CIS Farmer Focus: Paul Cashmore, Staffordshire
An inspiration to the next generation is Paul Cashmore who farms a council holding in Staffordshire. Initially, Paul worked hard to grow his beef and sheep enterprise whilst working full-time relief milking on a number of farms.
In 2015, Paul transitioned from beef and sheep to utilise all his knowledge and insights, to design and build himself a dairy unit, including a parlour, dairy and cubicles. His first milk recording with CIS Area Manager Amanda Wilkes was for 45 cows, the herd has now increased to over 90. Paul has continued to make significant investments to improve the yield and quality of the herd.
The organic herd average 9,851 litres with butterfat at 4.13% and protein at 3.34%. Paul is an advocate for the MobileHerd app, using it regularly to manage and monitor individual cows and the overall herd. He also tests the herd quarterly for Johne’s and does ad-hoc pregnancy testing using the non-invasive PregCheck service.
They milk the herd twice a day in a 10:20 herringbone parlour, running a simple system with the herd either out to grass or fed on round bale silage. Paul breeds his own replacements on the ProCROSS three-breed rotational crossbreeding system, with 70% of the herd calved in August and September. They are crossing Holstein with Montbeliarde and then Viking Red.
“I have been using CIS services since 2015 and having an organic herd I feel that milk recording is more important than ever. It is important that I know exactly what each cow is doing and what the cell count is, as an increase in cell count is always the first sign of a problem. I also quarterly test for Johnes and IBR, both of which provide a lot of information of the health status of the herd”, says Paul.
“One thing I use daily is the CIS MobileHerd app. It is fantastic and simple to use, when I am in the parlour or out in the field, as I can check immediately anything from milk yield to service dates. The information instantly on the phone saves me having to remember to look at the computer when I return to the office”, adds Paul.
In 2018 Paul invested and updated his original system, with a computerised system within the parlour and improved cow comfort with brand new herd housing, including high-quality mattresses and hybrid cubicles.
Paul has great support from his wife, Katie and four young children. Katie helps with jobs around the farm and the children take great interest in the different tasks, they are encouraged to help where possible.
In the future, Paul and Katie hope to purchase their own farm and are working hard to make this happen.