Tasty dry matter

His 260-cow herd has averaged about 11,000 litres for the past three years and gives 11,200 litres at 3.75% fat and 3.26% protein. “Supplying a well presented and palatable ration is the key,” he says.

All cows are fed the same energy dense total mixed ration – 12MJ/kg of metabolisable energy – based on maize and grass silages, with straw for added scratch factor.

Elmore, near Gloucester, is a fantastic maize growing area, says Mr Round, but struggles to sustain grass growth throughout dry summers.

“We get a first cut then get as much maize in as we can,” he says.

Like many high yielding herds, getting these cows back in calf isn‘t easy. But Mr Round accepts a calving index of 490 days and conception rate to first service of 49%.

He believes he has bred cows with a will to milk and a longer, flatter lactation. “Cows aren‘t served until daily yield is below 50kg.”

See more