's largest beef farming business, rearing up to 12,000 calves and contract finishing up to 10,000 cattle per year

Blade Farmworks: Extensive software package for beef farmers

Blended feed: Cattle feed normally in a coarse blend, mixed up but not formed into a nut.

BOCM Pauls: Nationwide animal feed manufacturer, supplying feed to the Blade Farming calf rearing units, working with Blade Farming to develop the Blade farming business Newly launched website promoting the Aberdeen Angus breed


Calf Collection centres: Blade Farming only uses approved calf collection centres for the gathering of young calves. All centres are registered with Defra and Trading Standards

Calf collection service: Blade Farming provide a collection service for calves in certain areas of the country

Calf colostrum intake: Adequate colostrum intake is vital for Calf survival

Calf marketing: For advice on the marketing of young calves contact Blade Farming who buy and sell all types of young calves

Calf rearing protocol: Clear guidelines for our Contract rearers to ensure that Blade calves are of the highest standard when they leave the rearing system

Calf welfare: High levels of calf welfare are practiced throughout the Blade business including the Rearing units and the Collection centres

Carcass weights: Carcass weights on the Forward contracts are tailored to suit the type of cattle being produced

Cereal based diet: Cattle finishing diets with high levels of starch.

Collection centre: Calf collection and sorting facilities strategically located in the south west, operated by Blade Farming and monitored by Defra

Complete diet feeding: Total Mixed Rations (TMR) for feeding to all ages of cattle, mixed up and blended on farm

Compound feed: Feed supplementation for cattle, normally in a nut or blend form

Concentrate feeding: Feed supplementation for all cattle finishing systems

Continental cross calves: These calves are bought and sold through our calf collection centres

Contract calf rearers: A network of 12 contract calf rearing units rear up to 20,000 calves per year for the Blade Farming business

Countrywide Farmers: Agricultural retailer working with Blade Farming supplying feed to the Blade rearing units and our contract finishers

CTS online: You can use CTS Online to report births and movements, on and off your holding

Cull / Barren cows: Marketing services for cull / barren cows and stock bulls


Defra: Monitor the Blade Collection centres and calf units

Diversey: leading brand of sustainable cleaning, sanitation and hygiene solutions, used on the Blade calf units


Electronic identification (EID): Electronic identification is used in the Calf rearing units, and can be requested by franchised finishers. Links into the Blade Farmworks programme can be established

Extensive beef system: Forage based meat production system, i.e. Blade Aberdeen Angus scheme

F On-line purchasing facility for pharmaceutical products linked to our partners the Westpoint Veterinary Group

Feed conversion rate (FCR): The rate of converting feed into growth, closely monitored in the Blade rearing units

Finished price contracts: Contracts available for all types of finished cattle

Forward price contracts: Contract prices available for certain breeds of calf

Freedom Foods: Leading Farm Assurance body, the Blade High welfare veal units work to their standards

Friesian bulls: Finished price contracts are available for young well finished Friesian bulls


Genus ABS: UK's leading supplier of cattle semen. Working with Blade Farming to improve the quality of the beef coming through the Blade systems

Grass silage: High quality forage for cattle finishing

Grazing period: All the Aberdeen Angus cross cattle produced for the Blade system must have a grazing period of at least 6 months


Health history: All Reared calves are sold accompanied by a full health history

High Welfare white Veal: White veal, produced from dairy bred bull calves to Freedom Foods standards

Holstein / Friesian bulls: Finished price contracts are available for young well finished Holstein / Friesian bulls

Holstein bulls: Finished price contracts are available for young well finished Holstein bulls


Immunoglobulin testing: Random blood testing to check Immunoglobulin levels in calves is carried out in the Calf units and Collection centres

Integrated beef supply chain: The unique Blade Farming business is a fully integrated beef supply chain

Intensive bull beef system: Intensive meat production system, based on housed cattle and straw and cereal diets, i.e. Blade Holstein / Friesian bull scheme

IT programmes: Extensive software packages for recording livestock performance



Key Performance Indicators (KPI's): Measurement system in place to monitor the performance of the Blade calf rearers


