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COUNTRY NEWS: Learn about low input dairy milking systems
10:26am Thursday 2nd January 2014 in News
DESPITE the reduction of dairy farmers in West Dorset, the industry still has a varied range of enterprises, said NFU West Dorset secretary Paul Bennett.
He said: “We still have farms milking well under 100 cows to those milking several hundreds.
“There are many different systems of dairy farming, for example, some only milk once a day, some twice a day and a few are milking three times a day.
“The range is tremendous from very low input, all grass systems to high input farms.
“The success of all, however, is dependant on three main factors – the milk price achieved, the quality of management and the weather.
“The West Dorset NFU is commencing their 2014 meeting programme, with an example of a low input system. Farmers Tom Foot and Neil Grigg of Prospect Farming run a ‘outside dairying’ farm, where 670 cows are milked using a mobile ‘milking bail’ once a day.”
In contrast to this, the NFU plans later in the year to organise a visit to a dairy with robotic milking plants in West Dorset.
Mr Bennett added: “The diversity of the industry is tremendous and still very much a feature of our farming.
“Nationally, the dairy industry has also come together to draft a strategy for the future.
“We know that global demands for dairy products will grow significantly in the coming years as a result of population growth and consumption pattern changes.”
- A meeting for NFU members with Tom Foot and Neil Grigg is on January 14 at The Red Lion in Beaminster.