This month is all about preparing for calving, our busiest time of the year.

All our ’empty’ cows were sold and our focus turned to the girls who’ll need round-the-clock care in the coming weeks. In the midst of this we said goodbye to Matt Edwards and Josh Lutner and we wish them success in their future endeavours. At the same time, we welcomed new recruits Charlotte, Carl, Timmy and Jo who all embarked on a programme of training and familiarisation. There is a lot of experience between them but there’s nothing like getting stuck in during our busiest period to get an idea of what this job is all about. We’ve also recently welcomed Adam, who joins us as a student from Harper Adams on placement. We’re always keen to nurture up and coming future talent!

We have been getting to know a new management system called AfiFarm which has been implemented to give us lots of new data. Cows have been fitted with sensors and pedometers which can detect minute changes in behaviour and health, vital when managing such a large herd. The software gives us accurate heat detection, picks up potential early signs of lameness, points out which animals have had plenty of rest and also sends alerts for calving. It gives us the ability to manage them to a higher standard, identifying if there’s a drop in the fat/protein ratio and giving us more insights into their welfare.

We’re delighted with the early results and will keep you posted on how it develops.