Farmer Focus Livestock: Murray Garrett welcomes the sun

What is it they say about buses? You wait ages for one and then several turn up at once. Well, April’s sunshine has allowed us to catch up on a veritable “bus timetable’s worth” of jobs. The weather has transformed Waytown into a green and pleasant land once more.

Our infamous arable field finally dried out enough to plough and drill 22 acres of Quench and spring barley. However, I did have to promise my contractor that, should we have a third disastrous harvest in succession this year, then the field would revert to grass. (There you are, Mark, I’ve put it in print.)

The silage ground has been top-dressed and rolled – although the moles have already retaliated and raised new mounds.

Half the herd calved in April and most of the cattle are at grass. We are eking out the last of the silage and can see the end wall of the silage pit for the first time since we arrived here. These last knockings are real vintage, dating from summer 2005.

First-draw hoggets met a good trade at £4/kg deadweight, but frustrating when some of identical age are cutting their teeth and are barely worth half as much – and not even the much-heralded sheep EID promises to right this injustice.

Sometimes I wonder whether all we ever do is react to political diktat and that it would be nice, just for once, if we could set the agenda.

See more