Buscot Wick Farm, Oxfordshire

Published 3 May 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.” 

 

Read about previous and future meetings here. 

 

 

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% 

Milk solids (kg milk solids/ha)

>1,250 kg/ha

1,050 kg/ha

<850 kg/ha

1,277 kg/ha

Milk from forage 

>4,000 litres

2,600 litres

<2,400 litres

3,425 litres

Herd replacement rate

<18%

25%

>30%

22%

Overheads (exculding rent and finance) as a proportion of income 

<30%

40%

>50%

31% 

Genetic Merit 

<25th percentile

50th percentile

>75th percentile

33%

 

Financial KPIs

Good performance

Average performance

Poor performance

Buscot Wick Farm

Full economic costs of production

Block <22ppl

28.5ppl

>32ppl

25.6ppl 

Return on tenants-type capital 

>20%

7%

<0%

32% 

Income retained  

>20%

5%

<0%

32% 

 

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