Cold driving rain for Jim Dwyer

It is difficult to believe it’s summer with temperatures below normal and plenty of cold driving rain. We had two weeks of holidays with lovely sunshine and there is no doubt it recharges the batteries and gives one a different perspective on life.

We are still cutting the odd paddock for round bale silage to keep grass quality under control. Like most dairy farmers in this country, we are over quota. But we have sold cows to match cow numbers to quota and with drying off some cows early we hope we will come in on quota next year.

Despite the weather, cows are milking well and solids are holding. We averaged 4.44% fat and 3.65% protein for June and this is giving us 4c/l above the base milk price. Our Jerseys are beginning to show their true value.

We have taken the bulls out of the cows as we are trying to avoid late calves next year and this will mean we have been breeding for nine-and-a-half weeks. We bred the heifers for seven-and-a-half weeks and we will scan them now to establish how breeding has gone.

Our kale is now growing very well but it was sown late and it has some catching up to do to get a good yield, but hopefully if we get some sunshine this will be achieved. The Irish Grassland Association is having a summer tour dealing with “cow for the system, or system for the cow”. This should be interesting as farmers are still confused as to the type of cow we should have on our farms post-quotas.

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