We are currently halfway through our fourth grazing rotation. Grass growth has been extremely variable, but growth is consistently below previous years, with no surplus grass removed from the grazing platform. We are currently stocked at 5.1 cows per hectare on the grazing platform and haven’t had to feed buffer as yet.

Swards need to be managed around this time of year due to dung pats and grass heading – not doing that will likely impact grass quality of subsequent rotations.

Although, I generally prefer to pre-mow, I have instead been topping grass after cows this year. The reason is that the milking herd has been quite unsettled at grass and I didn’t want anything to further disturb them.

Because it has been a difficult grazing season, we haven’t pushed milk from grass as much, peaking only at maintenance plus 15l.

In the past three years, we have reached maintenance plus 20l. Even with increased feeding levels, the cows are producing one litre less than last year. The spring batch is currently averaging 30l/day, with a feed rate of 0.24kg/l, while the autumn batch averages 21l/day, with a feed rate of 0.16kg/l.


We cut 85 acres of first-cut silage on 17 May. I almost cut it 10 days earlier due to good weather, but in hindsight, am glad I waited. I achieved a good balance between quantity and quality – cutting earlier might have led to needing a fourth cut. The week after, we spread 2,000 gallons per acre of slurry on all the ground and sowed it with protected urea plus sulphur (40% N + 14% SO3), with the hope of cutting 80 acres at the beginning of July.

Additionally, we harvested 14 acres of stemmier silage into bales, taken from the heifer grazing block. The grass in these fields grew ahead of the heifers due to a later-than-usual turnout. These bales will be fed to dry cows over the winter period.


Some spring reseeding has been done with new seed stitched into a six-acre field after the first-cut silage was taken off. A tine harrow went through the field, lifting out any dead grass, and then grass seed was stitched into the existing sward before the field was rolled.

This field didn’t require any drainage – it was picked out for reseeding due to its lack of sward density and reduced yield in recent years.

Additionally, we recently reseeded another six-acre field, with the grass in this field now starting to emerge.

It has two heights on either side, with a hollow in the centre. We spent several days fixing blocked drains and adding more drains to help dry the hollow.

Initially, I planned to plough the ground, but with a massive number of stones close to the surface, we decided to disc it instead.

The field was disced twice, rolled, the grass seed was sown and then the field was rolled again. I will keep you updated on how it performs.


I like to see farmers showcasing their farms on social media, but also look on with envy at friends who are able to reseed with almost no stones on their ground. Last year, we removed over four dump trailer loads of stones from a 5.5-acre field. But every cloud has a silver lining – we have stone for more drains.