Farmers Guradian
Topics
Nine ways to keep your farm vehicles safe

Nine ways to keep your farm vehicles safe

Arable Farming Magazine

Arable Farming Magazine

Dairy Farmer Magazine

Dairy Farmer Magazine

CropTec

LAMMA 2018

New to Farmers Guardian?
Register Now
Login or Register
New to Farmers Guardian?
Register Now
New to Farmers Guardian?
Register Now

Young Farmer Focus: 'Rather soggy weather leaves me thinking what is there to tell?' - Alan Bankier, 24

Alan Bankier, 24, milks 120 cows on 263 hectares (650 acres) with his uncle Alex and a Polish dairy worker, Damien.

Weather: When thinking about what to write, I was filled with excitement about what may lie ahead on the farm this month.

 

However, all that seems to have appeared is a bald patch on my head from where I have stood and scratched thinking about what there is to tell.

 

The reason for this is conditions have been really rather soggy. The milk cows have now been fully housed for two months, which is two months too early in normal circumstances.

 

This aside, the cows seemed to have settled well and appear to be enjoying having a dry place to sit and chew the cud.

 

Calving: Now that both staff and animals are in their winter routine, our attention turns to the 25 autumn calving heifers who too have been housed for a while now and some have already started to pop.

 

I have seen many advantages of this from a practical sense: watching the ladies daily has a profound effect on being able to act on a situation in a timely manner, which in turn gets the girls off to the best start possible. So far so good.

 

Back in December, this batch were sired to sexed Topsy and then covered with our Limousin bull with all six calves so far being Holstein heifers.

 

This is my favourite kind of work on the farm, serving the cattle and if necessary assisting in the end result nine months later. It is so rewarding to watch and makes each day here worthwhile.

 

Arable: With regard to field and tractor work, of course there has not been much to report this time of year. Two cuts of grass silage have been taken and a third has failed to materialize, with Mother Nature making herself hard to get on with.

 

However, some breaks in the weather allowed us to grab the 16ha (40 acres) of spring wheat sown thisyear destined for wholecrop. I was pleased to see this finally clamped as it should bring our forage making for the season to a close.

 

We have not wholecropped for quite a few years, as we usually combine our cereals and attempt to crimp and treat the grain. But with mixed success the decision was taken to return to wholecrop providing chopped straw for the ration and a well milled grain all in one shear grab.

 

I like the idea of simplifying the ingredients for total mixed ration as daily feeding is undertaken by myself and the less running around in the loader the better.

 

Bringing the month to a close I was gifted an early Christmas present with the arrival of wintering sheep. The farm will eventually carry about 500 to 600 Blackface sheep from now until March, keeping me on my toes at all costs. Wire cutters at the ready.


Read More

Young farmer focus: Jodie Swan - "All I ever wanted was my own flock of sheep" Young farmer focus: Jodie Swan - "All I ever wanted was my own flock of sheep"
Young farmer focus: Kelly Hoodless - "I urge young people to use placements and scholarships" Young farmer focus: Kelly Hoodless - "I urge young people to use placements and scholarships"

Facebook
Twitter
RSS
Facebook
Twitter
RSS