Organic Farm Redevelopment
Posted by Lydia Anguish on 03rd August 2020
Over the past few months, our organic dairy farmers have been working super hard on redeveloping all aspects of the farm here at Bore Place. These changes intend to tackle the challenges of running a sustainable farm, whilst maintaining our land organically for the welfare of our cows and the wildlife on our site. Luke Williamson, our Farm Manager has been kind enough to answer a few key questions about what this redevelopment will mean for the future of Bore Place.
What are the main upgrades taking place at the Farm?
We are having new silage clamps installed, which are much larger than our current ones - this means that the cows will be able to self-feed in the winter months, essentially this will save a lot of time and environmentally will save on using heavy machinery and therefore diesel consumption will be lower.
We are also having a new milking parlour put in, it currently takes us about 6 hours a day to milk the cows from start to finish. This new parlour will make it twice as quick to milk the cows, which will make for happier cows as they will be standing around much less. The amount of energy used will also decrease by 3 times the amount.
Will any of the upgrades impact the welfare of the cows?
An extensive watering system is being installed, to ensure the cows get plenty of water to brand new concrete troughs in their fields. Previously, this has been done manually and therefore will save diesel consumption! The cows will have maximum access to water and will result in happier cows and more milk (after all milk is made up of 87% water!)
How will these upgrades enhance the public experience?
An exciting addition to the farm will be our new viewing platform. This is to encourage guests and visitors to experience the milking process first-hand. Our old milking parlour will remain as a hub for a visitor centre, with some general farm information and hopefully some fun interactive additions! The platform will overlook the parlour and will give a transparent experience of life at the farm.
Are there any other goals you have during this redevelopment?
We would like to explore growing more protein on-site for the cows, to eliminate importing goods. We are looking into cereal crops such as Lucerne for example. This should go hand in hand with improving our grassland and soil, by monitoring the bacteria in the soil (worms and beetles) and correct field management wildlife should thrive. We are also looking into buying larger quantities of the bedding for the cows in winter months to cut down on plastic waste.
Finally, what excites you most about the future of sustainable farming?
I am excited about seeing the change occurring on the farm, not only all the new infrastructure going in but in terms of trialling out new ideas and thinking. I can’t wait to get stuck in and explore our soil health and start the journey to improving things. This should, in turn, improve our grassland our cows, and biodiversity around the site.
It will be interesting to see what new species we can encourage here and how education can teach people how we farm for the benefit of every living thing. Hopefully, we can build some resilience into the farm so drought years will not affect the farm as much.
The future is bright for Bore Place and all the cows and people involved.