FARMER FOCUS: Breeding gets in full swing

After a stressful couple of months worrying about grass growth and the lack of it, now the tables have turned and we’re desperately trying to get on top of it. Paddocks are being shut off for first cut.

This year we will be processing silage in round bales. With some fields further ahead than others, this will give us flexibility to cut when it’s ready rather than trying to bulk it out. In the past we’ve mowed paddocks before letting the cows eat the mowed grass. This will be an option we revisit again.

Breeding our spring herd has also begun and so far is encouraging. All the cows have been tail painted and I managed to get most of it on them rather than me for a change. All I have to do now is wait for them to come bulling and serve them.

Our resident bull Oscar has also been allowed out with some new playmates and wasted no time in introducing himself to one of my Ayrshires. He was then swamped by the rest of the group and promptly chased around the field as if he were the fifth Beatle.

On the back of my first article I have been offered a livestock shed to use for as long as I need. My girlfriend and I have been busy looking at various ideas, speaking to experts and constructing cashflows to see if any of them would work.

So far, they haven’t, and we might have to reject the kind offer. We won’t be too despondent though. If the numbers don’t stack up then it won’t work. Was this the big break my generation craved for to get on the farming ladder? Probably not.

We’re young and have time ahead of us – we’ve just got to be patient and look for our next chance.

Ross Symons farms 200 dairy cows, including his own small herd of pedigree Holsteins, with his parents near Truro, Cornwall. They are converting their year-round calving herd to autumn block calving

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