Consequences of not puting down my BVD calf timebomb too big to ignore
If ever we needed reminding that theory and practice often make strange bedfellows, all we need to do is look out into a tillage field this year. On our farm the stubbles have produced a magnificent crop of weeds and volunteer cereals as a result of exceptional growth post-harvest.
Conditions this year would have been ideal to spray off all that regrowth and carry clean ground into the spring. But Department of Agriculture rules dictate that we need to have a green cover on stubbles over the winter.
Looking out in the fields at the moment I have real concerns about the carryover of disease and pests into next year's crop.
At the moment the logic would suggest, and I know these things can change, that we will have to use more and stronger sprays in the future. It is more expensive for the farmer. I also wonder what impact that has on the environment?
We got our silage results back recently and I was very pleased with the quality of the two first cuts. They were both 76 drymatter digestibility (DMD) but the latter of those cuts taken in early June has a dry matter of 50pc, which makes it quite bulky to feed.
The suckler cows rearing calves are getting this particular silage. They are eating about 24kg of it per head per day. They are also getting straw, barley, soya, a dairy mineral and water in the diet and they are very settled and happy.
We seem to have plenty of cows cycling at the moment and the bulls are extremely active. However, our breeding season hasn't been without incident. One bull lasted less than 24 hours with the cows when he acquired a career-ending injury and we sent him to the factory.