Published 24 April 15

Sophie Vance Kinnear, who runs a recently established 152-cow autumn calving herd in Stirlingshire, joins Forage for Knowledge as a farmer contributor, providing weekly information on grass growth rates and fortnightly information on grass analysis.

Sophie, previously a DairyCo extension officer, runs the herd under contract with owners Robin and Barbara Young. The 121-hectare unit, which was set up for paddock grazing a smaller herd, went out of milk production two years ago. As a result, she now milks a ‘mixed bag’ of breeds having had to buy in from a number of sources.

With cold spring conditions, the autumn block calving system suits the farm, and one of Sophie’s aims is to tighten the block further. The farm’s paddock system has been redrawn and fenced into 2ha blocks.