Garfield John Ltd.

Farming system

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Farming system
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The main thrust of our business has always been to produce the milk from good quality grazed grass for as much of the year as weather conditions will allow.In the past we have calved the majority of cows in the Spring but due to seasonality payment changes we have moved to all year round calving.
We are fortunate to have a good team of reliable staff.Twelve in total comprising Herdsmen,relief Herdsmen,Tractor drivers and a farm fitter.Without the professionalism and committment of this team the business would not be where it stands today.
As far as possible all farming operations and maintenance are kept "in house" including silage making, muckspreading and land work.Administration is totally "in house".
D.I.Y A.I has been used for over thirty years on the milking cows although Hereford bulls tend to be run with the maiden heifers for ease of management.
Rotational grazing is practiced and cows are turned out in early March if conditions allow.A typical rotation lasts 21 days however when grass is in short supply this is reduced to nearer 14 days and when there is an abundance of grass the ground is locked up for silage. 
Silage is made in two to three cuts between May and July and forms the basis of the winter ration. Grass is cut and wilted for 24 hours before being picked up and ensiled in concrete bunkers.Dry matters should be in the region of 25 to 30%.
During Winter the silage is fed out down a feed passage with a mixer wagon that also contains a blend to compliment the analysis of the silage and  improve intakes.Chopped straw is also fed at a rate of 0.5k.g/cow a day to promote rumen health .No other feedstuffs are used or grown on the farm and we are largely reliant on the quality of our grass silage for Winter milk production due to relatively low levels of bought in concentrates.

North farm herd

All cows have been milk recorded since 1993 and this information has proved valuable when deciding which half of the herd to breed replacement heifers from and indeed which sires to select for certain cows.
Milk is sold to the local co-operative First Milk.The business remains committed to  co-operation as it is the only way of ensuring as an individual producer our interests are looked after.
Farm waste is handled in as simple way as is possible, mostly pumped through a 1500 metre umbilical hose reel system coupled to a disc type injector.The solids are handled by loading shovels and muckspreaders covering as much as the silage ground as possible after the last cut of silage between July and August.
Environmental issues are taken seriously with hedge conservation and management particularly important.Over the years we have planted 10,000 metres of mixed species hedging . This has been done for both practical and aesthetic reasons where we have considered the field size too large.

Milk production statistics

Milk yield is currently between 7200litres to 7600litres per cow.
Concentrate use averages nearly 1000kg per cow including a blend fed through the mixer wagon over winter,with all cows fed to yield in the parlour.
Cell counts range from 70,000cells/ml to 150,000cells/ml with bactoscans consistently below the 50,000cells/ml threshold.
Calving intervals range from 385 days to 402 days with conception to first service currently ranging between 40% to 48%.

Garfield John Ltd,Walton Grange,Clarbeston Road,PembrokeshireSA63 4SY.               Tel.01437 731 382 Fax.01437 731527