Dairy: Discussion group's visit to Lyons farm was an eye-opener
It's almost mid-October and the weather is still very pleasant for us in this part of the country. Grass is still growing with growth rates of 50kg/ha/day being recorded. I have started to close up paddocks with the first one closed since October 5. I am strip grazing paddocks in an effort to clean them out well as I find it harder to clean them out when they are eating silage as well.
As all fertilizer has stopped since mid-September, only soiled water is being spread and it is fast running out. I won't have enough to do all the paddocks as they are closed up.
The paddock reseeded on August 13 was grazed by the cows on October 2 had a cover of 1,400kgs of grass drymatter. I sprayed it with doxstar a week before grazing. There wasn't a huge amount of weeds present but the spray should clean it out completely.
Sometimes spraying can check grass growth but not on this occasion as it seemed to grow even more vigorously. I had thought about letting in the weanlings to graze it but they wouldn't have done as good a job as the cows. The conditions were ideal for grazing with the cows, which doesn't happen too often.
I got my first cut silage tested. The results came back good enough. The dry matter was 22.3pc, protein 10.8pc, ME 11.2, DMD 72. I was expecting a little higher drymatter.
It is an improvement on last year's results which I set as a goal to achieve in this year. The weather still plays a huge influence in making good silage.
Currently the 70 cows are producing 16.5l at 4.03pc fat and 3.64pc protein giving 1.3kg milk sold per cow per day on 2kg of a high UFL 16pc dairy nut.
They are getting round baled silage after each milking. They eat for about an hour and I make sure at night that they go out to the paddock. Cows had got very dirty so all the tails and udders were clipped. It makes a big difference when milking.