While we started August in the middle of a drought that has set this summer to be one of the driest on record, we are relieved to say that all our rain dancing paid off and we were graced with rain at the end of the month. This said, the hot weather we experienced for the majority of the month cut us no slack and as a result it’s been a challenging time.
Due to the lack of grass growth, we were forced to exclude grazed grass from the feeding plan for part of the month, which meant long hours feeding the girls on the feed pad and in the fields. With winter feed security still at the forefront of our minds, we’re grateful to have got around 250 tonnes of whole crop barley into the clamp this month. The hard work put in by the team seems to have paid off; our ladies have done us proud by maintaining good milk yields without dropping condition. Seeing the fields starting to green up again has been really exciting and with more rain forecast we have been able to restart grazing, although we can’t get too carried away as the grass needs to recover enough to get us off to a good start in spring!
Our second round of pregnancy diagnosis at the end of the month gave us an empty rate of around 9% over 12 weeks which, although not as good as we’d wish for in an ideal world, isn’t too bad considering the spring and summer we’ve had.
We suspect the stress of the hot summer has caused a pneumonia outbreak in our calves, which has slowed some of them up a bit. We treated them all promptly and are hoping the cooler weather will help them along as we continue to keep a close eye on their recovery.