Woodhead Farm, Ayrshire (Dairy)
Woodhead Farm is a 180 cow dairy near Newmilns in Ayrshire, owned and run by John Kerr and his family. The farm covers 141 hectares with access to additional rented land. Cropping is predominantly grass, with 16 ha of wholecrop. There is also 12 ha of farm woodland.
John worked with Farming for a Better Climate as a volunteer Climate Change Focus Farmer from 2014 to 2018 and was keen to explore how he could improve profitability, reduce costs and cut the carbon footprint at Woodhead. John explored a range of practical ideas to improve farm efficiency, tailored to his business which helped him save around £63,000 whilst cutting the farm carbon footprint by 6% with no loss of production.
How can you benefit from the work at Woodhead?
John took a second look at some of the activities around the farm, ranging from a review of soil management, nutrient planning and grazing management, to looking at calf accommodation, cow nutrition and fertility. These and other ideas were swapped, discussed and shared with farmers at regular Focus Farm meetings held at Woodhead. Some of John’s thoughts on the changes he made are in the videos below; the meeting notes further down the page give an overview of some of the topics discussed at the meetings.
Woodhead Dairy Case Study (929.15 KB, PDF)
Woodhead: Improving farm efficiency; findings from Woodhead Farm (3.87 MB, PDF)
Woodhead: Cow health & comfort in your shed - Feb 2017 (1.61 MB, PDF)
Woodhead: Energy efficiency on a shoestring budget - Oct 2016 (1.21 MB, PDF)
Woodhead: Managing the dairy herd - March 2016 (1.07 MB, PDF)
Woodhead: Improving fertiliser usage - Feb 2016(368.45 KB, PDF)
Woodhead: Making big decisions - Jan 2016 (743.75 KB, PDF)
Woodhead: Managing fertility and getting cows in calf - Sept 2015 (825.7 KB, PDF)
Woodhead: Getting calves off to a good start(224 KB, PDF)
Woodhead: Profiting from Pasture - March 2015 (1.07 MB, PDF)
Woodhead: Profiting from Improved Efficiency - Sept 2014 (657.23 KB, PDF)
There is more information on our Downloads page, ranging from what other farmers have done, to practical guides and ideas you can adapt and consider to benefit your own farm business and reduce the farm carbon footprint.
How do you compare? You can complete your own carbon audit via Agrecalc, or if you would prefer a bit of help, a free carbon audit is available via Scotland’s Farm Advisory Service (FAS) at www.fas.scot/carbon-audits/