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North Pembrokeshire farmers top the FWGS Milk Hygiene Award on first time of entering



THIS year’s Federation of Welsh Grassland Societies over-all Milk Hygiene competition winners are JJ Peters & Son, Sunnyhill, Crundale, Haverfordwest, and this on their first time of entering the competition.

The competition, sponsored by Diversey is becoming a very sought after award, and this year’s competition was no exception. The judges John Griffiths, Coleg Sir Gar/Gelli Aur; and Michaela Rowlands, Diversey (Industry sponsors) both agreed that Sunnyhill are very worthy winners.

Initially they were presented with the Small producer award (up to one million litres per year) and then went on to win the main category for over-all Welsh winners.

The Large producer above 1million litres per year award goes to Jeff Evans, Broadmoor Farm, Wolfscastle; and the Most improved producer award goes to John Young Farms- Neuadd Farm- Abergavenny, members of Monmouth Grassland Society.

Competition Judges presented the following notes on each farm:

Overall Winner and Small herd category – JJ Peters & Son, Sunnyhill , Crundale, Haverfordwest

115 cow organic, closed herd. Mr Peters said they are the only organic dairy farm in Pembrokeshire. They set up selling milk through a Milk Vending Machine on the farm in August 2021 which included adding a pasteurising unit.

Mr & Mrs Peters are helped by their daughter Annie who is currently a Student at Gelli Aur College. She spends every spare minute she’s not in college or studying helping on the farm with managing the herd and processing the milk, as well as dealing with all of the social media marketing enquiries.

Currently less than 5% of the milk produced is sold through the vending machine. They also feed whole milk to rear the calves as powdered organic milk was prohibitively expensive. The rest of the milk goes to OMSCo.

They AI all cows- no bull on farm. Holstein type cows housed in cubicles over winter and out to grass the rest of the year. All year round calving & milk recording monthly. Average 7500lt/lactation. Currently under bTB restrictions.

Cluster flush system in the Herringbone 10/10 parlour with pre-milking teat dipping & post spraying with Deosan products.

Winner in the large producer above 1million litres category:  Jeff Evans, Broadmoor Farm, Wolfscastle, Haverfordwest

220 cow closed herd milked through a Herringbone parlour. Milks for 10 months then dries off whole herd (Jan & Feb) anything that falls outside this window is sold/culled.

The farm does its own AI using sexed semen & has a beef bull to sweep up. Mr Evans mostly does all of the milking himself with the occasional relief milker coming in.

No cluster flush system- but does use pre-milking & post milking teat dipping with Deosan products- which he says has contributed greatly to reduced TBC & SCC & cows are happier with softer, not cracked teats.

Milk goes to First Milk for cheese. Cow type are Friesian with a bit of Jersey. Grass based, low input system. Av 5500lt /lactation.

Old buildings- cubicle housing. Cows turned out at calving in March.  Currently under bTB restrictions. Jeff does not milk record but tests for Johnes 4 times a year.

Most Improved: John Young Farms- Neuadd Farm Abergavenny (Comparing the Quality of the first 6 months production against the last 6 months of the Quota year):

240 cow closed herd, milked through an unusual Trigon parlour (7 x 3). Block calving system, using Genus ABS RMS package for heat detection and serving cows. Average yield is around 9,500lt. Large Holstein type cows. Cows are housed in winter in wooden cubicles with sand bedding which Ben Young says contributed to his lower SCC & TCB.   The farm is rented.  Currently free of BTB.

FWGS secretary Charlie Morgan said celebrating the achievements of the very best in Welsh farming would inspire others to raise the bar for the whole industry.  “I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the judges who had travelled to visit the competitors to see these farms first hand. The COVID 19 pandemic has impacted greatly but our farmers continue to produce at very high standards’’.

Margaret Peters from JJ Peters and Sons said:

“We are delighted to have won the award in our first year of entering! … Six months ago, we opened a milk vending machine on our farm yard, selling our pasteurised organic milk to the general public.  We are very proud on winning this award, which will obviously be excellent publicity to support and promote the quality of our milk”.  

For further details on the enterprise you can follow them on Facebook / Instagram – @sunnyhillfarmdairy.

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Pembrokeshire County Show returns to Haverfordwest in August



WALES’ largest agricultural show, which attracts around 100,000 visitors and competitors to the county town of Haverfordwest is back this year after a two-year Covid enforced break.

Pembrokeshire County Show will take place on August 17 and 18, the first open to the public since 2019 it promises to be a celebration of rural life in the county.

The last full-scale show, which would normally attract around 100,000 visitors and competitors, was held in August 2019 followed by a virtual event in 2020 and a scaled down version in 2021 for animals and members only.

Mansel Raymond, Pembrokeshire Agricultural Society president said, “We are very excited about the prospect of seeing our wonderful members, competitors, trade stands, sponsors and community coming together once again this August.

“Whether you’re a Pembrokeshire local or just visiting we’re sure you’ll have a fantastic day out.”

There will be some changes this year to the layout of the County Show to make it a better experience for everyone including the trade stands and visitors.

There will be several smaller rings as was the case in the 2021 members only show.

To enable a much larger public viewing area it has also been decided to remove all marquees and trade stands from the immediate main ringside.

This year there will also be a new open air ‘street food’ area. To enable a smooth transition, it is recommended that all trade and catering stands secure their pitches as soon as possible by visiting or ringing 01437 764 331.

Sponsorship and Pembrokeshire County Show have been a successful combination for the last 45 years.

