Farmer comment 14 August 2015

Phil Feeney farms in partnership with Rob Bostock, in Malpas, Cheshire. They milk 470 spring-calving cows and 230 summer calvers on about 300 hectares. The two herds are calved down in ten-week blocks and the youngstock is outwintered. 

Average farm cover        1,500kg DM/ha

Pre-grazing cover             2,000kg DM/ha

Grass growth                   10kg DM/ha

Demand                           45kg DM/ha

“Conditions are really dry and grass growth has just disappeared as we’re in a real rain-shadow here and have had no significant rain for eight weeks,” says Phil.

“Initially, we fed cake, up to 4-5kg/cow/day but then had to put silage into the diet and cows have gone onto a 30 day rotation. When the rain eventually does come and grass growth picks up, we’ll still keep them on 30 days, due to the time of the year. The plan is to move to a 35-day rotation in September and 40 in October.”