July has been yet another month dominated by the wet weather. Dry matter intakes have been a struggle on all units; patience has been a virtue when it came to second-cut silage. Thankfully, the autumn calving dairy in Lincolnshire chopped dead on six weeks should yield quality. The low-cost option of direct drilling a one-year grass ley into wheat stubbles has so far been highly successful, with 18t fresh weight for every acre (14.6t of DM for every hectare) clamped after two out of three cuts.
The first PD session at Dewsbury went well with 48% of cows holding to first service, even though we have moved the block forward by 21 days to match the conventional grass growth curve. After checking the whole herd for any dirty cows pre-mating, followed by Julia the vet, checking anything not seen bulling, we only had one cow with whites out of 244 cows checked; now it’s over to the bulls.
The announcement of the Yorkshire Show being cancelled came as I was half way through writing my speech for the Future Farmers of Yorkshire breakfast meeting. I quickly hit delete on the laptop and booked myself and two of my mates on the bus for the protest in London. What a great turnout; I was proud to be part of it. Let’s hope if any further action is required, all dairy farmers will join in to help get this price drop reversed.
Tom and Catherine Rawson are involved in three separate dairy farming businesses. The core activity is sharemilking around 1,000 cows on a low input forage-based system over three sites. Tom is also a partner in a dairy consultancy company
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