John Owen comment 27 February 2015

Published 27 February 15

Limited grass supply, due to an inundation of swans and geese over the winter, has marked the beginning of John Owen’s grazing season at Gelli Aur College Farm in Carmarthen. The college has 250 spring calving crossbreds, yielding 5,200 litres and grazing 88ha with some of the grass silage needed brought in. This herd is run alongside a further 250-cow autumn calving herd producing 6,500 litres

Average Farm Cover       1,950kg DM/ha

Pre-grazing cover            2,400kg DM/ha

7-day grass growth          3kg DM/ha

Concentrate feed level     6kg

“Calving has gone really well, with 190 from the 250 cows calved in the first month,” says John.  “Things are quietening down now and, although it’s nice to have a rest, I guess things will drag a little now.

“The cows are milking well, but on high-level supplements in order to compensate for low cover and very poor conditions. They are only out grazing for two to three hours in the day time but the plan is to cut concentrates as soon as things improve.”