A MID-Devon farmer is making a ‘moo’ve into the 21st Century, thanks to funding from NatWest and the bank’s dedicated asset finance division Lombard.

David Partridge of Partridge Farms Ltd in Washfield, near Tiverton, has unveiled a commercial automated cow feeder, imported from Denmark – thought to be the first of its kind to be used in the UK.

The specialist GEA Mullerup feed system will allow his herd to be fed up to 12 times a day – and he has also invested in six robotic milkers for his herd of 360 cows and erected a brand new shed for the milking robot and feeding system.

David said: “Our plan now is to increase efficiency and to produce more milk.

“However, big isn’t always beautiful – what we want to do is look after the cows better, encourage more milk per cow and make the farm a more desirable place to work.”

David started as a dairy farmer in 1970 and his current set-up as a dairy farmer began with just 15 cows in the 1970s.

David purchased the current farm in 1984 with support from NatWest and it has been expanding steadily ever since.

Now run by David, his wife, their son and their grandson, Partridge Farms can now expect to increase the amount of milk produced by 10 per cent.

As well as milk production, they grow their own corn and maize to feed the herd.