Farm walk heads to Loughgall

Mark Johnston, Mason's Animal Feeds, John Johnston ( host) and Michael Copeland, Mason's Animal Feeds
Mark Johnston, Mason's Animal Feeds, John Johnston ( host) and Michael Copeland, Mason's Animal Feeds

Loughgall milk producer John Johnston will host a farm walk on Tuesday September 5.

Hosted in association with Mason’s Animal Feeds, the event will focus on the best management and feeding strategies that can be followed to ensure that the needs of pre-calving cows are met in full.

A tour of the farm yard area will be included in the itinerary of the farm walk. The event will also include presentations by the Mason’s advisory team, relating to the nutritional programmes followed on the farm. John Henderson, a veterinarian with Orchard Veterinary Centre in Armagh, will discuss the specific health-related challenges that can impact on pre calving cows.

The keynote presentation will be given by consultant Archie Leitch, who will profile the benefit of feeding Bio-Chlor Down Calver Nuts, manufactured by Mason’s Animal Feeds, as a way of ensuring that cows calve down without problems and are ready to produce milk in the most efficient and effective way possible.

John Johnston milks 200 cows, averaging 9,200L. This figure has increased by 400L over the past 12 months. His cows are calving from August through to May. John has been feeding Bio-Chlor nuts to his pre calvers for the past three years.

“The use of Bio-Chlor has significantly reduced transitional problems,” he confirmed.

“Cows calve down with excellent appetites. They are just ready to fire and reach peak milk yield earlier. Metabolic problems, which can be a real problem directly after calving, have also been significantly reduced.”

So how does Bio-Chlor work?

In crude terms the dairy cow’s rumen is nothing more than a large fermentation vat containing billions of bacteria. It’s a very simple process: as bug numbers grow, the cow harvests those that are available to help meet her own nutritional needs.

But it’s only in recent times that research has focussed on identifying the conditions in the rumen that best suit microbial growth.

The Open Day gets underway at 11.00am. The Johnston farm is located at 172 Loughgall Road, Armagh BT61 8HP. Refreshments will be available after the conclusion of the event.

For further information, contact Colin Purdy on 079808 65059.