Archive Article: 1999/05/28 - Farmers Weekly

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Archive Article: 1999/05/28

28 May 1999

Vinekeepers Tony Scott and Mandy Maynard, in charge of the vineyard on the Southill Park Estate, near Biggleswade, Beds, are keeping their fingers crossed that they dont get another frost like the one last month which will cut this years wine production by about 20%. They have just finished tying in the 4,000-odd plants on the 4.5 acre vineyard.

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Archive Article: 1999/05/28

28 May 1999

Just in time for silage: Denbighshire sheep and beef producer Thomas Lloyd Jones (second left) is congratulated by Martin McHale on winning a McHale 991B round bale wrapper worth nearly £8500 – the star prize in FWs spring competition. Also pictured (l to r) are Mr Joness son Dylan, who helps run the 250-acre farm carrying 650 ewes and lambs and 50 beef cattle, and FW Editor Stephen Howe. Second prize, a McHale square bale wrapper worth £3900, was presented to Gary Yeomans who farms in Monmouth. The third prize, a round bale handler, went to Robert Seward who farms near Kingsbridge, Devon.

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Archive Article: 1999/05/28

28 May 1999

To separate the sheep from the goats… This unusual cross owned by Jill Slyfield, Wokingham, Berks, is from a Poll Dorset ewe bred to a Boer billy goat. But it does show how closely related goats and sheep are. MLC sheep scientist Jenny Anderson says this goat/sheep cross – often known as a shoat or a geep – will be sterile.

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Archive Article: 1999/05/28

28 May 1999

Out of the blue, is how auctioneer Michael Bowe described trade at the traditional Troutbeck sale of breeding ewes and lambs at Penrith. The offering of 2000 head saw Herdwicks with lambs at foot make between £8-£10 a life, markedly better than other recent sales, but down a third on last year. Swaledale ewes with lambs fetched £18-26 a life for singles and doubles alike. The boost was largely down to a brace of southern buyers looking to take full lorry loads back, commented Mr Bowe.

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Archive Article: 1999/05/28

28 May 1999

GRASS growth rate variations this month are due more to grass management than geography and climate, writes BGS grazing consultant Paul Bird.

Where most of the farm has been cut for silage and the remaining small area of token grazing ground has 30cm (2ft) high grass, because of a late turn out, grass will be growing slowly. Buffer feeding may be needed in this situation.

On farms that turned out early, and stayed out keeping on top of grass, a lot of milk is now being produced from grazing – 18-25 litres a cow. Grass is now growing back at 60 to 80kg DM/ha a day ready for June grazing.

Most farms have some paddocks that were grazed laxly in April due to wet conditions. Use dry stock to graze these areas out tightly or, if you still have grass growth rates above stock requirements, shut these areas for silaging.

Nitrogen requirements should relate more to your quota availability a hectare rather than standard recommendations for May and June.

Producers with low stocking rates, who are skilled at extended grazing and only require 2-3t of silage a cow for the winter, can cut back or stop nitrogen applications for at least the next month.

Producers that require higher growth rates for grazing and to grow silage for winter feed should continue with 40 to 50kg of N/ha (32-40 units/acre) each month. But when there is a high sward clover content, nitrogen applications can be reduced.

On the average New Zealand farm, producers apply 60kg of bagged N/ha (48 units/acre) and rely on clover to fix 150kg of N/ha (120 units/acre).

It is critical to have the correct pH, phosphate and potassium levels to get the best from nitrogen.

Spring-born calves turned out in March and April at two to three-months-old are now generally achieving their required growth rates without any concentrate. But calves need consistently high quality grass, so shift them onto fresh grass at least twice a week. &#42

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Archive Article: 1999/05/28

28 May 1999

Beanz meanz better whole-crop silage – or at least Dorset dairy producer Robert Field hopes it does. He plans to whole-crop 16ha (40 acres) of wheat and 11ha (27 acres) of winter beans to help boost the silage protein content at Weston Farm, Worth Matravers, Swanage, Dorset. Mr Field hopes to cut and lift the crops in alternate rows, mixing the forages before clamping. The whole-crop mix will be fed to the farms 125 dairy cows, averaging 8700 litres.

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