Farmer Focus Livestock: Jim Dwyer is waiting to make second-cut silage

What a difference a week can make. This time last month we were looking out on a brown landscape. Today we have beautiful green pastures with growth rates of 90kg to 100kg dm grass growth.

We are now waiting for a break in the weather to cut our second-cut silage. We also have several paddocks to cut to maintain grass quality and it’s important to cut these soon, as we want to start building up grass for the autumn. We are spreading nitrogen at 27 units/acre after each grazing and we will put out 54 units after silage. We have until 15 September to spread nitrogen and after this we must stop.

We haven’t been happy with the condition of our cows and we’ve identified the problem as parasites. We have put an anti-wormer pour-on on the cows and they seem to be improving. This is a problem we must deal with differently in the future as it is becoming more prevalent. Our new strategy will mean monitoring the cows more and dosing for parasites more regularly than previously. It seems any farm prone to flooding from a river will have a very high worm count and this is true for us.

The kale at home is growing well. The crop on our rented land germinated and then stopped growing due to the drought allowing the weeds to get above it and it is now having to battle to develop as we would wish.

A Canadian farmer friend visited recently and one could sense his frustration at being still locked into a quota situation there. We still have quotas but at least one can see an end to them and we hope sense will prevail and the fine for being over quota will reduce.

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