Dairy Update - Building farm cover, grass budgets, drying off cows and more.


This week sees further grass budgets and milk recordings carried out, the building up of farm cover discussed, final silage cuts taken, slurry spread, fencing finished and drying off cows discussed. Read it all in this week's update below.

Dairy Update - Building farm cover, grass budgets, drying off cows and more.

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This week sees further grass budgets and milk recordings carried out, the building up of farm cover discussed, final silage cuts taken, slurry spread, fencing finished and drying off cows discussed. Read it all in this week's update below.

Name: Patrick Mc Carthy
Age:35
Farm: Milking 40 crossbred Jersey herd
Performance: 29/09/18 , Butterfat 4.84 Protein 4.13 , Kgs/Ms/Cow = 1.27 , SCC 180, 000 Cows doing 13.8 Litres , Meal = 6kgs , 16% Dairy nut



This Week -

Grass budget done on Sunday 30th September and the figures are as follows
Farm Cover = 904
LU/Ha = 2.2
Demand/Ha = 26.4
Cover/Lu= 410

I'm glad I made the decision to increase meal from 4kgs to 6kgs and it extended my rotation and helped build up grass. Meal feeding for me has always been linked to getting minerals into the cows early in the year.

Also, I use meal to fill a deficit when farm cover is low due to low growth rates etc and of course it does help hold yield at this time of the year. But I question feeding meal for yield once I go over 2kgs, I am only feeding 6kgs at the moment so I can build up farm cover. The average farm cover is at 904 and the demand is at 26.4. Heifers are grazing a field that is not really on the grazing platform so that is why my demand is so low.

Once that field is grazed my heifers will be housed. The next 2 grass budgets are crucial for me as I have 27 cows that will be calved by the end of January. So I can't let my average farm cover drop below 700 as I want my opening farm cover to be at 900 to 1000kgs next January as I aim to have cows out on grass once they calf. Also, cows will be on OAD for the month of January which has worked very well for me for the last 2 years.

I have cut the last of the silage and got another 92 bales which I'm happy with. The only drawback is that due to silage going so late it has been harder to build up the farm cover. This week I will have to start closing off paddocks in order to meet my target of having an average farm cover of 900 to 1000kgs. This will probably mean that I might have to dry cows off a bit earlier this year. The next 2 grass budgets will help me make a decision on how much longer I can keep my cows out on grass.

Agenda for the coming week -
I will be doing my last milk recording of the year today (Monday) and this will help me make a decision on any cows that might need treatment for mastitis etc before drying off.

As I have said in previous updates I emptied my slurry tanks during the drought because I didn't know what the weather was going to do for the rest of the year and didn't want to be caught. I will spread any remaining slurry left in the tanks this coming week and make sure they are all empty.

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.
Production:
Butterfat: 4.17, Protein: 3.79, SCC: 202, Lactose: 4.57, TBC: 9, Cows are doing approx. 16 litres/day at the moment. Cows on 3kgs of nuts in the parlour.



This Week -
We made the last of our silage this week, with another 91 bales of silage in total. This is all our silage ground baled now for the year.

Cows are still being strip grazed to maintain the rotation length. Grass growth has slowed but it is still growing. The cell count has stayed around the 200 mark in recent weeks. Fencing is going well on the out farm in Meanus. All boundaries and fields have yet to be fenced, however. The hedge cutting was finally finished on the farm this week.

Agenda for the coming week -
Slurry will be spread, to get tank levels down, on the 15 acres of ground that has been baled.

We are planning to go through all the fencing on the home farm after the hedge cutting if fully finished, to see what needs to be fixed or changed. Calves will be taken to Meanus after they are dosed this Friday.




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