Livestock

FARMER FOCUS: Ice cream runs out as weather heats up

Saturday 29 June 2013 06:00

The silage is in, the over seeding that we did two years ago has come into its own and we have filled two clamps with 100 acres of first cut.

 This is the first year that we have taken first cut using Messrs WC Stones and Son - Strautmann Forage wagon, Arkengarthdale's best... This method has suited us as we have been able to do all our own grass cutting thus saving on the usual silage time bill. Instead of needing to supply diesel we have been refuelling them with Wensleydale Ice Cream. Apparently they all left a stone heavier (pardon the pun).

We are now in the unusual situation where the grass is growing faster than the cows can eat it and so we are resorting to baling in an effort to avoid buying in fodder towards the end of winter.

Ice cream orders keep flooding in and so we are now stepping up production in an effort to keep some stock on farm, as it is very embarrassing when customers call and the freezer is empty. The recent warm weather has done wonders for demand.

Mr Harrison senior and my younger brother have arranged for a demo tractor - a Fendt 716. The testosterone has been flying and for the first time ever there has been a race to spread slurry. Both stores are now empty and I can say that I would recommend the Fendt, albeit you need a degree to work out the instruments in the cab. Sadly as none of Harrison Bros have a degree we have resorted to changing gear only... that's a joke by the way.

My children are YFC members and although we should encourage them, I felt an anxious lurch in my stomach when both son in junior dairy judging and daughter in cooking have both qualified for the National competitions. "Oh no that will be more trailing about" is all that I could think. As luck would have it the Dairy Judging is at the Great Yorkshire Show, so that one is easy, not so easy for the cooking though, so the wife is making me take a compulsory break to the Malvern Show in September.

Adrian Harrison farms 81ha in partnership with his father Maurice in Wensleydale, Yorkshire. He runs 130 pedigree Jersey cows with 70 followers. Milk is used to make Wensleydale cheese

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