Suffolk farmers in milk rankings

A SHROPSHIRE herd has moved into top place in the latest ranking in the National Milk Record’s (NMR’s) annual production report for the year to September.

Geoff Allsop’s herd of 84 cows, which has eighth last year, has an average production of 886kg of fat and protein and a milk yield of 11,731kg on twice-a-day milking.

The runner-up, which was seventh last year, was Nick Cobb’s Chalclyffe herd from Dorchester, Dorset. Milked three times a day, his 741-cow herd has recorded an average production of 882kg of fat and protein and 12,794kg of milk on three-times-a-day milking with a calving interval of 384 days – the lowest interval in NMR’s top 1pc of herds ranked on production.

A newcomer to the top 10, and to the top 1pc of NMR herds in this ranking, is Church Farm Partnership from East Stour, Gillingham, Dorset. Owned by Tom Salisbury, in partnership with his father, this herd of 318 cows produced 838kg of fat and protein and 11,270kg of milk on three-times-a-day milking.

In 27th place were Suffolk producers AE & KW Bullock, based at Cotton, near Stowmarket, with their 96-strong herd in the Holstein category while PG Walker & Sons, of Sotherton, Halesworth, headed the Meuse-Rhine Issel section with their 105-cow herd.

In the other main dairy breeds, fourth-generation Norfolk dairy farmer Jonathan Wyatt is top of the national league table for the family’s long-established herd of Dairy Shorthorns at Grange Farm, Snetterton.

Mr Wyatt said that the secret of his team’s success was treating all the cows in the 150-strong milking herd as “a princess.” As a result, average milk production of the Twells herd was boosted by 1,000 litres since last year and the dairy enterprise was now much more profitable.

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Another Norfolk herd topped the NMR list for the Jersey breed. Su and Frank Mahon, who milk the 45-strong Upgate herd at Seething, near Loddon, retained their title ahead of rivals from Shropshire and the West Country.

And in north Norfolk, Stephen Temple, of Copys Green Farm, Wighton, near Wells, remained in the top 20 of national Holstein herds. His 100-cow herd had an average yield of 11,067kg at 4.26pc butterfat, which is a bonus for his wife’s Mrs Temple’s Cheese enterprise. The herd, including 37 heifers averaging 10,314kg, was 19th in the national league.

Ayrshire breeder Tinker and Sons’ Park Head herd, based in Yorkshire, is in top place for the third year running. The 190 cows have increased production by 8kg of fat and protein to 690kg with 9,067kg of milk.

In the Jersey category, Su and Frank Mahon’s 45-cow herd from Norfolk was still in first place, having increased fat and protein production by 23kg to 759kg and yield by 226kg to 8,203kg.

M & C Cox from Guernsey are top of the Guernsey breed rankings with 27 cows producing 778kg of fat and protein and 8,504kg of milk.

The Cumbrian herd from Nerewater Farm is in top place in the Friesian rankings for the second year running. The 66 cows yielded 645kg of fat and protein and 8,643kg of milk.

In the mixed herd section, the Norfolk herd, J Norton & Sons, of Frettenham, near Norwich, was third. The 57-cow herd averaged 9,521kg at 4.08pc butterfat.