Livestock Farmer Focus: Julian Ellis has been busy making hay

So we have managed it, I got away from the farm for more than 10days!

Something that was easier said than done, however. Dad and the extra member of staff coped well with the workload and each other, so we have decided to take him on for four days a week.

Canada was the last stop on my trip – a great country in more ways than one, and I soon learnt that what may look like a two-hour drive turns out to be a day’s work. My study into farming by the cycles of the moon and biodynamic farming has taught me a lot and visiting other countries has broadened my knowledge of farming generally and definitely reminded me how lucky we are to live where we do.

There has been no time for jetlag. It was straight into disease spray on the spring barley and second-cut silage. Fortunately the weather was just right and within a week we had got the pressing jobs done.

Temperatures for this last month have been two degrees higher than average and rainfall has been significantly lower. Up until now we have fortunately had sufficient grass growth and the rain we had recently will help it continue and also make ground easier to plough for spring cabbage.

Once again we have made some hay. Every year when our patience is being tested by the knotters of the baler and we are out late trying to get it in before the rain comes, we insist it will be our last year of small bales. But then comes the winter and we are grateful for a bale for the bull or a sick cow, and by the summer the temptation to bring out the bailer again seems difficult to resist.

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