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Strategic Dairy Farm Meeting – How to keep your business on its feet

When: January 23rd 2019 10:45 to 14:30
Location: EX16 8JJ

Join AHDB Dairy and West Ridge Vets for our third strategic farm meeting to find out how the Tucker family have been tackling Farm Excellancethe issue of lame cows at Ditchetts Farm.

Each case of lameness in your herd costs, on average, £330 and after fertility, lameness is the second biggest reason for culling cows.

Working with their vets to implement the Healthy Feet Programme through regular mobility scoring, treating lame cows early, identifying and culling chronic cases and significant improvements to tracks has drastically cut lame cow numbers.  

Reducing the number of lameness cases within the herd will not only improve cow health and welfare, but will also enhance performance. Join us to delve deeper into the true impact of lameness and how the Tucker family are approaching this challenge.

We will also review the current technical and financial performance against AHDB’s optimal dairy systems defined key performance indicators (KPIs) for all block-calving systems. 

Date:      Wednesday 23 January, 2019
Time:     10:45 prompt – 14:30 (lunch provided so booking essential)
Venue:   Starting at Withleigh Village Hall, Withleigh, Tiverton EX16 8JJ (Then Ditchetts Farm, Long Drag, Tiverton, Devon EX16 5NG)

To book your FREE place click HERE or contact the AHDB KE Events Hub on 01904 771216 or For more information contact Kate Harris on 07929 203703

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. 

*If you have any special dietary requirements, please contact us as soon as possible.   

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 KPIs 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 KPIs and identify areas for improvement.

About the farm

Richard Tucker, together with his parents Nigel and Brenda, run a spring-block herd of 240 New Zealand Friesians and Friesian Jersey crosses on 182 rented hectares at Dichetts Farm near Tiverton in Devon.

The cows are Friesian x Jersey with an average mature weight of around 500 kg. Annual yield per cow is 4,900 litres, with average solids of 4.61% BF and 3.62% Protein supplying Arla.  

The grazing platform extends to 61 hectares plus 20 hectares silage ground. A new 20/40 swing-over parlour was installed in 2006 with subsequent investment in cow/youngstock housing and tracks.

Youngstock are reared on a second rented farm where 6.5 hectares of kale is grown for outwintering. The Tuckers also produce 360 geese for the Christmas market and have 140 breeding ewes.          

The family have been long-time members of the Grassmasters discussion group and Richard is currently Vice Chairman of Devon NFU.   

Speaking about the appointment, Richard said: “Being able to discuss and implement current thinking and research on our farm would not only help us to develop as both people and as a business, but it would also be good to share this with like-minded people."