It’s herd test time in Clara this week, so we’ll have everything crossed for the next few days that we get through clear and that business as normal can continue next week.
We’ve spent the last few days moving stock around and getting everything as organised as possible for the day. We also tried to tidy up any surplus stock that needed to go to the factory or mart before the test to keep numbers down as much as possible.
We will take the opportunity this week to take the bulls away from the heifers when they are in the yards.
They will probably be housed now for the rest of the year, to keep them under control and prevent them breaking out and doing any harm with the heifer calves in the second half of the year.
We will also treat cows and heifers with spot-on fly repellent as they go through the crushes this week. The flies seem to have thrived on the warm damp weather over the last few weeks so we will treat the heifers a little ahead of schedule to protect them from summer mastitis.
We will treat the cows as well, to keep them a bit quieter in the parlour for milking and to reduce the stress on them in hot weather. We’ve also treated a couple of cases of forest eye or pink eye in calves this week so we might treat them for flies as well to help to reduce the spread of this disease.
Hopefully everything goes well now in the test and we can relax for the rest of the summer as everyone moves into holiday mode and takes a few days break from the farm.
I hope restrictions off farm are lifted a bit too so that people that have worked hard all year can take a proper break with indoor dining and so on when they take their opportunity for some downtime.
The weather looks like it’s going to play ball with anyone taking their holidays in Ireland over the next few weeks, with a heatwave due to hit the country across the second half of July.
Great news for holiday makers, but not so great for anyone looking to grow grass in the southeast of the country for the foreseeable future.
We measured just under 20mm of rain so far in July, which just isn’t enough to keep things moving in this part of the country. All silage ground is back available for grazing now after the second cut and all youngsters will be on the outblocks after the TB test. We will make the full grazing platform available to the milking herd for the next few weeks.
We should manage without feeding silage for the next couple of weeks with this ground available for grazing, but if we don’t get some more rain in July, we will be feeding a lot of silage by the end of the month.
The farm is still green, however, and in a great position to grow grass if we do get some summer rain over the next few weeks.
We are not facing another 2018 drought yet, but if these really high temperatures materialise next week, we will see growth plummet and ground will burn up very quickly.