Daves grandparents took on the farm in 1945. His Grandfather was an arable farmer growing potatoes & corn, as well as a herd of 45 cows for milking. In those days the cows were milked manually, with one man milking 10 cows by hand, with the help of a “land girl” who milked a further 5 and helped to collect the milk from the other milkers. His father installed an 8 abreast parlour in the 1960’s, enabling two men to milk 60 cows per hour, which was a fantastic improvement.
They now run a system that his grandfather would probably recognise, except that they have a modern parlour that can milk 80 cows per hour, but he still grows corn and other crops in rotation to control weeds and feed some of the corn back to the cows. They also use straw for bedding, then once it is composted, it’s used to “feed” the arable crops. Dave really like the notion of self-sufficiency and so hes recently installed solar panels to produce his own electricity, which now powers the milking parlour.