Dairy Update Farmer Focus: Aled Jones

NOW THAT calving is more than half way through we”ve got two more weeks of Jersey cross calves and then it”s back to Simmental, Hereford, Welsh Black and Limousin calves. This will no doubt keep me awake at night, something that hasn”t happened over the last month.

Our heifer to bull ratio is currently running at 40:60, but this will no doubt go in the opposite direction when we start calving our beef cross calves.

This year we”re aiming to graze our pasture on the first round down to 1500kg DM/ha or in the words of our group”s advisor Bryony Fitz-gerald, low enough for you to find a golf ball in it. My problem with this is that whenever I played golf I couldn”t find the ball anyway.

The system I previously used was whenever grass was taller than a can of Stella it was long enough and when the can was on its side it was short enough. So there goes my excuse for having a can of Stella out with me at night while checking bulling cows.

Grazing so far this spring has been easy with the dry conditions. Cows have been out day and night without fail from Feb 17, but the downside is that cold weather has suppressed re-growth up until this week. Now it”s becoming milder, production is reasonable with the girls giving us 20 litres at 4% butterfat and 3.79% protein with no concentrates having been feed since Feb 10.

 Another revelation was turning yearlings out by mid-February. They are coming on well and with no mucking out or feeding to do workload is minimal, only taking a few minutes to swap fences. I would like to mention the words Grand Slam, but this deadline won”t allow. The last time Wales won the Grand Slam, I was just 11 years old which was a long time ago, so don”t go guessing my age.

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