Bumper silage yields for Robert and Jac Neill

We finally managed to finish lifting silage during the first week of July. This was later than usual due to the weather. The quality will definitely not be as good as previous years, but at least there is plenty of it – the silage pit is the fullest it has ever been after a single cut. Lifting was a frustrating job this year in between rain showers.


My brothers, Tom and David, have however recently upgraded their forage harvester to a self-propelled model, which made light work of the heavy crop.


The bulls are working well, with plenty of cows coming into season. This must be an indication that despite the wet weather there is still sufficient nutrition in the grass, despite being well trampled in some areas of our fields.


Some 90 of the biggest 2011-born steer calves are thriving on their finishing ration of silage, straw, molasses and cereals. It won’t be long before we are ready to market these animals. With fewer numbers of prime cattle being sold at this time of year, we hope these animals will be sought after.


As part of the Climate Change Focus Farm Study we have had two anemometers sited on the farm to measure the volume of wind to find out whether either of these sites would be suitable for a wind turbine. Rather surprisingly, there is insufficient wind at either site to make a turbine viable.


We have all had enough of the rain and gloomy weather here in Scotland, so we have gone on holiday. Maybe the sun will be shining when we get home.


Robert and Jac Neill run 300 Limousin-cross cows on 1,082 acres at Upper Nisbet in the Scottish Borders. They farm 600 acres of cereals, and all progeny from the suckler herd are finished on home-grown fodder and sold live throughout the year to local butchers. Robert was 2006 Farmers Weekly Beef Farmer of the Year



Read more articles from Robert Neill.


Read more from our other livestock farmer focus writers.

See more