Livestock

FARMER FOCUS: Fodder beet boosts production

Saturday 02 March 2013 08:57
Adrian Harrison

I am dictating as I eat a very large piece of apple pie and Wensleydale ice cream, while my daughter is typing for me. It is amazing what the kids will do when they want to buy something. A good sugar rush does wonders for morale... hence pie and ice cream.

Spring keeps offering a glimmer of hope and, dare I say it, the grass down dale is starting to green up.

We have ordered our first application of fertiliser and prices look a little lower than last year at this stage. Here's hoping for a mid-April turnout.

Things have come to life. A bit of sunshine and dry weather and everything starts to happen. The calving shed has gone mad and we are now milking more that we ever have, and are now up to 130.

I am preparing a place for the new rollover crush to sit. We are looking forward to it as we are not so keen on our old system and I am sure health and safety would condemn it if they paid our farm a visit.

The rollover crush has been part grant assisted and has been sourced from JT Universal, Leyburn. I will update you on its positive contribution to our herd in the coming months.

The cows are milking well, averaging 19 litres a cow at 5.45 butterfat and 3.81 protein.

We had an odd load of brewers fodder beet, which has been finished now, and I am hoping to get my hands on some more because of the positive effect it has had on the cows.

Adrian Harrison farms 81ha (200 acres) in partnership with his father Maurice in Wensleydale, Yorkshire. He runs 130 pedigree Jersey cows with 70 followers, with milk sold to Wensleydale Creamery, Hawes, and used to make real Wensleydale cheese

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