Farmer Focus Livestock: End of organic production for Tom Rawson

This month I have to report the end of organic milk production at Dewsbury, as what silage stocks we have are reaching the back wall.

The decision is a tough one as we have been organic on that farm since I left Harper Adams in 1999 and we have had an excellent relationship with OMSco throughout that period. My parents are particular advocates of organic farming, which is interesting as when I was a kid I can remember my dad proudly placing stickers of fertiliser bags on a very fancy ICI wall chart.

There are a number of reasons for reverting to conventional production; the main one is the lack of dry matter grown over the last two seasons, simplicity over the wider business as well as the breeding of our herd will allow us to take a higher milk price based on butterfat. All the best to OMSco and especially all the good friends I have made on the membership committee.

We have started AI at Market Rasen; however as we are yet again trying to bring the block forward fourteen days there are still about 90 cows left to calve. The cows are milking right on budget for every cow, we just need these last animals to get on with it and get some more milk in the tank.

As I write this we have just finished watching the Rugby World Cup final at the pub, the weird thing is it doesn’t feel wrong to have four pints of Guinness before 11 am.

Farmer Focus: Tom Rawson

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