Hardgrove Farm

Code/ID: Hardgrove Farm

Organization: SRUC

Country: UK
Sub-Region:South West Scotland/Northern England

City: Dumfries

Stocking Rate (LSU/ha): 2,10

Milk Yield per Cow (L): 11,388

Animal Feeding Based on: TMR Indoors

Concentrates (Kg / Cow / Year): 4,200

Innovations and Strenghs: Cow management is an ongoing challenge and I have recently purchased CowManager ear tags that will track rumen activity, temperatures, heat detection, – it makes staff training easier and gives me peace of mind that they have the information they need to make important decisions. I hope to prevent health issues arising with this investment, which will also help reduce antibiotic use.

Main Farmers's objectives: My target herd size is 600; that is where I feel my business gets the best economies of scale. Aside from that, my main focus at the moment is forage quality – making the most out of home-grown forage as I think this has the most potential to increase efficiencies. I want to understand the soil management better so I can ensure it has the right nutrients to get the best crops. This will in turn reduce the concentrate use required to achieve high yields.

Detail Farms Description: In 1954, Alistair Marshall’s father John, purchased Hardgrove Farm, a 565-acre farm lock stock and barrel – with a 100-cow Ayrshire herd, sheep, beef, and potatoes. In 2014, a new 250-cow cubicle shed was completed and updated slurry storage has recently been installed. Land expansion has mainly come through opportunities to rent and buy locally: the most recent acquisition was in January. We are now up to 900 acres with 580 milking cows and all replacements. We have five milking groups; currently yielding 44,40,33,28 and 25 litres respectively. Our current herd average is 34.8 litres, milked three times a day. The milking herd diet consists of grass silage, whole crop, rapemeal, soya hulls, ground maize and caustic wheat. Diets are adjusted regularly to ensure the nutrition is balanced for our herd but the actual ingredients of the diet do not change much, just the quantities according to the quality of the forage.