Farmer Focus Livestock: Julian Ellis

Good news on the TB front: We have finally gone clear and are now on six-monthly testing, bringing a smile to everyone’s face. However, the scanning wasn’t quite so successful. It seems like the Angus bull wasn’t working as well as we had thought.

This month, in between jobs, I have been plastering the inside of our grain store. Fortunately, I can close the doors on my handiwork – I think I would have to find a different profession if I were to make a career change.

We have drilled 20 acres of cabbage and the remaining 12 acres will be drilled after we have harvested the barley. This is the first year we will have direct drilled cabbage, which means we can’t use the two effective pre-emergence chemicals for weed control. The decreasing list of approved chemicals, coupled with the current supply problem with cattle washouts, prompts me to question whether, in time, we will become organic. Perhaps we should convert now while there is still financial aid to do so.

I have always believed the world could not feed itself organically, but I have recently seen figures to suggest if we ate sensibly and wasted less, it would be possible. Maybe food prices would then be so great the current problem of cattle rustling in certain areas would escalate. And perhaps there will come a time when we will be erecting fences to keep thieves away from our crops and animals as well as the rabbit netting that we currently erect.

My efforts to move young stock at the end of last week to avoid them getting restless and jumping the hedge over the weekend were in vain, sadly they didn’t like the change of scenery. As it happened, luckily I didn’t have a lot planned for Sunday morning.

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