A drop in yields leading to increasing meal fed to cows, remaining silage cuts, scanning cows, high SCC, drying off cows, fertiliser spreading. Read it all on this week's Dairy Update below.
Farm: Milking 40 crossbred Jersey herd
Performance: Butterfat 5.06, Protein 4.07 , Kgs/Ms/Cow = 1.16 , SCC 139, 000 Cows doing 12.31 Litres , Meal = 6kgs , 16% Dairy nut
This Week -
As you can see the cow's are slipping down in yield. In my previous collection they were 14 Litres. Although one day I had to milk the cows once a day, so I think this threw them a bit so the yield then dropped to 12 Litres.
I can't really be too hard on my cows or myself in relation to the drop in yield. As I have said in previous updates, most of my cows have been calved since early January. Also it has been a year of extreme weather and a lot of herds never really reached there proper peak, including my own. Milk solids are still holding so I'm happy enough with overall performance.
I have increased meal to see will this hold them and also to stretch out the rotation, so this might help hold them at 14 or 15 Litres.
The Week Ahead -
I will be cutting the remainder of the silage this week, as well as getting out more fertiliser. I will also do a grass budget to see how my farm cover is.
Name: Louise Crowley
Operation: Farm partnership with father in Tullovin, Croom, County Limerick.
Farm: 150 cows, 42 heifers and 40 yearling heifers.
Production: Butterfat: 4.62, Protein: 3.80, SCC: 213, Lactose: 4.53, Cows are doing approx. 15 litres/day at the moment. Cows are on 3kgs of nuts in the parlour.
This Week -
We’ve had quite a bit of rain in the past two weeks. This is week is to be dry though, so we’ve 15 acres of silage to bale on Wednesday. This was mowed on Sunday and tedded out on Monday and Tuesday.
Cows are still being strip grazed at the moment to stretch grass. Growth rates were good for the past two weeks but have started to slow down with the cold mornings. Three cows were dried off this week. These were winter milker’s from last year that calved last December.
Another load of round straw bales was gotten in Mallow. I paid €25 a bale for wheaten straw. 22 big square bales of barley straw were obtained too at €60 a bale. These will be for bedding our calving boxes. Cows and heifers were all scanned this week too, with only 17 cows out of 125 empty. There was 3 heifers out of 55 empty. One of these heifers was probably a twin and would never have gone in calf.
The cow's Cell count have stayed around the 200 mark for the past few weeks. The cluster cleanse system was installed in the parlour last Wednesday and I’m hoping this will help the cell count issue. Fencing has also been started on the out farm in Meanus. All boundaries and fields have to be fenced off.
Week Ahead -
Slurry will be spread, to get tank levels down, on the 15 acres on ground that’s being baled.
We are planning to tidy some ditches in the farm in Meanus in the coming week to make fencing easier. We will also be Hedge cutting on the home farm, which was started during the week by Eoin McMahon and is continuing this coming week.
I have started back relief milking with the FRS. This will be for a month or two until calving starts again at home for the winter.
Name: Aran Connell
Farm: Dairy farm, milking 140 Holstein Friesian’s in farm partnership with his father.
Location: Mizen Head, West Cork.
Performance: 22 litres, 4.57bf, 3.94pr, scc 114, Cows on 4kgs of ration
This Week -
I am very happy with cow performance currently.
Their SCC went high last week, over 200, due to two cases of mastitis. These are now back under control. Grass is still growing well with good regrowth this week. We scanned out cows and the results showed a 10% empty rate with a few more cows to cull aswell. Most are calving in Jan and February, with only a few April calvers this year. Overall we are very happy with results, with 28 heifers coming in we should be able to increase cow numbers up to 150 for next year.
All of the slurry has been spread now and the last of the fertiliser has been put out. We blanket spread all of the paddocks with 30 units of urea. Grass is growing very well and with the next week and more giving a good forecast, its turning into a lovely autumn for grazing.
Week Ahead -
We have 12 acres on an outfarm that we will bale this week.
We were going to Zero graze it, but we won't need it now we don't think. A lot of silage has been cut this week and from talking to local people, most are happy they will get through this winter ok in terms of fodder supplies. We have grazed all of the ground that we stitchedgrasseed into. It has come lovely and thick and seems to have been a good job.
We're back building at the moment with a new calving shed being built, as the current calving facilities are not up to scratch for our numbers. We're also extending the milking parlour holding yard to cater for more numbers.