Profit from grass
As this year’s Profit from Grass series draws to an end we spoke to the four farmers involved to find out how they have fared during the year, and what their plans are looking forward.
As the 2014 grazing season begins to draw to a close, the key trends of the season have come to light for many, says DairyCo technical extension officer Piers Badnell.
It has been an interesting year for grass, driven by changes in the weather, according to Eblex’s Liz Genever.
Meet the farmers
According to Jill Bathgate, who milks 145 Holstein Friesians at Castleton Farm, 2014 is going to be a huge learning curve as the herd moves to a paddock grazing system for the first time.
While Cheshire may conjure up images of fertile lowland dairy farms and potato ground, the area flanking Derbyshire’s Peak District is much harsher.
Dorset beef and sheep farmer Mike Miller returns to the series for another year having experienced a winter which allowed the 60-cow organic beef herd to stay out until December, but raised questions at the 1,200-ewe share farming operation nearby.
Suffolk dairy farmer David Utting – who runs a 270-cow dairy herd, beef unit and arable enterprise covering 363 hectares (900 acres) with brother Shaun – returns for a second year to the Profit from Grass series.