"Improving Our Lot" - Planned Holistic Grazing, for starters..

holwellcourtfarm

Member
Livestock Farmer
isn't us growing the rape, from what i can gather, it's a ok crop, or a write off, with not much in between !
soya is the 'ideal', and 50/50 rape soya is a very good mixture. But soya comes a long way, and grown in the wrong places, s/mkts don't like it, we have to declare how much, and where from, for our milk buyer, so soya will be 'out', rape is the next best, rape pro, can replace soya, but unless they give derogations on sprays, it isn't going to be grown in sufficient amounts, to supply the meal, it will be imported rape oil.
So, that's the riddle, to replace the best two protien sources, our cows are not high yielding, so do not require the precision rationing of the high yielding herds, where it is crucial. Just putting a 'feeler' out, you never know, someone might have found the solution, or found a way to reduce the need for rape/soya.
Did you read KP's pea silage thread? DDing peas into your swards could help. Use Lucerne/peas/trefoil/clovers in your silage swards?
 
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pear

Member
BASE UK Member
Location
Hertfordshire
I tried one of the Charlie Arnott episodes on Working Cows but I only lasted 10 minutes. He was going on about making compost or tea or something and how he chucked in animal organs so it could 'organise itself'. That had me skipping on to the next episode. Can you convince me that I've been too hasty in dismissing CA?
He hosts his own podcast. Some good guests that aren’t all farmers
 

GC74

Member
Ed Ed
urea is already well up the 'danger' list, and it's use will be questioned, urea as a protien source, is a very good, and cheap source, max 200gms/cow/day, it is cheap. Sunflowers, are not the 'right' protien for dairy fed as straight. However sun flowers have got diversification value, as well, saw a sunflower walk through the fields, in the USA, the walker count, was massive !
It's pretty obvious we have to reduce/stop our reliance on imported proteins, from the 'air miles' and ethics as well, amazon rain forest. It doesn't matter if those proteins are ethically produced, in the publics eye, they are all bad.
funny how some things happen....just put down a book reading about cows and high protein feed, it said while cows will tolerate a high protein diet and produce high volumes of milk they will do better with a diet with carbs and a brix reading over 12, Don’t really know much about cows myself so does this make any sense?
 
I tried one of the Charlie Arnott episodes on Working Cows but I only lasted 10 minutes. He was going on about making compost or tea or something and how he chucked in animal organs so it could 'organise itself'. That had me skipping on to the next episode. Can you convince me that I've been too hasty in dismissing CA?
I can't recall that particular episode. I just let Charlie be Charlie, I'm in it for the distraction at work. I do have time for compost and compost teas, though I'm a total newbie. Funny story my mate has, two department inspectors were on their farm for the day, the inspectors were talking between themselves about a problem with a septic tank. The solution, apparently, was to chuck in a dead chicken to get the biology going. Wonder would that be acceptable for fallen stock :unsure:
 
I can't recall that particular episode. I just let Charlie be Charlie, I'm in it for the distraction at work. I do have time for compost and compost teas, though I'm a total newbie. Funny story my mate has, two department inspectors were on their farm for the day, the inspectors were talking between themselves about a problem with a septic tank. The solution, apparently, was to chuck in a dead chicken to get the biology going. Wonder would that be acceptable for fallen stock :unsure:
Chucking in some guts to get the thing bubbling makes sense. I forget what he put in and why but it really did sound like mumbo jumbo!
 
Chucking in some guts to get the thing bubbling makes sense. I forget what he put in and why but it really did sound like mumbo jumbo!
I was telling another friend about some of the ideas that'd be "normal" on this thread one evening. "Don't tell me you're a hippy now", was the response.

If mumbo jumbo works, go with it.
If hippy works, go with it.

