John Walton: Hungry cows and milk contract difficulties

WE are nearing the end of what could be described as a very difficult time within the OMSCO milk contract with very severe seasonality adjustments. As a level producer I have taken it on the chin until now.

Producing milk at a loss is not where anyone wants to be, it is a bitter pill to swallow. Seasonal adjustments were implemented for a reason a long time ago and are now a little draconian. It’s time for a rethink guys if we want to keep this market alive.

We have been struggling for grass regrowth over the last few weeks with cows going around the paddocks hunting for food, needless to say we opened the silage clamp to keep them full.

This plugged a gap while the spring reseeds become available, one of which included forage rape as a bulky filler. We didn’t intend to feed this until mid July but they rifled through it in a week.

I hope we have a few dry days to enable people to attend this year’s Show

On a positive note, the residue looks well and hopefully the rape will come back to let them have another go at it. I think the reason for the poor grass growth was the cold weather we had through June. Hopefully now as things are warming up the grass won’t be a problem.

On the subject of the weather, we tried to make hay at the beginning of July. We fell at the last hurdle, gave into pressure and baled and wrapped it when the threat of rain became a rea-lity. It’s a shame we missed the hay but it will be some good stuff.

We are nearing the end of the silly season with schools, averaging over 300 school children visitors a day for the last six weeks. It is testament to the excellent staff we have here that the children have a wonderful time learning about farming nature.

We have done more planting and growing related activities with them this year, which proved really popular and will link in well with the harvest theme in September.

Allowing Jill to read Rodney Down’s article last week was a mistake.

The laying of the first bricks of his and Claire’s new house has seen me relegated to the new rabbit house, which was beautifully erected last Sunday, with the help of Phil. The Brownie points are needed!

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