11 August 1995

Ease cows access to grazing areas

DAIRY farmers planning to extend the grazing season should also improve trackways, says Joe Kennedy of the Department of Agriculture, Northern Ireland .

He says now is the time to examine farm layouts and, in particular, access to grazing areas.

"Ideally cows should have a hard road to every paddock and be able to enter and exit by different gateways," says Mr Kennedy.

"The cost for a track four inches deep is about £5.20/sq m while at a depth of 6in the cost is about to £7.40/sq m.

"Hardcore roadways are cheaper at £3.50/sq m but it is vital to ensure they are properly compacted or loose stones will lead to lameness.

"Some farmers are now using coarse grain wood bark to provide a good walking surface on worn hardcore roads," he said.