We Know Quality Counts - Park Hall Farm (Feb 06)

We will always endeavour, at GP Feeds, to bring and share with our readers items of good news as in the depths of winter it will always bring a heart warming glow to the way we feel about dairy cows and livestock farming.

Our story begins nearly 12 months ago when we were asked to assist Phil and John Riley at Park Hall Farm Minshull Vernon, Middlewich to improve the overall performance of their dairy herd. The cows had blocked calved in the previous year from September to December but were not milking up to expectation, losing too much body condition in early lactation and consequently failing to get back in calf. This was a potentially disastrous scenario that would not only create a large shortfall of milk value for the current financial year but also extend the calving pattern with the knock on effect of a large loss of milk value for the following year as well. This was unacceptable as the turnover value of the business is difficult to maintain in the current climate of lower milk prices whilst a further reduction in production as result of not meeting the targets for output from the dairy herd would have created a great deal of difficulty to this or any other dairy business.

Park Hall Farm has undergone some impressive changes to the layout for the dairy herd in the last few years with cow comfort second to none and a unit that allows simple management practice to express the full potential of the cows, it certainly is a sight to behold and has been cleverly thought through to present a modern dairy unit from the old building setup.

The dairy herd is complete diet fed with the same ingredients being fed to all of the milking cows and it was the content of the blend composition that we changed significantly to lift and balance the starch and sugar content, introduce some added fat and maintain a fibre level in the overall diet that would prevent the threat of acidosis to the rumen and so improve the overall dry matter intake of feed from the total diet.

At GP Feeds we have always maintained the importance of feeding your dairy herd quality feeds for quality production and this was achieved as we played our part for the team to lift overall feed intakes at this important stage of lactation. The results were there to see with an improvement in body condition of the herd, a 3 litre response in milk yield, consolidation of milk quality and a healthy improvement in the profitability of the business. We needed to get the cows back in calf however, this would take a little longer but we now know that everyone is pleased with the overall result achieved over the last twelve months from a position that was less than satisfactory.

Park Hall Farm certainly does grow good grass when managed to the high standard that John and Phil practice. Their attention to detail is something to admire and none more so than in their approach to securing good forage quality from the silage clamp. There is just one large modern silage pit on the farm and this contains a combination of first and second cuts of grass silage together with some whole crop and maize silage. The quality of the forage is very good for this winter feeding season and represents some of the best that you could expect to see in any part of the country, waste material does not exist, such is the attention to detail of this and their overall farming practice.

The dairy herd is healthy, bulling strong and getting back in calf. Milk production is ahead of target with the herd averaging 34 litres per cow per day whilst milk quality is good considering the level of production and we are all contributing to an overall improvement in the financial performance of the business.

Quality feed for quality production is something of a theme tune for GP Feeds, well this has certainly caught the imagination of John and Phil Riley who have this winter been awarded the Cheshire Grassland Society top award for the best on farm grass silage. This is a prestigious award and no more than they deserve, we at GP Feeds heartily congratulate everyone in the team at Park Hall Farm on their success and are pleased to work alongside and play our part to achieve those goals that a modern dairy business needs to succeed in the future, well done.


After a lot of hard work and considerable investment in Park Hall Farm in the last 12 months results are:

  • Improved herd health & reduced calving problems
  • Rolling yield 800 litre increase over the last twelve months
  • Consolidation of milk quality
  • Correct balance of total feed ingredients
  • PD percentage considerably improved
  • Replacement rate is 13% of the total dairy herd

GP Feeds can help your business achieve similar results!!