JULY 2020 West Cork Dairy Farmer

July 19th 2020:

Currently averaging 1.91 Kgs MS/Cow/Day on 4kgs of a 13% protein dairy nut. 46 surplus bales taken off the milking platform on 15th July. We will take out more bales from the grazing platform next week and we are following paddocks that are baled with parlour washings and 8 units of n through the Tow and Fert. 2nd cut silage will be fit to cut this week coming.

Current fertiliser mix on grazing paddocks is 16 units of urea, carbon source, humates, little foliar P & K, boron and a splash of seaweed. Will carry out a grass walk tomorrow and update asap but know by looking at the farm that we have had the best week of growth so far this year. The farm is looking fantastic and cows are happy grazing top quality grass as the pictures show.


July 2nd 2020:

Thankfully the rain has finally kicked in and growth is starting to recover. Covers were starting to drop below where we felt comfortable with so we fed about 5 Kg DM of good quality silage for a week up until this Monday along with 4 Kg of meal. Cows will remain on 4 Kg meal – MS/cow/day is about 2.1 Kg.

10 acres is earmarked for reseeding and this will be sprayed off and reseeded with a guttler. I prefer not to plough fields where possible to keep the fertility up top near the main root mass and maintain our organic matter and soil carbon levels. It is not always possible but where it is, we don’t use the plough. Paddocks this week got a round of 18 units of liquid N with carbon. We played around with some different mixes before the rain came and found grass greened up better when some other nutrients were added – more on this in the coming weeks.

Farm Cover (Kg DM/Ha): 621

Growth Rate (Kg DM/Ha): 58

L.U./Ha: 3.54

Some very interesting research was published recently by the Rothamsted research institute in the UK on the important role soil biology has to play in soil structure, water retention and drainage. It is worth a look – https://www.rothamsted.ac.uk/news/where-there’s-muck-there’s-brass

Coming next – grass growth update and how to assess soil structure on your farm.