Archive: Season overview Tony Renwick

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Tony Renwick, who farms in East Sussex, has 300 autumn calving crossbred cows on a paddock grazing, self-feed system. He has a 71ha grazing platform, with 60ha of maize, and aims for high-quality milk from high-quality healthy cows. Below, Tony talks about how the 2014 grazing season progressed for him.

Grazing started in February this year, with full turnout in late March. We buffer fed until the second week of April and since then it’s been a fantastic growing year with plenty of good grazing.

We did have some drying up at times but the rain always seemed to come just at the right time. Forage stocks for winter are the biggest we've ever had. At the start of the autumn we had 1,300 ton of grass silage and 1,900 ton of maize. 

Cows have performed well this season and have averaged 6,000 litres at 5.15% butterfat and 3.81% protein.

This year, we’ve reseeded on the milking platform, which was a little overdue. A higher seed rate has gone on at 20kg/acre, in order to try and beat the weed issues, and get a better carpet of grass across the field.

We had a few mishaps this season. We mowed in front of the cows too early and ended up having to go around half the platform twice. When grass growth took off we slowed the round down and the grass got too strong. We didn't need any more silage so we continued to mow in front. 

We do have high covers for us, going into winter, at 2400kg and the grass is still growing! Hopefully, if the weather is with us, a good early turnout will be achieved.