Clyde Jones

19 July 2002

Clyde Jones

Clyde Jones manages two

200-cow herds on a

dairy/arable farm near

Dorchester in Dorset. One

herd is spring calving and

the other, late autumn

calving. Both are managed

using New Zealand farming

techniques over 140ha

(350 acres) of chalkland

THE Duchy College has just started a brilliant herdspersons discussion and development course. Our herdsmen, Duncan and Gary are attending and learning a lot about judging feed requirements with grass growth.

All this helps man management/human resources and has made sure we are all pulling in the same direction. This has come at a good time as cow numbers are increasing with a large number of heifers coming in.

We have stopped supplementing cows on both farms since the grass has taken off. We had our highest growth rate of three years and finally got over the 100kg DM/ha a day mark. This resulted in some high covers on which we deferred grazing and enabled us to elongate the rotation to nearly 40 days. I hope this will set us up for a dry spell when it arrives, during the school holidays.

Milk yield has held well and the milk solids have increased. Cows at Rainbarrow Farm are averaging 22 litres at 4.02% fat and 3.43 protein, equivalent to 4.36kg of milk solids/ha a day. At Clandon Farm cows are averaging 16 litres at 4.16% fat and 3.60% protein, with milk solids/ ha a day at 3.17kg.

Cow condition has been affected by the weather. Some cows that are a bit thin are being milked once a day to conserve energy to help them hold to service. The bulls finally went into both herds and we all sighed with relief, as I think we had had enough of artificial inseminating by this stage.

People often ask me how we get such high submission rates. The secret can now be revealed. When I was much younger we used to have a house cow. Just one Jersey which lived in the paddock I walked through to get to work. Every 21 days she would moo a lot and I none the wiser would carry on by. Until one day, I was ignoring the noise behind only to turn round as two sets of hooves were coming over my shoulders. From that day on I learnt to recognise signs of bulling before they were life threatening. &#42

Clyde Jones is pleased to have stopped AIing cows this summer, now the bulls can deal with the job of heat spotting.

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