Livestock Farmer Focus: Iain Green has completed first-cut silage

We managed to complete the first-cut silage and shearing before leaving for The Royal Highland Show. The silage turned out to be a tremendous crop and it was worth leaving it five days later than normal. Unless we get some rain soon I fear the second cut could be a disappointment.

With winter barley harvest looking unlikely to be ready before the end of July, I only wish we had sown some fields early last year to save having to purchase straw for the pig unit.

Once again the Highland Show proved to be a great shop window for Scottish agriculture, with more than 920 cattle and 1400 sheep entries. The weather was good for the whole week, although the livestock parade had to be cancelled due to excessive heat. Our team of Simmentals had a successful show, with every animal receiving a prize ticket.

Lambs have received their first dose of wormer, trace elements and preventative for fly strike. The ewes have also had fly strike prevention and this year we used a more expensive brand as it claims to last longer and will only require one treatment. Ewe hoggs kept for our own replacements have been grazing grass fields which are normally grazed only by cattle, they made an excellent job leaving a thick sward with no ragwort.

We have been fortunate that our local slaughter house has secured a contract to supply a Southern processor with pork. Several local producers, including ourselves, have been supplying this market through our local marketing co-op, saving an eight-and-a-half-hour round trip to our previous outlet.

Soon we will be exhibiting our Simmental cattle at four local agricultural shows in an eight-day period. Although this is an immense amount of work it is a tremendous way to promote not only our own cattle but also the breed.

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