Farmer Focus: Getting lambs off the farm is a struggle

Autumn has arrived with cold misty mornings, leaves changing colour and daytime temperatures still fairly mild, which is allowing some grass growth.

We managed to get some cattle muck and digestate waste onto fields before the nitrogen vulnerable zone window closed.

We also managed to get all of the ewes sheared and bolused pre-tupping.

See also: Read more from our Livestock Farmer Focus writers

Ewes will come off the Higher Level Stewardship grass and back onto better grass this week.

Grass availability has been under pressure as we still have a lot of lambs on the farm.

These will have to go over the next few weeks either finished or as stores, so we can concentrate on feeding ewes for the next crop of lambs.

Next year I need to be sending lambs away much earlier in order to preserve autumn grazing for ewes.

Hopefully our new Focus Prime rams and a few tweaks to the management plan will help us to do this.

It is a fine balance between getting lambs away and looking after ewes for the next breeding season.

It seems each new year brings a fresh set of challenges.

Calves have done well with another batch sent away, most of which went on the same day.

It’s always a nice sight watching the wagon leave the yard, and a welcome boost to cashflow.

The process of cleaning out sheds ready for another batch starts again.

Last month we hosted our local NFU group meeting, which our MP came along to.

Several local farmers joined us and introduced themselves and were keen to see what we are doing.

It was also nice to be able to have an open discussion with our MP who is very supportive of the farming industry and rural communities.

Issues such as rent reviews, TB, access to land and Brexit were all discussed with some good feedback and suggestions coming out.

Everybody seemed to enjoy the day and left feeling positive and confident that our voice is being heard.

Jim Beary contract rears 900 calves a year and has a growing flock of Aberfield-cross New Zealand Romneys on a county council farm. He also runs a contract gritting enterprise in winter