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December 2018

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AHDB Agronomists conference

AHDB Agronomists conference

Event date: 
Tuesday, December 4, 2018 - 09:30 to Wednesday, December 5, 2018 - 16:30

The AHDB Agronomists' conference is a two day technical conference that turns research into practical agronomy for the whole rotation. 

Visit the conference page on the AHDB website. 

Saving our soil - farm walk, conversation and supper with Guy Singh Watson

Saving our soil - farm walk, conversation and supper with Guy Singh Watson

Event date: 
Saturday, December 8, 2018 - 14:00 to 20:00
“I've been growing organic vegetables for thirty years and over that time I suppose I've come to realize that the health of the soil is absolutely critical to the health of my vegetables, to my well-being, to my customers’ well-being; it really, really matters and we are making a bit of a mess of it.” Guy Singh-Watson.
Join Guy Singh-Watson and soil experts Emilie Savary and Richard Smith for a farm walk and discussion at the Riverford's Wash Farm, followed, of course, by an organic, three-course meal at The Riverford Field Kitchen celebrating the veg in the fields around us.
Intensive farming, agrichemical abuse and more are severely degrading the world’s precious fertile soils at a rate of 24bn tonnes every year. We need to reverse this trend if we are to ensure the necessary food production of future generations, as well as reduce biodiversity loss and the emission of greenhouse gases.
Without healthy soil we would have little food and very little wildlife. With a growing population to feed, and a simultaneous decline in soil quality, how can we protect the future of farming?
If you have an interest in the challenges and future of farming, would like to understand more about organic methods, or are just intrigued about Riverford, this event will answer a lot of your questions.
Visit the eventbrite page for more details. 
08/12/2018 - 14:00 to 20:00
Are you building a resilient dairy farming business - Cornwall

Are you building a resilient dairy farming business - Cornwall

Event date: 
Tuesday, December 4, 2018 - 11:00 to 14:00

Is your dairy farm achieving your desired lifestyle, a profit and a secure future for your family?

oin dairy farmer and business consultant, Gaynor Wellwood, as she explains how she and her husband Kieran started with 30 cows on a council holding in Devon and built up to a highly-profitable, 300-cow herd near Melton Mowbray.

Gaynor will speak about the important factors in growing a profitable business from scratch – and how she and her family are planning their post-Brexit future. You are invited to:

  • Learn how budgeting helps the business withstand milk price volatility
  • Discover Gaynor’s approach to setting and achieving goals
  • Find out why good communication is essential on the family farm
  • Get an understanding of how benchmarking helps identify areas for improvement
  • And hear why planning removes guesswork and gives control

Date:      Tuesday 4 December 
Time:     11:00 – 14:00 (lunch provided)
Venue: Helston Football Club, Kellaway Park, Clodgey Lane, Helston, Cornwall TR13 8PJ

Please ensure you book places for catering purposes.

For more information, or to book a place, please contact Kate Harris on 07929 203703 or [email protected]

Dairy Pro Points are available for attending this event, Click here for more details.   

04/12/2018 - 11:00 to 14:00
Successful approaches to grazing with FWAG South West Taunton

Successful approaches to grazing with FWAG South West Taunton

Event date: 
Wednesday, December 5, 2018 - 10:30 to 13:45

Venue: South Haddon Farm, Skilgate, Taunton, TA4 2DR

Join FWAG SW for an interactive discussion event in the field to explore differnt grazing stragies to meet your farm business requirements.

South Haddon Farm, mob grazing a herd of 300 Ruby Red Devon and Hereford Cattle using permanent pasture and herbal leys round. A range of speakers will be on hand during the famr walk to explore:

  • planning grazing for forage value and extended seasons using permanent pasture and herbal leys
  • Sward establishment techniques: machinery and cultivations, over-sowing vs compelte reseed and seed mixes
  • Assessing soil health to guide management decisions
  • Managing access tracks, water and feeding areas

A light lunch will be provided. 

