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Page 2—Foraging Around, Lancaster Farming, Saturday, July 11, 1998
Franklin County Dairymen Understand Needs Of Grazing Cows
(Continued from Pago 1)
easily handled. What else do cows
In mid-April this year Doug and his
father Lester conducted a pasture walk
for the county graziers at the Cham
Altogether the Martins care for
about 800 acres, including rented
ground. The home farm makes up
about 100 acres. Of the 800, about 350
is in grass for pasturing.
About 350 cows are on test, accord
ing to Doug, who farms with his father
Lester and Doug’s brother-in-law and
partner, Paul Holderman.
Doug spoke to the graziers about the
farm’s management strategy at an
April pasture walk conducted through
the Franklin County Graziers.
He said, “Our whole business is in
the midst of changes.”
During the peak growing season,
approximately 50 percent of the herd’s
diet is from the pasture and SO percent
is from a TMR made up of high mois
ture com, minerals, com silage, and
grass/alfalfa silage. The amount of
TMR varies depending upon the
amount of grass available.
The herd on Pa. DHIA milks 10,818
pounds at 5.1 percent fat and 4 percent
protein. Milking is from a double-10
parallel parlor to a 1,500-gallon tank
twice a day, at 3 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Martin is a member of the Dairy Far
mers of America Co-op.
The breeding program consists of
using young sires and some proven
Holderman, Martin’s partner, has
relocated to a 180-acre farm nearby
that will be used to raise about 110
heifers. ‘Those are some of the
changes, and we’re excited about
that,” said Mania
This spring, some legumes were seeded—mostly white clover —In *
the fields. Last year, matua was seeded using a four- wheeler and a Wolfe, a Franklin County Grazier member, Inspects the water
broadcast spreader. Doug Martin Inspects the matua. trough at the Martin farm.
A Franklin County Graziers coordinator, Titus Martin, center left with sunglasses, addresses the
group before the start of the pasture walk on the Martin farm in April.
Of the 100 acres on the home farm,
all is in grass, which the cows harvest
completely. On the heifer and dry cow
farms, about half is chopped at first
cutting for winter feed.
Lester Manin indicated that having
cows to graze keeps the grass nice and
can “cut' a lot of expense out of feed
size,” he said.
. The heifer calves are fed a combina
tion of grass silage and minerals. The
grass silage is an alfalfa-grass mixture.
The older heifers and dry cows are fed
similarly, with a 14 percent protein
The milking herd is divided into two
groups, “high” and “low.” The high
group is made up of mostly spring
freshening cows and the low group has
the late summer and fall calves. They
arc all fed the same TMR “down the
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middle” in a bunk dividing the two
groups in the barnyard.
Two weeks prior to calving, the pre
fresh cows are fed a little com silage
and a pre-fresh concentrate along with
their grass hay and pasture.
The pastures are a mixture of clover,
matua, bluegrass in
addition to perennial ryegrass. '
(Turn to Pag* 6)
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