How would you cope with another summer of 76 ?

Discussion in 'Dairy Farming' started by pappuller, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. pappuller

    pappuller Member

    As per the title, we are all trying to produce more from what we have and haven't experienced many proper summers in the last 20 yrs.
    So if we have a real drought how would your business cope ? Do you have a plan to keep the milk flowing and conserve for nxt winter or are you planning on winging it and hope nature makes up for it ?
    We have a tidy carryover of silage from last year and have secured a few acres of maize next door, more through luck than good planning.
    I can find a few extra culls if needs be and will keep the cheque book locked away as replacements wont be required.
  2. Buy wholecrop and hay, feed more cake and sell culls sooner.

    Apparently in 76 no one even made any silage down here so we're in a better position than that already. Dad was working on a sheep farm right on the cliffs then and they destocked the whole farm in early May.
    ollie989898 likes this.
  3. Not many people were milking 300 cows plus back then!
  4. Wing it. If people de stock I shall buy as many cows as possible. It will be fine.
    flatliner, edwhite, mo! and 12 others like this.
  5. DairyGrazing

    DairyGrazing Member

    Grow maize and winter wheat. Wholecrop the wheat if needed if not crimp it. I maintain a good relationship with a wet feed company. Also have an abstraction license for 250000m3 I have never used.
  6. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Member

    Plant potatoes then buy the Range Rover I have always promised myself in 2019.
  7. pappuller

    pappuller Member

    BR you are the man(y)
    ollie989898 likes this.
  8. jimmer

    jimmer Member

    East Devon
    Problem is, it's too late to make big changes by the time it gets to the 76 situation and it's sunk in , for every destocker there is an expander so in theory the food is there ,just got to source it
    Heard pitted wholecrop could be north of £60/t
    ollie989898 likes this.
  9. Sid

    Sid Member

    South Molton
    Has an abundance of forage last year, sold a 100's of bales.....kept back good pile just in case. Crystal ball said it might be a dry one because the Met office made no mention of a BBQ summer!
    jondear, coomoo and ollie989898 like this.
  10. i think if you look back, 1976 was very wet till about now may and early June were wet, so nothing like this year at all, but it dried up mid June and never rained till September, this year July and august will be wet,
    sorry to disappoint the combine men
    The Agrarian and Chae1 like this.
  11. In the last ten years we've had a series of dry periods around April - June but I can't remember a single dry patch in July/August. We're probably due one but it always seems that as soon as the schools break up for summer it pi$$es it down for 6 weeks.
  12. pappuller

    pappuller Member

    Aarh the summer holidays theory
  13. yin ewe

    yin ewe Member

    Co Antrim
    My missus, who is a teacher, is a strong supporter of this theory, always dries up in September according to her and who am I to argue.
    Last year blew the theory out of the window - it just rained from July til May!!!!
  14. linga

    linga Member

    I think despite being expected to be a dry month August is statistically wet
  15. The Agrarian

    The Agrarian Member

    Co Antrim
    Hate august. Always a struggle to harvest anything.

    I'm a sitting duck to be honest. Set up for wet weather. Drainage all over the place. Grass shallow rooted as it never has to look for water. Last memorable dry spell was 1995, when we had a bit of burning over knowes. It appears to only happen once in a generation here.
  16. Kidds

    Kidds Member

    Wouldn't work this time around.
    In '76 there weren't many who had seen rice or even heard of pasta.
  17. jerseycowsman

    jerseycowsman Member

    Mum says we had no rain from late march till mid September, in cornwall in '76
    AWJ26 and Pennine Ploughing like this.
  18. Tarw Coch

    Tarw Coch Member

    76 is a long time ago, just a hot summer from my childhood, the only thing I remember about it was dad tried growing a new crop which wasn’t grown anywhere nearby called maize. Not particularly successful, put in with a swede drill, the pipe blew off the sprayer when he went in the field soaking it in atrazine, nothing grew there for years after. Don’t think it came particularly well although it seemed huge to me at the time, dad hadn’t actually got a plan on what to do with it but as the summer progressed it was the only thing growing so he ended up strip grazing it, apparently the cows milked well on it and went fat as mud in contrast to everyone else’s. He didn’t grow it next year though although he always said the crop had potential. It was 1990 before we grew it again by which time the machinery for planting and harvesting had moved on a long way.

    I also remember from76 that we had recently had some fields drained and the water that ran out of these drains was the only water the stock had to drink on the one farm where there was no mains.

    2011 was an extremely dry year here, our first and only cut was about 60% of normal, our maize grown on rented sandy land didn’t see a decent days rain from sowing to harvest, most of it didn’t grow to waist height yet we got by, dry cows and young stock were fed on straw and spring 2012 was very favourable, March 2012 was the driest ground conditions the cows grazed in that year.
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2018
  19. som farmer

    som farmer Member

    dad drilled in 24 acres of kale early may,as we were beginning to burn up then. insisted it was drilled deeper so it had a bit of moisture, hell of crop, kept us going. the cows pretty well had free run of lots of brown fields! he always said if they could move from field to field they would be content, it worked. the only advantage we had, was we only had to cut the tops of hedges, the cows had done the sides. I have always tried to put some kale/rape in for the midsummer
    grass holiday. dry cows and I/c hiefers will start rape this week.
    ShooTa, davedb and silverfox like this.
  20. farmerbill

    farmerbill Member

    Father in law bought his farm at 12% interest with a 95% mortgage in winter 1975. Pulled up the grass and put the whole lot down to spuds in spring 76. Paid off his entire mortgage with cash in 1977.

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