Farmer Focus livestock:Show success for Iain Green

The last month has seen the weather vary from scorching high temperatures to torrential downpours, along with thunder and lightning. The rain has been welcome as it has helped bulk up second-cut silage and refresh grazing fields.

We had a successful Royal Highland Show. Our team of nine adult cattle all received prize tickets including four firsts, three seconds, winning the reserve junior female, female champion, male junior champion, reserve male champion and a home bred cow going on to be overall reserve champion Simmental. The icing on the cake was to win, not only the best group of three animals bred by the same sire, but also to win the group of three consisting of two females and one male.

Success continued at the Scottish National Simmental Show, when our homebred bull was placed overall Simmental Champion. The show was less than a week after we returned from Ingliston – I don’t know who was the most exhausted, the cattle or ourselves!

Both pedigree and cross-autumn calving cows have been weaned and treated to deter flies. Yearling bulls not suitable for breeding were kept a month longer, but they made up for their extra keep by selling deadweight to a net average of £1168. However, I did market these south of the border to prevent a reduction in price because of their weight.

The finished pig price looks to have reached a level of about 150p/kg and due to other European prices and the weakening of the Euro it is unlikely to increase much further.

I have not been able to resist temptation and purchased a few loads of dried feed barley for October uplift at £90/t. I am hopeful feed barley will be purchased at harvest time for less. This is great news for the intensive livestock industry, but will leave many cereal growers bitter after applying expensive fertiliser and chemicals.