Field lab - Reducing antibiotic use in dairy farming
Using the comprehensive records available at Eastbrook Farm, this field lab will discuss strategies for reducing antibiotic use in dairy herds, with input from a vet, a researcher and a consultant. The event will introduce the farm and explore what its records can and can’t reveal about cow health, herd management and treatment. It is suitable for farmers keen to improve health and welfare while reducing antibiotic use, and interested in making effective use of their farm records.
The first meeting took place on 23 November 2012. The follow up session is on 28 February - find out more about this event.
Format of the meeting:
- Introduction to Eastbrook Farm dairy – Helen Browning
- Overview of Field Labs, how they work – Martin Davies
- Antibiotic use and health issues... what are we learning from our records?
- Dairy/calf house tour – led by Teo and Dai, the dairy team
- What more do we need to learn about reducing antibiotic use?
- Designing an on farm trial – Katharine Leach, Organic Research Centre
- Wrap up discussion and setting next meeting dates – Martin Davies
- Light lunch and group discussion
Eastbrook Farm is a 1,300 acre mixed farm with 170 cows producing around 1.1 million litres of organic milk which is sold to OMSCo, much of it going to a local processor, Berkeley Farm Dairy. Young stock is either brought back into the herd or finished as beef or rose veal on the holding. There is also a farrow to finish pig enterprise of 250 British Saddleback sows. Around 10,000 finished pigs/year, from Eastbrook and other farms, are sold nationally through the Helen Browning’s Organic brand, to other UK customers, or exported. Around 450 acres of cereals and pulse crops are grown for farm use or sale.