Getting back on track after a challenging spring – Pasture to Profit update

We are finally seeing heat and sun this spring! Thanks to this, growth rates are now properly above stock demand.

AFC is now coming under control and many are able to silage – some having to cut ungrazed areas of the platform to complete the first rotation.

Fortunately, pre-mating heat checks on spring herds are showing cows have come through the spring well and cycling activity is positive. Early reports of spring submission rates also appear to be on track.

PEOPLE seem to have been the worst affected by this spring’s challenging conditions. Free support for your and your team’s team mental wellbeing is available at www.fcn.org.uk/help

Month coming

It is now the time to catch up and get residuals and quality for future rotations under control. Grass going to seed will be the next pasture quality challenge.

If you have any soil damage, dig some holes and assess whether mechanical intervention is needed. Use farm-walk data to monitor any ongoing productivity impacts across the season. Could it be an opportunity to incorporate some multi-species sward seeds on the exposed soil?

The Environmental Agency will be visiting farms. Slurry capacity has been under extreme pressure – can you identify clean water entering your slurry system?

Spring herds

During heat detection, if in doubt draft her out! Use records and other signs of heat to ensure cows are ready to serve. If relying on technology for heat detection, have you discussed a plan B in case of short-term failure?

If you’re using sweeper bulls, have you checked fertility? Signs of lameness? Quantity needed? Use this checklist to help ensure a successful natural mating period.

Autumn herds

Challenge grass DM intakes and minimise the use of concentrate to recoup some of the lost profit from the extra days on concrete this spring. 

Monitor BCS, particularly of young cows, when on a full grass diet moving into late lactation.

REMEMBER the experience you’ve gained and are still to gain as the farm recovers from this harsh spring will be valuable in the future!

by Michelle Lamerton
International Marketing Coordinator
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