Farmer Focus: Grass growth has definitely slowed

Third-cut has been the challenge for the past week.

We hit a lucky streak with our own third-cut, managing to refill the pit with good-quality silage and make a good number of bales ready to buffer us through the next extreme weather pattern.

We were less fortunate with the weather when trying to get in some standing silage bought recently.

With an eye on the deadline for clearing it we rushed a little bit and got caught out with the rain. However, last week we finally got the last half in nice and dry.

The feed has been clamped at some sheds that will be used to winter some of the dry cows and youngstock.

See also: The 1,400-head dairy grazing all year round

Buying standing crops is always a gamble, especially by tender. However, this has paid off, with cost of feed roughly coming in at 5.5p/kg DM before harvest costs. 

Grass growth on the platform noticeably slowed in the second week of September. Up to then it had been flying, clearly making up for the summer standstill and allowing us to clear some surplus grass into bales.

We have since reapplied some fertiliser, slowed our round length down to about 35 days and are targeting the higher covers to build average cover to about 2,600kg DM/ha when we start our last round in the first week of October.  

Our new team is developing well. Sam, who recently joined us, is beginning to get a good handle on the grazing management. Along with Gruff and Gethin from our other dairy, he recently enrolled on the Young Entrepreneurs in Dairy course.

It’s great to see the team taking the initiative to take up these opportunities and we’re delighted to support them in doing it. 

At home the new addition is an eight-week-old cocker spaniel, Sandy. Our two little girls adore her.

It has been a good reminder not to get too many more pets until they are old enough to do the work themselves.

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