Farmer Focus: Is fixing milk at 28p/litre a sensible move?

This must be déjà vu – 35 days later and I am writing about silaging again.

Admittedly, we are looking to push the multicut system, but none of us envisaged literally waiting for the nitrogen levels to drop.

On the whole, the crops have been ready to go since the beginning of the week. The month of May has been madness, with the farm growing at an extraordinary pace – nettles and all.

Ground conditions meant getting the maize in needed to be a very patient affair. The stubble ploughed over very wet, and it even meant I spent a weekend bouncing around on the sumo.

See also: 6-step guide to successful maize establishment

All things considered, 18.2ha went in before the second bank holiday weekend, into a cobblier-than-hoped-for seed-bed. Since then the weather has been perfect, with warmth, rain and sun in equal measures.

Despite my concerns, given the lateness and initial conditions, the crop is up and growing nicely. Long may it continue.

This month has also seen 95 low-yielders go out to graze. Given the spring, it was definitely the right call to delay turnout until after first cut.

Although they are eating grass well, with limited buffer fed they have been a little restless and the milk has taken a tumble. This will be something we have to review in the next few weeks.

We have also taken Muller up on the option to fix up to 50% of our milk at 28p/litre through the deal they signed with Lidl. We gave it a lot of thought and consideration and in the end signed the three-year option.

We think it is a sensible move given the previous four years, and should help to put some stability into our cashflow and forecasting. However, there is always that what if.

With it being based on last year’s lowest month and our expansion it only equates to 35% of our milk in real terms today, but a positive nonetheless.

My fiance has left for Dublin on her hen do this morning. Not sure whether my stag will be starting with eggs Benedict and a glass of fizz.

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