Farmer Focus: Wet spell dashes silage plans

It would be great if, just for one month, we could start our news with some good weather. But this just is not the case.

We currently have our fourth-cut silage lying. Going by the weather forecast, it looked as if we would be getting three dry days in a row, but no.

Starling and weather disruptions

The silage was all scattered, ready to be lifted the following day. However, it just wasn’t to be, as it rained for two hours on the morning we had hoped to start. I do feel for the farmers who still have no silage done.

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The draining is finished in our reseed field.The ploughing and harrowing has also finished, but it is just too wet to get the grass seed in.

My calf feeder is not happy as her feathered friends, the starlings, are back. They have made such a mess that the water and feed buckets have to be washed out twice a day.

Michael and Emma have had their honeymoon, which they thoroughly enjoyed. They went to Bora Bora in French Polynesia for a week and then to New York for three nights.

However, it was straight back to it when they hit UK soil, because Michael was home for a night and the next day, on the Sunday, he was travelling down to UK Dairy Day.

Dairy Day via broadband

He took two of our cows down to the show, and the Jersey we look after. Emma and I travelled down on the Tuesday. Fortunately we had a very good show, so it made the trip worthwhile.

Sheila and my parents watched the judging from the comfort of our home on the laptop via the live stream. It’s great how technology has allowed us to do this.

We were very disappointed when one of our show cows had to be put down during that same time. She slipped and managed to break her stifle. It had to be a good one, didn’t it?

On a positive note, during that week, it was a busy time in the maternity pen. In the space of nine days we had 12 heifer calves. So my calf feeder also had to turn her hand to midwifery while we were away at the show.


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