12 Feb 2018

Farmer Focus: MD Evans, Devon

The organic Eastchurch herd of Ayrshires run by Mark Evans near Honiton uses the Ayrshire Pedigree Complete package.

The renowned herd of 460 Ayrshires is milked twice a day through an 18:18 herringbone parlour, housed mainly in cubicles and fed silage.  The CIS Complete Package provides Mark with everything he needs to know and do for the herd in one place.  Supported by the Mobile Herd App Mark can register the pedigree immediately, benefit from the twice a year type classification and the other inclusive services offered by CIS.

Mark is 2nd generation on the 460-acre organic farm located south of the Blackdown Hills in the East Devon area of outstanding beauty.  Grass and clover leys are grown to produce the silage for the herd which is fed via a mixer wagon, with a few cows fed organic cake through the parlour.

Recent investment on the farm has seen the whole concrete area grooved which has led to a remarkable improvement in feet health and the general welfare of the Ayrshire herd.

The health of the herd is of upmost importance to Mark, with health and fertility testing included as part of the CIS Pedigree Complete Package being invaluable.  In addition to the Johnes testing that Mark benefits from, he also has access to an online medicine book and cow mating tools.

Commenting on the suite of services within the package, Mark says “Ayrshire Pedigree Complete is supported by an online portal and the mobile app.  The Mobile Herd App is just brilliant, such a useful tool. Being on Ayrshire complete is just a ‘no-brainer’ for any large herd, having everything all together, registering the pedigree immediately, classifications taking place twice a year, it all just knits together so well for pedigree herds. All my herd data is in one place which makes management of the herd easier and efficient.”

Mark’s focus at the moment is tightening up on fertility and he is looking at a system for monitoring heats as he feels this is currently a weakness. He is also focused on youngstock management and feels greater efficiency is key for the dairy sector and every penny needs to be clawed back.

The focus for Mark and his team will also turn to the forthcoming show season where he aims to build on previous show success and enter his best pedigree Ayrshires into dairy classes at the local South West shows including North Devon, Honiton and Okehampton.