Farmer Focus: Surprise semen from award-winning bull

I celebrated my birthday recently and it rained all day for the first time in at least 10 years.

All my grass was supposed to be wilting in the sun, so the next day Thomas Steele was back to ted it for the second time.

The silage was wetter than I had hoped, but I can’t complain as I am sure the farmers in the South would love a drop of rain.

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

On the subject of birthdays and presents I received 10 straws of semen from my friend and previous Farmer Focus writer John Yeomans.

The semen is from a much-admired Irish Limousin bull called Baileys Iain, who was crowned Male of the Year by the Irish Limousin Cattle Society in 2014.

I think he will make a great maternal bull with good ease of calving and genetics going back to Greensons Gigolo.

I have heard the future looks rosy, but with milk prices near the floor, lamb prices totally collapsed and cereals below or near the cost of production, beef at present seems to be the strongest of the sectors.

I am sure the euro and cheap imports will leave us wincing with the pain.

On a brighter note I do believe only about 50% of the land in Northern Ireland is not farmed to its potential.

If this is the case, many farms have a huge potential for reducing their costs.

It is not rocket science and many farmers are already doing this, and you all know who they are, please learn from others.

On a sad note this will be my last Farmer Focus article. I have enjoyed writing this short diary of my thoughts and farming woes.

Thank you Farmers Weekly, thank you readers and good luck to the new group of writers.

We have a new arrival on the farm – a pony.

Perhaps a stud farm could be a new diversification.


Sam Chesney runs a spring-calving herd of 120 Limousin cross sucklers in Kircubbin, Northern Ireland. He was 2011 Farmers Weekly Beef Farmer of the Year.