Good to be outside again

Lain Green farms 1110ha (2740 acres) as a family partnership.

Stock includes 130 pedigree simmentals, 330 Simmental crosses, plus followers, 500 Highland Mule ewes and 340 sows.

The partnership also runs a large haulage buiness.

Having spent last week in the office organising lorries while our traffic co-ordinator was on holiday, it is great to be allowed out to travel round the farm.

Father thought I was having it easy until he found me on two mobiles and two office phones with the third ringing, so he was quickly told to answer it or go.

I have just entered a contract farming agreement to farm 283ha (700 acres) next door to our upland unit.

Sadly, I have decided to give up our summer grazing, which we have had for several years.

But it makes both financial and management sense to farm land joining our unit instead of travelling miles a day to see stock.

Night frost has now put a stop to grass growth, but we are still finishing lambs off young grass without having to feed any concentrates.

And, with 110 left, we will only have to buy a little feed.

Backend calving is finished and we are left with five extra calves, with 129 cows calved and 134 calves.

Cows have been put into groups and bulls have been put in.

Only half the spring calves have been weaned, the rest are enjoying creep feed outside with their mothers.

As for the pigs, the price has remained steady for the longest period I can remember.

I have just returned from delivering the first load of bacon pigs to Broxburn and await the first grading sheet.

Not only have we lost our local factory, but the processor has also reduced the fat cover requirement.

To make things worse, the journey to Broxburn increases our pig unit expenses by 14,200 a year.