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Kevin Green

1 March 2002

Kevin Green

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

from grazing

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." &#42

Kevin Green has been busy replacing the electric fence wire along his cow tracks in preparation for turnout.

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Kevin Green

1 February 2002

Kevin Green

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 from grazing

BLOCK calving certainly has its benefits, no milking for two months over Christmas and lying in bed until 8am. The family spent New Year in Scotland, they are a hardy breed wearing kilts at -10C.

While there, we viewed beef cattle on a stand-off pad. They were far healthier than the coughing cows and youngstock in the adjacent large shed. Simple ideas are often the best.

Little happened on the farm at home, all youngstock are being fed outside until mid-January due to the favourable weather. Cows are looking well and seem content.

Contractors managed to spread all stored slurry before Christmas, together with a few hundred tonnes of chicken muck from a local broiler unit. The RSPB should be proud of us, as we have never seen as many starlings and seagulls feeding on our fields.

So I have been away again, having won the John Stewart trophy and a ticket to the Oxford Farming Conference for best Nuffield presentation in our year group. I thoroughly enjoyed the Oxford experience, it is a truly prestigious event.

A debating session on Thursday evening was great, with a Catherine Zeta-Jones lookalike as president and Oxford rules adhered to which would be useful in many farmer meetings.

Organic producers were said to posses higher sperm counts through their natural eatingand organic farming is like sex – we all think about it, but few will admit to it.

Vegetarians were accused of playing God as we must always supply a veggie meal when they come to dinner, but they never give us a chop when we dine in their house.

Our children are amazed that I visited the Hogwarts School of Wizardry, from the Harry Potter movie while at the conference. Dinner was served in this magnificent setting at Christ Church where the sequence was filmed. It was a magical experience and I plan to return next year.

Megan has also been enjoying the spirit of Christmas with the Nuffield bull and says: "If you want your dreams to come true, dont oversleep." &#42

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