Sponsors have enjoyed promoting their businesses through the varied mediums of banners, announcements, show rings, buildings, equine and livestock classes and championships over the years.

Anyone interested in sponsorship can contact Richard Cole on 01437 764 331 or complete the form on the society’s website.

Tickets for society members and the public will go on sale in the near future. Visit for up-to-date details of this year’s event. You can also follow Pembrokeshire County Show on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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Spotlight on ammonia reduction strategies for Welsh poultry producers



A WELSH study has refocused attention on strategies for reducing ammonia emissions in the poultry sector, with farmers urged to adopt measures including good ventilation and litter and manure management protocols to lower levels.

A three-year European Innovation Partnership (EIP) Wales trial on two broiler farms looked specifically at the role additives may have in reducing emissions by improving gut health and flock performance.

The study produced no evidence that these were effective for this purpose – similar levels of ammonia were recorded in the control and treatment houses.

But project manager Jason Gittins, technical director for livestock at ADAS, says there are a number of other measures that farmers can put in place to tackle emissions.

Ammonia is a component of urea, which is excreted in poultry faeces; when that manure is exposed to air and to moisture, the gas is released.

Agriculture is a major source of ammonia, accounting for 87% of UK emissions in 2019; of this, 14% came from poultry production.

“Ammonia gas is a harmful gas to both poultry and poultry workers and excessive nitrogen deposition resulting from ammonia emissions also damages the environment,’’ warns Mr Gittins.

Here, he gives his advice on how poultry farmers can reduce those emissions.


Poorly ventilated sheds will result in wet litter, which allows more ammonia to be released into the air. The use of effective ventilation to optimise the in-house environment, and preventing condensation can increase litter dry matter content and so reduce ammonia emissions.

Indirect heating systems heat the shed without the additional carbon dioxide and water vapour produced by direct gas heating systems, Mr Gittins explains.

“As a result, litter condition is often drier, which makes conditions less favourable for the production of ammonia,’’ he points out.

Ammonia scrubbing systems

These systems typically pass exhaust air from the house through a liquid to capture the ammonia; the air released to the atmosphere then has a lower ammonia content. Mr Gittins says reports have indicated that reductions in ammonia emissions of around 80% are possible using scrubbing systems, but the capital and operating costs are high.

Correct diet formulation

Diets should be formulated based on amino acid requirements, rather than crude protein, Mr Gittins advises.

“Diet formulation should change throughout the flock cycle to ensure that the nutrient supply is closely matched to the birds’ ammonia acid and other nutrient requirements.’’

Improvements in feed utilisation and feed conversion ratio (FCR) provide both environmental and financial benefits.

Correct removal and storage of soiled bedding

Manures should be contained in covered stores on impermeable surfaces. If field heaps are used, the surface area should be as small as possible: ‘A’ shaped, as this will reduce emissions, says Mr Gittins.

“A key issue is that wet poultry manure and litter can lead to higher emissions of ammonia and so the priority is to keep them as dry as possible, both during housing and afterwards.

“This can also increase its value per tonne as a fertiliser and reduce haulage costs and odour risks.’’

Manure applications should follow normal good practice, he adds.

“This should include avoiding spreading during frost, snow and heavy rain and taking account of soil conditions at the time.

“For liquid organic manures, precision spreading methods are preferable to splash-plate systems.’’

In free-range egg production, the move to multi-tier systems, rather than single-tier, is consistent with reducing ammonia, because of belt clean-out and frequent manure removal.

Preventing puddling around drinkers

Keeping litter dry is key to reducing ammonia levels. Drinkers should be managed to prevent spillages – any leaks need to be identified and quickly resolved.

“Nipple drinker systems should be adopted, as these allow better management of water intake and reduce water wastage,’’ Mr Gittins recommends.

High bird health

Keeping the health status of birds high will help to maintain litter in a drier condition.

“Birds challenged with disease and in poor health often produce wetter manure, which can result in higher ammonia emissions,’’ says Mr Gittins.

EIP Wales, which is delivered by Menter a Busnes, has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.

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Pembrokeshire Agricultural Society Board of Trustees ‘delighted to win Volunteering Award’



PEMBROKESHIRE Agricultural Society’s Board of Trustees were delighted to receive an award from PAVS (Pembrokeshire Association of Voluntary Services) recently for their determination to hold the county show last year.

PAVS formally presented the Trustee Award from the 2021 Pembrokeshire Volunteering Awards to the category winners, Pembrokeshire Agricultural Society, at the Society’s recent AGM.

The award judges were astounded by the determination of Pembrokeshire Agricultural Society’s Board of Trustees to put on last year’s two-day county show in incredibly challenging circumstances in order to give members of the rural community the chance to come together and showcase their animals.

The judges also noted how the Pembrokeshire Agricultural Society had ensured that support for farmers and their families was available through the presence of various charities who work to provide services for the rural community.

Lee Hind, Pembrokeshire Community Hub Manager, presented the award which was supported by South Hook LNG. He said, “Congratulations to Pembrokeshire Agricultural Society on winning this well-deserved award. As well as your determination to put on the two-day show last year the judges were particularly impressed by your innovative partnership with Connecting Realities which saw the event filmed and live streamed into care homes via YouTube, allowing access to those who were unable to leave their homes.”

Mike Davies, Chairman of Pembrokeshire Agricultural Society’s Board of Trustees said, “We are delighted that our efforts have been recognised by the judges who felt we were worthy winners of the Trustee Award. We have had to rely on the goodwill of our volunteers during the past two years and they have worked hard so the county showground can come back stronger in the future.”

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