Linden Foods: Meat processor based in Ireland buying the Rose Veal produced in the UK by Blade

Livestock marketing: Advice on the marketing of all types of cattle

Liveweight gain: Liveweight gains are closely monitored in the units and on the Finishing farms

Live-weight gain charts: Laminated charts are available to all our finishers to help monitor animal performance


Maize silage: Quality forage for cattle finishing with high levels of starch

Marbling in meat: Important genetic traits of the Holstein breed which are passed on to their offspring and significantly affect meat quality

McDonalds: A major buyer of meat from the Romford group, who maintain close links with the Blade Farming team

Melview Aberdeen Angus: Some of the highest quality Aberdeen Angus genetics in the world now come from the Melview herd

Melview Goliath: Aberdeen Angus bull with some of the top genetic traits in the world. Available for AI

Mineral supplementation: The correct vitamin supplementation in the diets is vital for quality meat production

Mineral supplements: High vitamin E mineral supplements must be fed to the finishing cattle to meet specifications

Mitchells and Butlers: Leading operator of managed restaurants and pubs in the UK. Financers of the M&B Quality Cattle Scheme offering direct contracts with British beef farmers.

Mole Valley Farmers: The leading Agricultural supply Co-op in the UK. A main supplier of feed to the Blade calf rearing units. Working with Blade Farming to develop the Blade farming business


National Livestock Management Database (NLMD): Shearwell Data Ltd have joined forces with the NLMD to enable real-time birth and movement registrations to be sent to BCMS via it's CTS facility. NLMD links to Blade Farmworks

NatWest bank: National banking group providing finance schemes for Blade farming members


Organic meat production: Specialised meat production systems


Pain and gain contracts: Unique finished price contracts for cattle; only available through Blade Farming.

Pfizer: Major supplier of vaccines to the Blade calf units

Premium prices: Premium prices are paid for cattle that meet the predefined specifications



Random blood testing: Carried out in the Calf units and Collection centres to monitor calf health

Reared calves: Calves reared to order in the Blade Farming contract calf rearing units. Normally sold at over 100 Kgs liveweight

Ringvac: Ringworm vaccine used as an integral part of the vaccination policy in the calf rearing units

Rispoval4: Vaccine supplied by Pfizer and used as an integral part of the vaccination policy in the calf rearing units

RispovalP: Vaccine supplied by Pfizer can be used in the calf rearing units as a special request

Romford Wholesale Meats (RWM Food group): The largest meat packaging business in Europe based in Huntingdon and supplying a number of major retailers throughout Europe

Rose Veal: Rose veal bulls are produced to a predefined specification by Blade Farming on contract to Linden Foods

RSPCA: Monitor the Blade Collection centres and calf units


Shearwell data: IT company working with Blade Farming to develop the 'Blade Farmworks' IT package for use on beef farms

Southern Counties Fresh Foods (SCFF): Modern meat processing facility at Langport in Somerset, purchased by ABP UK in October 2011

Sterling Sires: Progressive supplier of UK dairy genetics; also specializing in Aberdeen Angus

Succulent meat: A characteristic of meat which is required by the consumer

Succulent meat: Cattle produced to the Blade Farming protocols regularly produce high quality succulent meat


Tenderness genes: Important genetic traits of the Angus breed which are passed on to their offspring

Tesco: Leading Retailer in the UK and the major customer for meat from the Langport plant

Trading Standards: Monitor the Blade Collection centres and calf units



Vaccination policy: A policy defined by our Veterinary Surgeons to improve the quality and health of Blade reared calves for the finishing units

Veal production: High welfare veal production, loose housed in straw yards, from the dairy bred bull calves

Vitamin E: Vitamin E supplementation in the finishing period enhances the keeping quality of the meat


Weaned calves: Calves reared to order in the Blade Farming contract calf rearing units. Normally sold at over 100 Kgs liveweight

Weigh crushes: Calibrated, Trading standard approved weigh crushes are used in the Blade Farm calf collection service

Westpoint Veterinary Group: Nationwide Veterinary group overseeing the health of the Blade calf rearing units

White veal: Veal produced from the Blade calf rearing units, in straw yards. High levels of animal welfare





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