Grass-based paddock grazing replaced the old TMR system and David has since bred the type of cow - a Friesian Jersey cross - that suits the system's block calving
and grazing regime.
At Henbant, which is south facing with land rising from 650 to 850 feet above sea level, he intends to make maximum use of grass, either grazed or in the form of clamped silage, with block calving
from February onwards.
offers advantages as well as challenges, and we aim to increase herd numbers and target age at first calving as a priority.
Ty Newydd, at Trefnant, Denbigh, is milking 200 cows on an organic spring block calving
With wife Ann and two sons, Aled and Seimon, he runs 220 cows with 200 followers - some pedigree Ayrshires - on an autumn block calving
However, the new PSSCI should only be used for the spring block calving
herds targeting a yield of around 4,500kg per year.
Its current focus is to improve cow health and fertility, and grasslands, with a move to autumn block calving
in the medium term.
When block calving
and out-wintering, the best grass goes into the cows and calves when they need it - to produce milk and at serving time.
IN block calving
systems, whether they are beef or dairy, it is vital that each cow calves once a year to stay in the calving block.
The idea is to switch to block calving
in late August and supply higher quality milk to South Caernarfon Creameries.
MGC is proposing a New Zealand system with spring block calving
followed by rotational grazing, with the cows dried off in November.
I don't want to go down the block calving
route because I would have to be critical with fertility and I don't want to do that with a pedigree herd but thanks to the bolus we are getting more cows back in calf," he says.