17 Dec 2017

Laural Farm: New 16:32 Parlour

Paul Rushmer is the 3rd generation of his family at Laural Farm at Thurlton, Norfollk where they milk 130 Jerseys. Supporting him with the farming business are his two sons, one who works full time the other part time.  In addition to the dairy herd they retain the beef calves to finish and operate a pig unit on a bed and breakfast basis. In September they completed the installation of a new 16:32 swingover parlour replacing the one fitted in 1978.

The family joined a customer of CIS in 2009 when the Jersey herd was introduced to the farm following a period of no milking.  Over the following years they have purchased heifers locally to increase the herd size which is milked twice a day through the parlour.  The 16:32 swingover parlour is part new and part second hand and has already halved the milking time.

Paul has also been other benefits from the parlour, which on hindsight he realises he probably should have purchased a few years ago.  The cell count issues previously experienced prior to the new parlour have pretty much been rectified.  With a reduction in milking time Paul and his sons can focus more closely on the herd health and with cows spending less time standing in the parlour there is more time to feed.

In addition to milk recording Paul uses the Health Check, PregCheck and Cell Count service which are critical for his business.  The herd is housed on straw beds, fed in the parlour at a flat rate with supplementary maize forage.  With the herd on straw it is important that cell counts are monitored along with butterfat and protein.  His milk contract is about quality not quantity.

The next investment at Laural Farm will be new calf housing and longer term extra housing for the cows.  Paul and his sons feel the industry looks a lot brighter than it has for a while which why they have taken steps to invest.  However they believe in keeping it simple, using grass to the best they can, not having too much big machinery on the farm and overall keeping costs down.