Dairy farm confident to introduce changes after Farming Connect study opportunity
A Welsh dairy farmer has been confident to introduce changes to his system after gaining knowledge through a Farming Connect Management Exchange study.
Ceredig Evans farms with his wife, Sara, and parents, Ann and Ifan, at Erw Fawr, Holyhead, where they have traditionally produced milk from an all year round calving pattern.
They run a herd of 300 high yielding pedigree Holsteins on 192 hectares.
But, keen to establish if he could make the system more efficient and sustainable, Mr Evans embarked on a Farming Connect Management Exchange study, visiting UK dairy farms with systems different to his.
As a result of those visits, he has made some key changes, including trialling an autumn calving block with a small group of cows from his herd.
“It was something I had been considering and, as our herd is increasing in size, it was something I felt we could trial,’’ said Mr Evans.
“I also decided that growing maize again would work for our farm system, having not grown it for a few years.’’
Mr Evans has also been inspired to make even better use of grass after visiting a business where the farmer maximised use of his land and grazed his high yielding herd in the summer.
“From this visit, I was encouraged to make the best use of pasture and will continue to measure the paddocks to get the best out of them,’’ says Mr Evans.
He is also using a more planned approach to producing silage, including making bales, and better organising storage for winter feeding.
Mr Evans says the opportunity of the exchange programme had been invaluable and his message to other farmers was that learning from others is invaluable.
“If you’re considering making a change, it is best practice to go and see other farmers who have made this change to discuss ideas, experiences and concerns you may have,’’ he suggests.
“Make sure you do lots of research in order to make any necessary changes. Any decision has to suit you and your farm.’’
For his own business, it had taught him that attention to detail is key when planning for the year ahead.
MANAGEMENT EXCHANGE REPORT