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Update from Walford Farm

Walford College: An update from our farm.

The days are getting lighter and our cows are enjoying being back on grass. Although, it’s slightly longer than when they left!

The quality of milk produced has stayed very good with high levels of protein and fat. Milk production has also been consistent and feed costs have remained low. This is due to good quality silage from last year plus the instruction of home-grown fodder beet.

This week we have been reviewing our management of the winter period, comparing the last 3 years. We have seen a good level of growth in the grass. It also recovered quickly in line with increased dry periods in June.

We have decided to shift the current calving block forward by a couple of weeks. This will support the best use of the grass and keep outsourced feed costs low. Most of our grazing area contains a high amount of sand. In Spring, it drains well and warms up quickly. This means that our cows can be back outside earlier.

Walford College is a member of the UK Land-based Colleges Sustainability Group. The measures we are taking to reduce costs, improve the health of our animals and reduce waste are helping to reduce our carbon footprint!

This year, conception rates have been very good. This is likely due to our focus on calf and young stock management over the last four years. Replacement cows now form most of our herd. Only a few Holsteins remain.

Staff have been busy with supporting students with their practical assessments and duties since Christmas and the first of our lambs have arrived. Everybody enjoyed the trip to LAMMA. This led to fantastic discussions about new technology, low-carbon alternatives and other innovations currently taking place to improve efficiencies and reduce waste. In the summer term, after their exams Level 3 students will be able to take discussions even further on the planned visit to JCB.

Walford College’s next open event is happening on the 15th of June, if you are interested in learning more about the farm or would like to see for yourself the amazing facilities we have on offer please book a place HERE.

In the meantime, should you require more information about a course, or have a question about work placements or working with us in any way please get in touch! info@nsc.ac.uk