Strategic dairy farm launch – The Farm, Shropshire

Date : 3rd June, 2020 11:00 am
Venue : Online event - Webinar

Join AHDB on June 3rd for the launch of The Farm where they will be reviewing Tim Downes current performance and processes as well as hearing more about his future ambitions for the farm over the next three years.

Since 2000, Tim and Louise Downes have run The Farm organically. Their approach focuses on working with the natural environment whilst getting the best from their cows by implementing precise grazing strategies and feeding high quality forage.

Over the next three years Tim and Louise will be aiming to develop a new youngstock strategy, reduce instances of mastitis in their herd, improve milk solids and lay down a long-term plan for improving infrastructure and processes across the farm whilst ensuring a positive and friendly place for their valued staff.

Join Tim Downes and Emily Collins for a virtual farm tour that will cover:  

  • An introduction to the background to of The Farm
  • An overview of their current technical and financial performance against AHDB’s Optimal Dairy Systems defined KPI’s for autumn block calving herds
  • How to keep a well-managed organic grass-based system
  • The practical steps that are taken to maintain  high health on an antibiotic-free herd
  • The long-term vision for the farm, including a critical look at areas for improvement and future focus

Who should attend?

Anyone who is spring block calving or wants to improve their grazing and pasture management or who wants to benchmark against this system.  

Booking Details

Address: Online Webinar

Date:    3rd June 2020

Time:    12:00 prompt – 13:00

Register for your place at this online webinar today

For more information regarding the event please call Knowledge Exchange Manager Emily Collins on 07776599778 or email emily.collins@ahdb.org.uk


About The Farm

The herd at The Farm is currently made up of 260 Irish and New Zealand based Friesian cows crossed with Norwegian Reds. Average yield is 6500L with 4% Fat and 3.4% protein. The Farm is made of up 365 acres for the milking platform and heifers, with silage and beef rearing ground across multiple other sites. The grazing platform mainly consists of Red and White Clover with Aber grasses that also include Chicory and Plantain where possible.

 The Farm runs a spring block calving system with planned calving starting in mid-February, with 72% calving within the first 6 weeks. Breeding decisions are data-driven using somatic cell counts and milk quality as the current main drivers. They use sexed semen and beef straws and sell excess heifers once weaned. Bull calves are all raised for beef and sold to Waitrose.

The extended farm team includes Tim’s father and mother who look after the beef operations. Herdsman Shaun McKay, Assistant Herdsman Taylor Corke and regular placements from Harper University, currently Peter Loxdale, who run the dairy side of the farm.

Follow their story by visiting www.ahdb.org.uk/farm-excellence/The-Farm or get the latest updates by searching for #SDFTheFarm on Twitter.


About Strategic Dairy Farms

Strategic dairy farms aim to help farmers learn from each other through regular on-farm meetings where we will share key performance data and showcase what the best farmers are doing.

They form part of the Optimal Dairy Systems programme which aims to help dairy farmers reduce costs and increase efficiency by focusing on either a tight block or all-year-round calving system.

The growing network of strategic dairy farms have calculated KPIs for their enterprises which are shared at meetings and published online. These are physical and financial performance measures that are critical to success. Farmers can benchmark their businesses against these KPIs to help identify areas for improvement.

Follow the programme and find other local SDFs at www.ahdb.org.uk/farm-excellence

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