Focus on the farm has really started to change away from summer work and on to autumn and getting ready for winter.

I’m never a big fan of this time of year. It doesn’t seem that long since the shed was emptied this spring and with the poor weather this April and May, this year's grazing season feels even shorter.

Now my mind is starting to think about getting ready to put stock back in again!

Ground conditions are very good and there is plenty of grass, so hopefully there will be a nice long dry backend to the year, with stock grazing happily to the end of October.

However, whether it’s wet or dry, cows will start calving in seven to eight weeks and preparations need to be made.

Vaccine shots

All cows received two mineral boluses at the weekend, along with their salmonella vaccine booster.

Heifers received their first salmonella shot and will get their second in a month.

Anything due to calve before mid-December will also receive a scour vaccine in two weeks’ time.

This vaccine needs to be given within three months of calving, so the cows due towards the end of the season will receive their shot at a later date.

Next on the agenda

Next on the agenda will be to get the sheds washed out and disinfected. As usual, I’m running later than I’d like with this job.

I always intend to get it done as soon as possible after the cows go to grass, but it never happens. But it does always manage to get done somehow!

The TAMS grant application that was put in in April has unfortunately not come through yet

I had intended to get a little building work done on the yard this summer, but the TAMS grant application that was put in in April has unfortunately not come through yet, so it looks like it's going to be next spring before I’ll get any work carried out.

Calves are now all weaned and settled back at grass. Bull calves are getting 3kg of meal and will probably be increased to 4kg, heifer calves are on 1kg.

I dosed the heifer calves for worms at the weekend. The bulls had been dosed a month ago and appear ok, so I left them be.

I had been working on dung sample results for the last dose, but this time I was working blind.

I also weighed all the calves. Performance was maybe a little behind where I would have liked it to be, but seeing as most of these calves have been weaned in the last two or three weeks, I’m probably judging them at their worst.

Stock quality

I’ll weigh them again in a month, which should give me a better indication of performance.

All in all, I’m very happy with the quality of stock.

I haven’t really decided yet what to do with my bull calves. I had changed my system for a few years to finishing them, then the BEAM scheme last year didn’t allow me this option and I went back to selling them.

I’ll make my mind up one way or another in the next month or so.