Dry conditions begining to bite - Tony Renwick farmer comment

Published 10 July 15

Tony Renwick has 300 autumn calving crossbred cows on a paddock grazing self-feed system in East Sussex. He has a 71ha grazing platform, with 60ha of maize, and aims for high-quality milk from high-quality, healthy cows.

Average farm cover        1,900kg DM/ha

Growth                           18kg DM/ha

Going into                       2,500kg at night and long stored grass in the morning.

Demand on platform        56kg DM/ha

Concentrate level            1kg 


“We've been dry here for quite a long time and are desperate for rain,” says Tony. “Luckily, being autumn block calving, we start calving on or around 28 August, we dry off and stop milking for six weeks. During this time, the cows are moved off the farm to rented run off that has standing hay. This manages to hold the cows for three weeks, making a big difference and gives us a get out of jail free card.

“All paddocks have been mown in front of the grazing cows, cleaning them up so they are ready when fresh calvers go out. We have been running on an extended round for some time, by putting in stored grass that's basically standing hay. We have been once-a-day milking since the middle of May”.