Louis Baugh and his wife
farm 186ha (460 acres) at
Neatishead Hall and 91ha
(225 acres) at Beech Farm
near Norwich in Norfolk.
About 100 autumn calving
Holstein Friesian cows and
followers are grazed on
Broads ESA marshes with
forage from Italian ryegrass
Early spring weather suggested an early turnout onto our grazing marsh, but recent wet weather and a cold outlook left us thankful for plentiful forage stocks.
Potato planting is complete and the operation has now moved on to contract work off-farm. While planting is taking place all feeding and littering is carried out earlier than usual, with the milked cows having access to fresh food. This releases labour and the loader for potatoes and ensures neither operation impinges on the other.
The wet conditions have allowed us to get on with leptospirosis vaccination and youngstock weighing. It has become quite noticeable how the genetic mix of Friesian and Holstein blood has affected growth rates.
Youngstock with a higher % of Holstein blood have a liveweight of up to 65kg more than their counterparts of the same age bred from some of our older traditionally bred cows.
We have received two communications from our milk buyer, MD Foods. Firstly, their Milk Assurance Scheme which, hopefully, we can fulfill with a few minor adjustments. I wish I could say the same about the notice to reduce the milk price by 1p/litre from June 1. Like everyone else we are looking for further savings on expenditure which will only make a small impact on the income lost.
Surplus in-calf heifers have been selected for sale, 11 are in the process of moving home but, like everything else, at a reduced price compared with last years levels – by £200 a head.
Last month I touched on the subject of farmings public perception and the difficulty we face in creating a pro-active approach. I was pleased to hear of a Parish Farm Open Day initiative, launched and supported by the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association and our regional newspaper the Eastern Daily Press. The first open days have taken place and proved a success. We have applied for an advisory pack and are looking forward to holding an open day provisionally in July. *
Louis Baugh is looking for more savings on farm expenditure following notification of a further drop in milk price of 1p/litre from June.