At last year’s AgriScot, husband and wife team David and Carolyn Hamilton secured the prestigious title of Scottish Dairy Farm of the Year. Rog Wood went to visit them in Blair Drummond.
Winners of last year’s Scottish Dairy Farm of the Year award, David and Carolyn farm Meldrum at Blair Drummond, Stirling, in partnership.
It extends to 324 hectares (800 acres) and is currently home to 700 Holstein Friesian cows, with the milking portion kept indoors and milked three times per day.
Additionally, there are 740 youngstock, with heifers sent away at nine months old to be contract reared until 20 months of age. Sexed semen is used on heifers, which calve down at 22.5 months.
Mr Hamilton says: “About 85 per cent of the heifers have heifer calves. We unsuccessfully dabbled with using sexed semen on cows – it just did not work as well as with maiden heifers.”
Milk yields at Meldrum have been eased slightly since winning the award last year, when they had an average 305-day yield for 660 cows of 11,813kg at a calving interval of 391 days. The current level is about 11,700kg at an
interval of 386 days for 700 cows.