Buscot Wick Farm, Oxfordshire

Published 18 July 18

Buscot Farm has been in the Kinch family for 75 years and is managed by Phil Kinch in partnership with his wife and parents. 

Phil Kinch With Cows Cropped

Based on the Oxfordshire-Gloucestershire border, just off the M4 near Swindon, the farm consists of 1,000 hectares - a quarter of which is committed to dairy, including a 67 hectare grazing platform, with the remainder given over to arable.

The herd is currently made up of 360 autumn calving cows, with an increasing number of Norwegian Red and Flekveigh cross.

An outbreak of digital dermatitis in 2003 caused fertility to drop and the farm to drift from an autumn block system into all year round calving. The Kinch’s switch back to autumn calving started in 2012, taking two years through a combination of extending dry periods and tightening calving patterns. 

Speaking about their selection Phil Kinch, who manages the farm in partnership with his wife and parents, said:

Opening ourselves up to external challenge as a strategic farm will help keep us focused and challenge us to do better as well as giving us the opportunity to speak to other farmers who are looking to improve.

“We also hope it’ll raise our profile since recruiting god staff is a challenge. We’re fortunate to have Ben Redman as our herd manager as he’s been instrumental in us achieving a 6 week calving rate of 86% and a herd replacement rate of 22%. I hope that people will see that block calving can make dairy farming more interesting, efficient and less stressful because of the distinct periods during the year.” 

 

Key Performance Indicators

Our Optimal Dairy Systems program defined a set of measures and targets, which enable us to show how the farm performs against good, average and poor performers. 

Dairy Enterprise KPIs Good performance Average performance Poor performance Buscot Wick Farm
 Cows and heifers calved within the first 6 weeks (%)  >90% 58%  <50%  86% 
Solids output (kg milk solids/ha)   >1,250  1,050 <850  1,277 
Milk output from forage (litres)   >4,000 2,600  <2,400  3,425 
Herd replacement rate (%)   <18%  25% >30%  22% 
Overheads (fixed costs) as a proportion of income (output) (%)  <30%  40%  >50%  31% 
 Genetic Merit (%)  <25%  25-75% >75%  33% 

 

Financial KPIs Good performance Average performance Poor performance Buscot Wick Farm
Income (output) retained (%) >20% 5% <0% 32%
Return on tenants capital (%) >20% 7% <0% 32%
Full economic costs of production (ppl) Block<22ppl 28.5ppl >32ppl 25.6ppl

 

To see KPI definitions and access our online calculator to benchmark your own performance click here.

 Read about previous and future meetings here.