Robert Neill’s grain store is finally under way

The digger has, at last, started excavating the site for our new grain store. We had to wait four long and stressful months to finally be granted planning permission.

The fine spring weather has allowed us to keep up to date with the arable work. The grass is looking well and we have spread two loads of fertiliser for the permanent pasture to help boost P and K and trace elements. The crops and grassland now need rain, and as I write the forecast says some is due.

Calving is going well and almost 200 cows have calved and been turned out to grass. The calves are thriving with the good weather. The first 40 yearling steer calves have been sorted out and weighed (with an average of 500kg an animal). They are now on an ad-lib diet in order to have them ready to sell mid-summer. All the yearling heifer calves have been wormed and put out to grass.

We had our first school visit of the year. Our son Harry was on holiday for the visit so he was an extra tour guide. It is interesting to listen to an eight-year-old’s description of how he sees things on the farm.

The Royal Wedding was a day of great celebration. Unfortunately, Robert didn’t get enough warning of the impending date and was unable to remove the bulls nine months previously. Calving continued as normal and Robert only managed a brief glimpse of the celebration during his lunch.

Robert has had two consecutive days away from the farm recently. Firstly he was starter at a local point-to-point. As it turned out the field of horses was rather thin due to the dry conditions and expected hard ground. The following day he was asked to judge the Limousin bulls at the May multibreed sale at Stirling market and was impressed with the quality.