John Glover currently milks
65 cows plus followers on a
40ha (100-acre) county
council holding near
having recently moved from
another 20ha (51-acre)
county council farm
WHAT did we do last month? Like everyone else, we waited for the rain and snow to stop.
Over the past few days it has started to dry up and we are looking to turn the cows out soon but the field chosen is still wet around the gate.
The contractors have started ploughing for the maize, but this will also need a few days to dry out before working down and drilling. In an attempt to catch up we also used them to top dress the wheat, putting on the second dose of nitrogen at the end of April. We would still like to top up to about 180 units of nitrogen but I wonder if the crop will have time to use it all and how late we can apply the final dose (you can tell I am not an experienced cereal grower).
The same contractors have also been tidying up round the yard, putting down a concrete pad for two bulk bins, a new water supply in two fields, about 400t of crushed concrete to improve access around the yard and a base for the Ag-bag for the silage.
April is also the new financial year for our landlord, the county council, and now it will be able to finish off the building work from last year. At present the builders are cladding the side and end of the parlour building, and have put extra roof lights over the pit, which, along with the white plastic sheets in the parlour, has greatly increased the daylight in the pit.
Last months rain also highlighted the need for some extra drains around the yards, which means more digging up through the yard and around the dairy. All the water collected will be stored in a lagoon to be built later this summer. It will be 50m long and about 20m wide in the form of a giant ditch with gently sloping sides to support a lining sheet. The nominal capacity is to be 250,000gal, about four months of dirty water. The capacity is theoretical and it will be interesting to see how we cope with a wet spring.
Its a new financial year, so building work has resumed, says John Glover.