A DAIRY herd on a Tynedale farm is being used as part of a research project carried out by academics in the area.

Newcastle University Farms and award-winning agricultural company Buitelaar have launched a Longhorn heritage beef project at Cockle Park Research Farm, in Morpeth.

The project involves Nafferton Farm’s dairy herd of 300 Holstein Friesians being inseminated to traditional Longhorn bulls in order to produce a terminal beef calf of increased market value.

In recent years, Holstein Friesian male calves have had little value, prompting Buitelaar to launch its own dairy beef scheme.

The Buitelaar beef scheme has been extended to produce a traditional heritage beef calf, providing ease of calving, increased animal health and increased growth rates. The dairy cows at Nafferton, operated by Newcastle University, were inseminated with Longhorn semen on November 9 with calves expected to be born in late August or September.

The project will also include Hexham-based vets Scott Mitchell which will provide veterinary advice and assistance during the project.