We are just over halfway through calving this week in Clara.
The cows are calving a bit slower than usual, due to us using sexed semen through the first two weeks of breeding.
It has resulted in a steadier calving than normal, which isn’t the worst result, so we still have plenty of cows springing up as we head into week four of calving.
We have another three weeks of Friesian calves before we switch over to beef calves. The sexed semen helped us to get 150 heifer calves from the first 200 calves born, so we have a good number of heifer calves to sell. These are all booked up now and demand seems to be strong out there this year for that type of stock.
Our bull calves and beef calves are fully booked up as well this year
We will select the first batch to move this week and get working on the second batch soon after.
Our bull calves and beef calves are fully booked up as well this year and will hopefully move off farm as quickly as we can pull numbers together and get paperwork organised. The first few have already left and we should see a steady trickle out the gate for the next few weeks.
We have most of the heifer calves that we are keeping moved on to the automatic feeders at this stage, with 90 calves on one feeder and 75 on the other.
These sheds will hopefully fill up by the end of February and we should have all of our replacement heifer calves and breeding bull calves born early in the season.
As we move through the month of February, we will get our breeding bulls fertility tested and start to get them organised for sale. Again, there seems to be strong enough demand for these bulls this year, but we will wait until all are fertility tested and checked out before moving them on.
We covered the whole farm this week with the first round of urea as conditions were suitable.
We are feeding 6kg of meal and maize silage to the milking herd as well as getting out to grass as often as possible
All of the farm was trafficable this week, which might not be the case next week, with some rain forecast over the weekend.
Soil temperatures are jumping around a bit but look like rising next week, so hopefully we have it timed right to catch those milder temperatures after the rain. We lowered the rate where we had slurry applied and hopefully we can get another run of slurry out with the umbilical system later this month.
We are feeding 6kg of meal and maize silage to the milking herd as well as getting out to grass as often as possible.
We had been enjoying some better weather for grazing over the last few days. This looks like coming to a sudden stop through the weekend again, but so be it. They can come back on to concrete until the worst of it passes.
It looks like we’ll have a dear year on the input side of the page this year, with the prices of both fertiliser and feed taking a big jump at the start of the year.
Hopefully, that can be more than offset by a strong milk price through the main production months.
The vibes on milk price are reasonably positive for the year which is fine, as long as co-ops move as early with milk as they already have done with feed and fertiliser.
The new method of quoting milk price will make for interesting reading.
As long as the old method is printed alongside for an extended period of time, we can get a good handle on it as we move forward.