I would like to wish everyone a healthy, happy and prosperous new year. I am almost scared to say it, but the weather has been very kind to us in this corner of the country. We have escaped the worst of the wet and windy weather that has battered the South and West.

The spring-calving pedigree cows have been kept indoors since early December for the first time in several years. This is mainly because we have sufficient straw to see us through the winter, but also because I didn’t have the heart to put them outside again after their TB test last month. We have always had a clear TB test, but those three days between the first and second vet visit are always some of the most stressful and it was a big relief when everything passed clear.

After many years, I have finally given in to temptation and purchased a straw bedding machine. Having had many demonstrations over several weeks we decided to buy one that can hold three round bales or two large Hestons. Until now, I have often thought the machine would disturb the cattle, but from what we have seen they actually seem to enjoy the straw being spread across their backs. I am still not convinced we will be able to bed the cattle any quicker, but I am sure we will reduce the amount of straw used.

The remainder of last year’s lambs and cull ewes have been taken inside and are currently being fed on expensive concentrate pellets and hay.

Iain Green farms 1,110ha as a family partnership. Stock includes 130 pedigree Simmentals, 330 Simmental-crosses, plus followers, 500 Highland Mule ewes and 340 sows. The partnership also runs a large haulage business

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