Farmer Focus Livestock: Clyde Jones is troubled by thunder bugs and geese

Some people complain of computer viruses, but I have thunder bugs that have crept in behind my monitor screen. I will have to update my firewall for letting in such a security risk.

On reading many articles in the farming press with farmers endorsing a product or what ever, I always think “what’s in it for the guy?” but that’s the nice thing about the Pasture to Profit network and the NZ system – helpful free advice.

Having been to both this year’s Dairy Event and Livestock Show and the Bath and West Dairy Show and not found enough things grassy, the NZ field days next June on the North Island , New Zealand are taking my fancy – naturally they will cover all things pure, simple and grassy.

Speaking of which, our latest grass analysis is one for the cynics. Taken on 15 October, energy is 11 ME, dry matter 18 %, crude protein 27.5%, D value 70 and NDF 41%. This is as good as our summer samples and with average cover at 2546kg DM/ha and growth of 42kg DM/ha we have had a change in fortune. Although not enough for the autumn calvers there is more than enough for the spring calvers, who have decided to put the excellent feed quality to good use and put it on their backs rather than in the milk tank.

We currently have Canadian and Egyptian visitors flying in… geese of course, who are intent on eating our fine grass on the milking platform. There’s nothing more beautiful than a skein of geese passing over, so long as they are passing over. I ought to take it as a compliment, but does anyone know how many flat-footed geese there are in a livestock unit, or is it best not to think about it?

Now where’s that ticket to the New Zealand field days?

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