John Geldard and family farm
175ha (430 acres) near
Kendal in the Lake District.
Stock now comprises of 100
suckler cows with progeny
finished alongside 200+
bought in stores, 1000 ewes
– 160 pedigree Charollais
plus Llyens – and ewe lamb
replacements, with a 25,000
bird poultry enterprise
DURING the last few days the weather has slightly improved, but rarely a day goes by without rain.
Our ground is water logged and our sheep look sick of the rain. They must be fed up with never having a dry base to stand on. I believe it is certainly having an effect on the condition of lambs which we are currently marketing.
Prices are still daunting, at a time when we would have expected to see them moving slightly forward. The lambs we are marketing are pure Lleyn wethers and Charollais cross Lleyns which have all achieved 75p/kg plus, with a few reaching over 80p/kg. These prices were for lambs sold in the last week of October and the first week in November.
In mid-October, I had the pleasant duty of judging the Welsh Charollais flock competition which took me to most corners of Wales. The weather was not good, but fortunately it was the week before severe flooding.
At the beginning of November I spent two days at the British Charollais Society autumn council meeting in Norfolk assessing the results of the sales season. Irrespective of the state of the industry, Charollais breeders generally have little to complain about.
We have just housed our first batch of Charollais ewes which are due to lamb in December. They certainly look happier than their flock mates who are still outside.
Our new building project was completed on November 6, allowing us to house the remaining cattle. During the last few weeks we have continued to buy in store cattle and are now full to capacity.
One unexpected development, which we could well have done without, was our old Kidd feeder deciding to die. My sons, Richard and Charles, informed me that we should replace it with a diet feeder. Keenan was the preferred choice, with its rep adamant it can produce improved margins on finished cattle fed through a Keenan. The boys won, and I lost, so Keenan is now on trial. *