What an amazing spring we have had to date, enabling field work to be done in a timely manner, rather than all at once to beat the changing weather, writes Jon Stanley.
I have recently been over-seeding damage in bare and open grazing pastures caused by last year’s drought.
It is actually amazing how some fields I thought were damaged beyond repair have ground well over the kind winter.
Is this the amazing versatility of grass, or maybe a bit of Mother Nature’s magic balancing out?
The fertiliser is all spread on the grazing block and silage ground and the warm sunny days seem to be driving the grass along nicely. Dare I say it but we could do with some more rain.
It does look like being an early silage year. Odd bits have been taken locally and we have a few acres of grass to mow next week into bales from a field that just went too far ahead to graze. It will be good to fill the fodder larder for next winter.
We have a few dozen cows still to calve. Most of these will calve in the next few weeks, then the sheds will be empty except for the youngest calves.
It is always a great feeling to know everything is at grass. It always amazes me at this time of year how green the lush grass is. Maybe we just forget, but it is great to have the stock out.
As mentioned last month, we had a number of young visitors to the farm these last few weeks which was great fun for them and actually fun for us. It was good to have questions asked about what we did and why.
They particularly enjoyed seeing the calves being fed and the cows milked but, right on cue, we had a cow dung in the milking parlour, which they thought was hilarious.
Thanks to our milk buyer, the children enjoyed tasting the wonderful cheese that is made from our milk.
We also gave them goodies supplied by AHDB Dairy and Red Tractor, so let us hope their free pens and stickers made for a memorable and educational visit.
We undertook our whole herd annual TB test and, sadly, we had one inconclusive reactor, which is very annoying as, due to our history and location, the whole herd is under restriction until she is retested in 60 days. I am grateful it was not any worse.
We have been there with really bad TB times, but it is annoying all the same when there are calves and heifers we had planned to sell.