Farmer Focus Livestock: Clyde Jones is fully committed to spring calvers

I’ve just returned from holiday in Bulgaria which was an excellent break – so long as you remember not to ask for Turkish delight or enquire about the nice Greek yoghurt as the Bulgarians are a nationalistic bunch.

And so they should be as it’s a beautiful country, often seeing herds of 20 cows with two cow herders tending to them all day.

Back home, the bulls have not been too busy as our breeding got off to a flying start.

The hot dry days are more bearable now the water supply to the troughs has been updated. We previously pumped water from a pond. However, due to blockages, we have now sunk five concrete rings into the ground five metres deep to take water from the water table.

As we started with a dry sump we measured three cubic metres/hour coming in. Along with 50mm to 32 mm pipes and new NZ ball valves we now have full troughs – just in time as one field fed by a stream has now dried up.

We have sold the last of the autumn calvers and are now fully committed spring calvers. We should calve more than 500 next year and I think everyone is looking forward to a break beforehand.

We have made a small amount of bale silage as the grass was heading at 100mm high. These have been put straight in to the kale fields, that’s if weeds, pigeons, rabbits and deer have left any. It is amazing how tenacious kale can be. Fortunately the fodder beet is performing well.

The birds on the estate have done with breeding pairs of lapwing and redshank protecting their nests with shrill calls and fly-bys.

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