Plastic in the paddock

I may not be able to look my fellow farmers in the eye after publishing the next photo, especially those of the calibre of @Hoddlecows of Montrose Dairy, for I have committed a dairy farming sin.

Grass ready for ensiling

Not quite “the more the merrier”

If you ever needed proof that farmers are a hard lot to please, this is it: we want our grass to be lush but not this lush. It’s past its best and I should never have let it get so long. Now that it is this long, I should not be spending lots of money to have it cut, tedded, baled and wrapped in plastic to create that fermented delicacy called “silage”. It’s too crappy. Oh, the tut-tutting.

How did I get to this point? Well, the farm has been so wet that I simply wouldn’t have been able to get this paddock grazed without bogging a few bovines along the way, so I just looked the other way until we had this tiny window of almost-good-enough silage-making weather. I’m told it’s only me and one other farmer on the other side of town who have ventured into silage making around here so far this season.

“Fools rush in…etc, etc, etc.”

Thankfully, the team at Bowden’s Ag Contracting got it done for us, just in the nick of time. Even though it’s creating more mud and misery out there, it sure feels good listening to the rain on the roof tonight, knowing that it will be pattering on plastic in the paddock. So there!

10 thoughts on “Plastic in the paddock

    • Sorry Beeso. If it makes you feel any better, I too am buying feed because we have not been able to get the cows or fertiliser onto quite a lot of the paddocks. You’re welcome to truck some of our rain up there – I’ll even pay for the freight if you can organise the logistics!

      • This has been a very dry spring, might even have to buy water again if we don’t get rain soon. I’ll be fencing another paddock and then I can do a proper rotation and some pasture improvement. At the moment it is just improvise and try and keep the feed bill down.

  1. Anything that costs not much money! Mostly I have been trying for pasture diversity, with clover and pinto peanut being the success stories so far. Also trying to establish some tree fodder, mulberry and pigeon pea. And removing lantana!

    • Gee – that’s an interesting mix, Beeso! Great to see that you have legumes to help with nitrogen levels, too. I don’t envy you working through that lantana but it must be rewarding seeing the place ridded of it and coming to life.

  2. Congratulations on getting some silage in, that’s a huge achievement. I see no ‘dairy farming sin’ committed, we all aim for the perfect silage cut, the reality is in South Gippsland we rarely get it. The weather is always providing new challenges, you might be surprised how well this silage tests. Please don’t for a moment believe anyone gets their pasture management right all the time.

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