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Life on our Suffolk dairy farm: June

Raw Dairy Farm

On our dairy farm fields we are in the thick of silage and hay making, which will be used to feed the cows and young stock over the coming winter months. Finally, we have had a little rain over here in the dry east which has allowed some of the spring crops such as triticale and fodder beet to get established.

On the livestock front, it’s breeding season. We are currently breeding some of the cows for next year’s spring calving group. This will go on for the next 10 weeks, with Molly and the team keenly focused on identifying in-heat cows.

In the cheese rooms, Marc and the team are facing some of the hardest months of the year for production of our Baron Bigod cheese. The spring grass gives us the most inconsistent milk of the year because of the cows’ rich and varied diet. This results in many small tweaks having to be made in the cheese production process. It’s something that has taken us years to fine-tune and each year we seem to get that little bit better at making consistent cheese out of wild spring milk.

Covid, even though less of a disruption for us all nowadays, is still making cheese production planning hard as we cannot use the last two years’ worth of data to predict sales with any real accuracy. Steve and Iona try their best each week to foresee what sales will look like in 6 weeks’ time (the length of time it takes for the cheese to mature), but it is extremely hard to get it right at present. We hope the big waves of high and low sales will start to flatten out soon. I’m sure we all are looking forward to a little more predictability!