CHANGES in Sparsholt College’s dairy management system has seen it reach the top ten per cent of recorded herds on the Kite Milk Monitor.

Kite is a specialist consultancy representing approximately 500 herds. Its Milk Monitor league table is based on milk sales less purchase feed.

Graham Boyt, farm manager said: “Changing to a semi intensive system has proved incredibly successful.

“We have a far happier herd, the students are getting a much better learning experience and I’m a very happy farm manager as not only have we significantly reduced our costs but the increase in yield has seen a cumulative increase in income to the tune of £100K.”

Under the revised system Sparsholt College agriculture students now assist with calving in the September at the start of the autumn term, they lamb in January and focus on field work from March onwards.

Mike Bray, one of Kite’s 23 consultants, said: “Much of this success must be attributed to the high genetic composite of the Sparsholt herd which has been very well bred for milk by college herdsman, Charlie Cross.”