Monsoon season has begun in Ayrshire. For some reason, August has turned into the wet month here. It has meant the autumn block on the heavy land at Purroch Farm is now fully housed.
We even had to bring in the spring herd for four nights to fill a hole in the grass wedge and keep cattle off the ground. Growth slowed to about 42kg DM/ha, and the wet weather meant the last of the third cut has been delayed.
This means we are not building the covers I would have liked through August. Getting cows to clean out paddocks is a challenge when everything is a bit mucky.
However, putting in silage and cake does help lengthen the round and get us back on track to build covers again. I am hoping to get us out to the end of October, but it will need to dry up first.
Financially, it has been a solid year. We are running ahead of budgets for most of 2019. However, August is definitely going to put a dent in our aspirations.
The Muller milk price drop for October was unexpected – it seems the Muller brand is not as strong as it was.
The lack of exporting vision from any of our dairy customers is now being capitalised on by the Irish dairy industry, as it scoops up any exporting opportunities that arise.
It is frustrating as we stand here on an island with great potential to produce milk from forage that nobody seems to want to turn into product to sell to growing markets elsewhere.
Mid-August saw the start of the autumn block calving, which is now coming along nicely, with more than100 calved and five to 10 calving daily at the start of September.
Usually we get a good lot calved outside, which helps with calf health, although the wet weather has meant everything is pretty much inside.
Our cull cow business is going full tilt at the minute, with the wet weather coming in now. Customers are saying everybody wants cooked product these days, which saves the hassle of cooking.
So, maybe that is why cow beef has held up so well compared with the prices for clean cattle.