Farmer Focus: Maize is taking off on Furness Peninsula

It’s early May as I write this, and I’ve spent the day mowing first-cut. There is rain forecast tomorrow night, so my fingers and toes are crossed that the day runs as easily as potential.

Grass high quality appears good, and yields look significantly better than the previous few years, though at this stage it’s all only a guess, actually.

We began drilling the maize underneath movie on 8 April. This was about 10 days later than normal, however was solely due to climate limitations.

The changeable situations continued as we labored and made for a little bit of a stop-start affair, which took about 10 days.

About the creator

Tom Stable

Tom Stable and household, Ulverston, Cumbria, milk 300 Holsteins twice a day, producing milk for Arla and ice cream for his or her Cumbrian Cow model. The 215ha operation, of which half is rented, grows grass, maize, and winter wheat. Cows common 10,800 litres.

See additionally: How maize shredlage aids digestion in dairy rations

The intermittent rain all through drilling ought to hopefully assist the pre-emergence therapy utilized by means of the drill, which frequently struggles as situations grow to be too dry.

It’s 5 years since we began rising maize underneath movie and Drew Watson Agri, from Dumfries, got here all the way down to drill it for us.

We put in about 27ha (67 acres) within the first yr. Since then, it has grown in reputation regionally and this yr nearly 161ha (400 acres) has been drilled within the surrounding space.

We additionally obtained our spring barley drilled – some earlier than the maize and a few after. It’s actually motoring now.

The cropping work has pushed another jobs down the record, although. Although we have now turned out about 140 youngstock, all of the milk cows are nonetheless inside.

We usually graze about 25% of the herd day and night time, and we are going to hopefully be doing that by the point you learn this.

Our lack of urgency is partly all the way down to the cows performing higher than they’ve all winter, with nice fertility, comparatively little mastitis and yielding about 35kg.

I hate upsetting them when issues are going nicely, however wants should.

My spouse, Anna, is busy planning for the Maize Maze. With indicators to make, sand pits to dig, marquees to assemble and workers to make use of, there is lots to do.

We have additionally began designing the maze itself, which will probably be painstakingly minimize out by hand within the final week of May.

As they are saying, many palms make gentle work, so if anybody fancies a couple of hours with a measuring wheel and a backyard hoe, you realize the place to seek out us.

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