Efficiency is the key to making money in beef
While the nice dry weather in April was great for letting off cattle, I must admit that it is beginning to cause me a few headaches regarding re-growth.
With this in mind I have been letting out my cattle very much on a phased but slightly delayed basis.
While a few showers are welcome the recent drop in temperature and night frosts have not helped the situation and as my farm doesn't respond very well to extended periods of dry weather, quite a challenging situation could develop if things don't improve.
While dry weather is always a great bonus for catching up on work, a fairly constant supply of moisture to keep the grass growing, remains critical to the success or otherwise of my grass-fed beef enterprise.
Luckily I got the fertiliser spread on my silage ground in late March before the weather got too dry and with the help of the slurry spread in February these fields are coming on very well now.
Once again I did not graze these fields which may be seen as a mistake by some but I find that old-pasture like mine needs all the help they can get to be ready for cutting in mid to late May.
I continue to use a paddock system for grazing and I find it to be a very useful management tool. The main advantage of course is that it allows me to adjust my grazing patterns in line with grass supply without incurring any major increases in expensive inputs.
A critical part of my farming jigsaw is of course getting silage cut early. As well as helping to optimise its quality' it fits in very nicely with having extra aftergrass available during the poorer mid-summer growing period.