Booking is essential for this free event. Call 01823 660684, email [email protected] or book via this link. 

05/12/2018 - 10:30 to 13:45
All year round calving strategic dairy farm launch - Wiltshire

All year round calving strategic dairy farm launch - Wiltshire

Event date: 
Wednesday, December 5, 2018 - 10:45 to 14:45

When: December 5th 2018 10:45 to 14:30 
Location: SN15 4LS

Join us at the launch of our latest strategic dairy farm run by Joe and Irving Carter who will provide an open, honest and transparent view of their business.

Strategic farms encourage ‘farmer to farmer’ learning by hosting regular on-farm meetings and openly sharing their figures against our key performance indicators.

The launch meeting will give you a comprehensive overview of the farm, including:

  • Background to the farm including a farm tour
  • Current technical performance against AHDB’s KPIs for AYR calving herds
  • Current financial Performance against AHDB ‘s KPIs
  • How representatives including; Andy Dodds (Farm Consultancy Group), Andy Rose from Garden Vets, Roy Eastlake (Biotal Lallemand) and James Poole (Alta Genetics) contribute to current performance
  • Long term vision for the farm, including a critical look at current under-performance and areas for improvement and future focus

If you’re interested in benchmarking and want to find out more about a high performing AYR farm, then this meeting is for you.

Date:         Wednesday 5th December 2018

Time:        10:45 prompt – 14:30 (lunch provided so booking essential)

Venue:      Carpenters Farm, Avon, Chippenham, Wiltshire SN15 4LS (by kind permission of the Carter family)

To book your FREE place click here or contact the AHDB KE Events Hub on 01904 771216 or [email protected] or for more information contact Steve West on 07816 159574.

The cost of attending this event is covered through your levy but please ensure you register your attendance for catering purposes. If you have any special dietary requirement please contact us as soon as possible   

Please bring a clean pair of wellington boots to help with the biosecurity and out of respect to the host’s farm business.

Dairy Pro Points are available for attending this event, Click here for more details. 


About Strategic Dairy Farms

Strategic dairy farms help farmers learn from each other through regular on-farm meetings where we will share key performance data and showcase what the best farmers are doing.

They form part of the Optimal Dairy Systems programme which aims to help dairy farmers lower costs and increase efficiency by focusing on either a block or all year round calving system.

The growing network of strategic dairy farms have calculated key performance indicators (KPI’s) for their enterprises which are shared at meetings and published online. These are physical and financial performance measures that are critical to success. Farmers can benchmark their businesses against these KPI’s and identify areas for improvement.

About The Farm

Carpenters farm is managed by Joe Carter in partnership with his parents. The farm’s herd is made up of 290 Holsteins who are fully housed and milked twice a day, producing just over 11,000 litres on average. The land extends to 330 acres split between grass and maize.

Speaking about why he wanted to get involved with the programme, Joe said: “I’m keen to get involved with the strategic farm project to learn from farms who run similar systems as well as showcasing what we do here.”

The health, welfare and comfort of his cows is paramount for Joe and he believes this contributes to their good performance and longevity as he explains:

“We avoid hard transitions between cow groups to avoid dominant behaviour causing stress and subsequent milk drop. There is a heifer and subordinate cow group which is housed separately from the rest of the herd.”

“Cow Signals have helped us maximise the effectiveness of our older buildings and transition cows are kept in groups limited to a maximum of 12 with the whole group being integrated into the main herd at the appropriate time.”

Joe scores well against AHDB’s key performance indicators for all year round calvers, achieving good levels of fertility with a pregnancy rate of 23% and heifers calve at 23.5 months of age.

Over the next three to five years Joe aims to increase cow and heifer numbers along with genetics to improve cow welfare and efficiency further still.

Follow the programme at strategic-dairy-farm 

05/12/2018 - 10:45 to 14:45
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