Louis Baugh

8 August 1997

Louis Baugh

Louis Baugh and his wife farm 186ha (460 acres) at Neatishead Hall and 91ha (225 acres) at Beech Farm near Norwich in Norfolk. About 100 autumn calving Holstein Friesian cows and followers are grazed on Broads ESA marshes with forage from Italian ryegrass and maize.

WHAT a difference a year makes. Last year was parched and dry, with feed prices climbing, and calving started with a run of heifers. This year we have received a quarter of our annual rainfall in three weeks, causing widespread poaching, and we have had 25 calvings to date and too many bull calves.

The trend was broken by a heifer out of our best second calver, only to be followed by a breech bull calf!

Also, our rolling MOPF has fallen £40 a cow over the summer due to the drop in milk price; we aim to claw back the deficit from cheaper feeds during the winter. A ryegrass silage analysis of 34% DM, 11.7 ME and 12.6 crude protein combined with a potentially good maize crop should mean less bought in feed.

A few days were spent at the Royal Show. We had been considering joining the Cogent programme having visited the unit last autumn. The few remaining concerns we had were overcome after a discussion on the stand with John Downing (the Wintersell herd).

We duly became members and look forward to the future with great interest. It was pleasing to see two Norfolk breeders carrying forward success from the Royal Norfolk to the Royal Show, Jonathan Deane showing his wife Judys (Joelee) heifer to become heifer champion and Michael Wright (Pinebreck) succeeding with his cow Hocus Pocus. She was a survivor of a lightening strike which killed over 20 cows, a lesson in something positive transpiring from adversity.

The young members calf show took place with over 60 entries, our club continued with the policy of appointing younger judges. Andy Cope (Huddlesford) and Tom Barrett (Rettbar) judged handlers and calves respectively; it was a pleasure to assist as a steward. A new class was veteran handler with optional fancy dress; our own four entries depicted handlers dress from 1950 to 2001.

My wife Fran took best handler dressed in white coat of the 1970s, with best fancy dress to Paul Corfield as young handler in 2001 complete with nappy. Thanks for the advice on the contents of these articles – Alan (Welham). A herdsman of some repute in these parts, he suggested I "spice them up". I reminded him I wrote for farmers weekly not Coronation Street.n

Lewis Baugh… rolling MOPF has fallen by £40 a cow over the summer due to the drop in milk price; he aims to claw back the deficit by offering cheaper feeds.

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