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Dairy Newsletter - June 2024

06 June 2024
Type Newsletter

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In this month's edition:

  • Top five tips for June
    1. Grass quality in June is the main driver of milk yield and persistency. Keep leafy covers of 1,400kg DM/ha in front of cows at all times possible, allocating 24- or 36-hour breaks.
    2. Maximise the yield of second-cut silage from your land resource – it will be the cheapest means of securing winter feed.
    3. Book a milk recording. As well as somatic cell count (SCC), you can opt for mid-season pregnancy checks and/or herd Johne’s disease testing from the samples
    4. Milking is a great summer job for those seeking part-time work. June is a perfect time to start a new person into the routine on the farm. Have you looked for extra help?
    5. Cash has been tight on farms all year. Take time this week to review your position and budget forward. The simple things like grass quality, meal feeding rates and routine spending control pay off over time. Plan it out.
  • Keep on top of grass quality
    This year brought a difficult spring for grazing. Grass growth has been behind target and sward graze-out has been less than satisfactory. There has been much discussion at groups about the potential negative impact on cow performance during peak and post peak. However, the main point to remember is that ‘diet on the day’ will have a bigger impact on daily yield than any cow-level effects of a poor spring.
  • Getting the best return from second-cut silage
    Ensuring that there are adequate fodder reserves in place for next winter is something each individual farmer needs to focus on throughout 2024 rather than being reliant on purchasing feed next winter to fill a deficit. Many farmers took early crops of first-cut this year, so maximising second-cut silage provides an opportunity to build reserves for the coming winter. Ensure that second-cut crops receive adequate fertiliser to drive good grass yields at harvest time.
  • Cashflow 2024
    To say dairy farmers have endured a tough period on cashflow is an understatement. The last few months have been about doing the best we could with the conditions in front of us and generally this meant increased feeding with lower milk yield than expected. This has put a strain on the cash position of most farms, especially as 2023 was a below-average year for profitability.