We have had a recent re-organisation of the family farm moving our grazing block from its previous location to recently purchased land, bringing extra previously occupied land into the grazing block and building a track between the two main blocks on the farm. We have invested heavily in tracks. This is also important for our move to block autumn calving away from split block system, mainly to ensure we can move enough cows along the tracks at once.
Tracks constructed are 4.5m wide and the two main tracks constructed total about 2km. In the past we have invested in concrete railway sleepers, but these would need to be double width in order to move 300-350 cows effectively. This time we have made hardcore tracks topped off with limestone that we have dug from our own farm. The pictures show the finish and also the uncrushed material. We used a commercial crushing company (Reeds of Devizes) at £2/m² which works out at £9 per running metre. With the cost of digging and hauling the stone, the overall cost works out at £13 per running metre. We are lucky to have the limestone on the farm to be able to do this and to back fill it with soil from the building project. Cows are walking well on the track and as we further develop and open up new areas on the farm, we fully intend to install more tracks. We have also laid water pipes alongside the track to enable us to reposition paddocks as the herd size grows.
The herd is currently achieved 8600 litres with 50% of the milk produced from forage. We are in recovery phase from TB losses, so with a young herd, a change in vet and fertility management last year, as well as reorganising the staff and a new milk contract we are looking to a bright future for the farm, both for current and future generations.
Contact Max at email@example.com or your local FCG Office, on improving grazing infrastructure on your farm to reduce rising feed costs.