Caulston Farm

Name:
Adam Atkinson
Location:
Devon
Farm sectors:
Dairy
View on Google Maps

About Caulston Farm

  • Joined the Strategic Dairy Farm network in November 2023
  • Spring block-calving system
  • Organic herd of 580 KiwiCross cows
  • Yields of 4,900 litres per cow
  • Multisite farm system
  • 48/96 parlour

Follow our journey if you are interested in:

  • Starting your journey to growing and utilising forage crops
  • Enhancing your farm’s efficiency through grass utilisation and feed
  • Achieving high standards of cow health and welfare
  • Exploring the use of technology to improve farm productivity
  • Learning about the unique challenges of a coastal dairy farm

Overview

Located just outside Plymouth in the South Hams in Devon, Caulston Farm has been managed by Adam Atkinson for the last seven years. His team includes six other members of staff who help with the day-to-day running of the business.

Our farm

Caulston Farm is made up of shallow, sandy soils prone to drought. Because of this, and the free draining nature, they have an extended grazing periods of up to 320 days and prioritise milk from forage. To aid this, they ensure chicory and plantain are included in all leys to help deal with the dry periods. Clover and kale are also used as a break crop for the winter.

Due to the intensive grazing platform and need for forage crops, 20% of the farm gets reseeded per year, growing approximately 11.5 tonnes of dry matter.

Our herd

The spring block-calving herd of 580 KiwiCross cows is on an Organic Arla milk contract. The cow yields an average of 4,900 litres per cow per year at 4.70% butterfat and 3.58% protein. The herd calves in a tight 9-week spring block, with 77% calving in the first six weeks, using sexed semen to produce replacement heifers and a bull team is used for beef calves.

Caulston Farm started cross breeding their cows into a KiwiCross because they want a solid, functional cow. By using some Jersey genetics, they were able to increase milk solids, while adding some Friesian genetics to retain stature.

Our journey

Established 17 years ago, Caulston Farm is part of a dairy business comprising of three farms. Adam manages Caulston Farm, as well as overseeing the operations at the other two farms in Cornwall – both which are autumn block-calving herds.

Caulston Farm is in a high TB area and have a history of being shut down, which caused the farm to have a high replacement rate for their cows and have limitations on selling stock. The farm adapted due to these challenges and, as a result, the farm have had their first year being completely clear of TB, allowing them to sell some beef x calves.

Caulston Farm also struggled with calf pneumonia previously, however, the farm made some further adaptations to the sheds and calf management protocols and have dramatically lowered incidence on farm.

During their journey on the Strategic Dairy Farm programme, Caulston Farm would like to continue working on the things they are doing well. They would like to improve overall farm efficiency, staff training, grass utilisation and implement the use of technology to help with productivity.

News and past events

  • How Caulston Farm tackled calf pneumonia (November 2023) Adam and Holly Atkinson share how the team has tackled pneumonia through existing calf housing, implementing changes and strict hygiene and protocol to ensure a healthy future generation of heifers for the herd. (YouTube, 1 hour, 4 minutes) 

Explore our other Strategic Dairy Farms

Upcoming Meetings

26 September 2024, 10:45 AM - 26 September 2024, 2:30 PM

Caulston Farm, Plymouth, Devon, PL8 1HF

Join us at this on-farm meeting to help you take steps to enhance your herd’s mobility while out grazing and at the same time boost profits and public perceptions.

Farm Video

Gallery

×