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In Your Field: Jon Stanley - 'I am fearful of drought conditions'

We cut our main first cut silage last week and both the quality and quantity were good.

The only downside was the area shut up for silage was down in yield, due to having to put the fields back into the grazing rotation for the milking cows as the growth rates have been below par with the recent cold nights.

 

Planned second cut should be a similar area so fingers crossed for some good growth.

 

The maize was drilled at the beginning of May and I was relieved to see the little plants coming through the soil. The acreage locally is up this year as I think more farmers are looking to have a forage back-up plan if a big drought appears like last year.

 

I am very fearful of this possibility as the last 12 months have really taken its toll on the farm and business.

 

It is getting very dry again here on our greensand and while we have reasonable grass at the moment, the regrowth after grazing has been a bit of a rollercoaster this year.

 

The frequent daily checking of every available weather app on my phone often sees rain forecast for four to five days away, only for it to disappear as we get closer to the days.

 

Breeding

 

We are a month into breeding the cows and it is going very well with only a handful of cows not served in the first three weeks; the best results we have ever achieved, hopefully due to us all being vigilant watching the cows.

 

We will continue to AI for a few more weeks before we let the bulls into the herd.


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Fingers crossed they have all held, so we could have a busy few weeks in February 2020.

 

While we milk a lot of cross-bred cows we still do have a fair percentage of pedigree home-bred Jerseys so it was nice to have some of them type classified for UK Jersey Society by the National Bovine Data Centre.

 

It was very pleasing to get some good scores and a number of ‘excellent scored’ home-bred cows.

 

While we do not do any showing, it always rekindles my passion for breeding the cows and adds interest to the daily grind.

 

As we have got over our crazy busy period of the spring, we seem to be getting into the groove of the quieter time of year.

 

Last week, after silaging, I went with my son to see England play Australia in the cricket world cup warm-up match. Shame England lost but it was a good day out away from the farm.

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