Wake up to milk!

  I read a headline on the Farmers Weekly website this morning saying “Dairies must pay more to secure supplies” – a headline that has been repeated in the farming press for years, a headline that is true and one that I fully support. But, why, despite all the protests, the public support, the fears…

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Free Range Dairy on the radio

I have been invited to discuss the objectives of Free Range Dairy with Steven Lowe on BBC Radio Lancashire this Sunday (28th April) at around 12.45pm. We have had good support for the initiative from Lancashire and I am planning a further meeting for members in the north-west later next month. I am really encouraged…

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Grass reseeding day

Next Wednesday (1st May) we are hosting a grass reseeding day jointly organised by the British Grassland Society, DairyCo and EBLEX, at Walk Farm. Two weeks ago I was having nightmares about having no grass to show anyone and the field we plan to use as a car park being too wet to carry anything.…

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Reducing saturated fats in milk

An article on the Farmers Weekly website highlights how milk producers supplying Marks & Spencer are supplementing cow diets with extruded Linseed to reduce saturated fat levels in milk. The article states: “Milk saturated fat levels naturally drop when cows go out to grass and increase at housing. This natural fluctuation is due to oil…

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Farmers Guardian interview

Last Friday’s issue of the Farmers Guardian carried an article about plans for Free Range Dairy in the coming year.  Political Editor, Alistair Driver, interviewed me at the recent event held by the APPG on Agroecology in Westminster. There is growing interest in the goals of Free Range Dairy amidst moves to encourage dairy farmers…

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Free Range Dairy in Parliament

Last Tuesday (16th April) I was invited to present my ideas for Free Range Dairy to MP’s at an event organised by the All Party Political Group (APPG) on Agroecology, in The Houses of Parliament. Also present were 10 other farmers and organisations promoting sustainable farming. For some farmers ecology does mean aggro – busy…

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Time to dance

The wet weather we had last summer, combined with the prolonged winter we have yet to escape, means that grass growth has been slow and the ‘green stuff’ isn’t as green as we would like it to be. We woke up to a white frost on Tuesday morning and didn’t feel much like spring. However,…

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Reading the future

Here is an extract from a book I have just bought from Amazon. “Since the 1870’s British farmers have had neither stability nor security. Politicians’ promises have been made and forgotten, war-time prosperity has been followed by slump or uncertainty”. “The fundamental reason is not hard to find, the public, quite naturally, prefer to buy…

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Can we have our cake and eat it?

I found an interesting article on the website Dairy Herd Network www.dairyherd.com which provides a lot of news on the US dairy industry. Nigel Cook, the incoming President of The American Association of Bovine Practitioners, manages the Dairyland Initiative Programme at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine. The Dairyland Initiative was launched in…

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Digging for milk

In my quest to produce more milk form grass I am going to really try and understand more about the grass we grow and the soils that feed it. So, today, I ventured out with my spade for a bit of an exploratory dig. Now, I’m no soil scientist, but I do know that looking…

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Cow dance

Word is some folks have turned their cows out to grass already and, hopefully, it won’t be long before a lot more follow on farms around the country. Can you remember how it feels – the warmth of the sun, the smell of the earth, the sound of grass been tugged by hungry mouths? All…

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What burgers should teach us.   BRITISH FARMERS     The problem we have had with all our milk and meat lately is we get paid a price below the cost of production. It’s about the whole farming industry. This has made us realise we have to engage much more with consumers if we are…

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Your milk under the microscope

At this week’s BGS / BSAS conference in Malvern, Mike Wilkinson from Nottingham University presented a paper titled “Trends and targets for milk from forage”, in which he highlighted how little milk actually comes from forage on many farms. Data collected from farms costed by Promar farm business consultancy showed that the average milk yield…

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Deception and perception

The horsemeat found in beef products throughout UK supermarkets may not have posed any significant risk to the health of those eating it, but it has caused widespread mistrust. The shocking findings by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) have exposed how the demand for cheap food has resulted in consumers being deceived on a massive…

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Fantasy farming

  Imagine a dairy farm running 50 cows, which were milked once a day whilst their calves were left to suckle until they reached six to eight months of age, producing high quality milk and meat to be processed on farm and sold direct to local customers. The herd I have described above sounds very…

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