Farmer Focus: Scanning results OK given the year

Well I don’t think its stopped raining since the last time we wrote four weeks ago. The deer are coping with it reasonably well although a bit more shelter wouldn’t go a miss. It’s winters like this when the leylandii hedges we planted can’t grow fast enough.

We scanned our sheep today and, given the year, we are reasonably happy with the results, especially the ewe lambs. We put 273 to the ram for 30 days and 211 scanned in-lamb, so that is 87%.

Most of them are carrying singles, which, for them, is more than enough. The mixed-age ewes scanned early at 170% which isn’t great but not too bad considering. 

See also: Nutrition advice to convert higher hill scanning rates

We had less than 5% empty, which again isn’t wonderful but we only had the rams in for 30 days. The only real disappointment was the two-tooths are only scanning at about 130%.

Baby news

On the same topic, the sheep weren’t the only thing scanned this month. I had Pip scanned and I am pleased to say she is carrying a single.

There will be no shearing world record this July from me – instead, we will hope all goes well and expect some sleepless nights and a sibling for Dusty.

Pip and I got asked to speak at a CFfi (YFC) conference in Wales a couple of weeks ago. I do enjoy getting invited and going along to these sort of things. As well as being able to put something back into the industry, we equally get a lot out of it, whether it be meeting new contacts or learning about different sectors and what they have to offer.

It is good to be around a young positive group of people with new ideas and enough get up and go in them to do something about it.

Marketing message

The topic was marketing, so for us, even though we try and really understand our market and farm accordingly, it was great to see what else was out there and what other people were already doing very successfully.

I think most of the young farmers that attended left with a few ideas and a positive outlook. The only restraint might be trying to get dad or grandad see it in the same way.

Matt and Pip Smith run deer, 1,085 breeding Romneys and Romney-cross Lleyn ewes across 121ha in Cornwall. Matt is also a shearing contractor and trains sheepdogs.