The grass is still growing and the milk is flowing
Today is the last day of September and what a month it has been. Last week saw the first shower of rain coming to these parts for quite a while and it was very welcome. This moisture, along with the heat, is still driving grass growth.
My farm cover last week was 862kg/ha. Nitrogen spreading finished up on September 12. All slurry tanks have been completely emptied except for some dirty washings, which will be spread on paddocks as they are grazed. With all the growth it's hard to believe that I will be starting to close up cow paddocks from now on for the winter.
The cows are still milking well. Currently there are 75 cows milking. The stocking rate is 3LU/ha. Yields are at 19.3l/cow, at 3.9pc butterfat and 3.5pc protein. This works out at 1.45kg of milk solids per head per day. I'm feeding 3kg of meal, while the SCC is at 182,000, TBC 5,000.
All animals are very content with plenty of grass in front of them. Calves will be dosed and weighed this week and moved to new grass. This coincides with the annual herd test.
I sold off one of my Friesian bulls to the factory. He was getting difficult to handle as he was too fond of jumping over gates and pens. He was over 30 months, graded O+2, killed out at 391kg and secured a price of €2.30/kg.
I made 96 round bales of third-cut silage on September 6. There are huge numbers of round bales everywhere, so feed scarcity shouldn't be a problem this winter. I got a little worried when I read that first cut silages this year were poorer than expected.
I got Teagasc to sample my first and second cuts. The results came back as follows: dry matter percentage for the first cut was 22pc, and 26pc for the second cut; the pH was 4.3-4.4; ammonia was between 10-11pc; protein 10.4pc (first cut) and 13.4pc (second cut); ME 10.6pc; DMDs of 68-69pc; FIM intake 88 (first cut) and 96 (second cut).