Sue and Andy Guy
Sue and Andy Guy farm
79ha (196 acres) on an
FBT in Notts. They are
expanding their 90-cow
pedigree high health status
Holstein herd which
averages 6900 litres
WE MADE 22ha (55 acres) of third cut silage from our red clover leys on Aug 10. It was just six weeks after second cut and we had applied no nitrogen, so 15 big square bales/ha (6 bales/acre) pleased us.
Grass has grown well this summer and we now have enough silage for winter. This is causing a biosecurity headache. We can put tack sheep on land destined for silage next spring, but we try to avoid woolly wanderers on land to be grazed by our own stock within six months. If cattle reject too much grass, we may need to rent a topper in autumn.
Everyone tells us the east midlands is a low rainfall area and that grass dries up by July or August. Not this year. Cows still have plenty of good quality grass to graze and are milking well.
Fats fell to 3.5% in July. But our liquid milk contract requires a minimum average of 3.6% to avoid penalties. The nutritionist recommended a mix of sugar beet and wheat distillers instead of cake in the parlour and 2kg/head of a different blend outside. That has done the trick because milk recording showed an average of 3.74% this week.
Recently a hot air balloon landed here. It caused great consternation for cows and our collie dog, who suffers from UFOphobia. Sue rejected a cheap bottle of whisky when she discovered the passengers quaffing champagne. Instead, she demanded landing fees of £50. After some rifling of wallets it was paid without too many squeals. We have provided a map of the farm and the pilot has promised not to visit again.
Beyond the farmgate, Amelcas failure is a set back for producers planning to invest in milk processing. We hoped these pioneers would succeed, encouraging others to follow. They must have had some bad luck and made mistakes, but the philosophy was right.
If we do what we always did, we will get what we always got. We must not allow Amelcas collapse to deter us from investing in milk processing. It is imperative that dairy producers invest further up the food chain to stabilise the market and secure a greater proportion of profits. *
Grass has grown well this summer on Sue and Andy Guys unit, despite their location.