Farmer Focus: Silage saves the day as grass growth slows

Spring sowing is well under way, and we must thank Howard for his speedy application of lime after we had the soil in some other fields mapped ready for application.

Grass is slow to grow, and nitrogen application is required to green up the pastures. Thankfully there’s plenty of silage in the pit to keep us going for a while.

Our 12 Bluefaced Leicester ewes are still coming inside at night, cold winds and frosty mornings just don’t agree with their udders. They all lambed well and each one has twin lambs, not forgetting a couple of pets to keep us on our toes.

See also: Read more from our other livestock farmer focus writers

The last of the Blackface and Cheviot fat hoggs went away to Woodhead Brothers this week and we await the final grades and prices. Hill lambing has just started, with Mule lambs making their first appearance.

Roy, the foot trimmer, was up for a day with his turnover crate, making the job look very easy, resulting in happy cows all ready to go to the grass.

Moles and mice have bred well through the winter, and we have called on mole man Raymond to help to eradicate them up the glen. At the last count 62 dead moles were hanging on the fence and the job’s not finished yet.

The owl that roosts at Newhouse must be mighty fat with all the ad lib mice on offer. The straw will soon get used up and hopefully they will be evicted from their homes shortly.

Another animal on the farm that hasn’t missed a feed and has lived a very pampered life is the calf that Andrew bought for the Young Farmers over-wintering competition. Hopefully, by the time to read this, all the local young farmers have managed to boost their bank accounts with profitable sales.

The great tractor-buying debate rumbles on and the boys continue to battle. One wants an expensive tractor, which dad finds hard to justify, and the other needs a fair budget for a new stock bull.

With our spending money tied up in euros I think we’ll sit this one out for a while.

Bob and Kay Adam

Bob and Kay Adam run 100 pedigree Limousin and Charolais cows on their 222ha family farm in Angus and rent a 728ha hill farm running 640 ewes and 30 suckler cows