Tom Rawson makes the most of winter grazing

The cows at Dewsbury were finally housed on 19 January mainly due to us eating up all the grass in front on them, apart from 11ha which we will leave for turnout when we start calving at the end of this month.

Some of the in-calf heifers that have been out wintered down at Market Rasen may not be housed at all; this is certainly going some way to balance out the costs of buying in forage.

The autumn calvers at Market Rasen have been grazing by day since 3 January, with the cows at Wrexham out by the middle of the month. And although by the time you read this it might be three foot deep in snow, but at least we have saved on bedding, forage and hard work for at least a month.

With soil temperatures ranging from three to six degrees, the decision was taken to put on 34kg/ha of nitrogen on one of the farms. By plate metering we will see the effects of this or not – some nice early growth would be appreciated.

Oliver and I have had a busy few months visiting potential clients for our consultancy business; milking our own cows seems to be our “USP” and this side of Evolution Farming is growing rapidly. Getting stuck into the mechanics of another dairy farm is mentally challenging, and thousands of acres of grass to walk this spring should challenge my “winter surplus”.

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