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Strategic Dairy Farm Meeting - Optimising transition to maximise performance

When: December 13th 2018 10:45 to 14:30
Location: DE6 5HL

Join us at Coton Wood Farm, our Midlands all-year-round calving strategic dairy farm, where Michael and Tony Ball along with Farm ExcellanceDairy Health and Production Specialist, Dr Christopher Hudson, will share their experiences and learnings about managing transition cows. 

A healthy, productive lactation comes from a well prepared dry cow. How we manage our cows in the weeks around calving are critical to enabling her to reach her milk yield potential, whilst maintaining good health and performance.

Practical management linked to performance data can provide a huge insight into areas of focus, so we’ll explore how these can be used to optimise the transition period, including:

  • Enhancing feed intakes
  • Optimising the cows “recovery” time post calving to reduce the occurrence of post calving disease and stress
  • The link between somatic cell count data and performance

We will also review the current technical and financial performance against AHDB’s optimal dairy systems defined KPI’s for all year round calving herds.

Date:     Thursday 13th December 2018

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

Venue:  Coton Wood Farm, Ashbourne Road, Sudbury, Derbyshire DE6 5HL By Kind Permission of Michael & Tony Ball

To book your FREE place click here or contact the AHDB KE Events Hub on 01904 771216 or or for more information contact Mark Campbell on 07528 780346.

If you’re responsible for managing cows through the transition period, managing dairy cows on robots or benchmarking, then this meeting’s for you.

The cost of attending this event is covered through your levy but please ensure you register your attendance for catering purposes.

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

Michael and Tony Ball farm in partnership with their parents, who purchased the farm in 1977, and together they run a 500-strong herd across two sites operating an all year round calving system.

Three years ago a major investment was made into robots to increase cow numbers from 200 to 500 with the intention of making milk in the most efficient way possible with particular emphasis on cow comfort and welfare.

They now produce 9,000 litres per cow per year on their 750 acres farm and are looking to optimise their system to reach 10,000 litres.

Originally autumn block calvers, the brothers faced increasing competition for labour and decided to move to all year round calving with the installation of eight Lely robots in 2014, to manage the milking process. Completed in April 2016, the transition was complemented with automatic silage pushers, scrapers and calf feeders.

Commenting on their appointment, the brothers said “We are really excited to have been chosen as a strategic dairy farm. We want to share our experiences with other farmers and are hoping that becoming a strategic farm will focus our business direction and enable us to pay more attention to key performance indicators”..

Follow the programme at strategic-dairy-farm