Dairy Update Farmer Focus: Paul Vicery

Hello all. I hope the past few months has been kind to you. As I sit here writing this I feel satisfied after spreading my first dressing of nitrogen on the silage ground. This fine weather has been a blessing, I hope it lasts.

On the subject of fertilising, how did we get in such a muddle with metric and imperial spreading rates? Units/acre? Kilograms/acre? Kilograms/ha? Whoever you speak to seems to have a different method. Sorry to sound so uninformed but what is a half hundred weight? The whole industry should bite the bullet and go in kg/ha and be done with it.

The grass seeds look good and after having the cows in for the past two years I’m looking forward to turning them out this year. I am a little apprehensive about doing this as the yields for keeping them in have been high. But for welfare reasons and hopefully a slight reduction in feed costs will offset my anticipated drop in yields. Hopefully I will be proved wrong and they milk really well. I’m planning on paddock grazing them on a 14 day cycle for short periods after the morning milking this should ease the work load and keep the cows happy.

I have just bought my year’s supply of semen, so any reps reading this please leave me alone for at least nine months. I have selected bulls with positive deviations on components and fertility and negative SCC as well as at least one for type. This criteria does not leave many bulls to chose and not many high type bulls, corrective mating should still make the right kind of animal, great confirmation and highly functional is the type of cow we aim to breed.

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