Calving finally finished for Robert Neill

We started harvest on 24 July, thankfully, because we had no feeding barley or straw left. For a few weeks before harvest started we had to buy in feeding barley and straw for our finishing cattle which proved to be quite costly. The first field that we cut had moisture of 14%, so no need for the drier yet.

Calving has finally finished – the last calf was born the day after we started harvesting. We usually plan to have completed calving before we start the combine. Calving went well, but there is always room for improvement. This year we had three cows with a twisted uterus. Two of these resulted in caesarean sections. However, for the final one, which was also the last cow to calve, the vet managed to untwist and calve the cow naturally. One of those born by caesarean weighed 69kg, which is probably one of the heaviest calves ever to have been born alive on the farm.

Although harvest has started, the grain store has still not been built. We are hoping the penalty clause that will apply on the 1 September will spur on the building contractors. The groundwork company has now been working on the farm for 13 weeks and during that time has moved 50,000 tons of soil, rock and subsoil. The cleared site has now been covered with stone crushed on the farm last year. This has provided a good base ready for the shed.

Tomorrow we will all be going to the Berwickshire County Show along with a bull and heifer. Andrew will also be taking part in the young handlers section. Jac will be armed with jam and scones for the industrial section where she is president this year.

Read more from Robert and our other Livestock Farmer Focus writers.

See more