To say we are having a late spring is a bit on an understatement at this stage.
Temperatures are staying extremely low, with frost at night and hail and sleet showers during the day. Grass growth is almost non-existent.
Ground conditions were not too bad up until the middle of last week, but heavy rain from the May bank holiday on has set things back considerably.
I now have half my cows back in the shed, with their calves having access to an adjacent paddock.
Cows are getting silage only as well as Cal Mag dusted on top - hopefully, it won’t be for a long period of time.
All of these cows are in-calf, but if this unforeseen rehousing drags on for longer than expected, I might have to think about reintroducing concentrates or start to wean some strong calves.
I have had to do this in the past, but, hopefully, it won’t come to that, as I always seem to have problems with cows getting summer mastitis if I wean too early.
Thankfully, I have plenty of silage left, but I was hoping to be able to save some money this year by cutting a little less - this is not looking overly likely at the moment.
Also, it’s hard to know when silage will be ready for cutting. Some of it was grazed and some was not.
The stuff that wasn’t grazed has a cover of grass on it, albeit poor, but the stuff that was grazed really has no cover at all.
All that can really be done is pray for a bit of heat
I know if conditions come right, grass can really bounce at this time of year, but, at the minute, all that can really be done is pray for a bit of heat.
My last grass measurement tells me that I have 17 days of grass ahead and that I grew 65kg DM/ha over the last two weeks, but it sure as hell does not feel like that in reality.
There is that red/brown coloured tinge to fields that indicates that things aren’t just right.
One of those years
Weeds around the yard haven’t even been sprayed yet and the place doesn’t look that terrible. It’s just one of those years. We can’t beat mother nature, so there is no point in trying.
Hopefully, things will come good sooner rather that later and we will get caught up eventually.
The only thing helping to keep my head up is knowing that my farm always grows a similar amount of grass from year to year.
It has grown nothing yet, so there must be plenty of grass on its way. Here’s hoping.