Farmer comment wet conditions

Published 24 January 14

The recent wet weather has had an effect on farming across the country. We hear from one of our farmer contributors about how his farm has been affected.

Keith Davis farms on the banks of the river Seven in Gloucestershire and has had some really wet weather recently.

“At the moment we do have some areas of the farm that are still grazable. As we’re so used to wet conditions we make sure we have plenty of entry and exit points into fields.

“In previous years we have started calving on February 1. But the last few winters have been either wet, cold or both, so we’ve decided to delay calving to February 14 to give us a bit more leeway. 

“Every year we try to learn from our mistakes, and after last year’s incredibly cold spring, and having to buy in forage, we made sure we have about 30 days of extra forage, to give us the flexibility if we need it. We can do some on/off grazing or rehouse the cows if conditions get too wet or cold, knowing we have that extra feed ‘in the bank’.

“For us it is unusual, that we’ve not lost grass cover this winter and we may even have had a very small amount of growth. We tend not to get growth in February, so I can manage some cold (and hopefully dry!) weather then. But what we don’t want is a repeat of last year, when we had such cold weather in March and into April. These are key grass growing times and we don’t want to lose it.”