Farmer Focus Livestock: Jolyon Higgs is increasing ewe rations

At Cwmfron all ewes have had their pre-lambing dose of eight in one vaccine. This winter has left the Welsh ewes plainer than we would have liked and they will be having increased rations in the run up to lambing. We feed a mixture of whole barley, soya and minerals.


Our work on the Tir Gofal scheme which, this year, involves hedgerow restoration, stock proofing woodland and putting up wooden gates and bird boxes is progressing slowly. However, I think we will hit our deadline to complete work. Payments for this scheme have been prompt which is helpful.

Heavy frosts have kept badger damage in the fields to a minimum this winter but, in the last few days they have set to with a vengeance which is disheartening. This time last year we had a TB reactor which showed visible lesions on post mortem. We felt sorry for Adam Henson on BBC’s Countryfile when his prize draft ox failed its test. The audience, seeing his obvious distress at losing such a fine animal, will hopefully have a better understanding of what so many farmers go through.

We have received what I believe will be our last Tyr Mynydd payment as this scheme is to be replaced by the new Glastir Scheme. Meetings about Glastir have been well attended but there still seems to be some lack of detail.

On Gower ploughing for spring cereals is well under way helped by the dry spell at the beginning of March. Last year’s cereals are going out regularly but the price is disappointing. The initial poor start to selling the fodder beet turned into a rush of orders and resulted in a total clearance. The cows are 80% calved down and resultant calves have so far been pleasing.

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