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Wintering

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The current plan for SDF is to winter 750 cows, 580 Mixed age on farm and 170 In Calf heifers at grazing, returning on or around the 20th July 2015.

4 of our beet paddocks required a second spray for weeds, while not too bad, getting the remaining weeds prior to canopy closure is expected to result in a higher yielding crop than if we were to leave them. Some pictures are below.

No second cropping is planned for the coming season, this means that we will have had the 32Ha (including suga beet) sown into new pasture and a further 32Ha (including suga beet) worked into winter crop (fodderbeet). This will help get through the 40Ha of short rotation pasture that must be replaced prior to the termination of the lease. It will put a bit of extra pressure on feed supply during the mating period but with a lower stocking rate and carefully managing our pastures, we are confident that it will work out in the end.

After noticing some yellowing of the beet leaves we decided to test the plant to check for deficiencies prior to just wading in and applying fertiliser to fix a visual problem that may not even exist so far as the plant nutrient profile is concerned.

Early opinion from a range of people suggest that the rapid growth in the plant can cause a deficiency in Calcium which presents as yellowing of the leaves. With our plants having a lot of new young leaves coming through, the advice was not to worry about it because as the plant slows (as the we move into Autumn) the new leaves will "take over" from the older yellowing leaves.

SDF Beet Leaf Analysis1 

SDF Beet Leaf Analysis2

SDF Beet Leaf Analysis3

SDF Beet Leaf Analysis4SB

While we were testing the leaf, we got the bulb done also so we had an idea of dry matter percentages to help us work out our winter feed budget.

SDF Beet Bulb Analysis Ceries

SDF Beet Bulb Analysis Monroe

SDF Beet Bulb Analysis Tadorne

Download the previous discussion on Wintering