Farmer Focus Livestock: Alistair Mackinstosh adds another farm

We recently bought a small neighbouring farm and much time has been spent integrating it with the existing farm business.

Unfortunately, it didn’t have a purpose-built silage pit, and to avoid the expense of wrapping the whole silage crop, we made a make shift clamp on a hard standing. We should have enough feed to see us through the winter.

Cows which have been AI’d have all been pregnancy tested at six weeks and those not in calf are now running with the bulls. I decided to put the bulls in earlier this year to tighten the calving interval, as this year;s calving went on for too long.

We’ve had to replace one bull because his amorous intentions caused him to ignore a gate and then a stone wall, which resulted in him pulling ligaments in his front leg.

We’ve started some supplementary feeding of the calves, with some home-grown barley mixed with soya. We also sold 600 store lambs, and although the price was better than last year, it will be interesting to see what effect it will have on breeding prices when the big sales start.

Weather has held back harvest. Crops have been sprayed with glyphosate, so it’s vital we get good weather or we’ll start to lose yield. Straw has been up to £96/t delivered locally, so I’m keen to get as much off as I can.

I was interested to read the Food and Vet Office report highlighting their mission to Brazil looking at traceability of animals in that country.

Regardless of political pressure, surely meat not reaching our standards of traceability and assurance should not be allowed to be imported into this country. We have worked hard and at great expense to deliver on behalf of the British consumer and our government should not allow that to be compromised.

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