What a challenging summer! Started off well got difficult later on, which is how I see the winter panning out with getting cows to milk. First cuts and some second cuts seem to be feeding well in most cases but not as well as expected on paper. Third cuts are going to be very challenging with low ME and high NDF being common which we will soon have to deal with has earlier cuts seem to going back quickly.
Always striving to enhance our product offering to the farming community CMC is pleased to announce that they are now able to add the full range of Britmilk Calf Milk Replacers to their current milk powder range, offering a comprehensive range of the highest quality whey and skim milk replacers at very cost-effective prices. As well as being able to supply their own range of computerised calf feeders Britmilk calk milk is also compatible with the majority other calf feeders with free flow versions available if required.
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.
Averages paint a very black and white picture. Unfortunately rarely is life that simple and so it would appear that this year is looking trickier than the averages suggest. There will be some fundamental pressure put on cows for anyone out grazing day and night now and over the last month, and to a certain degree even those out days. Grazing is poor in general and so most herds will have lost 2 litres on average meaning fresh and peak cows are probably 5 litres off already. Not a great start.
Is flushing ewes a thing of the past? As many farmers will say flushing ewes pre and during tupping to increase cycling is a common practice. With better management of sheep and grazing, along with modern techniques such as sponging, use of teasers and tup breading can, arguable, render the practise of flushing a thing of the past.
With temperatures soaring recently in to the mid 30’s it fuelled much conversation about ventilation and particularly fans. With a lot of farm opinion seeming to hinge around it being good just to “move the air about a bit” I thought it was a good time to discuss heat stress, before you spend your hard earned and regret it. This is the temperature and humidity index (THI) that tells us from ongoing research when cows suffer heat stress. It is altering as our understanding of cows continues to grow, for example at 32 °C and 45-95% humidity, moderate to severe heat stress occurs, rising to severe stress the closer it gets to 100% humidity.