Farmer Focus: Cows have milked well since drought ended

The days to drying off are being crossed off the board now.

The action is planned to start on 3 December and it will take about three or four days to get the herd done, along with a mineral bolus and fluke dose before they make a short trip to the fodder beet or cubicle housing.

In the meantime, the final bit of grazing needs to stay on point, especially as recent rain has made grazing conditions a bit more difficult and prone to plugging if not managed well.  

The cows are in great form and producing about 1.4kg MS/day. They’ve been milking well since we came out of the drought.

See also: How to decide if autumn block calving is right for your farm

In the next few weeks we will carry out one final milk recording to assist with drawing up our selective use of antibiotics at drying off and to assist our Johne’s strategy going into calving.

A fantastic autumn so far has led to excellent grass growth on all paddocks grazed in October and early November, which has set the platform up nicely for next spring.  

The extended grazing season has allowed many farms to make up some of the silage deficit from the summer and extend the grazing later into the year than normal.  

This has been a great demonstration of the savings that can be made by extending the grazing period.

By the end of October, next year’s budgets were complete and ready for the annual meeting with our relationship manager.

It’s a great opportunity to sit down and run through the past 12 months or so and reflect on the successes and failure, their effects and subsequent future business goals.

It is a critical process for the progression and security of the business, and preparing budgets and plans for the future is vital to this.  

We will now sit down with the teams on the farm and develop the details in the budget, a process that will hopefully help with their understanding of budgets and planning and help to give them a broader understanding of the business. 

Johnjo Roberts is a Farmer Focus writer on Anglesey. Read his biography.