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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New web page

We have now added a new page to the Free Range Dairy website. In the menu across the top of the Home Page you will now find a new tab marked ‘Pasture Promise’. Click on this to find out more about our Free Range Dairy standards, details of how you can sign up and some…

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We choose to have fertile cows

Whenever I go through our National Milk Records (NMR) reports, following monthly milk recording, I’m always grateful that we don’t seem to have any major problems with infertility in the herd – especially when I hear of the impact it is having on profitability on some farms. Our latest NMR fertility summary shows rolling 12…

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