A new year, but an old problem: TB. At Cwmfron we were testing a bull that had been classed as a possible contact with an infected herd. On Gower a whole herd test took place following the reactor from 60 days ago. The bull passed, but a steer in Gower was classed as an inconclusive reactor, which could mean he will be slaughtered and testing will start all over again.
The cold has given way to wet, milder weather, which is a relief. However, on Gower, as the frost came out of the fodder beet remaining in the fields, it was apparent they had been frosted. Fortunately, most had been clamped before the freeze and were protected under a sheet.
That seems somewhat unimportant, though, as we hear from Alex’s aunt, who lives in Brisbane. She moved her furniture upstairs and left her house as the waters entered. Loss of life in Queensland, and the vast scale of flood damage to property put our problems into perspective.
First scanning results from the Mules and Texels were, despite another poor Texel performance, up slightly on last year at 182%.
Lamb prices achieved in 2010 at Cwmfron were up 6.5% a head on 2009 and cattle prices were up 15%. A stronger pound meant Single Farm Payment was down 8%. Overall gross income will be up about 3.5%. However, the storm clouds of inflation are definitely taking a shine off things as far as inputs are concerned. The two real shockers are ammonium nitrate up 46 % and barley up 43%, both in the past six months.
Finally, we were thrilled to hear our daughter-in-law Vicky is expecting identical twins, then amazed to hear Claire, the daughter of our good friends the Allen’s from Gloucester, is also expecting identical twins. Talk about keeping up with the Higgs’s! How far will they go?
Farmer Focus Livestock