Archive Article: 1998/02/20 - Farmers Weekly

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Archive Article: 1998/02/20

20 February 1998

Traceability and hygiene standards for green top milk are better than ever, say producers, yet government seems set to ban the unpasteurised product. Chairman of the unpasteurised milk producers and consumers association, Sir Julian Rose, said all bottles and cartons must be marked with the farm of origin while cell counts had to be below 10,000/ml. The proposed ban would threaten the UKs 600 green top milk producers, who sell a total of 204m litres a year.

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Archive Article: 1998/02/20

20 February 1998

Two-year-old Northwick Corialanus from Northwick Estate, Moreton-in-Marsh stood champion at last weeks inaugural show and sale of South Devon bulls at Gloucester. But with the beef trade still depressed, only three of the 13 entries found new homes. Top call was 1400gns given by Messrs M and S Kettlewell, Oxford for Macaroni Hereward 1st from Charles and Jane Phillips. (Bruton Knowles)

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Archive Article: 1998/02/20

20 February 1998

Big numbers of store cattle

will be changing hands over

the coming weeks. Its an

anxious time for sellers,

with the beef industry still

in the doldrums. To get a

flavour of the trade, FW

called in at Frome last

Wednesday – the first of

three days of trading for

Premier Livestock Auctions

This auction saw nearly 500 cattle on offer. Trade was up on previous weeks, thanks to the high quality offering and the big turnout of buyers, says auctioneer Chris Eden, pictured right. "A bit more life in it.

Among the Continental steers on green CIDs, first- and second-quality sorts were making about £85 and £40 over their weight, respectively. The days highest bid was £590 for Charolais bullocks.

I wont tell you again – go that way! Moving stock is never as simple as you might think.

Now, these things here are store cattle… They start them farming young in the West Country!

Visitors came from near and far, many making this their first port of call, before attending the Candlemas Fayre at Yeovil the next day. Candlemas, the entries to which come mainly off Dorsets chalk hills, saw an across-the-board average of £400 for the 1300 head on offer, down about £100 on last year. Steers topped at £640, heifers at £440.

Frome regular Ronnie Vincent with mum and dad, Doreen and Ron. Store prices have now fallen enough for there to be a profit on animals bought at the current levels, says Ronnie, who took five home.

The pit stop… Some travelled from the north of England to Frome.

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Archive Article: 1998/02/20

20 February 1998

Broken fingernails, bent pullers and bad tempers when replacing worn bearings could be all in the past. Literally cut in two, the Wyco self-aligning bearing is offered up to a shaft and clamped in place, without having to remove pulleys or their like which may also be on the shaft. Misalignment is avoided by using dowelled faces on the two halves of the bearing cartridge, with replacement made simpler the next time round. The split roller bearing is available in a range of sizes to suit shaft diameters from 40mm-150mm.

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Archive Article: 1998/02/20

20 February 1998

Demand for used machinery may have picked up – but its a different story for dairystock. Prices topped at £560 for an October-calved heifer at last weeks Hucklesbrook Farm dispersal at Fordingbridge, Hants. With the end of the milk year looming – and milk output over quota – people arent looking for cows, says Michael Vesey of Southern Counties Auctioneers. The farms 8000-litre bulk tank made £10,800.

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Archive Article: 1998/02/20

20 February 1998

Summershade Ivory Luke, bought from Northern Ireland by Cogent for use as a bull mother, gave over 11,500kg at 3.8% fat and 3.4% protein in 302 days. The Norrielake Cleitus Luke daughter outyielded her herdmates by 3000kg without preferential treatment, says Cogents Marco Winters. She is a full sister to Canadas number one type and protein cow and will be mated to the worlds top bulls to breed elite sires and heifers for the UKs national breeding programme.

Summershade Ivory Luke, bought from Northern Ireland by Cogent for use as a bull mother, gave over 11,500kg at 3.8% fat and 3.4% protein in 302 days. The Norrielake Cleitus Luke daughter outyielded her herdmates by 3000kg without preferential treatment, says Cogents Marco Winters. She is a full sister to Canadas number one type and protein cow and will be mated to the worlds top bulls to breed elite sires and heifers for the UKs national breeding programme.

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Archive Article: 1998/02/20

20 February 1998

Im in the kitchen and wondering where to go and what to do first. Its 10pm, Ive been home from a night class for a little over an hour, had some tea (cooked by a considerate hubby) and we have friends calling in for breakfast in the morning. They are coming off the night boat on their way south.

Shall I start in the kitchen? Its got to be done as thats the one place everyone sees. Shall I shift all my teaching paraphernalia off the dining table into my "office" to sit with the piles of stuff still waiting to be put away? Had I better do the lounge, the door is invariably left open for anyone to peer in on their way up to the bathroom? Trixie has been in and stolen some walnuts out of the basket, cracked them on the carpet, eaten the nuts and of course, not tidied up after herself; the fire is out and theres ash on the floor.

I must do the bathroom. The last person in there was Beth on Monday before going to school. Ive no idea what it is like. Has she left her washing on the floor? The plug in the sink? I know she hasnt left water in the bath because we didnt have any water on Sunday night.

It has been so cold. Tim, Beth and I were away at the weekend, leaving Jacques the cowman and Daniel our ex-cowman, who offered to come in and help out, to cope with temperatures down to -10C.

Water in the calf house froze, the milking parlour needed gentle encouragement (and warmth) to get going, and the animals had to be watered by bringing water down from the chateau in a bowser, because we are still desperately short of water (and the pipes were freezing). Consequently, when we arrive home there was no quick clothes washing for Beths week away at school, and no showers as the pumps had been switched off allowing the well to be replenished by the trickle of spring water.

We are not on the mains water supply here and rely on natural springs which, until recently, have not been a problem, but several years of drought have left the level dangerously low. We have asked for a new bore-hole to be made as we know there are other sources nearby, but were still waiting.

Three days into a really cold spell and the water is flowing more freely. Curiouser and curiouser! (A small tribute to Lewis Carroll, celebrating the centenary of his death in Jan 1898. I only know this as Cherry is studying him this year at university. Im hoping this will give me a certain air of intelligence, I gather by your smile that Im mistaken!)

Would it be tempting fate too much if I took advantage of the situation and put a wash on, or will I drain off resources leaving nothing to clean the bulk tank out with after the tanker has been?

I can see that all this pontification is getting me absolutely nowhere. Time is getting on and theres still plenty to do. However, a sympathetic husband has done the washing up which is a good start.

Chrissie tackles chores: Water is scarce and visitors are due.

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Archive Article: 1998/02/20

20 February 1998

Notable quotes:

"I wonder if hill farms like ours are going to be here in 60 years. I hope they are so people can see and share some of the wonderful things I have seen and helped."

Kit Kidner (13)

Manaton, Devon.

"Houseworks for mum. I would sooner bottle feed lambs or exercise the dogs."

Katrina Parkin

Berrynarbor, North Devon.

"I like having our own secret island at the bottom of the garden and a warm log fire in the house."

Philippa Anne Brunt

Terrick, Bucks. (9)

"Working with family, you find yourself getting teased a lot about incidents involving gate posts etc."

Sarah Nutland (16)

North Newnton, Wilts.

"French lessons are the worst, trying to explain to the teacher, what animals you have… 500 turkeys?"

Natasha, Frances, Naomi and Jessica Hull

Cotton, Suffolk.

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