Gerard Sherlock: 'We're keeping our fingers crossed for another clear TB test result'
The terrific weather of the past three months definitely made it a lot easier to farm. And only for the darkness dropping down around 4pm, you could be tempted to work on a lot longer.
On Halloween, I rolled a field that was reseeded in August and never left a mark. Cows were housed full-time on November 6, while all other animals were housed by November 28.
It is the first time that I can remember that cows were housed because I had run out of grass rather than because of the weather.
The final farm cover finished up at 550kgDM/ha. I was happy with this and I am sure it has risen since then, especially with the mild conditions around Christmas.
There are 40 cows being milked at present.
They are producing 15.5 litres at 4.11pc BF, 3.38pc PR giving 1.2kg MS/cow/day, lactose 4.58pc, TBC 5000, SCC 143, Therm 100.
Cows are getting 3kg of an 18pc PR and ad-lib silage. The second cut silage pit was opened on December 21. I haven't got it tested yet.
Cows were eating round bales of silage up to then. I made around 300 bales last year and purchased a further 100. They are now all eaten. Half the cows were dried off before Christmas. After attending a local CellCheck event in November, I used selective dry-cow therapy on some of the cows. As the term suggests, I only selected very healthy young cows (first and second lactation) with consistently low SCC results based on milk recording.