Walford College farm’s improvement journey with LIC

LIC is a New Zealand dairy genetics company focused on grass-based dairy genetics. We have been in the UK now for 25 years, where we have twelve staff.

Our farm solutions managers are out on farm, helping farmers pick the right bulls for their cows to ensure that they are meeting their production and herd goals.

The Pasture to Profit consultancy team support farmers throughout the UK with their pasture based milk production, as well as their breeding and financial plans.

Walford College monitor farm

For the last two years, lead Pasture to Profit consultant, Sean Chubb has been working with North Shropshire College on their Walford College campus farm. Together we want to improve the sustainability of the farm by improving the milk from pasture, the longevity of the cows and the financial stability of the business.

Over the last two years, Walford College farm has been transitioning from an all-year-round calving to an autumn block calving herd. They are currently milking 200 cows on a 75 hectare grazing platform. With the guidance of Sean, Walford farm manager, Tom Moore, has increased the milk from forage capacity in the cows from 950 litres to 4500 litres in two years.

Tom says that fertility has been a massive improvement. They have increased the herd’s conception rate from 25% to 55%, calving 70% of the herd in six weeks. “LIC has helped us with the monitor farm process, enabling us to graze our cows better, produce more milk from grass, increase the fertility in the herd and change the genetics of the herd as well.”

Future improvements

Sean says, to improve the sustainability of the farm, they want to lift the milk from forage up to about 6000 litres per cow. In order to do this they are working on getting as much grass from the system as possible, as this is their cheapest form of feed on farm. In addition, they are reducing the stature of the cows to about 550 kgs to achieve maximum return from the grazed grass the cows.

“We’re also wanting to increase the longevity of the cows to about four 4.5 to 5 lactations. By using bulls that have been genetically tested for the methane and nitrogen emissions, we’re also lowering the carbon footprints of the her.”

The financial goal of Walford College farm is to have a CFP profit of about 30 Pence per litre retained at the end of the year. This will give the farm more financial stability for the future.

Read more about Walford College’s journey here

by Michelle Lamerton
International Marketing Coordinator
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