Race to keep up with the grass for Adrian Harrison

After all the worrying and the rain, the good weather is finally here, and the grassland has doubled in the last two weeks. We normally take our first cut around 20 May but we are hanging in there for a bumper first cut.

I have finally managed to buy a grass crop for this coming year four miles down the road – this is my “belt and braces for the winter”. We are sick of relying on bought in alternative feeds at high prices. The costs here are high due to haulage costs and the fact that we cannot receive artic loads, we have to take ridgeds, adding to the price. So I hope this will go towards our survival plan for the low milk prices.

The cows are out now day and night and are milking well on spring grass. The grass is growing so fast we are struggling to keep on top of it, whereas only two weeks ago the grass stakes were looking desperate.

We are always looking to save money where possible, and one of the areas we are considering is out-of-parlour feeders; targeting the individual high-yielding cow without the blanket feed approach. Hopefully, this would reduce feed costs and also fuel.

Finally the sun has brought out some strange fashions. If you see an old bloke wearing a cricket hat riding about on a quad bike in the Thornton Rust area, it is not Dickie Bird.

Adrian Harrison farms 81ha (200 acres) in partnership with his father Maurice in Wensleydale, Yorkshire. He runs 130 pedigree Jersey cows with 70 followers, with milk sold to Wensleydale Creamery, Hawes, and used to make real Wensleydale cheese

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