Farmer Focus Livestock: Clyde Jones needs more of the green stuff

We are currently facing a slow down in growth – a “green recession”.

We have tried to keep the system afloat with some quantitive easing by way of maize silage, brewers’ grains and cake and have tried injecting fresh calvers, but to carry on with the analogy – we need more of the green stuff.

With average grass cover at 2000kg DM/ha, nothing could be further from the truth. The growth is 20kg DM/day and having subsidised the workers, the demand is 19kg DM/ha – just a case of waiting for the rain.

We are a long way off the target 2700kg DM/ha for the whole herd to finish the final rotation. This means we will probably bring fresh calvers in and let the spring calvers clear up ready for next year.

The dry weather has allowed us to get on with some jobs. We have direct-drilled grass seed into stubble, which was a little tatty with annual weeds. The grass mostly Matrix has actually taken and when you have your eye in and get on your hands and knees, it looks quite good.

We will also be grading our tracks having imported chalk. This will be capped with oolytic limestone scalpings, which cap the surface perfectly. This is an expensive exercise, so we will only do 1km for now. In fact I found a program on the internet which can measure the distance involved. I couldn’t resist looking up how far the “plonker trail” is – nearly three miles. Makes you feel tired thinking about it.

We have attended one of the energy saving days that Tom Philips has put on and very interesting it was too. It showed us how much energy there is to save and we are now in the queue for a new vari-vac and heat exchange unit – just got to get the lads to make tea with off-peak electricity.

See more