June 2011: Antrim herds to host Holstein farm walk on Friday, June 24
Judging of Holstein NI’s annual Herds Inspection Competition, sponsored by Ulster Bank, is almost complete, and the 2011 winners of the junior, senior and premier sections will be revealed next week.
The presentation of awards takes place on Friday, June 24, and will coincide with two farm walks which have been organised by Holstein NI. The host farms are owned by the Wallace family, Ashdale Farm, Antrim, and the Bingham family, Sevenmile Straight, Nutt’s Corner.
The first visit commences at David and Alan Wallace’s Ashdale Farm at 10.30am. This Focus Farm is home to the 200-cow Abercorn herd which is currently producing over 8,200 litres at 4.15% butterfat and 3.25% protein. Alan Wallace is the 2011 Ulster Grassland Farmer of the Year.
Recent developments on the farm include a swale for dirty water run-off from concrete lanes, and a new cubicle house with accommodation for 88 cows erected in 2008. A new 36:36 Dairy Master milking parlour with a cluster flush system was installed in February this year.
A BBQ lunch will be provided by Loanends Presbyterian Church.
After lunch everyone will make their way to the Robin and George Bingham’s farm, which is just a couple of miles away on the Seven Mile Straight.
In recent years the Bingham family have made a substantial investment by developing a complete new dairy unit, which includes two impressive sheds and a 70:70 rapid exit Westfalia milking parlour with in-parlour feeding. The 500-cow Tailormaid Holstein herd is milked twice daily and is currently averaging over 8,300 litres at 3.95% butterfat and 3.27% protein. Two thirds of the herd are housed all year round.
Other areas of interest include a purpose built calf shed with automatic calf feeding facilities; a Lely Juno automatic silage pusher; and the use of pedometers to monitor heat detection.
Holstein NI secretary, John Martin, said: “An open invitation is extended to all black and white enthusiasts to join us on June 24. We have decided to host the presentation of awards in conjunction with visits to the Abercorn and Tailormaid Holstein herds. These are two very progressive dairy farms, and we are indebted to the Wallace and Bingham families for agreeing to host the event.”
He added: “Our annual Herds Inspection Competition is increasing in popularity, with new entrants taking part each year. Our judges Wilbert Rankin and Richard Whelan have been busy travelling around the country to inspect and assess the entries for this year’s competition. We look forward to revealing the winners, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ulster Bank for its continued sponsorship. This is one of the most prestigious competitions in the club’s annual calendar of events.”
The awards will be handed over by Ulster Bank’s senior agricultural manager, Cormac McKervey; business development manager, Stephen Kane; and local business banking manager, David Kelly. Cormac McKervey said:”Ulster Bank is pleased to be associated with Holstein NI’s annual herds inspection competition. It’s a hotly contested competition and attracts entries from the smallest to the largest herds in Northern Ireland.
“The competition features an array of prizes, with awards for small, medium and large herds, and ranges from novice entrants to breeders ranked in the Holstein premiership. Northern Ireland is home to some of the breed’s best genetics, and this competition recognises the ongoing dedication of the Province’s black and white breeders.”
Bio Security is of paramount importance. Everyone attending the farm walks on Friday, June 24, should bring clean wellington boots or footwear which is suitable for disinfection. To facilitate catering arrangements, or to obtain directions, please contact Holstein NI secretary, John Martin on mobile: 07711 041128 or Julie Wallace on mobile: 07845 919597.S