🤷‍♂️
 

som farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
somerset
Did you read KP's pea silage thread? DDing peas into your swards could help. Use Lucerne/peas/trefoil/clovers in your silage swards?
no, will try and find it, did grow peas and beans for silage, peas were ok, beans proved to be uncuttable, so combined.
lucerne, the best ground to grow it on, are were we plan the winter feeding, although that might alter. The biggest drawback trying to grow energy and protien, on a limited acreage, is you lose grass ground, for both grazing and cutting, seems a 1 and grass. Even though we have taken on extra acres, they are grass only, but they will take the pressure of here, which is why we are looking ! Summer might well see a much lower stocking rate as well. We have been scattering clover seed all round, and have chicory, vetch and plantain in new leys, plantain very obviously likes our soil type, gone mental, and a lot of 'weed' plantain already here. We have h/rye, and winter vetch in, so we will see the result. Farming is all about finding the 'right' balance, either by working with, or chucking money at, and am quite certain the first is the most profitable.
 

som farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
somerset
Ed Ed

funny how some things happen....just put down a book reading about cows and high protein feed, it said while cows will tolerate a high protein diet and produce high volumes of milk they will do better with a diet with carbs and a brix reading over 12, Don’t really know much about cows myself so does this make any sense?
rationing is changing all the time, new ideas, always the best though, are coming out, mainly from feed firms. But there does seem research for lower protien in rations, maize which is high energy, has to be balanced with protien, what we need is an easy protien to 'top up' rations. More and more research will go into higher protien forages. It's quite possible to get silages above 15% protien, then we throw maize on top, and drop the total protien of the crop.
But maize is about the cheapest energy source you can grow, mixing the two............ However, maize has problems, the biggest, but least recognised, is it's not a natural feed for ruminants, but we work around this, basically buying in the 'balancer' - protien. Friends son works for lely robots, and he say's loads of high yielding herds not on maize, the second problem, its hell to soil structure, when grown in the wrong places. Another enigma.
 

Samcowman

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Wiltshire
I tried one of the Charlie Arnott episodes on Working Cows but I only lasted 10 minutes. He was going on about making compost or tea or something and how he chucked in animal organs so it could 'organise itself'. That had me skipping on to the next episode. Can you convince me that I've been too hasty in dismissing CA?
It’s very worth a listen even if it challenges you and you don’t agree with it all.
Some good interviews and production is good on it.
The Tommy Herschell double episode was a really good one to start you off.
 

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
Ed Ed

funny how some things happen....just put down a book reading about cows and high protein feed, it said while cows will tolerate a high protein diet and produce high volumes of milk they will do better with a diet with carbs and a brix reading over 12, Don’t really know much about cows myself so does this make any sense?
Yes, this.
Too much protein starts dragging energy out of "the cow" just to process the protein

Just like running more overdrive on a supercharger, it gets to a point that it's actually taking more power out of the fuel than it puts in, which is why they make bigger blowers and bigger engines for "more-ons"

Cows run on microbes the way engines run on air, hence the salesfolk always want us to look at fuel 😉
 

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
I tried one of the Charlie Arnott episodes on Working Cows but I only lasted 10 minutes. He was going on about making compost or tea or something and how he chucked in animal organs so it could 'organise itself'. That had me skipping on to the next episode. Can you convince me that I've been too hasty in dismissing CA?
I can't "convince you" but second what Sam said. Seek out challenging stuff, I don't bother much with podcasts etc as there is so much "echo chamber" stuff in regenerative ag, and it's all to do with context.
It gets more challenging as your context departs from "accepted norms", which is possibly where Charlie is.
Most of the RA podcasts are kinda irrelevant simply because they're reinventing agriculture as opposed to replacing it?
 
Did anyone buy the fencing reels off of aim tools ltd? I think they were put on this thread around Feb/March? What did people think? I need some new reels for turnout and I'm wondering whether the Rutland ones are worth double the money. Cheers
 

GC74

Member
Yes, this.
Too much protein starts dragging energy out of "the cow" just to process the protein

Just like running more overdrive on a supercharger, it gets to a point that it's actually taking more power out of the fuel than it puts in, which is why they make bigger blowers and bigger engines for "more-ons"

Cows run on microbes the way engines run on air, hence the salesfolk always want us to look at fuel 😉
The book goes on to say that too!!!! Interesting he says milk should have a brix of 20 ph 7.4 conductivity of 5700 micromhos, also says with high protein diet it will lift conductivity and once it gets to 6800 is when mastitis sets in. I do wonder if the high protein diet and our nitrite problems here in nz are related and can be easily sorted out instead of going to the extremes of banning animal ag which the likes of dr mike joy are now calling for!!!
 

