Ewan Brewis 700ha(1750-
acre) farm is split into two
units. Lempitlaw, the main
420ha (1037 acre) holding
near Kelso, Scottish Borders
and Gattonside Mains with
180ha (455 acre) grass
(LFA). Stocking is 340
sucklers, a 40-cow pedigree
Aberdeen-Angus herd, 20-
cow pedigree Charolais herd,
60 pedigree Suffolk and 960
HERE we go again – yet more doom, gloom and despondency. The last four weeks have seen that damn rain continue with 3.5in having fallen, adding to the annual total of 33in, and as I write it is raining again.
The Perth Bull Sales were hardly the highlight predicted last month. We only managed to sell two bulls averaging £2900 and two Heifers averaging £1400. We brought home three bulls, one of which was second in its class to the Reserve Champion and one fifth in class. These can easily be used at Gattonside Mains as we are short of quality bulls there.
The bull sales in general were all back in both price and demand however, quality still seemed good. We bought the Reserve Champion Shorthorn bull from Donald Biggar which is also destined for Gattonside. Someone looking for a quality commercial bull had plenty of choice, without digging very deep into their pockets. As times get harder, its essential to improve quality because one must remember that it costs the same to rear a good one as it does to rear a bad one.
Last week saw the arrival in the post of hundreds, well 65 actually, of individual packages from BCMS, Workington, each containing a Cattle Passport. Unfortunately, 32 had to be returned because of errors in the genetic dam ID. Their computer had all O as zero. On telephoning BCMS they said: "Cross out the incorrect number and write the correct one above." Think about it!
When queried, BCMS staff said they hadnt been briefed on how to deal with the problem of Os and zeros. We have been applying for passports on a computer print-out for the past few years and, as far as I know, they have all been correct – it must surely be a backward step to go back to writing them by hand.
On a more up-beat note, we have found the ideal storage cabinet for the dreaded passports. Bought from Ikea, its a small filing cabinet on wheels with six drawers, holding about 80 passports each. Name – Helmer, No – 15032180, Cost – £45. (H69cm x W28cm x D41cm). Our useful tip for the month. Perhaps Ikea will pay us commission! *
Disappointment at Perth for Ewan Brewis, with two bulls averaging £2900.