Farmer comment 25 September

Published 25 September 15

David Lee and family milk 400 spring calving cows on an 89ha milking platform, with a 70ha support block, and 12ha of whole crop.

Average Farm Cover       2,700kg DM/ha

Pre-grazing cover             3,800kg DM/ha      

7-day grass growth          75kg

Demand                          51kg

Concentrate feed level     3kg/day

“We’ve had fantastic grass growth this autumn,” says David, who has had growth figures of 75, 80 and 70kg DM/ha in the last few weeks and a growth of 75kg DM/ha this week.

“We started to build covers but we’re actually bordering on having too much grass. Luckily, we’re pretty heavily stocked so we have the stock to get on top of grass pretty efficiently.

“Cows are getting about 3kg DM/head, but no silage and, with the growth we’ve had, I don’t anticipate putting any in until well into October,” says David.

“Cows tend to be housed at night by the beginning of November, and we close up mid-December, ideally with average covers of about 2,100kg DM/ha. The cows are out again when we calve, about 10 February and, we find that, although covers don’t tend to have increased while we’ve been shut up, dry matters seem to be higher in the spring. We take this into account and use a grazing planner to budget through to April.”