Cumbrian farmer Robert Morris-Eyton farms 243ha (600 acres) at Millom, with 380ha (940 acres) of common grazing rights. He milks 170 pedigree Holstein Friesians, and runs 1350 mainly Swaledale ewes.
Building contractor, Ian Pickhall, has made progress with the new slats in one of the feed passages. By the time this article is published the remainder of the concrete should be complete and the scrapers re-installed ready for the cows to start coming in at night.
The recent spell of sunny weather we have been experiencing in the Lake District has been very welcome, allowing the cows to continue grazing night and day with access to silage mixed with caustic wheat and soya after milking.
This is the first year buffer feeding has been continued throughout the summer with the cows split into high- and low-yielding groups. The high yielders have taken at least 10kg of silage and 2kg of wheat all summer even when moved to silage aftermaths. The ration is now being gradually increased to a full winters ration aiming for 25 litres in the parlour.
Not only has the weather been good for the cows, it has made for an extremely easy harvest albeit the moisture control of the grain was not critical due to immediate caustic treatment prior to storage. Last years wheat ground has been reseeded and next years 40 acres has been drilled by the contractor with his combination drill. The reseeds would benefit from some rain because they are looking very patchy and will not have time to become properly established before winter.
I have recently been advertising for an assistant herds-man/shepherd and had numerous replies. During the summer I have had a neighbouring farmers son working on a casual basis prior to returning to university to further his education having already got his degree. He has decided to take up the position which I was delighted to offer him. Hopefully it will leave me with more time to enjoy my young family growing up and I can concentrate on the management of the farm and perhaps do a little more land agency work.n
Robert Morris-Eytons cows are grazing night and day after a spell of sunny weather, with buffer feed now increasing to winter levels.