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    Crows on maize pit... Help!

    They've pecked holes through the "anti crow" mesh sheet, and into the plastic. Going to be a lot of waste when we peel it back. How can I stop it happening again? Put tyres on plastic, then "anti crow" sheet on top of tyres? TIA
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    Mineral lick for outwintered dry cows?

    Any thoughts on mineral lick for outwintered far-off dry cows? Holsteins outwintered on big bale silage (mature stuff) up to 3 weeks from calving. They have a proper transition diet 21 days from calving. Special dry cow lick is about 4 quid a bucket more than general purpose lick... Thoughts...
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    How many collars/peds for heat detection?

    Considering getting a heat detection system e.g. collars or peds. Don't need them for maiden heifers as easily detected using estrotech patches. In the herd there's always a few barren cows that I don't want to breed, so wouldn't need heat detecting... For a 200 cow unit how many devices do I...
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    Cutting costs & making more money (short term)

    Now we're into Winter housing, I'm after sharing ideas to cut costs of production short-medium term. Here's a couple of mine to kick off: - Trial hot wash AM only, monitor bactoscans - Reduce cake to over-conditioned cows once confirmed PD+ - Give cows more time in feed yard to up milk from...
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    Economics of store cattle

    Thoughts on costs of rearing store cattle? Take the calf value or rear as stores? In and out of TB. Have permanent pasture they can graze in spring/summer but it's not great quality, so won't get good growth rates without chucking cake at them...
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    Growing organic/low fert forage

    I'm a conventional dairy farmer... but like lots of us, have been looking at ways of growing enough forage with less/no synthetic fertiliser. Due to both economic and environmental considerations. For example herbal grazing leys and red clover silage leys. So Gabe Brown reckons he can grow...
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    Good rake for sand beds...

    Anyone know where to get a good heavy rake for sand beds? I have old tarmac rakes and weld a plate on the back so you can use them like a how to dig wet sand out... But needs a good heavy to weld.
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    Calculating forage budget per dairy cow

    So I'm doing a forage budget to figure out how much food I need to buy in for my dairy cows... Here are my "back of envelope" maths: Across 305 day lactation, assume 3% of body weight in DM as forage Across 60 day dry period, assume 2.5% of body weight in DM as forage So for a 650kg cow...
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    Thick sandy slurry

    How are people getting this out and spreading it? Our pit 4m deep, goes from water-like slurry on the top to stackable stuff in the bottom. Lot's of talk of precision application etc. But not sure that possible for the bottom layer of the pit... Not idea how it would analyse either with all...
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    Udder mint for mastitis

    Any thoughts? Trying it with zero milk withhold anti-inflammatory on mild cases, rather than straight in with antibiotics.
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    Getting bulling heifers to weight

    Hi TFF, Aiming to hit first calving about 24 months. Wondering what supplements, if any, people feed, to get growth rates. Here they graze in summer set stocked permanent pasture, housed in winter and fed maize/round bale silage. Plus 2kg 16% cake per day from 3 months til in calf. Keen...
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    Good 3 gallon buckets?

    Use them for all sorts, calf pen water, milk feeding, the odd bit of cake, etc. But where to get good ones that don't cost a fortune?! TIA
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    Good 12v isolator?

    Any idea where to get sensible 12v manual isolators for old machinery? Cheap ones seem to burn out! TIA CB
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    Grass reseed - roll after heavy rain?

    Hi TFF, Just put in 30 acres of grass, power harrow / seed box combination, scratched in by tines on the rear. Herbal ley, with grass, plantain, clovers. Straight into maize stubble, so clean seed bed. Normally I would ring roll twice immediately after, but heavy rain has stopped play. It'll...
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    Best break crop for busting compaction

    Thoughts on whether compaction can be resolved with root crops? E.g. fodder radish. Got some ground that was dug for gravel and topsoil dozed back on (v. thin in some places), decades ago but drainage has been horrendous ever since. TIA
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    Herbal leys for dairy cattle grazing

    Moving over to herbal leys here for dairy cow grazing (holsteins on conventional system). Drought prone soil and low summer rainfall are main reasons. Lots of advice out there but seems more beef/sheep than dairy focus. So for dairy cows... Who's got them? What do you put in them? Are the...
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    Farm buildings - 24 foot bays

    Anyone built a portal frame with 24 foot bays? What purlins were used, and what spacings? I know that 9x3 timber is available in 24ft lengths. I want to mix 24ft and 20ft bays to run across the face of an existing building, don't want a big post right in the middle of the bay! TIA
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    Maize cover crops suitable for grazing cattle?

    Hi TFF, Looking to grow cover crops on my maize stubble this year. Aiming to improve soil health, prevent nutrient leaching and... graze cattle? E.g. outwintering youngstock Feb/March. Could supplement with silage bales. Last two years I have used Italian Ryegrass and Westerwolds. But what...
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    Overseeding with pest resistant herbs/ legumes?

    Got some old (ryegrass once upon a time) pasture, can't rip it up and use a break crop as already taken a chunk of the grazing platform out of production for break crops and full reseed. Are there any species of herbs/legumes resistant to the common grassland pests (frit fly, wire worm, leather...
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    Concrete slurry stores, pre-cast or in-situ?

    After info in square slurry stores, anyone had one built recently? Did you go for cast in situ, or pre-cast? Which companies were best value? Above ground and pump in, or below ground and push slurry in with scraper? Approx. 2000m3 so 15m x 40m x 3.3m deep as a starting size. TIA CB
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