We have built up some positive momentum bar the late calvers
Recent wins for the Galway hurlers and footballers have set my week off to a good start and we have maintained the positive momentum since.
The cows are now on a full grass diet plus 2kgs of concentrate. They are producing 23.8 litres and while milk solids are fluctuating a bit we are averaging 4.51pc fat and 3.47pc protein over the last five tests. This equates to 1.96kgs of milk solids daily.
A disappointing but annual re occurrence is that 5pc of the herd are still to calve. We had excellent early compact calving but still we have a tail on the calving.
We had a good run of beef calves and there was great demand for them. This was welcome as the sheds were cleared quickly and at a good price. The late calves being born now are off our crossbred stock bulls and they are popping out. This is important at the end of calving as it gives the cow a great chance to come back into heat quickly and also allows us to focus on jobs other than calving.
Our first rotation was to finish on April 7 but we mixed second rotation grass in by night and stretched the first rotation to April 10. I prefer to do this if possible so that the cows have a solid bite by day and then lower dry matter second rotation by night.
The average farm cover is 431kg/dm/ha or 130kgs per cow which is very tight, but we are approaching 'Magic Day'.
Covers are a bit low on the second rotation with our highest cover at 1,000kg/dm/ha. This was partially due to the wet weather around St Patrick's weekend in particular, but was added to by my failure to get the required 70 units of nitrogen out by the end of March.
While we have over 80 units out now, we missed some of the potential for early spring grass growth. We are into the time of year when grass always takes off with the lift in temperature - as the nitrogen and moisture are already in the soil.