Farmer Focus Livestock: Robert Neill has finished drilling winter wheat

We finished harvest at Upper Nisbet on 25 September when we cut 35 acres of spring beans, yielding 1.75t/acre.

These beans will be used as feed for the finishing cattle through the winter along with a large pile of rejected malting barley. So this year we will be selling all of the wheat rather than feeding it. We have all of the winter barley drilled and, hopefully, by the time this goes to press we will have finished drilling the winter wheat.

All cows have access to ad-lib straw in feed trailers in the fields, along with high magnesium licks. With grass starting to disappear, calves are now eating plenty of creep – about 1kg/head/day.

The first of the grazing cattle came inside at the end of September. The first batch of 40 heifers had been out at grass for 145 days with a daily liveweight gain of 0.9 kg/day. They are now on ad-lib cereals and hopefully won’t take a lot of finishing.

During a conversation about this year’s harvest with fellow Farmer Focus writer Neil Thomson, the conversation worked its way round to an incident they had with their combine and a wet patch in a field. It would seem they had to call in reinforcements from “Wendy” the winch – a machine many local farmers got to know well during last year’s wet conditions. Fortunately, they soon had their combine back on solid ground.

We had a trip to Carlisle recently to their Rare, Minority and Traditional Breeds Show and Sale. We had never seen so many people at a sale at Carlisle Mart and it was certainly an interesting day out. We were looking for a boar for our KuneKune sows. Although we didn’t manage to buy the boar, we have hired him for a few weeks. Percy has settled in well since his arrival.

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