Andrew Burleigh is happy to see the end of summer

Thank goodness that is over and done – this is a statement that represents a large number of Fermanagh farmer’s thoughts about the 2012 summer.

We are now looking to hopefully have a dry few weeks, where ground can be worked back into shape. We had to house all the cows and calves on 25 August, after two days and nights of heavy rain. Last year we bought barley straw from our neighbour, but this year when he started to combine it soon became apparent that he was going to have to bale and wrap the straw, as it was so moist. He says this way he can sell it for putting through diet feeders.

The grain also came off at 22% moisture, which has resulted in an expensive drying process. Cattle prices have slipped back by at least £60-80/head and fat cows by £30-40/100kg.

All bulls are now housed and we are getting one Simmental and one Charolais ready for Stirling.

Alan has a Charolais cow on the flushing programme at the moment, so fingers crossed we get good results.

Rosalind, Lee and I went to London for the bank holiday weekend. It was nice to get a break, even though I had some shop business to attend.

It was an eye-opener when I saw the prices being charged for beef, lamb, pork and poultry in the big stores. I came away thinking I was giving my products away, but then my shop is a long away from the big smoke of London town.

It’s hard to believe that Lee has started P7. It seems no time since he was just a baby. I suppose time just passes by so fast when you’re busy.

Andrew Burleigh farms a mixed farm and runs a traditional butchers shop in south-west Fermanagh with his wife, Rosalind, and sons Alan and Lee. The home farm is run by his brother and nephew, and is home to a Beltex pedigree flock along side a commercial flock, suckler cows, stores and beef cattle.

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