Farmer Focus Livesetock: Could dairy cows solve blackgrass problem? askes Tom Rawson

I write this having just watched England get knocked out of the World Cup by Germany. Myself and neighbour Ryan will have to think up some new cunning excuses to visit the local pub.

The milking strategy has been adapted for the tournament with us switching to 16-hour intervals; 5am, 9pm and 1pm the next afternoon. This first autumn block is somewhat stretched to Christmas so next year this should, hopefully, be replaced by once-a-day milking at this stage of lactation.

The realities of the home farm being in the town hit back yet again, with every string cut on every bale of hay by the time they were collected. Roll on school summer holidays, our busiest time for cows being let out and muck stacks being set alight.

On a brighter note, the six-week AI spell at Dewsbury is nearly over when the Yorkshire team will look forward to the bulls going in. However, this feeling is only bettered by one thing, that’s taking them out again and loading them back on the wagon.

We recently attended an Open Farm Sunday event at Sutton Estates up on the Lincolnshire Wolds. It was well-run in a beautiful part of the world and it was good to see a large number of visitors from the town as well as people involved in agriculture every day.

Being surrounded by cropping, my knowledge of the arable sector is increasing on a daily basis. Blackgrass seems to be the subject of the day, with parcels of wheat being sacrificed to try to bring it under control. I am told wholecrop, maize or grass within a rotation could sort it; is the humble dairy cow the answer to an arable farming question?

See more