Archive: Farmer technical comment - John Owen

Published 12 September 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.This herd is run alongside a further 250 cow autumn calving herd producing 6,500 litres.

Grass supply

Average Farm Cover       2,880kg

Pre-grazing cover            3,000kg

7-day grass growth          92kg DM/ha/day

Herd grass demand         51.3kg DM/ha/day

Cow performance

Milk yield                        18 litres/cow, 4.5% fat and 3.62% protein

“We’ve got heaps of grass, as you can see from our growth figure of 92kg DM/ha/day and it’s increasing, as our herd demand of 51kg DM/ha/day shows,” says John. “Grazing conditions are great, the best season we’ve had for a long time. We have already grown an average of 12 tonnes/ha and are well set up for a good autumn cover.

“The high covers may be a problem if the weather turns wet but, at the moment, it’s happy days – apart from the downward trend on milk prices,” John concludes.