Name Louise Crowley.
Age: 23 years old
Operation: Farm partnership with father in Tullovin, Croom, County Limerick.
Farm: 150 cows, 42 heifers and 40 yearling heifers.
Performance - Butterfat: 3.51, Protein: 3.30, SCC: 309, Lactose: 4.79, Cows are doing approx. 26.6 litres/day
Farm This Week
No slurry has gone out in the past week due to the weather conditions.
Friesian heifer calves were dosed with engemycin as they had developed a cough. Fertiliser was spread on Saturday and Sunday, this was on the home farm. The number of cows seen bulling increased in the later of the week. And AI was started on Saturday morning. We are looking into hiring in an FR stock bull for the month of May this year. The main upside to this is that we don’t have to look after another bull after the cows breeding season finishes. It is working out at approx. €20 a day for a 3-4-year-old bull.
Cows are out day and night and are off the silage and palm kernel. They are still on 6kg of nuts in the parlour. Five more calves were sold in the yard again during the week. These were a mixture of Angus’, Herefords, and Friesian bull calves. Calves seemed to have held their prices in the last week to ten days.
No silage was bought it in and we are down to a handful of bales to feed the yearling heifers and dry cows that are still inside. Maiden heifers are outside, and the limousine bulls have been let off with them this week too. Weaned calves were moved to one of the cow’s cubicles sheds to eliminate the need of straw to bed them down.
Dry cows are on hay and baled silage with 300kg of palm kernal. Straw is being kept for bedding the smaller calves down at the moment.
The Coming Week
Keeping good grass in front of the cows from now on is key.
AI has begun, so cows have to be watched for any signs of bulling. There are still 22 calves in the shed left to be sold, though I have a buyer coming at the weekend to look at more.
I am currently looking for extra ground to rent in the Croom area for silage and will make more enquiries during the coming week.
General farm maintenance has to be tackled. Usually jobs like cutting fallen trees would have been carried out by now but were difficult to get to since the cattle have been in longer than expected.
Name: Aran Connell
Farm: Dairy farm, milking 140 Holstein Friesian’s in farm partnership with his father.
Location: Mizen Head, West Cork.
Performance: 470kgs milk solids in 2017. Averaging 29 litres per cow at the moment, with butterfat at 4.10, and protein at 3.24, SCC 103.
Diet: 6kgs 18%ration, 10kgs of sugar beet
We had great hopes of the weather finally making a turn this week, especially as we had a cracking weekend of sun down here. The cows were out day and night all of last week and things were starting to dry out.
Heavy rainfall last night and today have soaked the land and we are now back to square one, trying to get cows out grazing for a few hours every day but in by night again. So, my hopes of finally liming no more cubicles are shattered.
Breeding is still going nicely with 80 cows served and 21 out of 30 heifers also served. We will inject remaining ones with PG next week and let them to grass with a stock bull then.
We only managed to plough 6 acres with the other 5 acres still too wet to go near. It is really a race now to get the crops in and with this week's forecast being very poor again, it looks like it will be on the backburner until next weekend.
We sold all of the Friesian weanling bullocks last week, as we're going to try to build back up fodder stocks after this year. We have a week or two worth of sugar beet left and we have ordered 90 tonnes of brewers grains that shall be pitted as feed for next year.
This week's jobs are limited again because of the weather, servicing machinery and prepping them for the build-up of work ahead.
We will also be starting another field reclaiming job with the track digger. Everyone around here is at least 3 weeks behind schedule with work and it will make silage cutting season very late this year. Fingers crossed it might get better next week.