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
Did anyone buy the fencing reels off of aim tools ltd? I think they were put on this thread around Feb/March? What did people think? I need some new reels for turnout and I'm wondering whether the Rutland ones are worth double the money. Cheers
No experience but they look near enough, good to see a return to cotter-pins instead of the shitty clip things that many manufacturers use on those end caps. Including the more expensive brands.
 

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
The book goes on to say that too!!!! Interesting he says milk should have a brix of 20 ph 7.4 conductivity of 5700 micromhos, also says with high protein diet it will lift conductivity and once it gets to 6800 is when mastitis sets in. I do wonder if the high protein diet and our nitrite problems here in nz are related and can be easily sorted out instead of going to the extremes of banning animal ag which the likes of dr mike joy are now calling for!!!
Absolutely they are linked. When we took N inputs out of the system we pretty much solved all the problems with "the herd", the problem with herd health was 99% what they were being fed.
 

Poorbuthappy

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Devon
Did anyone buy the fencing reels off of aim tools ltd? I think they were put on this thread around Feb/March? What did people think? I need some new reels for turnout and I'm wondering whether the Rutland ones are worth double the money. Cheers
Yes I bought 10. Seem very similar to what I've had from Voss or UK country store but 1/2 the money or less. Price on the website includes vat and they do send you a vat receipt. 1 seems slightly stiff to wind in but I've had worse with Gallagher reels, which are 4x or more dearer.

I see they're back in stock now, but a little dearer than when I had mine. Think I paid £11+ vat🙂
 

som farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
somerset
Did anyone buy the fencing reels off of aim tools ltd? I think they were put on this thread around Feb/March? What did people think? I need some new reels for turnout and I'm wondering whether the Rutland ones are worth double the money. Cheers
they are not as strong, but nearer a 1/3 cost, we have 10, they are fine, just don't expect the same use, i actually saw one in buglers show room, £29.95, + vat, i think ours were £12.50, inc vat, somewhere near that. The big problem, made in china !
 

som farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
somerset
The book goes on to say that too!!!! Interesting he says milk should have a brix of 20 ph 7.4 conductivity of 5700 micromhos, also says with high protein diet it will lift conductivity and once it gets to 6800 is when mastitis sets in. I do wonder if the high protein diet and our nitrite problems here in nz are related and can be easily sorted out instead of going to the extremes of banning animal ag which the likes of dr mike joy are now calling for!!!
it's amazing how feed firms change their minds, reacting to new research, never an apology for getting it wrong, before. Soya/rape, and maize, was a good diet, or so they told us, not long ago, we were being told 19/20 % total protien, in a dairy ration, now it's 16%, and some are saying 14%, that is quite achievable with grass/clover silage, but, there's always a but, the cows need energy, to get i/c, and at turnout, when grass could be 20%, that's what we need to solve, We started growing maize in the early 70's, on uncles farm, which was seriously dry, and it was brilliant, energy, + enormous bulk, 18ft was quite common, we did 1 row at a time, then 2, then contractor, as soon as one was near ! So, maize has been a 'must' have crop, cover the ground with sh1t, away it went. But maize will be legislated out, and that will be farmers fault, it's grown where it shouldn't be, and it's not a bovine natural crop. We keep looking at stopping, but still keep growing some, in our case, h/rye followed by maize, gives us 30 ton/acre, and we have been short of forage to many times. Our thoughts going forward, is to look at buying maize meal in, we want to build food stocks up, first. With the emphasis on better grazing cows, and as we go forward, will probably wean our self's off the maize, by changing our grazing etc, and not chasing litres. Our accountants have basically said they have no high imput, high output, herds making much profit, it's good fun, planning to jump of that wheel, just got to slow it down a bit, first. Y/s do need higher protien to start off with.
 

Early moves to target wild oats

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Growers and agronomists now face the dilemma of an early application to remove competition from emerged wild oats, or holding off to allow more weeds to germinate.

Syngenta grassweeds technical manager, Georgina Wood, urges Axial Pro treatment as soon as conditions allow, once weeds are actively growing.

“That offers the chance to control wild oats more cost effectively at lower rates, whilst there is still the flexibility to tailor application rates up to 0.82 l/ha for larger or over wintered weeds and difficult situations.

“The variability of crops and situations this season means decisions for appropriate Axial Pro rates and application techniques will need to be made on a field-by-field basis,” she advised.

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Miss Wood urges...
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