SOUTH west brothers have been crowned winners of the 2023 Holstein UK Premier Herd competition.

Wills Brothers Ltd of the Willsbro herd, from Cornwall,  were presented with the award on Wednesday, September 13, at UK Dairy Day. 

The award recognises the most outstanding Holstein herd in the UK. The winner of each individual club's herd competiton competed against neighbouring clubs to become one of the seven regional winners and finalists. 

The seven regional winners were: 

  • Eastern – Messrs Winter, Corringham Herd

  • Northern – Skirwith Hall Farms, Stowbeck Herd

  • Northern Ireland – G & J Booth, Beechview

  • Scottish – B & V Davidson, Errolston Herd

  • Southern – Wills Brothers Limited, Willsbro Holsteins

  • Welsh – Paul, Bessie & Bryn Williams, Waliswood Herd

  • Western – Pierce, Milwr Herd

The Wills family’s 1700-cow herd, based at Wadebridge, was singled out for praise by judge Brian Moorhouse of the Aireburn herd, for its exceptional management and presentation on a very large scale.

The herd was established in 1969 with just 40 cows and in 2004 the herd incresed to 800 cows with the addition of a new dairy set up on a green field site at Pawton Dairy.

The cows are housed in sand-bedded cubicles, with a tidal wash-down system and milked three times daily through a 60-point rotary parlour. 

The herd is currently achieving an average yield of 14,467kg, 4.06% fat and 3.24% protein with a calving index of 411 days. The all-year-round calving herd, gained a Holstein UK Master Breeder award in 2020.

Brian said: "Willsbro had exactly what I look for in a herd. There’s tremendous consistency throughout, exceptional udders legs and feet the right balance of strength and dairy quality in every age group.

"They are outstanding with exceptional management and presentation on a large scale.”

The Wills family are looking forward to showcasing their dairy setup in North Cornwall, at the upcoming open day and sale on Saturday, September 23 2023 from 10am.