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Made it Myself from three innovative Dutch dairy farms. Some of their ideas not seen in the UK yet could well be very helpful in containing costs and reducing waste. Their aim is efficient milk production.
FarmWalk visits a farm on Salisbury Plain, Wilts which runs a herd of 450 sucklers. They keep all stock until 20 months, outwinter the stock and have been rotating paddocks for the past 20 years. They cart most of the water in converted oil tankers.
Financial Focus looks at the real implications for farmers of Brexit - the biggest change in UK farming for the past 50 years. It suggests some directions which farmers might think of moving in the next few years.
FarmWorld takes a look at the new farm management at the National Trust property in Worcestershire, Croome Court, where meadows and controlled grazing have replaced arable land.
We learn about the intricacies and results of commercial grass breeding from James Ingles of Barenburg, and how trial varieties are selected for 'the list' of recommended varieties.
Soil+ Cover Cropping International: Clive Bailye has been zero-tilling for 6 years and won the title 'Soil Farmer of the Year"
42 Made it Myself ideas and projects in this issue
Like all past issues this one focusses on cost cutting ideas.
Farming on Salisbury Plain, Wilts
The FarmWalk section resulted from an email from Tom: “I currently work on a large cattle farm in army training area on Salisbury plain in Wiltshire and have a few photos of the various contraptions that we have come up with here to help us out. If you would like to come for a farm walk (drive, walking would take a couple of days) to get a better idea and photos for content we would be happy to have you and show you round.”
It was a fascinating day and the large number of their 'various contraptions' were innovative, low cost and could be applied to virtually every farm in the country. It makes a fascinating FarmWalk section.
Dutch dairy farmers cut costs
Travelling to the Netherlands two weeks before the referendum as part of an agri press brigade gave a useful insight to EU agri thinking. We were shown some high-tech farms including a dairy unit with auto feeding as well as robotic milking. A lot of money (€1.3 million or just over a million £s) had gone into it, and it was losing money - because of draconian measures regarding slurry which meant the farm was only half stocked.
Then I went to see a couple of Dutch PFI subscribers. Feet on the ground people who had some really clever ways of solving problems. One had the best calf shed I have ever visited, and not difficult to replicate. The emphasis on both farms was to make the job easy for one person.
No-till Groundswell show has soil at its centre
The new Soil+ section has been looking hard at moving from conventional cultivation to the very much cheaper zero till and how this can best be done. The recent No-Till show called Groundswell was a place where technical issues and problems were being discussed and I learned a lot and have included much of the info in the new PFI. One of our regular contributors was made Soil Farmer of the Year and the presentation was on his farm, which gave an excuse to do some crop walking, which continual questions about the methods he uses.
You'll be interested to see the magazine continues to be published without advertising, which makes it more of a financial challenge but provides me with 360 degree freedom to say what I want, even when it comes to Brexit and the NFU.