Tim Sinnott

Ivy House Farm,

Sponsored by: KW

Running 210 cows, producing an average of 13,400 litres on a three times-a-day milking system,  Tim has introduced new methods of working to improve the long-term sustainability of his business, which is impacting everything from forage production, lameness management and slurry utilisation.

As an autumn block calving herd with cows housed all-year-round, the main milking group is fed grass and maize silage with a home-made blend to produce a ration which will achieve maintenance plus 40 litres.

With Tim’s focus on producing grass with the best nutrient values possible, he runs a multi-cut forage system with timely slurry application between cuts to help achieve the grass growth needed to make his approach work. The result is the production of forage with a better feed value, reducing the need for bought-in feed.

In 2018, the business switched to using 100% sexed semen for its breeding requirements; selecting 100 of the highest genetically ranked animals across the herd both heifers and milking cows, to produce the 80 replacement heifers needed.

Improving efficiency  

One of Tim’s goals is to produce more with less and so a range of technology is utilised on-farm from Soyl mapping, genomic testing and a precision feed management system, which contribute to improving efficiency, herd health and sustainability drives. Cases of mastitis has reduced from 45 cases per cow 100 cows to less than four cases per 100 cows in six years. 

Tim is currently working with Aldi, which he supplies milk to, on a new cow scanner project for the last 18 months, utilising a 3D image capturing system to track the cows’ movements and automatically spot early warning signs of mobility issues, removing human interpretation.

The whole of Tim’s farm is now mapped on a five-year rotation to provide up-to-date soil data and identification of areas which require specific input focus.

He is also trialling other mapping technologies, such as satellite imagery and the Green Leaf Index, to identify areas of nitrogen deficiency when growing wheat crops and grass.

Proudest moment:  

“My proudest achievement is the team effort, including the nutritionist, vet, technicians, contractors and of course the day to day team, who have moved us from 90 cows producing 7,500 litres to a high health, high welfare efficient dairy farm with a herd of cows to be proud of. We are always looking to take on more opportunities as they arrive.”

What the Judges said: 

Tim looks ahead to the future to what requirements might be around the corner, and as a result is one step ahead of what his milk buyer, and emerging policies, might require of him in the future.

He is at the forefront of technology adoption, and is clearly motivated by how far he can use this to take his business forward.

Tim impressed due to his holistic approach to innovation, which covered his management of his farm team, technology on farm, and his views on sustainable farming.

on winning, Tim said: 

“I cannot believe it. I’m on such a high, and it is such a buzz to have won. 

“I feel I have done a lot in my lifetime of dairying and this really is the cherry on the top. 

“It is important for those in the dairy industry to keep looking at new and different things, in order for them to keep going forwards. And we must not hide from the good job that we do. 

“I have had a great team behind me, so it is great that they get to come here tonight and be appreciated too. 

Ivy House Farm  Facts

  • 210 cows
  • Three times a day milking
  • Careful grass management to maximise nutrients
  • Switched to 100 per cent sexed semen to improve genetic profile of herd
  • Numerous methods of technology used which contribute to improved efficiency, herd health and sustainability drives
  • Significant reduction in lameness
  • Calving index running at 380 days