29 Oct 2019

Heaves Farm: Installation of Unilight's Melatonian Management System

Heaves Farm is run by the Mason family - Roger, Carole and their son Gary.

The Mason family have farmed in the Levens area for over 100 years. Gary is the 5th generation to farm on the Levens Hall Estate where they milk 180 pedigree Holsteins.  Recent investment has seen the installation of Unilight’s unique Dairy Light melatonin management system, the only lighting system uniquely designed to manage melatonin in dairy cattle. Developed specifically for the dairy industry the unique lighting will increase milk yields on average by 8 to 11%.

The cows are milked twice a day through a herringbone 20/20 Fullwood parlour linked with the bespoke software Crystal. The parlour is capable of milking up to 90 cows per hour as well as monitoring health and calculating the correct amount of balanced feed concentrate to be fed each day. Keeping the cows fit, healthy and happy is essential and all the animals on the farm are routinely checked every week by the local vet.

The milking parlour is part of a purpose built dairy unit which includes housing for 220 dairy cows and young heifers. They can roam as they please and as well as being able to wander outside and eat the fresh grass (when the weather permits) each has access to their own indoor roomy stall complete with padded mattress.

Housing at Heaves Farm, located on the southern fringes of the Lake District in the old County of Westmorland, now features Unilight’s unique Dairy Light melatonin management system.  The unique Dairy Light system is operated via a purpose-built controller. It has light sensors, dimmers and timers all programmed to the bespoke requirements of each shed. The Dairy Lights themselves emit a specific light spectrum, similar to the spectrum of daylight on a mid-summer day.  Daylight, and Unilight’s Dairy Light, has a greater proportion of blue spectrum light which suppresses melatonin production.  Suppressing melatonin has been scientifically proven to optimise productivity, fertility and milk yields in dairy cattle

  • Delivers results in 2-4 weeks
  • Increases farm profits and improves monthly cash flow
  • Typically achieves payback of the initial investment within 7-12 months
  • Is an easy to install IP65 rated ‘plug and play’ system designed to minimise installation costs.

As well the dairy herd, they also host educational school days at Heaves Farm with 1600 kids visiting the farm over 2 days.  The Mason family are all involved in the local rural community which includes supporting Westmorland County Agricultural Society and providing support and stewardship at the Annual County Show.