Ken Gill June Update
- Measure grass to determine grass ahead of cattle
- Target farm cover of 700-800 kg DM/ha, with 12-14 days ahead
- Record silage yields on PastureBase to get total grass yield per paddock at the end of the year
Making winter feed
- Measure silage pit and enter measurements onto PastureBase
- Compare to total fodder demand needed for the winter
- Estimate how much more silage you need to make for the winter
It's a good time to weigh cattle
- Weigh autumn born calves to determine weight gain off of grass
- Target >1kg/head/day for weanlings
- Weights for store cattle will give an idea when they will be fit for slaughter
Ken measured grass on the 14th June. He had a farm cover of 479 kg DM/ha which is low for this time of the year, but is due to recently cut silage paddocks back in the grazing block. The growth rate since 8th June was 34 kg DM/ha and the stock demand was 31 kg DM/ha, with 15 days of grass ahead.
Grass silage was cut on 6th June which yielded between 2.5 t DM/ha for strong paddocks to 3.9 t DM/ha for main crop silage. These yields were entered into PastureBase so that Ken can monitor the total grass yield per paddock at the end of the year. The red clover silage is expected to be cut again around the end of June/early July.
The main crop silage was all put into the silage pit this year. Ken was very happy with the yield, which is more than double what he harvested when compared to the same time last year. He attributes this to grazing the paddocks early in spring, closing them early to give them the best chance of growing and to less frost in the month of May than last year.
Ken measured his silage pit and entered the measurements in metres onto the fodder budget section on PastureBase. He has the winter stock numbers entered, along with the amount of oats that are expected to be fed to each category of cattle over winter and the number of days that they will be housed. Based on the winter feed requirement and the silage made to date, it estimates that Ken will need another 340 bales of silage. As he still has bales to make from the combi crop, 2 further cuts of red clover silage and plans to take out more surplus paddocks (~29 acres needed) this will be easily achievable for Ken to meet his winter feed requirements.
Ken weighed the cattle on the farm on 15th June. The 2020 finishing heifers (25) averaged 585kg, having gained 0.86 kg/day since turnout to grass. The 2020 bullocks (34) averaged 590kg and gained 1.11 kg/day since turnout.
The 2021 born heifers weighed 332kg, meaning that they gained 0.95 kg/day since March. The 2021 bullocks were 359kg, having gained 1.06 kg/day since turnout off of grass only.