Over the past 12 months, staff and students at Kingston Maurward College have made a number of improvements on the college farm, all aiming to improve sustainability, efficiency and animal welfare.
New LED lighting has been installed, which has improved cow movement and allowed a better level of management. The increased ‘daylight’ for bulling cows has led to improved fertility.
The farm has also altered the way the herd is fed, installing a new feed trough, enabling nose-to-nose feeding. This removes the need to push up feed, has increased feed intake, and has reduced overall waste.
They are currently trialling a 5G+ cattle eye cow monitoring system, which provides data on mobility body condition, position in the herd etc.
The farm is within the Poole Harbour catchment area, which is a water protection zone, so they are working on reducing the nitrogen from the farm, and assessing ways to achieve this. In addition, they are undertaking some trial work, focussing on the farm’s soil health and crop rotation.
Making these improvements has cost the farm under €10,000, and has seen multiple benefits to both the sustainability and welfare of the herd.