One of the main reasons that we all love agriculture is that no two days, seasons or farms are the same. At a time where we are seeing an unseasonably warm, dry spell, what can we hope to achieve by ‘controlling the controllables’? Although the weather is a key influencing factor on grass availability, crop establishment/growth and farmer moods, there is absolutely nothing that any of us can do about it! There are, however, some simple things that we can do for our cows to ensure that they remain as healthy, happy and productive as possible.
Forages this winter presented a particular challenge on farm when it came to rationing. There were many instances of variability in animal response to diet ‘tweaking’, which were put down to abnormal silage profiles. Generally, first cuts were earlier and last year and did feed quite well but in many cases, there wasn’t a lot of it, but as the table below illustrates on average they weren’t significantly improved on previous years.
Christmas is fast approaching and its time to reflect on the past year and start to make plans for the coming one. For some this growing season has been kind, but still, present certain challenges. When pondering it may well be worth considering; few farmers would consider giving their cows the same feed ration that they were giving them in the 1980s. Yet many are still buying the same fertiliser grades. “Why do we apply fertiliser to our crops?”
As a business, we try to avoid being too product orientated, but there is a danger that without talking about it you don’t know that we do it. Especially customers who have historically or currently use an Enhanced product and are looking for a more cost-effective British made product.
As the majority of herds are partially housing cows and buffering quite heavily, we have had the opportunity to open clamps and hopefully come up with a plan for the winter. Many of you will have probably cast your eye across the silage results that have been printed in the national press over the last few months and even had a chance to sit down and compare your silages to the published figures.