John Williams farms with father Stuart and brother Phillip run a herd of 300 high-yielding cows on the 300 acre Longlands Farm at Magor in Gwent. The family moved there eight years ago from nearby Lower Machen, attracted by the opportunities for expansion offered by Longlands’ bigger acreage and improved facilities.
They have certainly achieved their aim, more than doubling herd size and lifting milk yield from 7,000 to 10,000 litres per cow. Expansion has mainly come about through keeping back increased numbers of homebred heifers, although growth plans have been tempered recently – John describes it as ‘treading water’ while milk prices have been low, despite the contract offering some insulation.
We still need to be competitive as you never know what will happen in the future. Feed prices are still unpredictable and you have to be flexible to secure protein at an affordable price.
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