We completed our mid-scans of the cows and heifers two weeks ago. Both were not as good as they looked to be going, but I am still happy with the results.

The cows had a 63% conception rate to the first serve, our best in a number of years. Unfortunately, there were five embryonic deaths and two cows with cysts that needed an eight-day progesterone programme and one cow with cysts that the scanner couldn’t remove and needed a 10-day progesterone programme.

This cow had the same problem when she was scanned pre-breeding and it obviously didn’t work, so unfortunately this will be her last year here. One of the cows that had an embryonic death is also only a two spin cow, she lost one quarter as a heifer and another one this spring.

So I decided not to try get her served again, even though she is still doing around 28 litres. The other cows with the embryonic deaths were put on a programme to get them served once more. We have been breeding for 10 weeks now and will stop this week.

The heifers had a 50% conception rate to the fixed-timed, sexed AI. Four more had repeated that the teaser bull hadn’t picked up, which is disappointing. But we have 76% in calf in three weeks and I am happy with that, as they are all AI.

Grass is back on track here now, with the last two growth rates at 60kg DM/ha/day. We were still feeding silage, keeping demand at 35kg DM/ha/day, so cover per cow has increased to 224kg DM/cow. We stopped feeding silage early last week and are going into covers of 1,300-1,400kg of nice grass. Our demand is now at 60kg DM/ha, so I will be closely monitoring growth and cover per cow.

The protein dropped to 3.30% when the cows were on silage only and yield was back to 23 litres, which was inevitable really. Luckily it was only for one collection and now that the protein has climbed back up to 3.72%, yield has also come back up to 25 litres, thankfully.

The somatic cell count is going well now with the last results all under 100,000. The cows received a pour-on to keep away the flies and the liners were changed in the last few weeks, so that is probably helping too.

One interesting result was the milk urea at 28 when on cows were on silage, it was down between 10 and 15 before we started feeding silage and is back down at 13 now again. I think this shows the grass is lacking in nitrogen and there is no background nitrogen available for the grass.

I was advised to change from protected urea, when we were tight on grass due to the delay in it kicking in. I am now spreading one bag/acre of sweetgrass after the cows (23 units of nitrogen per acre). I also noticed in a paddock where I ran short of fertiliser in one section in early June and I didn’t get back to it for two weeks, it was very yellow and hungry looking in that section, showing me that the ground has no nitrogen in reserve. That’s why I have increased my application rate from 17 units to 23 units per acre.

We got the seven acres reseeded last week and I put the seed in at 17kg/acre. I went with an all tetraploid mix as it is one of our driest fields, so hopefully that will work out well. The mix contained Aston Energy, Nashota, Anurad and white clover. We will try to keep the dairy washings out on this every four weeks or so, for the rest of the year.