8000-litre organic claim
ORGANICALLY managed dairy cows can give yields of up to 8000 litres, according to organic producer Helen Browning, Eastbrook Farm, Swindon, Wilts.
Speaking at the Organic Milk Suppliers Cooperative open day at Step Farm, Faringdon, Oxon, she told how one of her two herds averaged 7000 litres, but believed its potential was 8000 litres.
Investment made in conversion up to 1989 was now being repaid with the premiums available. "During conversion, profits stabilised because yield from forage increased yields were maintained.
"The rule allowing only 650kg of concentrates to be fed is not restricting, but encourages efficient forage use. Clover is the solution to gaining high yields from forage." This was so even on non-organic farms, she added.
Cows had also benefited from total mixed ration feeding of silage, organic peas, and organic wheat, with 70% organic concentrates offered in the parlour. This had reduced metabolic disease and allowed herd fertility to be maintained, she said.
A market for organic, high welfare, veal from the dairy herd had also been developed over the last two years, said Ms Browning.
• OMSC director Sally Bagenal said that its 29p/litre milk price was secure into 1997-98 and negotiations for 1998-89 had begun at the same level.