UGS members to visit dairy farm at Cloughmills

UGS President Sam Watson (left) with host farmer Alastair Forsythe
UGS President Sam Watson (left) with host farmer Alastair Forsythe

Cloughmills dairy farmers George and Alastair Forsythe will host a farm walk for members of the Ulster Grassland Society (UGS) on Thursday 26th October at 11am.

The event will provide an opportunity to see what practical steps have been taken to mitigate the poor weather in recent months and what plans have been made for the winter.

The Forsythe’s is an all grass farm with 16-20 acres reseeded each year by undersowing winter wheat. The 135 cow dairy herd has an autumn to spring calving pattern with 40 replacements reared each year. Milk yield is 8,000 litres per cow with excellent milk quality. Cows were housed at night all through the summer months as well as during the day when conditions did not allow grazing.

Two cuts of quality silage were made in May and June and the herd is currently being fed a TMR ration for M+17.5 litres, topped up in the parlour. The farm has been focusing on improving soil fertility and all fields are sampled on a three yearly basis.

Visitors will have the opportunity to see recently constructed dry cow and calf accommodation.

The farm walk is located at 79 Lislabin Road, Cloughmills, BT44 9HZ. From the A26 Ballymena/Ballymoney dual carriageway, follow the signs for Cloughmills. In the village take the Loughhill Road for just over a mile and turn left onto the Lislaban Road and the farm is on the right hand side.

A cup of tea will be available on arrival with the farm walk commencing at 11.10am. A barbeque meal will be available after the walk at a cost of £16 to non-UGS members.

Those wishing to attend should contact the Secretary at 07920 037 910 by 23rd October or for further information email secretary@ulstergrassland.co.uk.