Farmer Focus: Winter flood damage repairs under way

What a difference a good spell of weather makes. We can now get on to the fields productively.

It has been all-go with the umbilical slurry system and as I write we have just one 15 acre field left to do out of the 200 acres for first cut silage.

We have received a notification to say we have been given help towards the repair of our river bank, which was badly damaged with all the flood water. This is great news as we can finally sort out the damage to our road.

We have had two newly-calved cows with left displaced abomasum (LDA) this month, so we have been looking at the diet of the milking and dry cows, as we have not had any LDAs for a number of years.

See also: Slurry store review after spreading delay

What a great show of cattle on display at the UK Dairy Expo on 12 March. Congratulations to the Laird family on winning the supreme championship with their Holstein cow.

Sheila was delighted to get reserve junior champion with her Jersey, and even more delighted when she came back from the show to find a new born Jersey heifer calf walking around the calving pen.

We have had to start the inside of the shed, which we moved from the old steading as our original shed is so full with all new calved heifers. We usually sell a lot of fresh heifers but have decided to keep them as the market price is down from this time last year.

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Michael and Emma are off to Argentina at the end of March to attend the World Holstein Youth Conference as part of Michael’s prize for winning Holstein UK’s President’s Medal Award, and Emma has just started a new role at Holstein UK, which means she gets to attend too.

It will be a great experience for them. We look forward to hearing all about it.

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