Ulster Grassland Society winter meeting announced

Ulster Grassland Society members will have the opportunity to see behind the scenes at one of Northern Ireland’s most impressive working estates.

The society announced its winter meeting will be held at Blakiston Houston Estates, Dundonald, on Tuesday, November 12, 2019, at 11:00am.

The visit will be based at Reynolds Farm on the Ballymiscaw Road, Dundonald, and will give visitors a chance to see the 300-cow Holstein dairy herd and followers.

At present, the herd achieves almost 9,000L milk on a total mixed ration with a commendable 3,315L/cow derived from forage.

The herd is milked twice a day through a 24:48 Dairymaster milking parlour.

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The farm has several interesting aspects, with new dairy accommodation built in 2004, as well as wind turbines, solar panels, slurry separator and slurry robots.

The walk will allow visitors to see many of the farm’s most exciting aspects for themselves, with the opportunity to discuss:

  • Herd management and performance;
  • The design of the dairy accommodation;
  • Breeding policy using AI and sexed semen on heifers;
  • Integration of the dairy herd with other farm enterprises; and
  • The use of technology and diversification projects.

Estate director Jack Blakiston Houston will welcome visitors while Ivor Lowry, farm manager, will lead the farm tour along with Ian McAteer, the farm’s herd manager.

The event is open to UGS members and friends and will commence with registration and tea and coffee at 11:00am with the walk set to get underway at 11:30am. The visit will conclude with lunch at approximately 1:30pm.

Visitors are encouraged to wear warm clothing not normally worn or used on farms along with clean footwear to assist with biosecurity.

Booking is essential and should be made through UGS secretary George Reid asap by email on: [email protected].