It has rained almost every day since the drought was made official. Half-grown silage crops have suddenly bulked up, the question now being when can we cut?
We were lucky to clear two fields before the weather broke, both yielding a respectable 10 bales/acre. Twenty acres of struggling grass seeds have responded dramatically to a good soak and in a matter of days, together with the silage aftermaths, were able to provide much-needed fresh grazing for the sheep.
I am beginning to regret suggesting a few years ago that Liz should blow the wool cheque on an annual holiday. This year’s significant increase would go a long way to offsetting the hike in the price of sheep cake. Our mule flock, wintered on roots, proved unusually difficult to shear.
The lack of spring rain left their fleeces heavily contaminated with earth that wreaked havoc with my combs and cutters.
Wool is of course not the only commodity to have increased in value. The “dung spreader with see-through lid” as featured in last month’s photo has made its last trip, loaded with old iron, and exchanged for a tidy sum at the scrapyard.
We have bought several more yearling cattle, spurred on in part by experts and pundits predicting beef shortages. One local publication carried an article mentioning figures of £3.40 to £4 a kilo. Meanwhile, back in the real world we have sold the first of this year’s finished steers on a falling trade at around £2.90/kg.