July can be a good month to review matters on a beef farm and make some decisions for the year ahead. For spring calving herds with a stock bull the bull should be removed in order to bring the breeding season to an end. This will help to prevent a long calving spread and maintain a compact calving season next year. Cows should be scanned and that not in calf should be sold.
Spring born bulls should be castrated if necessary using veterinary assistance if required. Now is the time to introduce forward grazing of weanlings in order to give them the highest quality grass available on the farm. Weanlings should also be dosed for stomach worms and hoose at this time of year. Dry cows that calved in the autumn should be monitored and treated for summer mastitis.
On the grassland front priority should be given to maintaining good quality swards. Swards should be well grazed out to around 4 cm with an 18-21 day rotation, ideally with each paddock being grazed for 3 days. If grass is getting ahead of the stock any surplus grass can be removed by making silage bales. These leafy type swards make good quality silage if made in good conditions.
This time of year can provide a good opportunity to reseed fields that are performing poorly as pressure for grass is decreasing as more paddocks come into the grazing system following silage harvesting. It is worthwhile to reassess the demand for silage next winter – the rule of thumb is that a spring calving suckler cow will require 8 bales per winter housing period though this may need to be increased considering the long wet winters occurring in recent years. read more…