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Autumn Block Carving on the Rise

19 July 2018

AHDB

UK - The number of farmers switching to autumn block calving has risen, with potentially more to follow, according to our latest figures.

Eleven per cent of farmers now identify themselves as autumn block calvers, compared with 9% in 2016. And almost two-thirds of those who said they were likely to change their calving pattern would also choose autumn calving.

The figures were gathered as part of our optimal dairy systems programme, which is helping farmers’ lower costs and drive efficiencies by encouraging them to focus on their approach to calving.

Jon Parry, Head of AHDB Dairy Knowledge Exchange said: "The numbers reflect what we’re seeing on farm and regardless of system we’re encouraging farmers to review their current approach, compare themselves against others and choose the system that’s optimum for their farm, mindset and milk contract."

The shift to autumn calving comes from all year round calvers since their overall percentage dropped 2 per cent to 74 per cent. The proportion of spring block calvers stayed the same at 7 per cent.

Of the 7 per cent of farmers who said they were going to change their calving pattern, 59 per cent said they would choose autumn calving, 16 per cent a dual spring and autumn block, and 5 per cent either spring or all year round.

"We’re recruiting strategic dairy farms to reflect each production system as we know farmers learn best from other farmers. We have four farms on board already and will shortly announce two more, but we’re still recruiting and keen to hear from top performing farmers who may want to join our strategic farm network," continued Mr Parry.

"Each farm hosts regular open meetings and shares key performance data to enable other farmers to compare their performance and identify areas for improvement. I’d encourage everyone to take time out to visit one of our strategic farms, it will be time well spent."

Further information about optimal dairy systems, key performance indicators and strategic farms can be found by clicking here.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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