Dairy Update Farmer Focus: Paul Vicery finds grass growth slow

The lovely weather has enabled me to get some cows out but not as planned. Grass growth has been slow and not helped by cold nights and north winds so only the lows have been let out and then only for eight hours after midday milking.

I have forgotten how annoying cows on fresh grass can be as I have spent 30 minutes for the past two nights trying to get them in for milking with two dogs that have got fat and lazy just getting cows out of cubicles for the past two years. At this rate I will not be turning the highs out in a rush.

Dad and I had an interesting day out at Harper Adams dairy seminar on farm efficiency. There were lots of good speakers and it was well organised by Wilson Agriculture, but again we left with more questions asked than answered in our own quest for the right set up for our new dairy unit.

A day away from the farm did raise the issue of just how reliant the whole business is on the two of us to carry out day to day tasks. It is a situation I’m sure most family farms have to deal with, but one I don’t feel is healthy for the business or family.

I had a fun afternoon milking in a 20/40 swing over. Thanks to Paul Knight for allowing me to harass his staff and cows for a milking. Throughputs were impressive, but I did find myself a bit dizzy at times, I feel you can milk a lot of cows on your own but would be better with 1.5/2 men in the morning milking to cover all extra jobs.

Good luck to all with silaging.