There was some good news last week with a clear TB test.
Unfortunately, I had a positive COVID-19 test late the week before and the effects were still with me on the first day of testing.
Needless to say, proceedings were extremely slow.
With a need to get stock to the out farm, the option to postpone wasn’t a runner so it was a case of put the head down and get the job done.
Thankfully, the testing and COVID-19 are in the rear view mirror
Luckily, most of the stock was housed and I spaced out rounding up those that were outdoors to give myself a chance to rest up.
Tiredness and sore hips and knees were my main symptoms. Thankfully, the testing and COVID-19 are in the rear view mirror.
With the clear test, it was time to clear out the yard, so last weekend the replacement heifers and most of the first calvers were sent to the out-farm for the summer.
Three replacements were held back, one to travel over with the young bull in a few weeks and the other two have the same sire as him, so they will get AI instead.
With the weather as good as it has been lately, most calves were gone out to the field within 24 hours of birth
Yard work now consists of feeding the bulls and keeping an eye on the cows that are left to calve. The next fortnight should see calving wind down and hopefully there will be a break before breeding commences. With the weather as good as it has been lately, most calves were gone out to the field within 24 hours of birth.
A field next to the house has high ditches and shelter options from a few directions so it’s a useful starting point.
The unwanted calf is now trained to a nipple drinker and will be a bit of an insurance policy until calving is over
If there’s any calf in trouble, they can be picked up relatively fast. One such case was a set of twins where a cow decided after a few days she only wanted one of them.
The unwanted calf is now trained to a nipple drinker and will be a bit of an insurance policy until calving is over.
Slurry and fertiliser was brought up to date on the silage ground last week too.
A decision was made to skip fertiliser on the silage fields with higher grass covers. The intention is to take the earliest cuts from those and then go in with slurry afterwards.
I also applied for the Multi Species Sward Scheme. Planting more of that was on the cards anyway, so it was a no brainer to apply
It’s something that was considered in the past, but with fertiliser prices where they are, it took less convincing to conduct this experiment this year.
I also applied for the Multi Species Sward Scheme. Planting more of that was on the cards anyway, so it was a no brainer to apply. Maybe it’s just me, but as an observation, the application process seemed a little bit more complicated than it could have been.
With time pushing on, in late January, I took soil samples on the portion of the farm that was earmarked for testing this year
I hope it runs a bit more prompt than the soil sampling scheme. I got the letter saying I was accepted into that before Christmas, but to-date, I’ve received no further correspondence.
With time pushing on, in late January, I took soil samples on the portion of the farm that was earmarked for testing this year.
In order to get a more accurate reading, these were taken before slurry went out. I got the results last week and in general, P and K levels are good but some fields will require lime. Sometimes, schemes aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.