Robert Neill hopes for bumper silage yields

The old saying “rain in May makes the hay” should mean we will have bumper crops of both hay and silage this year after the amount of rain that has fallen since the beginning of the month.

The yearling stores have all been wormed and turned out on to plenty of grass, but unfortunately we had 46mm of rainfall in the two days after that and a lot of the grass has now been trampled into the mud.

The cold weather has also meant the cows have caught up with the grass growth and have still been getting a supplement concentrate and high magnesium minerals up until the third week of May. By the time you are reading this, we hope the grass will have started to grow again and we will be able to stop feeding.

We have recently installed a 32-tonme liquid feed tank. We are hoping to do two jobs with this: pipe into the bruiser while we are processing dry barley in order to reduce the dust that is created, and to mix it into the diet feeder to reduce the amount of cereals in the ration – which will also reduce the cost of finishing cattle. Although finished cattle prices are holding up well, we still need to look at ways of keeping our costs down.

While the rain has been falling, we have spent quite a bit of time in the workshop catching up on repairs and manufacturing two automatic shedding gates for our cattle-handling pens. These will enable us to shed cattle three ways once they have been weighed in the crate.


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