Alistair Mackintosh ponders the future of cereal crops

In all my years at Home Farm I can never remember having such a tough time, weather-wise. We have never had so much rain. With winter barley a write-off and the straw from the spring crop still nothing in the field, it makes me wonder if I should grow cereals at all.

In light of high feed costs and my poor harvest, I am looking at a bed and breakfast system to finish my cattle. If this works well I may reduce my cereal acres and increase my cattle numbers. This year will be a trial, but I’m hopeful and see no reason why it shouldn’t work.

Prices for store lambs have been very good as have the store calves. I am concerned however, because I don’t seem to be any better off, as import prices seem to have eaten up any higher prices that have been achieved.

Tups have been released with the ewes. This year, in spite of the weather, the ewes are tupping fast However, it never fails to amuse me, how the tups manage to become covered from head to toe in the raddle, and have changed colour over night.

As this is my last Focus contribution, can I thank Farmers Weekly for the opportunity to put in print my ramblings, which from time to time has given me some tremendous feedback from people I would never have met otherwise. I’ve enjoyed it immensely and hope my successor enjoys it as much.

Farmer Focus: Alistair Mackintosh

See more