Dairy con­sul­tant prac­tises what he preaches

Countryman - - NEWS - Zach Relph

At the foothills of the Fer­gu­son Val­ley, dairy pas­ture con­sul­tant Kirk Reynolds is putting the­ory into prac­tice.

The part-time farmer uses his 40ha Dar­danup prop­erty — where he lives with wife Emma and chil­dren Cooper, 10, Rosie, 8, and Jack, 6 — to un­der­pin his pas­ture graz­ing re­search.

Through­out win­ter, Mr Reynolds runs steers to set up the pas­tures for lambs, usu­ally sourced from his brother’s Northamp­ton farm, to be grass fin­ished.

This year, he opted to pur­chase 100 breed­ing ewes to pro­mote fu­ture lamb sup­ply af­ter his brother en­joyed a good sea­son and had no need to send his lambs south.

Mr Reynolds said ap­ply­ing cer­tain meth­ods be­fore sug­gest­ing them to South West dairy farm­ers through his full-time con­sul­tant role with Western Dairy had proved ben­e­fi­cial.

“I get to prac­tise what I preach,” he said.

“Grow­ing grass, graz­ing man­age­ment and us­ing the tools to lower cost of pro­duc­tion through grass grow­ing is the core phi­los­o­phy.

“I use steers dur­ing the win­ter to man­age the pas­tures and in the spring, rather than cut­ting sur­plus spring feed, I use lambs from my brother to man­age the sur­plus through di­rect graz­ing.

“It al­lows me to val­i­date what I am re­search­ing.”

Mr Reynolds is also a strong ad­vo­cate in mea­sur­ing busi­ness man­age­ment through phys­i­cal and fi­nan­cial per­for­mance to make in­formed changes and de­ci­sions.

Pic­ture: Cally Dupe

Dar­danup farm­ers Kirk and Emma Reynolds with their chil­dren Cooper, 10, Rosie, 8, and Jack, 6.

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