Bristol bridge

April 2022

Lambing time

The first week of April with ForFarmers bought me feelings of spring and joy. I spent a day dual calling with Dr Bethan Till and we visited a beef and sheep farm in the Welsh hills. Lambing is in full swing during this time of the year and it was interesting to hear a sheep farmer’s point of view of the challenges that they face. Coming from a dairy farm I am unfamiliar of the signs a ewe gives off prior to lambing and issues such as twin lamb disease. However, I found that colostrum management with lambing is the same when it comes to calving and should be fed within the first six hours after birth. We have been extremely fortunate with the mild weather during March and April this year so lambing hasn’t been hampered by any extreme conditions.

Lambing time on the farm

Grass growth has been slow to develop due to the April frost’s but has picked up a lot more during these last few weeks. A lot of farmers this year have been motivated to finish lambs earlier so that more grass is available for ewes and cows, especially with fertiliser usage being cut down.

Grass sampling


Bethan and I grass sampled two fields during my day out dual-calling. We took a representative sample from across both fields by cutting the grass with scissors at the same height that it would be mowed for silage. The two samples were stored in two separate bags and sent off to Eurofins to be tested.

There are numerous advantages to grass sampling. One is the ability to understand the importance of grass quality which can help to formulate a plan for silage fermentation and quality. However as we are currently in the grazing season, it can also help towards forward planning and the utilisation of grass.

A day at Dairy-Tech 2022

On Thursday 7th April I attended Dairy-Tech which was held at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire. We exhibited a large trade stand and a team of Ruminant Specialists from different parts of the UK represented ForFamers throughout the day. On our stand we displayed a range of feeds including RumaxX and SelcoPlus. By showcasing a range of products, prospects and customers can see the wide variety of total feed solutions that we have available nationwide.

After being canceled twice due to Covid-19 restrictions, everyone was relieved to be back at Dairy-Tech. Our stand was busy throughout the day and it was lovely to see lots of customers and meet some new faces too. It was a lot of fun because everyone was in good spirits and had such a positive attitude. I was able to get some fantastic photos and videos for our social media channels throughout the day. In fact I collated it all into a reel which can be watched on our Instagram channel.

I was fortunate to go around the different stands at Dairy-Tech and listen to a range of different seminars. Abi Reader who works for the NFU gave a great talk on social media and the impact it has within the dairy industry. Abi mentioned a few tips which are important to use if you want to reach your target audience with your social media post. Nigel Owens, a world rugby refereeing icon, inspiring speaker and mental health champion, spoke about mental health in farming; a topic he is passionate about after experiencing his own challenges. Nigel has been very active with his farm in South Wales since retiring from officiating and has expanded a purebred herd of Hereford cattle. His talk was very moving and he left us with this quote ‘not only do we have a responsibility in what we say and what we do, we sometimes have more of one if we stand by and say or do nothing’.

The technological advancements within dairy industry are constantly growing. Christian Nightingale from Lely delivered a talk on ‘The future of robotics on dairy farms’. He highlighted a few innovative future developments that Lely is working on right now, focusing on the cow, the farmer, the consumer and of course the environment.

Dairy-Tech 2022

Future plans

The month of May is just around the corner which means farmers are starting to sow their maize seed. I am looking forward to getting out with Forage Specialists to hear what advice they give farmers during this time of the year in order to achieve successful germination and maximium yields. Moreover, first cut silage is about to kick off which is exciting.

Afbeelding: Josie signature 2