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William Kingston May/June Update 2024

Latest update

Latest update

  • Spring cows are being bred
  • Autumn bulls and heifers are grazing separately
  • Weaning will start in the autumn herd
Silage cut & fertiliser plans

Silage cut & fertiliser plans

  • Grass growth rates and farm cover are good
  • Silage was harvested on both farms
  • Slurry & pro urea are being spread for second cut
Factory performance

Factory performance

  • Heifers, bullock & bull finished
  • Factory performance
  • Cull cows also went to factory, awaiting results


Six cows have been bred for the spring herd since the first week in April (almost 9 weeks). Three more are to bred but William was hoping to maintain a 9 week breeding season for the spring herd. Any cows that do not go in calf will be culled.

25 cows and 6 heifers are due to start calving from the autumn herd from 18th July. Weaning will start with the first cows due to calve over the next month and they will be weaned in small batches. The heifers have been separated from the bulls and are grazing with their cows in two separate groups.Bull weanlingsFigure 1: Bull weanlings have now been separated from the heifers


Silage was harvested on the out farm on 20th May and it yielded 8 bales/acre on average (80 bales in total). He equivalent of 550 bales of silage are required for next winter. William harvested the pit silage on the bank holiday weekend as it was well fit to cut, even though it was grazed late with the bad weather this spring and is only closed since 30th April. It yielded 3000 kg DM/ha on average, which is equivalent to 6 bales/acre.Silage fieldFigure 2: One of the silage fields before it was cut

Slurry was spread on the paddocks that were cut for silage on the out farm using the dribble bar, and the slatted tank is still half full so this will be spread on lower index paddocks and any further fields to be cut for silage. The grazing paddocks on the out farm have been spread with 2 round of fertiliser to date.

William is finding that the cattle are moving through grass quicker than expected due to soft fields and lower dry matter in the grass from the rain. However the grass wedge from 2nd June looks good – he has a farm cover of 821 kg DM/ha with 16 days of grass ahead. The growth rate for the previous week was 54 kg DM/ha/day and demand is 50 kg DM/ha/day.

Grass wedgeFigure 3: Grass wedge from 2nd June 2024


The finishing cows (5), bullock (1), bull (1) and heifers (2) were eating 8 kg ration/head/day. The younger cattle went to the factory on 29th May and the cows went on 4th June.

The 2 heifers averaged 392kg carcass weight and graded U=4- making €2198 at 18.1 months. The bullock was 303kg carcass weight at 21.2 months and graded R=3=, making €1642. The young bull from spring 2023 was 435kg carcass weight and graded U=3= making €2236 at 15.1 months of age. Finishing details are not yet available for the cows.

Finishing heifersFigure 4: The 2 heifers averaged 392kg carcass weight at 18.1 months

Finishing bullFigure 5: The bull finished at 15.1 months was 435kg carcass weight