Farmer Focus: Plentiful third-cut silage needs bagging for first time

It has been a crazy month here with shearing, third-cut silage and the continuing building work still motoring on.

We gathered the fell at the beginning of the month to shear the fell ewes.

This was a big day for the shearing gang and us alike, with about 900 sheep shorn. Following this we had a few busy days dosing lambs, marking ewes and applying a pour-on to fight the constant battle against ticks.

The cows are ticking along nicely and we have been calving quite a number the past month.

See also: Q&A: Experts answer farmers’ multi-cut silage questions

This is starting to bring our days in milk back down, but we are still at 190 days. However, we still have a lot to dry off. 

We had to Agbag the third-cut silage for the first time this year because our clamps are so full. Apart from a few breakdowns, the silaging went OK.

We mowed the grass early to allow us to get it dry enough. We managed to get a dry crop but it is a little light due to us only applying half the rate of nitrogen (30 units) because we had plenty of crop already.

The building project is continuing at an incredible rate. The floor is now in around the rotary, with all the ducts as well as the outer wall base.

The dairy plant room floor is getting poured the day following writing this which means we can crack on and get the mezzanine floor in for the Xchanger milk cooling system to go in above.

This system will take heat from the milk and convert it into a heat energy source as underfloor heating for the office, store room and a hot air blower for the staff at ‘cups on’ in the parlour.

The new slurry lagoon has already been dug. We have been lucky to have a field with great clay to build it in and use the clay to line the whole lagoon.

This took us three weeks of work with a D5 dozer and our 22t excavator. Luckily for us we managed to get three weeks to work in without rain, which is incredibly rare in the Lake District. The job would have been held up a bit if it hadn’t have stayed dry.

Patrick Morris-Eyton is a Farmer Focus writer from Cumbria. Read his biography.