Kevin Green farms 128ha
(320 acres) near Carmarthen
in west Wales, in
partnership with his wife
Lynwen. They currently run
300 spring calving cows
and followers. Their aim
is to maximise output
HEIFERS started calving on Jan 28 and cows on Feb 10. The larger size of our heifers this year means they are spitting out calves, rapidly followed by the afterbirth. The only difficulty is they are so laid back and only engage one gear when walking to the parlour for milking, dead slow.
This year, we have decided to feed 300kg extra concentrates to fill the energy gap on the first grazing round. I thought this meant buying a new feed bin until the rep informed me that it would cost more than £2000.
A cheaper solution is to use the old cake loft, as the addition of a home-made bagging chute will allow us to fill bags and run feed along the front of cubicles. This will be fed at a flat rate of 5kg for fresh calvers once a day.
In preparation for turnout, track fences have been changed from white nylon type wire to 4mm plain wire. The old wire was burning out due to the powerful mains electric fencer, the furthest point on the fence now has an impressive shock.
I have been suffering from back pain, leading to Lynwen and I investing in a new mattress. We bought the old one in 1992 when we got married with a 15-year lifespan claimed. A new one cost us £200 and also has a 15-year life span, although I think it is more likely to last at least 20 years this time.
The Wizard of Oz story has a lot of meaning, the lion wanted courage, the tin man a heart, but the truth was they already possessed these attributes and never realised it. Producers are similar believing they have limited skills when in fact we are extremely talented. Timing, weather, red tape and problem solving are all daily issues for us in which we excel, never underestimate your own ability.
For this month, Megan says: "The best tool on our farms is the bit between our ears." *
Kevin Green has been busy replacing the electric fence wire along his cow tracks in preparation for turnout.