Sheep - extra silage means we can now plan more lambs
With plenty of grass we had to take out eight acres for bailing this week it was gone too strong to graze and yielded five bales per acre. We have enough silage made that should do us for nearly two winters. But one never knows what is around the next corner, it could all be needed sooner rather than later.
With this extra feed we plan to put more ewes in lamb moving up from 600 to 650 for AI and letting the best of the ewe lambs to the ram. When grass grows well it hard work to keep the quality of the sward leafy in order to have lambs thriving at their best.
We let the lambs graze first, followed by the lighter ewes. When they have most of the grass eaten we go in and top the field, leaving the heavier group of dry ewes to clean up what is left.
Then we spread a bag of Pasture Sward to build up grass for the autumn. All ground that has not got any fertiliser in the last month will get one and half bags by the end of August.
This will be the last round of fertiliser for this year.
Just looking back on our condition score records of the ewes for the last few years there was very little difference between 2013 and 2014.
However, when you compare results for July 2012 and this year all ewes have moved up by half a condition score, with 94pc of ewes between 2.5 and 3.5, compared to 63pc in 2012.
This shows what can be achieved in a good year and probably also tells me why my suckler cows are giving me more trouble at calving this year.