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
THIS last month got off to a poor start, I received five stitches and concussion from a flying elbow whilst rugby refereeing in Lancashire and then ran over the dog. Thankfully, both Guiness and I have made a recovery, although the effects of my head injury have been fully questioned by the farmstaff.
We have just completed calving and were looking forward to freeing up more time with fewer calves to feed, to find our outlet for Simmental cross calves requesting that we hold on to them until our new ear tags arrive. We have been waiting for two months now.
The youngstock look well at the moment. A recent weighing session and final selection of animals to bull revealed compensatory growth had occurred following their bout of pneumonia. However, it has delayed service by about a month.
We have also maintained our new policy of a straw-free area in every youngstock yard and pens to help avoid overgrown soft hooves.
Our cows are milking well, although not well enough to compensate for a shortfall in cow numbers due to a higher than expected number of casualties. In response to this we decided to lease out a small amount of quota before the deadline. Fortunately, the management of quota has been made a little easier this winter because the butterfat has rarely gone above our 3.94% base.
We are just bringing our data up to date on our Orchid dairy management program, hoping to identify further areas of savings, or improvements we can make within the total dairy enterprise.
The weather has warmed up and with one eye on the T-Sum chart we plan to top dress with compound fertiliser and roll our Italian ryegrasses. We roll as late as possible due to the risk of moles moving in from the marshes, giving our mole catcher enough time to keep the leys mole free.
As Mar 1 and the Countryside March draws near I have been pleasantly surprised by the wide spectrum of country folk who have indicated a wish to participate. All galvanised by the threat to a way of life and a means of earning a living. Lets hope the sun shines and the leaders of our democracy heed the peaceful message of the mass representation from the countryside. *
With calving completed, Louis Baugh is gearing up for spreading fertiliser and rolling the Italian.