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Herefordshire College open as normal
Herefordshire College open as normal Tuesday 12th March 2024
Dairy cows in a green field with blue sky

May 2024 Update from Walford Farm

Walford College: An update from our farm.

An overview

A window of drier weather at Walford College meant time to re-seed the fields. This helps with managing the grazing platforms.

The students took soil samples and checked the pH to identify any corrections required. Organic matter levels in the soil and pH affect grass growth and soil health. This has a direct impact on milk production, cow health and sustainability.

Where possible, we use organic matter when spreading muck. This is essential to supporting beneficial soil organisms, soil health, moisture retention and root development. This is a more sustainable way of fertilising, so long as the nutrient levels and pH are balanced.

About our cows

We plan to begin drying off the cows in 80 days. We expect milk production to drop slightly to 14 to 16 litres per cow produced on average.

The breeding season has been very successful. This year we have achieved exceptional pregnancy rates and the number of cows retained in the herd is above target.

This has allowed us to review the herd performance and remove more poor-performing cows. The aim is to keep improving the whole herd performance through monitoring, looking at the cow performance indicators and targeting our breeding and selection.

So far this has helped with overall health, reduced mastitis and increased conception rates. Thankfully, it has also helped reduce the ever-increasing cost of animal feed, fuel and consumables!

About our students

The team have been getting their steps in! They’ve been measuring the grass on the grazing platforms several times per week. This task maximises grass productivity and the grazing rotation. The focus is to hit residual targets. The grass has to be grazed evenly and efficiently to the perfect level to stimulate high-quality re-growth (providing maximum energy, protein and nutrients to the cows as they return to the grazing rotation).

We are very pleased to see that the grass selection and rotation, in combination with the type of cows, have worked exceptionally well over Spring. The cows have nearly completed their third grazing rotation.

As half term inches closer, we will be completing the assessment cycles and work placements with our land based students. Everyone is looking forward to some more sunshine and relaxation at the end of term!

If you would like to know more about Walford College or our courses, please contact:

More about our courses HERE


Dairy cows in a green field with blue sky