More than 70 farmers gathered at a dairy farming conference at Reaseheath College in Nantwich.

Delegates packed the John Platt Farming Innovation Centre to hear speakers presenting real life case studies of their own businesses.

Phil Feeney, from Shropshire, and Robert Craig, from Cumbria, presented the case for a grazing based dairy herd.

Michael George, from Pembrokeshire, and Reaseheath farm manager Mark Yearsley described their high output systems while Cheshire farmers Tom Halton and Ian Scarisbrick spoke of their composite systems.

The conference was chaired by George Fisher, manager of the Reaseheath Agricultural Development Academy (RADA).

It was funded by the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) Skills Programme.

Richard Ratcliffe, a Reaseheath governor, said: “Although some were from out of the immediate area and farmed under different conditions, we could all empathise with them.

“We were able to look at the inputs and outputs of the different systems and it was interesting to see how a movement in the milk price per litre affected the margins.”

George Fisher said: “We wanted to give dairy farmers the time to step back and question their own system. It was an opportunity for them to look at the industry from different angles.”

Industry supporters included farming consultants Harvey Hughes, Nantwich Farm Vets, HSBC and solicitors Butcher and Barlow.

(Picture: George Fisher, Richard Ratcliffe, Mark Yearsley, Robert Craig, Phil Feeney, Tom Halton, Michael George, Ian Scarisbrick and Lisa Forbes)

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