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AHDB confirms three new additions to strategic dairy farm programme

AHDB has announced the launch of three new strategic dairy farms as part of its networking programme promoting farmer-to-farmer learning and knowledge exchange.

Gavin Green, Keith Davis, Pawel Wegele of Lydney Park Farms.

The Strategic Dairy Farm programme aims to improve business resilience and performance across the dairy industry through knowledge exchange and the adoption of best practices.

The programme represents a wide range of farm businesses across the UK, and the new cohort contains a mix of different systems and focus areas, with each farm acting as a focal point for regional and national discussions.

Lydney Park Farms, Dillington Farms and Moorhouse Hall Farm are the first three of ten farms in the new cohort, all solid performers who will openly share their experiences, performance figures and goals as part of the scheme.

Lydney Park Farms is part of the Lydney Park Estate in Gloucestershire, milking 850 Jersey-cross cows twice a day, producing around 4,750 litres of milk and calving in a 10-week block that starts in the spring.

The farm consistently grows around 12.5-15t dm/ha most years and as part of the strategic dairy farm programme, the team is planning to implement changes to their system to adapt to the principles of their consumer-conscious milk buyer.

Meanwhile, Dillington Farms is a successful mixed farming business in Somerset with dairying at its heart. With tourism and an array of enterprises running on the estate, farming that both enhances the environment and drives profit is a priority.

This 870-ha farm focuses on renewable energy, home-grown feeds and is involved in an extensive mid-tier scheme. The herd currently comprises a dairy herd of around 350 cross-bred cows, yielding approximately 10,800 litres per cow per year and calving all year round.

Last but not least, Moorhouse Hall in Wigton is a family run farm with 100 Holstein cows following an autumn calving cycle. The herd is genomically tested for superior genetics and the farm champions multi-cut silage practices.

The farm produces an impressive 3,500−4,500 litres of milk from forage and are proud partners with First Milk. As a strategic dairy farm, Moorhouse Hall farm are committed to continuous improvement and their goals include a focus on sustainable genetics and experimenting with new crops.

These farms will be involved in various on-farm and virtual meetings over the next few years, opening up discussions and giving farmers a chance to share their stories. The launch events for these farms will include farm tours, with an opportunity to find out more about operations, performance figures and goals for the farm.

The meeting dates for the three new strategic dairy farms launches are:

Doreen Anderson, senior knowledge exchange manager (Dairy) said: “We are delighted to welcome three new farms into our network, and I would strongly encourage any dairy farmers to get involved in this programme and consider attending the launch events.

“Listening to farmers challenge and support each other while discussing ideas for improving their businesses is amazing. Ideas are constantly being shared both between the farmers individually, and between AHDB and the farmers, driving positive change for everyone involved.”

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