Archive: Farmer technical comment - Tony Renwick

Published 26 September 14

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

Grass supply

Average Farm Cover       2,240kg

Pre-grazing cover            2,800kg – we’re mowing in front

7-day grass growth          40kg DM/ha/day

Herd grass demand         38kg DM/ha/day

Cow performance

Milk yield                        15.5 litres/cow, 5.12% fat and 3.76% protein

“The grass is growing well, even with no fertiliser applied since 1 June,” says Tony. “The milking platform had four weeks without any cows on it, so we gained some high covers.

“The maize has been harvested in the last four days and we’ve had some massive yields, for us. We’ve been getting 18.6 t/acre, which means plenty of high-quality feed for the winter. Westerwolds has been put in after the maize and, with the high soil and air temp we’re having, these should get away well.

“We’ve calved 225 cows in 25 days, leaving 75 to go. It’s been one of our best calvings, with little milk fever and all cows cleansing well – even the cows that have had twins. Hoping we can continue our no vet to a calving tradition, making it five years at the end of the season. You can’t beat a crossbreed cow!”