Dad has been busy here the last few weeks getting the silage done for his customers. The first cuts are nearly all done now. Luckily enough the weather had stayed dry for the past few weeks, so everything ran smoothly from one job to the next.

I have the silage ground topped up with fertiliser now for the second cut. I put on 2.5 bags/acre of 29-0-14 plus sulphur. With that and the slurry on it now, hopefully we will get a good crop.

Grass quality has deteriorated on the milking platform, so we have been pre-mowing to have this corrected for the next rotation. Between this and paddocks cut for bales, quality should be excellent in the next round.

I had earmarked four paddocks for baling last week, but I ended up only baling two as with the pre-mowing and higher stocking rate, we would have run short. With the temperature cool enough, I don’t think growth will be overly high.

I have two paddocks to bale this week that are gone very stemmy and would be no good for the cows, so I feel I have to bale them. One of these paddocks will also be reseeded after baling.

The heifers had 13 repeats, which means 62% held to the fixed-timed AI with sexed semen, which I am happy with.

We artificially inseminated some of the repeats with sexed straws we had left and as they were natural heats, I would be hoping they will have a higher conception rate. We dropped the Friesian bull down to them last week, but hopefully he will have very little to do. We will be scanning the heifers on 25 June.

The breeding with the cows seems to be going well too, with less repeats so far than last year. It is too early to be sure and we will be doing our mid-scan on 24 June and we will have a much better idea of it then.

Milk production has been fluctuating the last while and yield has moved between 25 and 27 litres on different collection days.

What I found interesting/strange was when they were at 27 litres, the protein was 3.51% and when at 25 litres, the protein was 3.60%. If it was grass quality pulling back the yield, I would think the protein would be back too, not higher.

Our solar panels were installed on the farm last week also

Our somatic cell count (SCC) is higher than I would like it to be, with the last two results at 170,000. We will give the cows that showed up high in the last milk recording antibiotic tubes now and hopefully that will show an improvement.

Our solar panels were installed on the farm last week also. We have put in a 22KWh system, which is 56 panels, with 15KWh of battery storage.


We have an app to track what electricity we generate and use so that will be very interesting to keep an eye on, and hopefully save us money. I think the 60% TAMS grant is a great incentive and everybody should avail of it. If all farms and houses had panels on some roof space, it would have to be good for the individuals and the country as a whole.

One problem is the very slow roll-out of smart meters to get the full benefit of exporting power back into the grid.

I have enquired about when we will get a smart meter, but I could not get an answer.