Farmer Focus Livestock: Grass quality is good for Tom Rawson

It truly has been a case of heads they win, tails I lose this last month.

With my, shall we say, rather high condition score I have been the focus of a cruel, but deserved campaign of ridicule, so taking this on board I have embarked on the “Slim Fast” diet. However, this now seems to have bought about a whole new focus – “a shake for breakfast followed by a shake for lunch”, yes, as you can imagine, the mickey-taking possibilities are endless.

Earlier this month the new “next generation dairy board” met at Stoneleigh, it was great to be a part of this inaugural meeting of 12 positive young dairy farmers.

We recently held a foot trimming course for Bishopton Vet Group as part of their Herdsman’s certificate. It is a concept I fully support, not only teaching young herdsmen and herdswomen essential dairy skills to enhance their own careers, but also the performance of the farm.

Grass quality has been excellent throughout March and April, with ME’s of 12.5 and proteins in the high twenties early thirties. The key to this, however, is the dry matter being 22-25%, this helped us achieve 12 litres from forage a cow a day in March, up four litres on March 2008.

Idea of the month has been to persuade our contractor Andrew to put the mower on the front and the baler on the back and zero graze some permanent silage ground to keep the round length right; 24% DM, 11.7 ME.

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