Slurry Management – with the slurry season now open again. Many slurry pits are getting full and need to be emptied. As always slurry preparation is paramount. This is the accurate mixing of all layers of slurry into an homogenous mix. Phosphorous is quite a heavy material and can settle at the bottom of the tank, so good mixing with an appropriate Abbey Slurry pump is key. In addition to getting the N, P and K mixed it facilitates better spreading of the slurry.
More slurry is now applied through Application Systems. A good applicator parts the foliage and applies the slurry onto the soil below the crop canopy. This has the added benefit of harnessing more nitrogen, reducing smell, reducing rotation length, eliminating the contamination of the crop and speeding up the uptake of the slurry by the crop and thus speeding up crop growth.
Abbey now have 6m and 7m Vertical Trailing Shoes, 7.5m Tri-App Applicator and 7.5m DM Band Spreader.
Pasture Management – early application of nitrogen helps to kick off grass growth and facilitate an earlier turnout. Accurate application is key to getting an even response.
Feed Management – pit face management is important to ensure minimal waste and no deterioration of the fodder. Carry out feed budgets to assess what stocks of fodder are available so the appropriate supplementary feeds can be fed. Paddocks closed-off from last autumn can now pay dividend to help get stock out early.
Proper feeding in the fry period with appropriate levels of long fibre, protein, energy and dry-cow minerals. These help to have cows fit and healthy for calving. 80% of animal health events occur in the 30 days pre and post calving.
Calf Management – with 90% of the dairy herd calving over the coming 100 days this is probably the most stressful time on farm. Sick animals require 20 times the attention of health animals. As a result keeping calves healthy by getting 3L colostrum into calves immediately post birth, proper navel dipping and good clean environments. Appropriate vaccination programmes can also pay dividend to help prevent scours and calf set-backs.