Houghton Lodge Farm, Leicestershire

Evolution Farming Head Shots3

Run by Evolution Farming in a joint venture with Farmcare Limited and financed with £1 million of seed capital, the project has brought life back to a redundant dairy unit at Houghton Lodge Farm.

The money has allowed investment in farm infrastructure including, reseeding the ground previously laid to arable and 20,000 sleepers for cow tracks. Run by Evolution Farming in a joint venture with Farmcare Limited and financed with £1 million of seed capital, the project has brought life back to a redundant dairy unit at Houghton Lodge Farm.

The HerdSDF Stats

Funded separately by Evolution Farming, the 585 cow cross-bred herd were bought the day after the referendum vote when prices were at their lowest. Evolution picked up the bulk of herd for £740 a head, which includes some autumn calvers rather than planned fully spring herd.

Shares

There are two types of shares within Evolution Farming.

1.)   Variable - Linked to the wider business performance; adding protection in low milk price years and rewards in investors in better business times.

2.)   5% fixed return paid on the cows over five years. After the five years the cows can be returned or sold with the money repaid or another five year agreement.

Calving Blocks

Due to a diverse selection of cows, two calving blocks has been necessary initially to help with cash flow and to get the business going. Long term the aim is to be spring block only.

Feeding

With the absence of parlour feeders, meals are fed through parlour feeders. Mark Housby, herd manager, stresses that to keep costs low grass is key. The aim is to enter grass covers at 2,700-2,800kg DM/ha and leave covers of 1,500kg, working to a wedge.

Profit Projections

Budgets for the year are yields of 4,331 litres a cow with 3,104 litres from forage. 2018 projects an increase to 5,505 litre a cow with 3,591 litres from forage. It is hoped 2017 will return a business profit of 2.34p/ litre.

Read the latest physical and financial performance here...

Next meeting in January 2018