It's the first time in 30 years I didn't get cows to grass in March
If there was ever a time that farmers needed sunshine it is now. I hope that when you are reading this the sun is shining and the rain has stopped. Over the past month, the weather just seemed to get worse by the day. The heavy flooding around three weeks ago put ground conditions really back.
I walked the cow paddocks last week and farm grass cover is 849. Grass growth over the last few weeks measured 7kgDM/ha/day. This should be at least 30+ for this time of year.
In my 30 years of dairy farming, I reckon it's the first year I never got a cow to grass in February or March. I'm hoping to get the 70 cows out to the fields this week.
I spread around 40 units/ac of Urea on the entire milking platform on March 22 and more is due to go out immediately. The target is 100 units/ac by May 1.
Another target is to have 50pc of the P requirement spread by May 1. I will probably spread 18-6-12 or pasture sward next time.
Slurry was spread on all of the silage ground on March 19. The contractor used the pipe system. The following morning I heard one of the sweetest sounds imaginable for a farmer this year - the sound of dung dropping into empty tanks.
Sometimes it doesn't take much to put a smile on a farmer's face but this sound put a smile on mine.
As I write, I haven't spread any fertiliser on the silage ground. I will as soon as the ground will allow me. I will have to be careful to calculate the correct spreading rate because in six weeks it should be silage cutting time.