This week is Andrew gives us an update on grass growth, the storm and much more.
My Grazing Week: Autumn 11
Robotic system: DeLaval VMS™ robotic grass based milking
Recap last week:
Grass GR: 45Kg
Labour and robots
(12th - 18th October)
SCC (‘000) 59
TBC (‘000) 5
Rotation length 37 days
Life on the farm
Despite there being an ‘ex-hurricane’ ripping through the country, grass growth has been high this week. Growth rates have been up to 60kg Dm/ha due to the warm temperatures received. Although growth us up, the quality of the grass has clearly deteriorated this week as the fats and proteins have gone down slightly.
A couple of days this week were spent preparing for the storm that hit the country. We ensured that all machines were away from trees, and that there were no loose steel sheets on the shed rooves to be pulled off!
Luckily, we escaped the storm without any damage to the farm or properties, only a few fallen branches around the place! We will now embrace for storm Brian on the weekend!The earlier part of the week was spent getting the houses ready to bring in the beef stock, and ensuring that there was no slurry left in the slatted tanks before the slurry deadline day last Saturday.
Last week sourcing labour and training staff was discussed. This week I will be looking an example of our daily routine, and how we manage the robot on a day-day basis. Note that this is just an example and times usually vary.
07:45 – Arise, check cameras briefly
08:00 – Move wire in grazing area B
08:30 – Breakfast
09:00 – Change milk filter
09:05 – Wash down machine
09:15 – Check computer stats
09:30 – Scrap and wash down waiting area, around selection gates etc
10:00 – Move wire in grazing area C
10:30 – Final checks and continue with the rest of daily tasks
15:00 – Sweep grazing area A and move wire
15:15 – Wash down robots, especially robot arm and cups
15:30 – Continue with other jobs
18:00 – Final checks on computer and robots before finishing for the day
21:00 (optional) – Move wire in grazing area B again, meaning no rush getting up in the morning!
This is just a brief outline of how we manage our routine and what sort of time some of the tasks might take. As I mentioned, these times and time taken to complete the tasks vary from day to day, and obviously on the time of year. For instance, around calving more time is spent putting fresh cows into the system and training heifers. More time is spent in the spring and summer months assessing grass growth and covers, as the growth rate is far more variable.
This is a basic daily diary for this exact time of year for a predominantly spring calving herd.
I usually prefer to move the wire in grazing area B in the evening time if I am there, as I do like my sleep!