Livestock Enterprise - Dairy Livestock

Cows

Milk Quota

The farm's current milk quota is 1,084,982 litres at a butterfat base of 4.07% having purchased about 350,000 litres since 1984.

Organic Dairy Conversion

The dairy cows were split into two herds in September 2005 and are managed as two independent herds - one Organic and the other conventional. During the summer of 2003 a new milking parlour was installed which is designed specifically to milk the two separate herds simultaneously with the same operator. New housing and slurry storage was built for the conventional herd during 2003 and in summer 2004 a building was modified to accommodate the Organic cows with separate slurry storage facilities.

The farm is registered with the Soil Association as the certifying body and the conversion and husbandry requirements for the Organic cows are as laid out in their rules.

Organic Dairy Husbandry

The diet of the Organic cows is based on grazed grass/white-clover during the summer and grass/red-clover silage together with spring barley wholecrop during winter. The concentrate portion of the diet consists principally of home-grown field beans and spring cereals fed for 22 litres with production above this based on purchased dairy cake fed to yield in the parlour. The routine use of antibiotics is not permitted for organic dairy cows which has implications for the control of mastitis in both the lactation and dry cow phase. The farm has experimented with dry cow management during the last two summers and now uses 'Orbiseal'and some selective antibiotics where necessary as a means of controlling dry cow mastitis infections.

Conventional Husbandry

The conventional herd continues to be managed on a typical intensive regime. Concentrate supplementation for the conventional cows is based on GM-free straight feeds, purchased forward at contracted prices in the June - August period and incorporated into a Total Mixed Ration (TMR).

Feed Ingredients for Premix

  • Wheat (home produced)
  • Soya Meal (GM Free)
  • Rape Meal
  • Maize Gluten (Tilbury GM Free)
  • Sugar Beet Pulp
  • Scottish Wheat Distillers Grains
  • Molasses
  • Citrus Pulp
  • Supergrains/Vitagold (moist distillery by-products)