“A wet and windy May fills the barns with corn and hay” – we hope this old saying is true as May has been very wet and cold. Grass growth has slowed significantly to 56kg DM – way below what it should be for this time of year – but the cows are milking well.
The dry April was a good foundation to the year, but the change to wet weather brings new challenges. We managed to cut some paddocks for round bale silage, but we still have to burn some off and sow them with kale as soon as the weather permits.
Breeding is going well and very few cows have not been seen on heat. The number of heifers not inseminated after our prostaglandin programme was 9-11%, but these got an eight-day CIDR and all came on heat. This is the first time we have had such a response to this system and we believe this is due to paying more attention to the rearing of our replacement heifers.
The results from our dung samples showed 67% of the herd had rumen fluke, so we immediately dosed all the stock and saw a difference after two weeks. We were disappointed, but learned we must constantly monitor so we know when to take action.
As a nation, it was great to welcome the Queen on a state visit – something that was long overdue. We in the agriculture sector from both sides of the Irish Sea have been exchanging views and learning from one another for a long time; it is nice to see the politicians catching up.