22 Oct 2018

Farmer Focus: MEM & CR Morgan, Llanrhystud, Aberystwyth

The Morgan family, mother Mary and son Rhys, have been farming in partnership at Llanrhystud near Aberystwyth for over 10 years.

The Holstein herd, which comprises of 187 dairy cows and 90 youngstock, are milked twice a day in a 10/20 swing over parlour.  The cows are in over the winter and out during the summer months with an all year round calving pattern.  They are fed cake in the parlour and have TMR when they are in. All replacements come from the herd. The average daily yield of the herd is 29.9 litres and for the last 20 years, their milk has been sold to Wales’s leading farmer-owned dairy co-operative South Caernarfon Creameries.

South Caernarfon Creameries is Wales’ oldest and largest dairy co-operative which has been 100% welsh farmer-owned since 1938. Based on the Llyn Peninsula in North West Wales they produce over 40 varieties and pack styles of Welsh Cheese and also a range of territorial British cheese. Cheese, including the Dragon brand, varies from young mild Cheddars to a full-bodied Vintage Special Reserve Cheddar.

Under the Beili prefix, the herd has been milk recorded by CIS for over four years and use the CIS Pedigree Complete Package along with PregCheck.

Commenting on PregCheck, son Rhys says, “The CIS Pedigree Complete Package provides us with all we need for a set price each month.  The package includes our milk recording, type classification and female pedigree registrations.  The pregnancy testing, PregCheck, was introduced 18 months ago and has proved very convenient and accurate.  We milk record at the beginning of each month enabling us to identify everything that is ready for PD. The benefits are we know if they are in calf sooner, saves stress on the cows, and we are pulling out fewer cows for the vet, therefore saving money on the vet bill. In addition, we use the MobileHerd app, fantastic for quickly checking an animal’s status.”

The MobileHerd app enables dairy farmers to access data on the herd and individual cows, free to use and secure it is the ideal tool when out and about on the farm. Day to day reports can be viewed to see which animals are due to calve, serve, PD or dry off. Individual animal events can be added as they happen and it links to breed societies and BCMS.  The app synchronises with the central database YourHerd and internet connection is available.

Over the last 2 years, Rhys and his mother Mary have installed 110 new cubicles and changed the bedding to sand.  Last winter they found the new bedding and layout of the cubicles has worked really well with performing better than previous years.  Despite the uncertainty with Brexit, Rhys believes there is a positive future for the industry and he is excited at what is round the corner as Brexit is finalised.