LARGE HERDS are investing in their long-term future with 20% of producers owning 400-plus cows buying a new parlour this year.

In a survey of almost 4000 producers by The National Farm Research Unit (NRFU), Suffolk, a further 14% with herds of 300-400 cows have invested in a new parlour, as have 11% of units with 200-300 cows. “While 29% of all farms said their last investment was a tractor, parlour investment is more significant, as producers are making long-term capital purchases,” says NFRU”s Jim Williams.

He thinks that knowing more about the mid-term review has encouraged those with large herds to commit to dairying. “A parlour is is something that doesn”t give a return on investment unless you are in business for 15-20 years,” adds Mr Williams.