Archive Article: 1997/07/25

25 July 1997

Peter Wastenage

Peter Wastenage, in partnership with his parents, farms a 121ha (300-acre) farm tenanted from Clinton Devon Estates. He milks 175 cows, rears his own replacements and grows 40ha (100 acres) of maize.

THE weather continues to suit us well, and grass growth is sufficient for the herd to be on a 28-day paddock rotation, with the addition of stubble turnips.

Its the first time for many years that grass has been able to support us throughout the summer. Hopefully well be able to continue this well into the autumn without opening up any silage clamps.

Stubble turnips have to be used because of the quick deterioration in feed value, so thats meant a field of kale originally intended for July being pushed back for grazing later on in the year.

For many years weve calved all the year round, but with revised plans we are striving to cease calving from the end of April through to late autumn. This will release the need for concentrate and silage feeding, in order to support the few fresh calvers during early summer.

This could be achieved by splitting the herd, but I see this as impractical so the stock bull has been turned out with the cows, hopefully to serve some of them earlier. Late summer calvers will then be served a month later than they should be.

Im sure the Hyde Park Countryside Rally was a great success. I would like to thank the organisers for an excellent day; travel organisation and speeches were first class. It was fantastic to see the response of people from all walks of life, lets hope this proves to be constructive.

It was very pleasing to go clear on our recent TB test. Although were on three-year testing in this area, there seem to be more and more herds affected. With the lack of commitment to the eradication of infected badgers it must be very frustrating for those affected.

As insurance against shortage of winter forage, 25 acres of hay has been purchased from a neighbour. Hopefully this will last a few years as haymaking is not listed as one of my favourite hobbies.

My sister has just returned from Seale-Hayne Agricultural College, which has proved very timely as my workman broke his ankle four weeks ago and is likely to be away another four weeks. She is proving useful, helping with the milking etc. Im classing this as back rent for the multitude of horses kept over the years!

Its the first time for many years that Peter Wastenage has had enough summer grass for his cows – theyre now on a paddock rotation of 28-days.

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