home about us farmforce recommendations press clippings dairyforce vacancies farmforce vacancies fast track contact
 

Date:
17th Dec 2002
Source:
Farmers Guardian
Headline:
Dairy Farmer of the Future 2002
Content:










































Nick
Tuke


Lower
Thurnwood Farm


Mappowder


Sturminster
Newton


Dorset



Name



Trevor
Lloyd


Ty
Mawr


Valley


Isle
of Anglesey



From
a non-farming background, Nick (34) has always wanted to farm.
After graduating from Reading University with a B.Sc, he worked
as an assistant manager on an arable farm in Kent before returning to
Dorset. After two years as a herdsman he took on his current Dorset County
Council tenancy with his wife Marilyn in 1995. style="mso-spacerun: yes"> Starting on 50 acres with 40 cows the unit
expanded when the council allocated them additional land and contributed
to the development of the buildings.
They now farm 83 cows on 95 acres on a 20 year FBT.



Background



A
farmer’s son, Trevor (30) completed an HND and B.Sc Hons at Harper Adams
before returning to the farm in 1995. style="mso-spacerun: yes"> The 350-acre farm was carrying a small dairy
herd and a sheep enterprise but Trevor says he was convinced of the
opportunity to expand and develop the dairy unit. Working closely with his father, he has overseen the phased expansion
of the herd from 80 cows in 1995 to 180 by the end of this winter.
Yields have increased from around 6000 litres to just over 8000.



The
herd will be expanded to 90 cows over this winter.
25 acres is used for maize with the remainder down to rotational
leys. Youngstock are kept on
20 acres of rented keep. style="mso-spacerun: yes"> Nick runs the unit with help from Marilyn.
A contractor is used for silaging and ploughing.







Nick
selects sires based on a combination of production and type with particular
emphasis on teat placement and udders. style="mso-spacerun: yes"> He is looking for a long lasting cow that
is easy to milk.







The
cows calve in two blocks, one in Sept/Oct and the other in Feb/Mar with
the objective of producing a level milk supply to meet customer needs
and reduce bulk tank requirements.







The
cows are loose housed as two groups and are fed a TMR once a day from
a feeder box. The diet is a
mix of maize and grass silage with a mix of straights. style="mso-spacerun: yes"> An 18% cake is fed in the 18:18 herringbone
parlour.







The
cows graze on a flexible paddock system.












Overall
the objective is to ensure the system is manageable for one full-time
person and to maximise production from the farm.



System



The
farm carries 150 cows but this will have increased to 180 by March when
the next batch of heifers calves in. style="mso-spacerun: yes"> The farm is run by Trevor, his father and
a herdsman. All silaging is
carried out by a contractor.







Breeding
is a core interest and Trevor is looking to breed powerful cows capable
of high forage intakes. The main selection criterion is type with the aim of tackling
specific faults in individual cows.
Embryos and cows have been purchased from world renowned cow
families and the herd now includes 15EX and 40 VG cows.







The
cows calve all year round. In the summer the cows graze on a flexible paddock and strip grazing
system.







In
the winter the cows are grouped and housed in cubicles.
They are fed a TMR based on maize and grass silage and a blend.
Cake is fed in the 14:14 herringbone parlour.







The
overall aim is to keep the system as simple as possible with an emphasis
on cow comfort.



80
cows


8135
litres per cow


3903
litres from forage


2016
kg concs per cow


1266
MOPF per cow


15.57
MOPF per litre


Rolling
cell count 120


Rolling
Bactoscan 17-19













Rolling
12 month results






style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>



148
cows


8212
litres per cow


3820
litres from forage


2042
kg concs per cow


1287
MOPF per cow


15.67p
MOPF per litre


Rolling
cell count 180


Rolling
Bactoscan 17-19



To
continue to drive down fixed costs as a route to reducing costs per
litre while pushing output to 10,000 litres per cow.


To
increase cow numbers and forage per cow if extra land becomes available.
Youngstock would also be brought back.







To
continue to build a strong team with the contractor, vet and so on.


To
look to employ regular part-time labour.



Future
plans



To
establish the Islandpride herd prefix as a source of good quality cattle
and to produce stock for sale.


To
invest in additional silage capacity but then to consolidate the business
for the next few years before any further stages of expansion


To
maximise yields but not at the detriment of fertility or health


To
drive efficiency of production based on cows that last








The
UK dairy industry must maintain the liquid share and look to adding
value to processed milk. Farmers
must work with milk buyers to deliver to their requirements, whether
quality or supply profile.







As
an industry dairy farmers must present a better image to consumers.



View
on the future of the industry



The
UK must have demonstrable high quality farms and use this as a way to
build the market for UK produce.







The
current milk price is unsustainable in the long term.
Farmers need to use the strength of their balance sheets to invest
in existing processing, take a bigger stake in this part of the industry
so that more of the margin achieved is returned to farmers.



An
exceptionally well-run farm with a system tailored to a one man band.
Nick is realistic about how the farm can be developed and the
need to control overheads, demonstrated by his use of second hand equipment
and a sound investment policy. style="mso-spacerun: yes"> He has a clear view of what he wants to achieve
and how to maintain profitability from a small family unit while appreciating
the need for additional help if more land becomes available.



Judges’
observations



An
immaculately presented unit that has been expanded in a controlled and
sensible manner. Trevor has
set clear goals and the operation is well planned to get the most from
the cows. While breeding is
a major element of the business, Trevor appreciates the need for strong
cattle that last and the need to control costs to maintain margins.
He knows where he wants the business to go and how he can get
it there over a sensible period of time.



Nick
will need to consider how to react if margins are squeezed when cow
numbers have reached capacity. He commented that he would consider a larger unit should finances
allow and needs to make contingency plans for this. style="mso-spacerun: yes"> Being a one-man band he is at risk in the
event of anything that prevents him from working.



Key
challenges identified by the judges



Trevor
needs to determine where his real priorities lie between the breeding
and production aspects of his business. style="mso-spacerun: yes"> He needs to ensure his breeding policy does
not detract from commercial output.
The next phase of expansion will need to be carefully planned.




Dairyforce Services Ltd, Agriculture House / Unit C, Old Sarum Park, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP4 6EB Tel: 01722 343805, Fax: 01722 335350