Our Organisation Search
Quick Links
Toggle: Topics

William Kingston July/August Update 2023

TB reactor identified

TB reactor identified

  • TB restriction on the farm
  • Suckler cow killed out with lesions
  • TB test scheduled
Autumn calving commences

Autumn calving commences

  • Autumn calving has started
  • No major issues to date
  • Breeding heifers picked out for this year
Grass, silage and kale!

Grass, silage and kale!

  • Latest wedge
  • Cows due to calve have been housed due to late cut silage on the home farm
  • Kale is growing well

Animal Health

Unfortunately one cow killed out with TB lesions in the factory back in late June and the herd is now restricted. William will be TB testing the entire herd in mid-August.


14 cows have now calved on the farm to date, resulting in 15 live calves including 1 set of twins. 20 cows and 5 heifers are yet to calf. One calf had to be pulled but no major difficulties have arisen otherwise.

The calves are being DNA registered at birth and BVD sampled when tagged.

A suckler cow feeding her new calf

Figure 1: New born calves with cows

8 potential replacement heifers have been identified for breeding. William chose them as they are docile, have good feet and are from good, milky cows. Their Eurostar replacement indexes range from €122 to €179, and as they are genotyped they will qualify for SCEP. William’s herd average is €107 and he is constantly trying to improve this. The carcass weight figure ranges from +14.6kg to 29.7kg, again an increase on the herd figure of 12kg. Their daughter milk figure ranges from +3.9kg to +9.2kg as William is trying to maintain the milk figure at 6.2kg or higher in the herd. Most of the heifers also have a negative daughter calving interval.


Grass was measured on the farm on 14th August. It had a farm cover of 239 kg DM/ha on the home farm and 544 kg DM/ha on the out farm. The grass growth rate on the home farm was 71 kg DM/ha, but this was back to 44 kg DM/ha on the out farm. The stock demand was 18-35 kg DM/ha. However this is rising rapidly as more cows clave on the home farm and the heavy yields of silage mean that silage ground is slow to recover. There were 13 to 16 days ahead so William made the decision to house some cows pre-calving to reduce demand. They will go back to grass as soon as grass covers allow. Some slurry and 19 units of protected urea/acre has been spread to boost grass growth, and 18-6-12 will be spread on silage ground to replace nutrient offtakes.

Grass wedge

Figure 2: Grass wedge for home farm 14th August 2023

Second cut silage was made on the home farm on 9th August. William and mark mowed and stacked the silage, while the local contractor raked, baled and wrapped it. It yielded ~12 bales/acre (or 6092 kg DM/ha). Silage was also made on the out farm on 9th August and it yielded ~7 bales/acre (~6092 kg DM/ha).

The kale is growing very well and is out-competing some of the grass that was appearing in the field. William is very happy with the crop.

Kale growing well on the farm

Figure 3: Kale is growing well