Farmer Focus: Celebrating the greatest day of our lives

After months of preparation, we finally got married and what a weekend it was.

The sun shone, the drinks flowed, and it truly was the greatest day of our lives. Like my MC Rob Bowdler said, it might even beat that feeling when you get first cut in just before it rains.

It was one of those days that makes you realise that however tough work can seem, there is nothing better than a good old get-together with family and friends. It certainly puts things into perspective.

Even more amazingly, we returned from our short break in St Ives to find the farm ticking along nicely.

Forage

Back at the farm we are waiting to harvest maize, which is always one of my favourite weeks of the year. The extra forage will be much needed this year.

Our second cut has analysed very mediocre, so hopefully with a good maize crop we will be able to balance things.

See also: How to improve old calf sheds on a budget

Milk yields continue to baffle, with the cows peaking at 33 litres five weeks ago and now averaging only 29 litres. Looking at our costings, that puts milk sales down by £13,000 on budget year to date, so this is less than ideal.

We have calved a lot of heifers in the past six weeks and it is great to see the World Wide Sires mating programme coming to fruition, with a really uniform bunch now going through the parlour. And so far, not too many kickers.

Staff

We have also had Walford college student and family friend Jess Waters start doing two days a week. It’s a breath of fresh air having someone who is keen to learn and she’s very good with the stock; having already got stuck into calf feeding and milking.

This autumn we are looking to sow 12ha of wholecrop wheat in an attempt to get a bit more of a rotation in our grass leys. This is something we have not done for 20 years, so I am intrigued to see how it all goes. Ground conditions are certainly favourable for fieldwork.