We're flat out for the 'Indian Summer'
Published 16/09/2015 | 02:30
Even though it is the middle of September the summer-like weather of early last week was welcomed by everybody.
We have been awaiting the arrival of the 'Indian summer' since the middle of July, so it was a case of 'making hay when the sun shines' and trying to do as many jobs as possible.
I did a final spread of fertiliser at the weekend, with around 25 units of CAN put out on the milking platform.
I would have preferred urea but I was unable to get any locally. Any of the remaining watery slurry and silage effluent in the tanks is being spread at the moment on the outfarms.
The silage effluent is well-watered down with the parlour washings, so it shouldn't have any burning effect on the grass.
Currently the 70 cows are producing 19 litres at 3.69pc fat, 3.51pc protein (1.4kg/cow/day of milk solids), an SCC of 207,000, and a TBC of 5,000 on 2kg of a high UFL 16pc dairy nut. Round baled silage was introduced two weeks ago as the rotation length was getting shorter than it should be at this time of year. The cows are given the silage for about two hours after each milking. I reckon they are eating 16kg of fresh silage daily. Stocking rate is presently 3.41 cows per hectare on the milking platform.
I was asked recently what does the drop in milk price mean in real terms. Comparing July 2014 with July 2015 there was a 7.6c/l drop in price or a 22pc drop in my wages for that month. It's not hard to do the figures for the 12 months - 470,000 litres at a reduction of 7c/l for the year.
So far dairy farmers are coping but from now on as the list of bills lengthens with land lease, contractors, insurance and so on cash flow will be stretched. I don't do enough on cash flow budgeting. I keep paying the same bills at the same time of the year every year.