Farmer Focus: The ‘lamb pram’ was a great success this year

With the weather still not playing ball, our focus for the past month has been lambing.

We have lambed more than 900 ewes in February. It has gone very well overall, and was one of the quickest lambings we have experienced.

The wet weather has meant all the ewes and lambs remained inside until the beginning of March, which was quite a sight and a bit of a task.

See also: How Berks wheat grower increased his yields by 20%

This was not helped by two of our sheds flooding at the height of Storm Dennis.

The team have worked incredibly hard and a massive thank you goes to them all. We have also been lucky enough to have Hannah Jackson (the Red Shepherdess) back again this year, which has been great.

Each year, we try to add little efficiencies to the lambing operation, and this year’s was the addition of the “lamb pram”. You may laugh, but don’t knock it until you have tried it.

Next year, we are considering something on a slightly larger scale in the form of a new building that will hopefully bring some great efficiencies to both the livestock and the arable enterprises.

ELM explained

Elsewhere, at a meeting recently, the foundations of the new Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme were explained.

The take-home messages for me were that this will not directly replace BPS in terms of finance.

As I understood it, because we are leaving the EU and this scheme will be solely controlled by our government, it could potentially only last as long as a parliament.

Hopefully, by the time you read this, we will be able to get on with some field work, as the coming week’s weather looks better.

As I write we are having our fertiliser spreader tested, so with luck, we will be all set to go.

The winter crops we managed to get planted are now starting to look hungry, and one thing is for sure; we will be able to travel a lot sooner on the strip-tilled land than we used to.

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