Farmer Focus: September silage helped us build farm covers

The weeks seem to be flying by. Once we’re in November we have less than a month until drying off. 

Despite some prolonged and heavy rain last week, grazing and grass growing conditions have been good. That’s allowed us to keep to our autumn grazing plan, graze paddocks out well and graze our wetter fields with no issues. 

The silage that we fed to the cows in late September and early October worked well to slow our round length down and build the grass cover on the farm. 

Feeding silage when grass growth was still good has meant that the grass covers built up quickly. The result is, we are now able to keep to our target of grazing 5ha/day without the need for much supplementary silage.

See also: How to maintain butterfats during spring/summer grazing

In the build up to drying off we have one further milk recording session to undertake. It will complete our Johne’s screening and get the cell count information we need to build up a dry cow therapy plan.

The youngstock have almost finished the last round on their grazing blocks. All surplus in-calf heifers have already departed to their new homes and our replacements will soon move too.

Yearling heifers were weighed and dosed last week and will also be taken to their winter accommodation in the next week or so. 

With the youngstock, we aim to finish the last grazing round by the beginning of November. This allows sufficient regrowth time ensuring we can graze the next spring’s bulling heifers rotationally from the beginning of March. 

This ensures that they have had enough time to transition back to a grass diet and be eating high quality grass in the build-up and throughout the bulling period.

Hopefully, my next article will congratulate one of our team – Kieran – on passing his theory test and possibly even the practical. 

Having just missed the marks required in previous attempts at the theory, we have revised his preparation and he is now using my office for an hour a day.

The deal is that a pass next week will be rewarded with an intensive driving course and test as soon as possible.

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