Jim Dwyer sees positive signs for the year ahead

Calving is in full swing as I write and while we have had a few losses, overall calving is going better than it has for many years.

The heifers coming into the parlour are quiet and settle down quickly. These heifers were never trained for milking, but as we go more down the jersey route we realise these are the animals that are best suited to dairying.

Grass has been slow to grow and we are still getting night frosts, but pastures are in good condition and are ready to burst into growth. We put this down to the great autumn we have just had where we were able to graze out paddocks well and avoid pasture damage.

Cows have been on grass since we started to calve at the beginning of February and with the exception of a few nights when we had to take them off due to rain, grass use has been very good.

We had a visit from our farm discussion group at the beginning of February and we were anxious to hear their comments on how well or otherwise the stock looked. They all thought they looked good, but that we needed to get our small group of maiden heifers out to grass as quickly as possible as they need plenty of quality feed to achieve target weights for breeding at the beginning of May.

Our treatments for parasites seems to be working at last, but we were disappointed to see on our latest dung samples that there were still some traces of rumen fluke and liver fluke eggs. We are dosing all cows before they calve again and we will get another set of random samples tested before the end of the month to check parasite status again.

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