It’s been a busy week or two. Reseeding is wrapped up for the year, silage got under way and the first load of young bulls were sold last week.

They were a bit lighter than what I was accustomed to but when 80% of them were sired by traditional beef breeds, that’s to be expected.

On the plus side only one had a 2+ fat score, there were two at 4- and the balance were at 3.

A number of years ago, half the young bulls missed out on the 12c/kg Quality Payment System (QPS) payment as they didn’t even make 2+, even when they were sold a month later than this year’s bunch. Having so many missing out on the QPS bonus triggered the change in breeding to what it is now.

Having those bulls gone helps knock a bit off the daily work routine too and means the feed bin doesn’t empty out as fast as it has over the last six weeks.

Another few will be drafted off over the next few weeks as they come fit and I’d imagine weights will be up on those as they were bigger cattle than the ones gone already.

Maybe it was the weather playing tricks with me, but it feels as though silage-cutting time snuck up on me.

The ground that was planned for cutting was all away from the yard and not convenient for grazing so it had plenty time to grow but towards the end of April, it hadn’t received enough heat to really kick it on.

Thankfully, the burst of growth since the May bank holiday weekend helped to bulk up silage cuts and by the weekend most of the silage for the cows will be in.

Having that cut now means that even if rain is scarce from now until early July, regrowths should be sufficient to have a handy second cut. The later and leafier cuts will be targeted towards the young stock yard as that’s where I need the higher-quality feed.

Older bull

Breeding got under way on Friday evening when a bull was let off with the heifers and over the next fortnight, AI will begin with the cows at home and the older bull will go with the cows on the outfarm.

I’m making a slight change to breeding this year and the breeding and culling decisions are being taken out of my hands to an extent.

The stock bulls will have more of a say on who stays and who goes in the breeding herd than I will

The stock bulls will have more of a say on who stays and who goes in the breeding herd than I will.

It’s one less decision for me to make and it will be interesting to see how it works out.

Whether I’m foolish or not, the bull went out with all the 2022-born heifers and will stay with them until three weeks of AI are complete with the cows and he will join them then.

Breeding has commenced on Tommy Moyles farm at Ardfield, Clonakilty with the bull going out with the replacement heifers.

The heifers will be scanned a month or so later and the success rate of the scanning will determine how long he will be left with the cows.

It’s his second year with heifers so hopefully he hits a similar success rate to last year when most were put in calf in the first three weeks.

If most of the heifers are in calf at scanning then it’s likely the bull will be removed from the cows as soon as possible. In the worst case scenario, there’ll be more heifers to sell.