COUNTRY NEWS: Learn about low input dairy milking systems

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: Neil Grigg, left and Tom Foot with their dairy cows at Little Bredy Neil Grigg, left and Tom Foot with their dairy cows at Little Bredy

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.

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