The good grass growth finally came to an end at the end of August just as we were trying to build up grass for the autumn.
We had a big dip in growth and it was necessary to introduce round bale silage to slow down the rotation and let the grass grow.
The quality of the round bales is very good and has not had any negative effect on milk solids or on milk volume. Our protein has moved up above 4% and fat is well above 5%. We are grazing down very tightly as the grass grazed in the next round will be the foundation of our first grazing in the spring.
Scanning of the cows has gone well with only 7% of the cows not in calf after a 10-week breeding season. This is higher than our target of 5%, but we are happy at this level as it means we can cull problem cows and cows with low milk solids.
The new EBI rankings are now out and we have gone up to sixth herd in the country. We have a ranking of 82 for fertility and this is reflected in how the cows have gone in calf. This has been negatively affected in the past by rumen fluke, but we are now getting nearer where we should be with cow fertility.
All our young stock are now on concentrates as the autumn progresses. This will hold condition, reduce grass demand and keep these animals growing.
The grass on our reclaimed land is well up. This was sown just before wet weather arrived.
Farming time will be lost over the next few weeks as we catch up on the Rugby World Cup – we are so lucky it is not in the spring.
Livestock farmer focus: Jim Dwyer