Paul Evans

J. A. Griffiths

Aberbrwynen Farm, Ceredigion

Sponsored by: AB Agri

With the owners building up a second farm, Paul Evans is responsible for the daily management of the 120-strong Holstein herd, grassland management and recruitment of staff as and when needed.

Positive improvements to herd health, fertility and yields have driven performance since he joined the 165-acre unit three years ago.

Paul has increased cow yield averages from 6,400 litres in March 2017 to 8,200 and introduced the Jersey breed to increase butterfat and protein which has helped to achieve a better milk price.

A change in breeding and feeding regimes has seen the 21-day pregnancy rate increase from 18.5 per cent to 29 per cent, with the cows now at an average 380-day calving interval.

This was achieved through a combination of getting cows back in calf sooner, revised nutrition and starting to serve heifers at a younger age of 16 months instead of 30 months old, which was the previous protocol.

Challenges

Improving and increasing the herd has not been without other challenges. Extreme weathers, a loss of summer grazing land due to the owner needing the land back and staffing issues meant all made for ongoing obstacles which Andrew helped tackle partly thanks to the previous work experience gained in other sectors prior to his current role.

Calf rearing also complements the main dairy enterprise with all Holstein calvings taking place between July and January. Anything thereafter are put to beef to subsidise fluctuating, seasonal milk prices and help bridge the gap on any income lost during the period.

With this in mind, future plans include the installation of a new calf rearing shed, continued improvement to grassland to gain maximum forage yields and refining the dairying to milk the same amount of cows with a higher output.

Paul also helps to source and train relief staff and regularly attends training meetings with the farm’s vets, processors and Farming Connect to continue his professional learning.

Paul Evans

J. A. Griffiths

Aberbrwynen Farm, Ceredigion

Sponsored by: AB Agri

With the owners building up a second farm, Paul Evans is responsible for the daily management of the 120-strong Holstein herd, grassland management and recruitment of staff as and when needed.

Positive improvements to herd health, fertility and yields have driven performance since he joined the 165-acre unit three years ago.

Paul has increased cow yield averages from 6,400 litres in March 2017 to 8,200 and introduced the Jersey breed to increase butterfat and protein which has helped to achieve a better milk price.

A change in breeding and feeding regimes has seen the 21-day pregnancy rate increase from 18.5 per cent to 29 per cent, with the cows now at an average 380-day calving interval.

This was achieved through a combination of getting cows back in calf sooner, revised nutrition and starting to serve heifers at a younger age of 16 months instead of 30 months old, which was the previous protocol.

Challenges

Improving and increasing the herd has not been without other challenges. Extreme weathers, a loss of summer grazing land due to the owner needing the land back and staffing issues meant all made for ongoing obstacles which Andrew helped tackle partly thanks to the previous work experience gained in other sectors prior to his current role.

Calf rearing also complements the main dairy enterprise with all Holstein calvings taking place between July and January. Anything thereafter are put to beef to subsidise fluctuating, seasonal milk prices and help bridge the gap on any income lost during the period.

With this in mind, future plans include the installation of a new calf rearing shed, continued improvement to grassland to gain maximum forage yields and refining the dairying to milk the same amount of cows with a higher output.

Paul also helps to source and train relief staff and regularly attends training meetings with the farm’s vets, processors and Farming Connect to continue his professional learning.