Archive: Farmer technical comment - John Owen

Published 24 October 14

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John Owen is farm manager at Gelli Aur College in Carmarthenshire. The college has 250 spring calving crossbreds, yielding 5,200 litres and grazing 88ha, with some of the grass silage needed brought in. This herd is run alongside a further 250 cow autumn-calving herd producing 6,500 litres.

Grass supply

Average Farm Cover       2,608kg

Pre-grazing cover            3,000kg+

7-day grass growth          36kg DM/ha/day

Herd grass demand         3,612kg DM/day

Cow performance

Milk yield                        1.26kg MS, 5.33% fat, 4.11% protein

“The cows are still out day and night, with no forage supplement, and they are getting about 3kg concentrate in the parlour,” says John. “Conditions are still OK, but getting a little wet now. We will look to start on-off next week if conditions remain the same.

“We started the last rotation on 1 October, but may have to graze one or two fields again due to high cover. The field we grazed on 1 October now has a cover of 2,900kg/ha.

“Our average tonnage of DM grown so far this year is 13.7t/ha – we may end up with a record year!” John concludes.