For a record breaking fifth consecutive year, the Harvey's Holstein herd from Drum, Beeswing, in Dumfriesshire, has come out on top in the National Milk Record's annual production competition.

The Scottish Farmer's Field Margins contributor, John Harvey, his brother Stuart and their mother Margaret, also led the production listings, which are based on combined weight of fat and protein (CFP) with another new high. Their herd, which is milked three times a day produced a record breaking 1004kg of CFP, with the 256 qualifying lactations averaging 14,004kg of milk.

The NMR’s report, for the year ending September 2020 also shows the Holstein breed achieved a 12-year high for milk quality with an increase of 20kg CFP, which now stands at 684kg.

The Holstein breed which represents 70% of NMR recorded herds, saw average yields increase by 129kg since the 2018/19 report, to 9369kg of milk with average butterfat standing at 4.01% and protein up by 0.03% to 3.29% – another 12-year high.

Second top place amongst the Holsteins was JE and EM Marshall's Overseal herd from Derbyshire which moved up from 19th place the previous year with 956kg of CFP and 13,074kg of milk. The herd is also three times daily milking.

Stepping up to third from 11th in 2018/19, is the Hall’s herd from Yorkshire. Their 678 cows, again on three daily milking, produced 948kg of CFP and 12,988kg of milk.

Second highest yielding herd behind the Harveys, is Court Farm Partnership's operation from Gloucestershire, which recorded 935kg of CFP with 13,170kg for 198cows milked through robots to the end of September, 2020.

Outwith the Holstein breed, there has been little change among the top herds in the other breeds, with the lead Jersey, Ayrshire, British Friesian and Shorthorn herds holding their No 1 positions.

Jon McCosh's Kingsbeck herd from Coulter, Biggar, managed by Jenny Ogg, has again topped the Jerseys, while PA and JM Astley's unit from Cefyn, Powys, Montgomery, leads the Ayrshire breed.

Top of the British Friesian ranking is Nerewater herd from Cumbria and JS Knowles from Yorkshire has the lead Dairy Shorthorn herd.

NMR’s national genetic listing also has a new No 1 with Peter and Sheila Cox's Mearfield Holstein herd from Cornwall, leading the fray. This list ranks herds on average PLI, with the couple's 29 cows having an average PLI of £268, and £343 for heifers.

In second place, is the Easom’s Derbyshire-based Broomhouse herd with a PLI average for 336 cows of £266, with £314 for 125 heifers.

In third is Thuborough Farms from Devon, with a PLI of £258 for the 257 cows and £311 from the group of 98 heifers.