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Wesley Browne March/April 2023 update



  • A wet March making grazing very difficult
  • Good grass covers in March but very tight on grass by the end of April
  • 60 units of Nitrogen goes out over the 2 months
  • Plan to apply lime
  • Docks need to be sprayed ASAP


  • Calving update
  • The Bulls are weighed


Like most parts of the country , ground conditions on the farm were excellent in February  with cows and calves getting out to grass quickly after calving. However, March and early April have been very wet and ground conditions have deteriorated .  Due to the farm been fragmented , re-housing was not an option. Wesley managed to keep the cows out by keeping the group size small ie 5 to 7.

Cows were supplemented with a ½ kg of meal/day.

 Picture 1: Grazing in February was ideal. Good greass covers and grazeouts

Picture 2: Grazing end of April - difficult grazing conditions and low AFC

On March 27th, 18 units of Urea + S was applied  per acre to the grazing ground and this was followed up with another 18 units on April 22nd.   At the end of April, grass remains tight on the farm with the average farm cover dipping below 500kgs/DM/ha. Growth is at 35kgs/DM/ha which is not great for the time of year. There is 16 days of grass ahead but ground conditions and growth need to improve quickly.

The silage ground was zero grazed in early March and then  got 3000gals of slurry per acre plus 80 units of Protected urea/acre. The target is to have this ready for cutting in the third week of May.

Wesley plans to amalgamate the smaller groups into 3 larger groups of 30 cows each by the end of the month. A reduction in group numbers will be easier to manage and should lead to an increase in average farm cover.

Lime & dock control

In April, Wesley applied for an expression of interest under the department scheme for lime. He plans to spread 200 ton this year. The plan is to increase the soil pH to 6.7 and start incorporating clover in 2024.

As part of the preparation to over sow clover nest year , docks will need to be controlled this year. There is a large dock problem in most of the grassland. Wesley will spray as soon as possible using Dockstar. The docks are rapidly growing at the moment making it an ideal time to spray.


By the 27th of April, there are only 3 left to calve. This meant a calving period of just under 8 weeks Overall calving went well – there were a couple of difficult calvings where cows needed assistance with 1 section for a calf coming backwards. A couple of calves had a lazy tongue but no major incidences.

Below is the calving report as of 27th April which highlights excellent breeding key performance indicators again this year. All of the replacement heifers have calved at 2 years of age.


Bull Performance

The bulls are been fed 7kgs of ration on a daily basis. This is mixed with high quality  silage ie 1 bale/day fed to 38 bulls .

The bulls were weighed on March 30th and had an average weight of 495kgs. They have gained 1.35kgs/day since the last weighing on January 7th. Wesley will increase the ration by 0.5kgs/day to push the ADG for April and May.