We had a disappointing weekend in Kilkenny, with our hurlers giving it everything again in Croke Park but ultimately coming up short against a serious Limerick outfit.
We seemed to almost punch ourselves out in the first 40 minutes and ran out of steam towards the end of the match.
A few 50-50 chances went the wrong way at crucial times, but the Limerick lads were way ahead for the final 20 minutes, so we can have no complaints; the better team won easily and will probably be hard to stop for another while yet.
On the farming front, we are looking at another wet week, with no window to get a good run at silage. We might snatch a few bales off the milking platform to get some good quality grass coming back, but the main cut will have to wait for another while.
We have plenty of good quality silage in the pit already, so we can afford to target this cut at dry cow feed and let it bulk up for another week or two.
It’s still early enough in the year to get another couple of grazings, or a third cut from this ground, so there’s no panic yet.
The milking platform is growing well, with very limited bagged nitrogen and quality is holding up reasonably well too, despite the wet weather. We did some topping where necessary on the last round and if we take out a few paddocks for bales this week, we should keep the quality right for the next few weeks.
We are planning on two more rounds of nitrogen before the end of the year, with maybe 20 units in the first half of August or as soon as silage is cut, and another round of 30 units in the first half of September.
We will have reduced nitrogen application by another 20% this year and maybe 40% on historic levels, with very little effect on grass grown.
We will continue to push the boundaries next year and hopefully get similar results as we get more clover established throughout the farm.
We have one block of ground now with multi-species well established on it, so this area in particular will be asked to work very hard next year on being almost self-sufficient with nitrogen.
The heifer calves have been moved to the re-seeded ground on the mutli-species block this week and they should have enough feed there now for the rest of the grazing season. They seem to have settled well into the diet of grass, clover, chicory and plantain.
For the first few days, they concentrated on the familiar grass and clover plants, but they are quickly getting used to the herbs in the sward and we are seeing more of them grazed every day. There are some soft weeds in this ground too that should disappear after grazing, or maybe with the help of topping with the mower after grazing.
It’s still early enough in the year to get another couple of grazings, or a third cut from this ground, so there’s no panic yet
Any stubborn weeds will be spot-sprayed later in the year, but it looks clean enough in most of the ground.
It’s growing very well, so hopefully ground conditions will remain manageable and it will get a good chance to establish itself by the end of the year, and keep the heifer calves thriving at the same time.
We could all do with a fine week now, to get silage sorted and for tillage farmers to get the harvest back under way.
We were lucky to have good help in getting our straw into the yard in excellent condition a few weeks ago, but it’s been a real struggle since to get balers into fields.
There was a lot of wet straw visible from the motorway as we travelled to the match at the weekend, but hopefully some of it can be salvaged before it goes too far.
It’s already getting scarce with chopping schemes and derogation competition for land. The last thing anyone needs this year is to lose another chunk of it to the weather.