Farmer Focus: No rush to put fertiliser on fields

This past month the grass has been growing really well, so we are in no rush to put fertiliser on yet.

But it has taken a severe check with the hard frosts we have had over the weekend.

The good growth of grass is due to the consistency of the slurry.

We have taken some grass samples already to see what the nitrogen levels are. I hope to get the results soon so I can reduce the units of nitrogen we put on the fields.

Despite the weather, we managed to get our first heifers out at the beginning of April.

We need them to eat the grass in the field, which we are hoping to plough for wholecrop. With luck the seeds will be in by the end of April.

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We have ploughed only 20 acres and still have 40 to go, with the weather bringing to a halt our plans to get dung and slurry on first. Meanwhile, we are getting the fields rolled instead.

See also: Slurry store review after spreading delay

Michael and Emma had a great time in Argentina, thanks to Holstein UK. They have made some great friends from all over the world – all like-minded, young, enthusiastic dairy farmers.

Michael found the papers on genomics very interesting. He said it is amazing to see how fast genetics is progressing.

But he was soon back to reality when he hit Scottish soil. We had a lot of milkings lined up for him.

See also: Scottish awards success with Holsteins

The Holstein classifier was at East Logan in the middle of March. We had a successful day, with 10 very good (VG) heifers and eight excellent (EX) cows.

Another wet-day job was getting our Integrated Administration and Control System (IACS) forms filled in at the beginning of April, so that is one less thing to worry about.

Once again, Sheila’s Jersey herd is expanding, with an Excitation heifer calf born in the first week of April. At this rate, our shed – which is well under way at present – will have to be dedicated to her Jersey herd.

Brian Yates milks 250 pedigree Holsteins in partnership with his wife Sheila, son Michael and daughter Anna. Surplus heifers are sold for breeding