A Devon farm now achieving yields of 12,000 litres of milk per day thanks, to a successful grant application
With the help of a £50,000 grant awarded through the Countryside Productivity grant programme, the Bartletts of Shermans Farm in East Devon are now producing impressive daily yields on their pedigree Holsteins dairy farm and have secured themselves a profitable long-term future.
Having moved to robotic milking from the traditional herringbone parlour back in 2013, father Leonard and son Jack Bartlett were already aware of the benefits of such a system with their existing Lely A4. This robotics system has enabled a change in the management of the cows and has given year round consistency, with clear routines and processes for both cows and staff. The Bartlett family wanted to increase their herd from 200 to 270 cows but even to be able to consider this they would need the help of a further robotics system and an automatic push feeder – both at considerable cost.
The farm was also in the process of moving to a larger site to accommodate this increase in herd numbers, so were really looking at long term future planning. They were looking to optimize performance across the whole business including productivity, efficiency, animal health and welfare, new equipment and building design layouts – all helping to ensure optimum future performance could be achieved.
They were advised by their local land agent that grant funding was possibly available to them, to help with the cost of the new robotics and Push Feed equipment, but were very unsure about how to find it or apply for it.
Leonard explains: “We had heard about the grant and were trying to work out which route to go down and then we were advised that The Diverse Regeneration Company (DR) could help us. We couldn’t afford to get the process wrong, so combining The DR Company’s advice and our ‘get it right approach’ seemed the best way to go. It’s always better to have two heads than one at the table!”
“After the grant was successfully awarded we were also really grateful to The DR Company for their help in preparing and submitting the grant claim – ensuring the money was released quickly and smoothly. With all the other infrastructure changes going on with the farm, having expert advice and a second pair of eyes ensured that we not only got the timing right but filled in the forms correctly too. I think because of their help it all went through easily and without penalties or delays.”
With the assistance of the new Lely 4 Milking System and the push feeder now in place, the farm are on target to produce 12,000 litre yields per day (over 305 days), with the cows being able to walk in and milk themselves often up to 3.5 times a day. The farm are now pleased to be supplying to local processor Pattemores on a mainly constituents contract.
If you have a similar desire to increase your businesses productivity and security for the long-term, but need some business advice or support in gaining financial assistance, then The Diverse Regeneration Company can help.
The Diverse Regeneration Company (a CIC, not-for-profit organisation) are experts in helping rural businesses not only secure grant funding for projects in sectors such as farming, forestry and community but can also help with business planning, future forecasting, bid writing and more. Please get in touch.