Farmer Focus: Happy First Birthday Tom!

I wish I hadn’t opened my big mouth last time I wrote, saying: “We have had such a window of good weather.”

This east coast has been blasted with heavy showers all the time we have been combining, with only three to four hour slots available. I don’t think we have had one 12-hour day, but there’s a big sigh of relief now it is all in the shed. Although I now have a barn full of wet wheat at 18% moisture.

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Our second-biggest sheep sale at Louth market was a couple of weeks ago and we had to get our main batch of 200 store lambs in that morning before we went combining. I must thank my two staff, Rob and Lowcost (Luke) for their early-hours-of-the-morning start.

I was panicking a bit as we had to leave the store lambs’ fate to the auctioneer and talk at market that day was down, but thanks to my next door neighbour John Dawson, who stood with the pens when sold, we came out with a roaring trade – thanks, John.

Baby Tom is growing fast, and with his first birthday fast apporaching he had his first steer of the Challenger, while sat on my knee. He is absolutely obsessed with wheels and spends most of his time playing in the kitchen with the wheels on the model steam engine that his great grandfather made 50 years ago.

I was hoping he was going to be interested in sheep and dogs, but it doesn’t seem to be the case at the moment. I suppose by the time Tom gets to drive tractors, he will be operating them from his iPhone. Which leads me on to a laugh I had the other day with the local tyre fitter. He came in the yard experiencing difficulties with his younger generation of staff and remarked: “Well it’s like this Jim, staff only come with one hand these days, the other hand being used for mobile phones, Facebook and Twitter.”

James Read farms in partnership with his father, in Louth, Lincolnshire. They farm 400ha of mainly arable land, run 200 breeding sheep and a pack of working/trialling sheepdogs

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