Ger McSweeney January/February Update 2023
Spring grazing plans
- Opening cover done on the farm
- Good farm cover of 793 kg DM/ha
- Ger plans to turn his heifers out to grass for the end of January/early February
Latest slaughter details
- Last of the cull cows slaughtered
- Beef price was good
- One cow graded U-, the other was R-
- Weighing helps to identify poorer performing cattle over winter
- Ger separated the heaviest and lightest
- The heifers are priority stock for going to grass
Ger measured grass on the farm on 22nd January. He has a good farm cover of 793kg DM/ha and it showed a growth rate of 3kg DM/ha over winter.
To take advantage of good ground conditions, he plans to trun heifers out to grass over the coming weeks. They will graze around the yard first and will then move to paddocks further away if the weather allows. Ger will watch the weather forecast closely and has no objection to housing them again if conditions deteriorate. The heifers are priority stock on the farm. He will also be setting up a spring rotation planner to monitor his grazing progress and ensure the farm is set up for the second rotation, see his March update for further information.
Two cows were slaughtered on 26th January. One of them had a carcass weight of 438kg, graded U-4- and made €2124. The other cow was 371kg carcass weight at R-4- and made over €1700.
Some of the weanling heifers were underperforming at the last visit. There was a range in weights between them and Ger decided to split the group in half, with the lighter heifers on one side of the shed and the heavier heifers on the other side. Visually, they are already looking like they have improved and he reduced the stronger ones to 0.5kg ration/head/day and increased the lighter ones to 2kg/head/day.
The bulls are growing well and Ger is very happy with them. In order to keep the stronger ones gaining weight he is considering separating them into a pen to feed them more ration than the lighter and younger ones.