How to make sure you're game ready to face the busiest time of the farming year
The festive season is upon us and there has been lots of preparations around the house in anticipation of the big fella's arrival.
Thankfully Santa still visits and our five-year-old daughter Georgie is full of excitement. We have all the cows dried off now so the daily routine consists of feeding stock and liming cubicles.
It gives us a chance to disinfect all the calf sheds, make sure everything is prepared for calving 2019 and the milking parlour will get a good servicing.
All stock have been dosed for fluke and worms and we’ve treated everything for lice. Speaking to a cattle man recently he told me that lice seems to be an issue lately on some farms, possibly down to the mild damp weather we’ve been having so the plan here will be to keep a close eye on the youngstock and treat them once or twice more during housing.
A good dose can be the same as a few weeks' feeding, the most important thing is to know the weight of the animal and treat accordingly. I saw a farmer a few years ago underestimate the weight of his stock and ended up with high fluke readings the following season even though he used an effective product.
It’s also a chance to get out and soil sample the whole farm as we are starting to look at a fertiliser plan for 2019. Interesting to see a recent article saying that a fertiliser price hike is on the cards.
We’ve been looking at forward purchasing so hopefully we will avoid this. January will creep up on us fast and we usually start blanket spreading the farm with Urea in the second half of January. Spring grass is high value and we will be out grazing from February 1 onwards with the milking herd.
Myself and Paula are ambassadors for TackleYourFeelings ,which is a mental wellbeing campaign run by Rugby Players Ireland and Zurich. The campaign aims to breakdown stigma and encourages people to be proactive in looking after their wellbeing.