Tour highlights best dairy practice

Wynnstay’s Dairy Specialist Tom Stephenson organised a successful two day study tour from Thursday 1st December to Friday 2nd December for a group of 16 customers in the Lancashire/Cumbria area.

The group, from Ulverston, visited four farms with herds varying from 820 to 2,000 cows. Many had rotary parlours working three times a day and herds performing to high levels of production, which many farmers aspire to achieve themselves. The whole group expressed how much they enjoyed the trip and that they hope to implement some of the practices they saw on their own farms. 

Here is Tom’s report:

The first farm we visited was Cwrtmalle, Carmarthen, run by Steffan Richards. It is a 2,000 cow herd producing 68,000 litres of milk every day with 22 full time staff on hand.

Study tour of high performing dairy farms

Steffan is a keen user of Dairy Comp which he uses to draw out key management practices; the group was invited in to the office where Steffan showed how he uses Dairy Comp and what the data is showing him in reality.

The herd has excellent fertility and foot health as a result of this focus on these important areas.

The second farm, also visited on Thursday was Langdon Mill, near Carmarthen, run by brothers David and Hugh James.

A 1,700 cow herd with a 60 point motorised milking parlour, operating three times a day at a rate of 280 cows per hour. The farm is spread over 1,800 acres with 3,000 sheep to add to the enterprise.

 

The group arrived when it was already quite dark which was a perfect opportunity to see the long day lighting the James’s had installed. Clamp management on this farm was fantastic; thereby showing attention to detail.

The third farm, visited on Friday morning, was Pancross Farm near Cardiff, run by father and son, Tony and Edward Thomas. The farm is more than 3000 acres with 1,800 cows milked through a 60 point rotary parlour.

The enterprise employs 25 individuals who work with the dairy cows and on the arable side. Store lambs are also bought to fatten over winter and an Anaerobic Digester is on site.

Mr and Mrs Thomas were very hospitable over our visit and even had the entire group in the kitchen for tea!

Milking parlour at work from above, seen on the Wynnstay study tourThe fourth and final farm of the tour was Park Hall Farm, Ellesmere, run by Dickie Bowdler and his wife Holly.

This farm is one of four which are part of the Bowdler Enterprise. Dickie milks around 820 of the 3,000 cows in a 12:12 herringbone parlour on three times a day milking.

The group were inspired by the ethos of the Bowdler enterprise, expanding the herd using facilities which many farms use, albeit with lower cow numbers.

The aim of the tour was to give our valued customers and prospective customers a chance to visit large scale farms which are excellently managed and utilising different elements of technology to achieve high standards of production, fertility and foot health.

It was also an opportunity to see farms which excel in forage and crop management. Overall it was a very successful trip with some great Wynnstay customers happy to let us on their farms and show us how they run their businesses.

Thomas Stephenson
Dairy Specialist

Leave a Reply