We finished the first round of grazing here on 8 April. The weather wasn’t too helpful trying to graze the last paddock, with the cover over 3,000kg DM/ha, but I was actually surprised with how well the cows grazed it and didn’t do too much damage, considering all the rain.

We got four fewer grazings than planned on it, but less damage was done. Growth was only 21kg per day from 15 March to 5 April. As a result, covers on the first few paddocks in the second round have no more than 1,000kg DM/ha on them.

We have upped the nuts to 6kg and are probably giving double the silage we had been giving. I did another grass walk last week and I was pleasantly surprised to have growth of 41kg per day. Fingers crossed, it stays increasing.

We are selling some pit silage also as we still have 300 bales and want to empty the pit to move the back wall (pre-cast and moveable) to make room for a new collecting yard and tank.

We sold another 10 heifer calves a couple of weeks ago. Their EBIs ranged from €280 to €350, and we got €360 each for these at an average of three weeks old. We only have one pen of calves left inside now and these will be sold over the next few weeks too. We have all the other calf pens cleaned out and ready for power-washing. Hopefully, our student Kevin might get some done before he finishes up with us at the end of the month.

We have just one cow left to calve now and hopefully when this goes to print she will be calved. We moved the calves outside to a new paddock after the heavy rain last Monday.

The breeding bulls have also started selling, with breeding only around the corner.

Although I would obviously rather better weather for them, they are happy out, and all tails are wagging when getting the milk, which is always a good sign.

They are eating straw and about 1kg of calf crunch per day.

The breeding bulls have also started selling, with breeding only around the corner.

It’s great to have returning customers who were obviously happy with the previous bulls they bought from us. The bulls’ EBIs range from €290 to €330 and their dams all produced over 600kg milk solids last year.


I have all my AI straws ordered now. We use genomic bulls and all Friesian genetics, and I feel it works very well for us. The bull team has an average EBI of €350, with €120 for milk, €150 for fertility and €14 for health. I think the health trait is very important. It has also been shown that cows with a higher health figure are less likely to show up with TB.

I also got sexed semen for the heifers. I didn’t get the first bulls I had picked, as they were all gone, but I am happy with the group I have got.

We will start serving the cows 29 April, as I always like to have some cows in the parlour before the heifers.

The cows received their BVD booster last week and they will get their second leptospirosis vaccine this week and will be ready for breeding. All we will need is a bit of good weather.

We spread some fertiliser last Friday on the milking block and brought all the dry paddocks up to just under 80 units of nitrogen per acre. We went with 30:0:6 protected urea again.

Paddocks got from one to two bags per acre, depending on what nitrogen they have already got.

I was happy to see Tirlán announce the “weather support package” but the 3c/l should be permanent and not just for March.

I think the 5c/l advance payment is good as 0% interest is always welcome.

One part that has annoyed some farmers is that the €30/t rebate on dairy feed does not apply to farmers who are members of purchasing groups.

Somehow, Tirlán must not think that the bad weather hasn’t affected these farmers.