Peter Wastenage

3 April 1998




Peter Wastenage

Peter Wastenage, in

partnership with his parents,

farms a 121ha (300-acre)

farm tenanted from Clinton

Devon Estates. He milks 175

cows, rears his own

replacements and grows

40ha (100 acres) of maize

GRASS has continued to grow well throughout March. This has allowed maize silage to be cut back to just 2kg DM a cow and a maximum of 3.5kg of concentrate for fresh calvers. Concentrates have now been dropped back to an 18% nut now the majority of the ration is grass.

The last four acres of kale is rapidly being grazed now flower heads are starting to emerge. As soon as the kale is finished the field will be disced and planted with stubble turnips for mid-summer grazing to be followed by grass reseeded in the autumn.

Dry cows seem to be a slight problem at the moment. Paddocks which are due to be ploughed up for maize that are too far away to be grazed by the milking cows are used for the dry cows. They are having more grass than I would like and this has resulted in some large calves recently. Magnesium chloride has been added to the water and a few tubs of molassed magnesium to hopefully prevent any milk fevers.

We are now serving cows and heifers to Holstein Friesian bulls. This will continue for six weeks, providing a single block of about 40 heifer replacements which can be reared in one group. The rest of the herd can then go onto beef bulls.

Heifers have been yarded again and AId and turned out two days after service. This means the maximum time they are housed is 21 days, providing not too many are missed at bulling. When they go out a bull is put with them to catch any returns. In theory conception rates should suffer due to changes in ration and housing, but we have achieved this fairly successfully for the last few years. I feel conception rates are higher than we would achieve by synchronising them.

Quota management seems to have gone fairly well. Im predicting well be about 1% over – a position Im quite happy with.

I had intended to cut concentrates back to 2kg for the fresh calvers but with concentrate prices as low as they are, Im not sure well drop levels any lower than they are at present (3.5kg). &#42

Good grass growth means Peter Wastenage has cut maize silage to only 2kg DM/cow and a maximum of 3.5kg concentrates for fresh calvers.


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