It’s March and we’re milking 1450 cows with a few stragglers still left to calve.
Now we start to lay the foundation for breeding all our cows for next season. We must check that each cow is ready for mating in April and that our heifers, which are nearing breeding age, are still gaining weight and are going to reach their target weight by the 24th April. This is when we call on our bookkeeper Emma Anwyl’s incredible record keeping skills; she can generate reports on our cows in a flash and without these records, so many cows we would be lost.
We have weighed the heifers and are happy to report that they are ahead of where they should be, so we are well on track to reaching their breeding weight. We’ve reached 32,000 litres of milk daily and are ahead of our predictions.
We have had some really good weather and a little snow; just enough to remind us that we are in Shropshire. As a result, we have been able to get fertilizer out onto the grass led by Chris our head tractor driver and his assistant Luca. We have also started doing land prep and planting whole crop, as well as tidying up all the old beet fields.
As calving has slowed down, Tom has handed the reins of calf rearing to Ioan. The calves have done really well under Tom and Ioan will now take them onto the weaning phase, with Tom keeping a close eye on his babies.
The sheds are now under roofing and the concreting has started in earnest. The cubicle areas are looking neat and our cows are in for a treat next winter.
We no longer have any cows out on the beet and have lifted what beet we had left; feeding it to our freshly calved cows, which has done an amazing job, in keeping them in great condition, as they get into the swing of milking.
We hope to be able to close our silage clamps and store the balance of our beet to be used in the hot summer months, when grass growth slows down.
We are truly into the 2019 season and are fast approaching the business end of the season and preparing for a very busy April.