Coping with the hot and dry weather

Ian Norbury, Strategic Farm, Cheshire

“The weather is certainly throwing some challenges our way this year; we were late turning out because the ground was so wet and now we have a significant drop in grass growth and quality due to the dry weather. Everything is taking a hit, I got re-seeds in but they are struggling. I sward lifted some of the silage ground which I planned on putting the calves on when they are weaned, but now I am regretting it because I have a 50% reduction on grass yield.

“The biggest impact so far has been the reduced grass growth. I am trying not to graze the fields too hard to leave more cover (should graze to 1500kg DM/ha target during drought) and protect the ground, however, I am also having to keep the rotation for as long as possible to preserve the other fields. I will start feeding out haylage bales next week with the aim of slowing down the rate they are grazing. I do have bales, but I will need to buy more before long so that will incur extra costs.

“Weights are looking good now; there was a dip at turn out, but they are back on track with where they should be for the weights I’m aiming to finish them at. My problem is that I’m a big overthinker and I always like to have a plan, but the weather is out of our control so all you can do is manage the situation the best you can.”