Somerset: Dillington Farms strategic dairy farm launch

Past Event - booking closed

Wednesday, 25 October 2023

10:45am - 2:15pm

Dillington Farms, Knott Oak Dairy, Townsend, Ilminster, Somerset

TA19 0JA

Join us at Dillington Farms Knott Oak Dairy for the launch of our new strategic dairy farm, which forms part of an exciting programme focusing on environmental issues.

Dillington Farms, near Ilminster, Somerset, is a successful mixed farming business with dairying at its heart. With tourism and an array of enterprises running on the estate, farming that both enhances the environment and drives profit is a priority.

The day will include

  • A tour of the farm with an opportunity to find out more about operations, performance figures and goals for the farm over the next three years

  • Insight on how the estate has incorporated mid-tier crops, grown on arable headlands, into the dairy and dry stock ration to achieve 3,700 litres of milk from forage

  • A discussion on how the team use growth and performance data to select replacements, with an age of first calving of 23 months

  • An exploration of how a three-way cross has led to high fertility and health cows while producing yields in excess of 10,800 litres per cow per year

About Dillington Farms Knotts Oak Dairy

The in-hand farming enterprises of the Dillington estate are run by Ollie Blackburn with the help of Lou Thorner, the herd manager.

The herd based at Knott Oak Dairy currently comprises a dairy herd of around 350 cross-bred cows yielding approximately 10,800 litres per cow per year. Around 130 replacement heifers are reared each year, with the remaining progeny being reared for beef in a separate enterprise. The herd calves all year round and is fully housed – except for dry cows and second season heifers, which graze for 5–6 months of the year.

A purpose-built portal frame building accomodates all milking with its six robotic milkers and space for calving cows. Dry cows are housed in a separate cubicle shed when not grazing.

Calves are reared in group pens on automatic feeders before being moved to weaned pens and eventually into cubicles.

Grazing is provided from permanent pasture and parkland with a range of forages, including herbal leys and maize, being ensiled.

This 870 ha farm focuses on home-grown feeds and is involved in an extensive mid-tier scheme, as well as renewable energy.

Find out more about our strategic dairy farms.