Causeway Chronicle

Future proofed roofing for dairy farmers becoming the go-to optionBrett Martin Marlon CST Heatguard sheet produced 70% reduction in predicted loss of milk yield caused by heat stress in the cows

Left to right: President of the Royal Agricultural Society, John Henning OBE; Head of Strategic Development at Brett Martin, Robin Black; leading UK specialist in the effects of heat stress on cattle, Dr Tom Chamberlain and Chairperson of the Guild of Agricultural Journalists Rebecca McConnell.

New research by a leading veterinary scientist has found that Brett Martin’s Marlon CST Heatguard roofing sheet can play a significant role in reducing heat stress and its resulting loss of dairy performance in cows.

The research trial, carried out by Dr Tom Chamberlain, a UK specialist in the effects of heat stress on cattle, showed that by lowering the temperature in the dairy shed, the Marlon CST Heatguard sheet produced a 70% reduction in the predicted loss of milk yield caused by heat stress in the cows when compared to traditional fibre cement roofing.

Dr Chamberlain outlined his findings to members of the Guild of Agriculture journalists at an event in Brett Martin’s Mallusk headquarters today. Attendees also heard from Brett Martin about the product’s growing popularity amongst dairy farmers, and had the opportunity to tour the company’s factory and the nearby Bingham’s Dairy Farm where Dr Chamberlain’s trial was carried out.

Dr Chamberlain is a veterinary surgeon working in cattle practice and academia. He began monitoring heat stress in cows 10 years ago and is currently studying for MRes at Harper Adams University on the topic of ‘Investigating cow-centred methods for assessing heat stress’.

He says that heat stress is a growing problem: “With rising average temperatures and the rising numbers of ‘hot’ days, this is impacting upon dairy performance. We are also seeing more extreme events, and all of this is making heat stress an increasing global issue.”

Dr Chamberlain says the conclusions of the research trial at Bingham’s Dairy Farm in Templepatrick where that Marlin CST Heatguard transmits less solar radiant heat than the Fibre cement re-radiates, the shed feels up to 2oC cooler, and milk yield depression was 70% less, with lying times, fertility and lameness all improved.

Brett Martin developed the new roofing materials to not only meet the current needs of dairy farmers but also address issues identified as key for the industry’s future.

The high performance translucent material allows the entire roof to transmit light into the building without the risk of excessive heat gain, thanks to its special heat reflective properties.

Brett Martin Sales Manager Chris Chambers said: “We have experienced tremendous interest in Marlon CST Heatguard as the benefits for local farms have spread by word of mouth which is undoubtably the best recommendation for the product and reflects that it is delivering a wide range of positive outcomes which farmers want to incorporate into both new and refurbished dairy sheds.

“The benefit of the roofing for farmers will increasingly become important when as predicted, the number of hot days increase. Further financial benefits are achieved from the reduced need for electric lighting as the sheds benefit from higher natural daylight,” he adds.

In a new development, Brett Martin is also launching a low carbon version of the Marlon sheets which is produced from a bio-based, carbon neutral polymer which replaces 89% of the fossil content. The sheet is produced with sustainable energy at the company’s Mallusk site, allocated from its dedicated wind and solar generated energy resource.

Farms in the Republic of Ireland can also now benefit from Marlon CST on grant-aided projects where it is the only material of its type approved on the latest version of S.102, TAMS – Farm Building and Structures Specifications.

Left to right: Leading UK specialist in the effects of heat stress on cattle, Dr Tom Chamberlain; Head of Strategic Development at Brett Martin, Robin Black and Chairperson of the Guild of Agricultural Journalists, Rebecca McConnell.
Left to right: Chairperson of the Guild of Agricultural Journalists Rebecca McConnell; Technical Sales Manager at Brett Martin, Chris Chambers; Dairy farmer George Bingham and leading UK specialist in the effects of heat stress on cattle, Dr Tom Chamberlain.
Causeway Chronicle

Causeway Chronicle