Farmer Focus Livestock: Tom Rawson looks on the bright side

You know those mornings when you can hear yourself singing “always look on the bright side of life”, well that was the situation we found ourselves in a couple of Fridays ago.

First the quad wouldn’t start, followed by the milk pump getting stuck on, (better than stuck off admittedly) the loadall started pouring out black smoke, the clutch went on the scraper tractor followed finally by a cow going down exactly half way down the parlour. The only two highlights of the day was the well deserved night out around Wakefield and watching my father attach his lovingly restored David Brown onto our maxi scrape!

As I write this article we are getting sorted to go down to the Farmers Weekly Awards. Due to my recent reports of weight loss I am yet again forced into buying a new dinner suit. Saying that, this is the first time the waist line has actually gone down. I tried on my black tie from my days at Harper Adams, the waist was perfect but the sleeves were about four inches too short, maybe ten years of dairy farming has help me developed very broad shoulders.

After a five year break, we are again on the hunt for a new milking parlour so we travelled to Dorset to see two 20:40s built next to each other. This was seriously impressive, milking 360 cows in just over an hour with two people. If you want to see a video of this go onto to “you tube” and type “2 parlours” into the search.

The Spring calving cows ended up with 20% empty, but interestingly 90% will calve within the first eight weeks, those old Holsteins are really starting to show themselves up to an ever increasing crossbred herd.

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