Profit from grass
As the weather takes on a decidely autumnal feel we hear how Suffolk dairy farmer, David Utting, is faring with the challenge of keeping grazing, and the combines, moving.
The recent run of unsettled and wetter weather will have had consequences for grass utilisation and cereal and straw quality as we approach autumn, according to Eblex’s Dr Liz Genever.
Scottish dairy farmer Jill Bathgate is facing perhaps her busiest time as she takes steps to maintain grass residuals and quality to help ensure recently calved cows get back in-calf and put litres into the newly-installed bulk tank.
Meet the farmers
According to Jill Bathgate, who milks 145 Holstein Friesians at Castleton Farm, 2014 is going to be a huge learning curve as the herd moves to a paddock grazing system for the first time.
While Cheshire may conjure up images of fertile lowland dairy farms and potato ground, the area flanking Derbyshire’s Peak District is much harsher.
Dorset beef and sheep farmer Mike Miller returns to the series for another year having experienced a winter which allowed the 60-cow organic beef herd to stay out until December, but raised questions at the 1,200-ewe share farming operation nearby.
Suffolk dairy farmer David Utting – who runs a 270-cow dairy herd, beef unit and arable enterprise covering 363 hectares (900 acres) with brother Shaun – returns for a second year to the Profit from Grass series.