Livestock - The Dairy Herd

Cows grazingThe Dairy herd comprises approximately 180 Holstein Friesian cows, from predominantly winter calving. The best early calving cows are put to Holstein bulls to produce about 30-35 replacement heifers. The herd also participates in the Genus Dairy Progeny Testing Scheme. Remaining cows and bulling heifers are served with an Aberdeen Angus or AI semen.

Milk Quota

Current milk quota is 1,476,000 litres of which 800,000 litres have been purchased since quotas were introduced in 1984. There is now sufficient quota for 180 cows averaging 7,768 litres annually. In the winter the cows are housed in cubicles and fed a Total Mixed Ration (TMR) based on home grown wheat and bought in straights such as soya and distillers grains.

The milking parlour is a Fulwood low-line 16:16 herringbone with automatic cow identification through transponder pedometers. The rolling average performance figures for the herd to March 2007 show a yield per cow of 7,720 lts and a margin over purchased feed per cowof £1,006.

The m ilk produced is sold to ARLA Foods, and the remaining slurry from the unit is piped to the new Anaerobic Digestor facility.