Farmer Focus Livestock: Iain Green sees busy show season end

Our hectic show season finished after six local events within 14 days.

This year has been our best ever, as we won six breed championships and five overall cattle interbreeds with our Simmentals. Two of these championships were won by a two-year-old homebred bull and the following four by a homebred cow. Our Stockman’s also won Stockman of the Show at one of our large local shows.

Second-cut silage was a stop-start affair, with heavy downpours of rain interrupting work. Once again several hundred tonnes of draff has been added to the pit while ensiling the grass.

I just wonder where the advancement of technology will end, as we have abandoned our telescopic loaders for a front-mounted 3.5m push-off buckrake on a 240hp tractor. Having seen how this has performed, we may add an extra tractor and trailer to the team.

Lambs have been weaned and are going off weekly through our local auction market, averaging £68 a head. But, looking at the store price, a decision will have to be made soon as to whether we sow stubble turnips or sell some lambs on the store market.

All cattle and sheep on our upland unit have been treated for fluke. This is the first time we have had to do this. It was an expensive exercise, but after finding fluke in samples, the decision was made to dose everything. I hope the cost will be outweighed by the extra productivity and weight gain we will receive from our youngstock.

It’s great to report our pig unit is starting to pay back the losses incurred over the previous two years. Prices are managing to stay above 150p/kg. Although this is coming under increased pressure from foreign product, the greatly reduced cereal price is helping immensely.

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