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Meet Our Experts' Staff Blog

The 'Meet Our Experts' blog gives valuable insight from staff into the different departments here at the College. We will be hearing from those members of staff who deal with Higher Education, Work Experience, Apprenticeships, Student Services, Exams and more. Stay tuned for insightful blogs from our heads of departments too, as well as key subject areas explored by various experts within the college.

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Lackham Farm Blog 10th - 26th November 2018

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Lackham Farm Blog 10th - 26th November 2018

Dairy

We continue to report great results in the dairy because they are, milk yields are good averaging 38 litres per cow and that includes over 40 heifers - 28% of the herd. Milk quality is brilliant, Cell counts consistently in double figures around an average of 70 that would equate to second in the Selkley vale group of 80 producers. Bactoscans are averaging around 10 again we are in the top 10 of producers with this result. Butterfat and proteins are now consistently where they want to be. Great job Dan!

Serving started on Friday with cows bulling strongly we anticipate a lot being served in the first three weeks.

Arable

The final field drilled with Skyfall at 200kgs per hectare, rain fell the next day so good timing again. It will be slow to germinate due to the colder soils, but it should yield better than drilling a spring crop. We have decided to leave the pre em spray and wait to spray any weeds in the spring.

The remaining crops are being inspected on Tuesday, but we anticipate no further treatments this winter, so the sprayer can be anti-freeze’d and put to bed until the spring.

We hope to get all the farm machinery up to the workshops for students to grease and check over ready for the spring, the workshops will then have up to date machinery to work with.

Beef - Youngstock

Another Limousin bull has been sold, the pre-movement TB test was negative, so he will move this week. That leaves a Hereford bull who we will use on the bulling heifers after finishing AI in six weeks’ time after two cycles or services.

We are selling two beef animals every other week up to Christmas, after that we will only have smaller animals to sell but demand is usually less after the new year.

The bulling heifers will be served from today onwards with sexed semen, this will continue for six weeks then the Hereford bull will sweep up.

This year’s Friesian calves total 65 over half have been weaned, the remainder doing well, all have grown to targets and beyond with very low mortality - well done Rich! The beef calves doing equally well, the late ones due close to Christmas and beyond are always the challenging ones because of the winter weather and disease build up in the calf pens.

Sheep

The majority if not all the ewes have been served, we will know at scanning in early Jan what sort of result will be, my instincts are that we could expect a good result due to ewe condition and the grazing they have had. To summarise a tough dry summer with little grass, then an autumn with good grass being mild and good weather conditions.

The cull ewes have been sold, the price is not the highest during this year, but they will return a reasonable price given the current market.

126 lambs were sold last week, they varied in grades due to this being the first big draw for a while, they averaged just under 20kgs each average price about £3.70 per kg.

Estate

Main drive tidied up, the second bank strimmed ready for the open day, we need to decide how to maintain this second bank in the future.

We are ready to install the Barn owl which Ollie kindly made for the CBL, looking forward to seeing it at the car park along avenue la fleche.

General

A general tidying up for the open day this week.

We will be continuing with CSS fencing preparation ready to start fencing next week.

If the weather allows more manure moving to the fields from Home Farm and Great lodge.

Health and Safety signs to be positioned at each farm entrance.

Student Practicals

Late notification this week so here are a few:

  • Bulling monitoring
  • Disbudding, Ear tagging
  • Weighing- pigs or beef
  • Fencing
  • Manure spreading
  • Ploughing

All groups of students have achieved some great practicals so far this year thanks to preparation and communication between the staff. Thanks to everyone who makes a special effort to make the student experience the best it can be. Keep up the good work to those involved.

 

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