John Joyce: We're making hay while the sun shines
Last week the farm looked like somebody did a bad job spraying it off with Round-up as patches in most fields got badly baked in the recent spell of good weather.
The rain arrived just in time with 20 units of Sulph-CAN applied on all the grazing ground as grass was getting extremely tight.
It still remains to be seen whether this rain will be enough to reactivate the growth to meet the requirements of the cows and calves.
The calves are now three to four months of age and are making themselves known with the grass they are eating. There was no point in spreading fertiliser until the rain arrived and lets hope it returns to good weather – albeit not as hot.
More silage was harvested in the last few weeks and we also took the opportunity to save hay for the first time in seven years. With temperatures in the high 20s, it was hard to pass up the opportunity to make hay, especially with a meadow suited for the job.
The hay was only down for five days. It was cut on day one; then turned twice a day for the next three days and round baled on the fifth day. Eighty bales were collected from the field and it is probably the best hay the farm has ever saved.
The hay was left out for seven days before being stacked in the shed. It will be used in the calving shed next spring and for a pen or two of fattish cows before calving. But because of its excellent quality, it should hold for use for a second year.
A simple calculation shows the farm has ample silage now saved for a 20-week winter, this will be in addition to grain and about 200 round bales of spring barley straw to be harvested in about three weeks time.