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December

04

"You've got to put the best in to get the best out!" - Moston Farms, Shrewsbury.

Herd Manager Neil Lovatt and his wife Donna manage an Autumn calving herd of 340 cows at Moston Farm, Shrewsbury. Neil has been working with Cogent since 2010 and using sexed semen the "Cogent way". He has had the position of Herd Manager on the farm for 18 months , and is now using 100% Cogent product. Mr Lovatt has been having fantastic success with Cogent Sexed Semen, enabling him to now produce excess replacements to sell, as well as producing more British Blue calves which is bringing financial benefits to the business. "With the use of sexed semen I had 19/21 heifers in calf at the first service. From this success, I am now using it on cows too" says Neil.

With the use of conventional semen Neil was seeing poor results: "I was fed up of seeing Friesian bull calves" he says. As a result of changing to Cogent Sexed Semen, he now sees 93% heifer calves born. Neil is now using all sexed semen on the heifers, with the rest swept up by the bull on farm.

The quality of calves is fundamental at Moston Farm, with all young-stock being managed by Donna. She explains: "Looking after the next generation is vital, the calves are the future". With the use of Cogent Twist, PG Superpoll, and Cogent beef sires they have seen exceptional results. "Our beef calves are full of vigour, they're up and drinking from the minute they're born, and then straight on the single feeder."


With beef becoming more and more prominent in the dairy industry, the Lovatts have seen the extra value that British Blue calves are bringing to the business.

"We have recently served heifers to Kelowna Jimbo and the pregnancy rates we are seeing are phenomenal, with 5/5 in calf first time" says Neil.

Moston Farm is currently running around 130 heifers per annum due to Cogent Sexed Semen, plus British Blues. In the future, Mr Lovatt is looking to use 100% Cogent Sexed Semen as well, to expand the herd to 450. He would also like to build another shed, and to have enough females for a 25% replacement rate.


~ Q & A ~

What criteria do you specifically look for when choosing a Cogent sire?
"In genomic bulls I look at milk, stature, fat/protein, feet, longevity, and somatic cell count as a priority".

Have you got any favourite bulls?
"We have used several bulls - Wiltor Cruise, Wintersell Milo, Cogent Bill, BB Crossfire, PG
Superpoll, De Oosterhof DG Canonpower, Graymar Galaxy, Auchenlay Islay, Kelowna Jimbo - but our favourite has got to be Cogent Twist!"

What conception rates are you seeing?
"We are seeing an excellent 75-95% in calf [after their first service]."

What are the benefits that you're finding with the use of Cogent Sexed Semen?
"Donna takes care of the calf rearing, and has quickly noticed how placid the calves are,
with ideal temperaments and unreal growth rates."

How do you make your breeding choices?
"We rely on Cogent's Martin Ley for our breeding choices; he has the knowledge and experience to choose the bulls that suit ourselves and our herd. Breeding a cow that suits your farm and your farming system is key to running a successful business and can make or break a dairy enterprise".