Farmer Focus: Slurry store review after spreading delay


We have finally managed to spread slurry this month following the wet weather.

We will have to make a conscious effort in future to make sure our slurry stores are empty by September-October. This will allow us to store five months’ worth of slurry and not have to spread when conditions are not suitable.

During the wet weather, we took the opportunity to level out one or two knowes out in the fields to make better use of the land and have more arable acres. So at least our digger has been getting a lot of use.

See also: Read more from our Livestock Farmer Focus writers 

I did contemplate giving my thoughts on the milk price situation, but I feel this topic is everywhere right now.

There is not much more I can add, but because of the poor milk price and the deteriorating heifer trade at market, we have decided to keep more heifers and have been more ruthless about sending away the problem cast cows.

This means we are milking more than I want to be, but the heifers are more productive and valuable than the cast cows.

See also: Still standing after rain, ice and snow

Michael and Emma have been busy leading calves and washing cows in preparation for the first show of the show season, UK Dairy Expo.

The European Championships in France are coming up and the selection judges for the animals going will be at the show.

We were very fortunate during our fertility visit with the vet recently.

The shedding gate had missed a cow, so we were walking through the cubicles with the vet and noticed a trail of blood.

Luckily we found the cows, she had burst her milk vein. We managed to get it stitched up in time and she is now as right as rain. It may have been a different end to the story had the vet not been there.

Brian Yates milks 250 pedigree Holsteins in partnership with his wife Sheila, son Michael and daughter Anna. Surplus heifers are sold for breeding.