Beef: The next targets are some reseeding and the first cut of silage in mid May
Most of the cows and calves are turned out to grass at this stage.
We turned out the cows with the strongest of the bull calves first. Even though they were let into a dry field they were doing a little more poaching than I would have liked. But we were anxious to start moving out some stock, to ease the pressure on our silage supplies.
We were happy that we had enough silage and we'd probably have some left over but if we didn't start turning out stock we could have got ourselves into the position where we would have had to turn out all the stock too quickly and run the risk of running out of grass.
This spring, we spread Pasture Sward on some of the grazing land and 18:6:12 on more of the pasture. This was as a result of our recent soil samples that showed some of the fields farthest away from the yard were quite low in phosphorus (P) and potassium (K), whereas the fields that were close by were quite high in P and K.
I suppose this was a result of the fields close to the yard getting slurry every year.
We need to make an effort and spread the fields with slurry that we wouldn't normally have spread. We plan to put 2,500 gallons of slurry per acre on all our silage ground, and some of this has already been spread.
As has been our practice for the last few years, we will plan to cut some silage around the middle of May, for the fattening cattle, and the remainder towards the end of May or early June for the suckler cows.
Our winter barley got its first application of fertiliser in the middle of March, we spread 200kg per acre of 12:3:25.