12 July 2002

Andy Guy

Sue and Andy Guy farm

79ha (196 acres) on an

FBT in Notts. They are

expanding their 76-cow

pedigree high health status

Holstein herd which

averages 6900 litres

A SPOTTY youth in a Bangkok internet cafe has been interfering with the efficient running of our office this week.

The computer has been infected with W32.Klez.H@mm. It is a virus, which secretly e-mailed itself to all our friends before we discovered we even had it.

Our anti-virus software was out of date, so we were unable to destroy the blighter. In the end we called in a professional. We were anticipating a jargon speaking computer geek with waxed hair, so we were relieved when Fred arrived.

He was nearer to retirement than puberty and his confident handling of the problem brought us back from the brink of panic. It took him six hours, but he caught and removed the virus without losing all our data. It was a hard lesson to learn, but we will keep our anti-virus software up to date in future.

Our contractors made second-cut silage on June 27. The pre-cutting grass analysis indicated 6.96% sugar levels and that fertiliser had been fully used, so we should get a good fermentation. We now have sufficient forage in the clamp to see the milkers through next winter.

The contractors equipment seems to get bigger every year. The mower that arrived this time cut 9m (30ft) in one pass and the forager had a 410Kw (550hp) engine. They harvested our 36ha (90 acres) in about eight hours and we had the sheet on two hours after that.

We also baled some late first-cut red clover, overseeded with Westerwolds. We decided to keep it separate from the second cut because it had too many docks in it and the quality had started to decline. It will be fine to feed to dry cows, but we still need more bales for the youngstock.

We are running out of top quality grazing, so we shall split cows into two groups soon. Our nutritionist wants us to buffer feed with silage and a blend of distillers, wheat, beet pulp and soya. We have been resisting the idea because it seems like extra work, but it looks as though he is right. We want to maximise yields to take advantage of positive seasonality payments in the summer months. &#42