- Date: 12 Sep 2013
- Venue: The Montgomerys Farm
Unique to the farm is the use of liquid nitrogen injected into the grazing ground by a local contractor when ground conditions allow each March. This is the only fertilizer application during the year with the slow release action growing grass all season. Three cuts of quality silage were taken this year with the ME of the 1st cut 11.5MJ with an intake factor of 92.
The cows are on twice a day milk, 24/7 grazing as one group all summer with production from grazed grass and silage the key aim. “A simple system that gets results” was a comment made by several visitors. It was evident throughout the visit the attention to detail by Mark and Stephen on all aspects of managing the dairy herd.
The Montgomerys operate a tight autumn calving pattern with 110 cows calved before Christmas. Stephen said “when it comes to fertility there is no substitute for heat detection, we target three half hour slots during the breeding season with 10pm in the evening key to picking up cows”. All heifers are from AI sires and sex semen has been used successfully on both maiden heifers and first lactation animals. Stephen places great importance on breeding from high £PLI sires and discussed the Herd Genetic Summary Report which was included in the farm handout. The heifers are managed as a separate group during the winter with a TMR ration fed through the feeder wagon set at M+30 with higher yielding cows topped up in the parlour.
Ian McCluggage UGS President in his closing remarks thanked the Montgomery Family for hosting the farm walk and their willingness to discuss all aspects of the farm so openly. He said “the results speak for themselves and show what can be achieved from a high output Holstein Herd by keeping it simple and careful management”.