Moo-Tafe does a great job at the Frosts’ farm

We caught up with Ed Frost & family at their farm in Polsham on a hot sunny afternoon a few weeks ago, some 10 months into their 12 months free loan of ‘Moo-Tafe’ the cow print wrapped Tafe 45 OIB tractor. (This summer will certainly be well remembered for being a hot & dry one, which followed on from the wet winter) Located at Melsbury Farm & run by third generation twin brothers Ed & John, the farm has been in the family since 1926.

The farm consists of 300 acres of grassland, 144 milking cows plus 181 bovines ranging from calves to mature beef cattle. As a family run business there is little outside help on a day to day basis by a relief milker, as Ed & John are assisted by their wives Clea & Sarah with the calves & the accounts. Outside contractors are brought in each year to do the grass silage. Maize however is no longer grown as the crop has suffered greatly from damage by the local rook & starling population in the past.

Danish red bulls have been introduced to the Friesian cows which has seen a 7,500 litre milk yield with the aim to hit 8,000 litres within the next 12 months. They hope to achieve this by improving the grassland by increasing the white clover leys. The Frost brothers policy is that the leys will last 10 years if managed/grazed correctly.

It was very good to hear that less than 2 months into the year their old MF 240 scraper tractor built by Millat in Pakistan was sold as the performance of the Tafe outshone it. When asked by Martin Richards of Tractors UK of the differences between the two tractors Ed responded that the Tafe was far superior in terms of build/casting quality; excellent brakes & strong back end; good gearbox ratio & perfect starting even cold mornings. In fact in terms of being good at starting, the Tafe was the only one of the tractors that would start on the very cold mornings!! We were pleased, but obviously not surprised to hear from Ed that at the end of the 12 months they wished to purchase ‘Moo-Tafe’ to remain as their scraper tractor.

The cows are currently bedded twice a day on chopped straw with lime added once a day by hand. With an antiquated drainage system they do not see themselves changing over to bedding on sand.

With six offspring, 5 daughters & 1 son between them Ed & John do not currently have plans to expand the farm as this will be something to consider as/when any of them show signs of joining the family farm.

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