Philip Metcalfe and his dairy team, based at Metcalfe Farms near Leyburn in North Yorkshire, have won the 2018 NMR/RABDF Gold Cup. The industry’s top dairy award was presented by HRH The Princess Royal at Dairy-Tech, held at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire, on February 6, 2019.
Metcalfe Farms is owned and run by brothers David, Brian and Philip Metcalfe, with Philip managing the dairy herd on 525 hectares of the 1300-hectare farm business. In 2016 the brothers added a new parlour and additional cow accommodation to allow herd expansion.
Today 1,300 pedigree Holstein cows and 850 young stock are managed on the unit. Cow health and welfare protocols are a priority, with dedicated and trained staff covering all aspects of herd management, including milking routines, cow nutrition, calf rearing and dry cow care. These practices, combined with breeding cows for type, good locomotion and avoiding extremes, have promoted improvements in overall herd performance.
The herd is now averaging 10,800kg at 4% fat and 3.25% protein, with a cell count of 124,000 cells/ml. Calving interval is 403 days in this all-year-round calving herd.
Runners up in the competition, and recipients of the NMR Silver Salver, are brothers Stephen and Mark Montgomery, from Drumahoe in Co Londonderry. They run their 180-cow pedigree Holstein autumn-calving herd, and 128 followers, on their 145- hectare unit, based at Gortree Farm.