Farmer Focus: Silaging done despite hectic building work

As you can imagine, with the building going on here, it has been pretty hectic.

This month we got the cubicle shed up and roof on, as well as blowing out 7,500t of rock from the edge of the new cubicle building before we start to build it.

In the parlour shed, we got the floor, underpass and concrete plinth in for the rotary to sit on.

We have also started the new slurry lagoon site. We’ve stripped topsoil and subsoil in the process, before we hit the proper clay underneath.

The parlour is arriving in the UK on 5 July, so we have to get everything ready before then to allow the team fitting the parlour to come in while we continue with the rest of the parlour building.

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Aside from the building project, we managed to get our second-cut silage done bang on our five-week cutting target date.

The weather before and after was very unsettled and, therefore, when we had a 36-hour dry window with a good breeze, we cut it. Full credit to everyone involved.

We went right through the night to get it clamped before the rain came an hour after we had finished.

The final third didn’t get much wilt, so is a bit juicy, but we would have struggled to get it until at least 10 days after and, therefore, quality would have dropped.

With regards to the cows, we have altered forages a bit recently. Feed has gone from having wholecrop in abundance to the wholecrop running out and then we changed from 2018 first-cut silage to 2019 first-cut silage.

A bit more straw had to be added to provide extra fibre, which has knocked about one litre off yield.

We have also had a very quiet couple of months from calving, so the cows are pretty stale, which won’t be helping yield.

A few more animals have calved now, so that should start reducing days in milk and increasing average yield.

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