Michael and Chris King from Kingspool Holsteins, Iron Acton, south Gloucestershire are winners of this year’s NMR/RABDF Gold Cup. The cup was presented to the Kings at the Dairy Event and Livestock Show, NEC this week.
NMR RABDF Gold Cup winners 2010 Chris (2nd left) and Mike King with NMR Chairman Philip Kirkham (L) and RABDF President John Alvis (R
The fourth generation at Two Pools Farm, Iron Acton, Michael and Chris ‘reinstated’ the dairy herd in 1990 and expanded it very gradually from 47 cows on 120 acres to its current 560 Holsteins, with 314 cows in the milking herd and followers, and 405 hectares which supports the herd and includes 182 hectares of arable crops.
In the past four years cow numbers have increased by 25% and they are just completing a £98k investment in improved housing and new slurry handling facilities.
Milk is sold to Farmright who specialise in niche market dairy products; an area that the Kings have been very actively involved with and which means that milk from this herd must be of top quality with low cell counts and from a high welfare system.
Success in achieving a top quality product from the herd is attributed in particular to husband and wife Martyn and Lyn Smith who, with their team, value the cows as their most important asset and look after them accordingly.
Production has gradually increased and the NMR figures for the qualifying period, ending September 2009, were 9843kg of milk at 3.85% fat and 3.15% protein on twice a day milking with an average cell count of 184,000/ml.
winner of NMR Silver Salver and runner up in gold cup 2010 Mary Mead with NMR Chairman Philip Kirkham (L) and RABDF President John Alvis (R)
Runner up in the Gold Cup 2010 and recipient of the NMR Silver Salver is Mary Mead
from Holt Farms Ltd, Blagdon, North Somerset.
Organically farmed since 2007, the Lakemead herd of 400 Friesian cows and 360 youngstock including beef cross animals, is split across two units but with one set of milk records for the whole herd.
The herd average production for the year ending September 2009 was 7,764kg at 4.08% fat and 3.32% protein with an average cell count of 136,000/ml. The calving interval is 385 days. These performance figures are well above the breed average. Milk is sold to Yeo Valley.
Three other major dairy awards were presented at the Dairy Event as part of the Gold Cup competition.
The Chris May Memorial Award, for the herd with the highest average lifetime daily yield among Gold Cup entrants, went to DC and B Wilcox Wall Farm, Aldworth, Cheltenham, Gloucester. Their 120-cow Holstein herd achieved a lifetime daily yield of 17.85kg for the year ending September 2009. In second place is Chris Simmons from Folly Farm, Wootton under Edge, Gloucester. His 285-cow Holstein herd achieved a lifetime daily yield of 17.6kg. Chris is also a finalist in the 2010 Gold Cup.
The Lilyhill Cup, awarded to the highest placed Jersey herd in the Gold Cup competition, went to ME & AW Wright with their Fourcrosses herd from Tixall, Staffordshire.
Now in its second year, the Murchland Perpetual Trophy, awarded by the Ayrshire Cattle Society to the highest placed Ayrshire herd in the Gold Cup competition, went to L Davidson & Sons, Halmyre, Haugh of Urr, Castle Douglas, Dumfries and Galloway.
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