Utilising forage, costs and milk yields to produce the best they can from their 125 dairy cow herd is father and son duo, Peter and Daniel Newbould, of Smallrigg Farm.
The 175 acre dairy farm is currently switching away from the Holstein cattle to the Montbeliarde, for better milk constituents values, as well as increased calf values. Cows are averaging 10,500litres through the two Fullwood Merlin robots, which were installed five years ago for easier management as well as reducing the workload for the family.
When the cows come into the robots, they will be fed a ration containing straw, silage, whole-crop and a wee bit of draft. “We are mainly a grass farm, although we do grow 20 acres of whole-crop annually. We use a multi-cut system of silage as the cows are out all year round – just about every acre will be cut,” said Daniel.
The family started feeding Davidsons Animal Feeds products in September 2020, which is fed in the robot, as well as a blend that goes into the outside ration, which the cows will receive 2kg a head of. “Since switching to Davidsons rations and using their Dairy Tech service, milk yields have risen significantly, we have averaged 36kg to 37kg per cow consistently throughout the winter.
“We have also increased intakes and daily liveweight gains within our youngstock herd. We are very pleased with the product and are delighted to be seeing the results already,” added Daniel, who also feeds the blend to youngstock.
Davidsons’ dairy tech consultant, James Bendle commented: “The family were looking just to get that little bit more from their cows, we created a maize base compound to be fed in the robot and formulated a new blend – a duo purpose blend, for the dairy cows – to ensure cow production improved. “Youngstock intakes maybe weren’t as good as what they wanted, so we reformulated that ration, to make it more palatable. Since then, the feedback has been really good on that, we give the support that the Newbould team need and are always there to monitor values,” concluded, James.