FARMER FOCUS: All hail the perfect summer

Dare I even say it? I think we’ve had the perfect summer. There’s been an abundance of grass with the advantage of the ground being firm underneath.

Long spells of sunshine have enabled most of the harvest to be gathered without any drying, and the straw has all been collected in near perfect conditions. We have walloped the Aussies in both rugby and cricket and even had time for the odd BBQ.

I think we have all enjoyed this great weather, the stock included. Whilst checking both cattle and sheep every morning you can get a sense that they too enjoy sunbathing, and hopefully the benefits will be seen in better growth and conception rates.

Lamb sales have gone well and a decision to sell some store lambs early will hopefully be something that we can continue to do in the future. This will allow us to budget feed a little better.

Our autumn calving is well under way and the dry conditions are suiting both cows and calves; the only problem is managing the grass and keeping the cows in the right condition.

I am also eagerly awaiting the arrival of our first black Stabiliser calves, which have been implanted into donor cows using top U.S Embryos. It still amazes me every time we have an embryo calve born to see it as a live animal on our farm!.

My wife Catherine and I were recently invited to Heston Blumental’s TV show Fantastical Foods. We both had a great day but we are sworn to secrecy on the details until the show is aired in early November. Let’s just say he does British beef proud.

On a break in the filming I quizzed Heston on the origins of his beef, and, not one for missing an opportunity, I asked him if he had heard of Stabiliser Cattle. On the cusp of a sale the producer rudely interrupted him and told him that he had a TV show to make. Oh well, perhaps I’ll catch him again!

James Evans farms 300 Stabiliser suckler cows and 1,110 Llen-cross ewes across two units, totalling 825ha, in Shropshire. He was 2012 Farmers Weekly Beef Farmer of the Year

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