ITV West news recently featured an unusual dairy farming enterprise, in which the cows are milked through a mobile milking parlour. The parlour, which has been put together by two enterprising guys in Dorset, is moved around the fields with the cows.

At a time when food production is becoming an increasingly complex business, it is refreshing to find people who are coming up with novel ways to keep things simple. However, the idea of milking cows in the fields is not a new idea – as long ago as the 1920’s Arthur Hosier developed a system of milking cows through a mobile parlour or ‘bail’. He milked large numbers of cows on the chalk Downs of the south of England with very little capital.

Whilst not every farmer is in a position to farm this way and, undoubtedly, there must be days when an open field is a less than ideal place to be milking cows, this ITV report is a valuable reminder that milk production starts with cows and grass. If we are to keep costs under control, we need to think long and hard before adding anything else.

Follow this link to see the ITV News report and then ask yourself “has milk production become too complex on my farm?”


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