Farmer Focus: Second cut done before the Highland Show

We always talk about the weather, but what a mix we have had this past month. It was so dry a few weeks ago that the river was low, and the heifers we had out crossed the river and went into a neighbour’s field.

Since it has been an early season, we were very fortunate to get the silage cut before the Royal Highland Show.

Hopefully, the grass will be good quality. I can’t remember having second cut done before the show before.

We took up four Holsteins to the Royal Highland Show and as usual had a great week there. It was a tremendous show and we were fortunate enough to win red-and-white heifer champion with Eastford Atomium Kiwi Red.

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We also came home with two firsts, a third and a sixth. We took Jersey cow Harp, which we house for friends, and she took the breed championship, so congratulations to the Harp syndicate.

Michael also took part in the Young Farmers Stockman of the Year competition. He won the dairy pairs with Douglas Buchanan, and then went on to win the dairy individual.

Now we are home. The slurry is all on for third-cut and we haven’t required any artificial fertiliser. We have also cut 4ha of haylage as forage for dry cows, as it is organic and therefore low in potassium.

We will be calving a lot of heifers throughout July, most of which are in calf to sexed semen. If anybody is interested in any heifers, feel free to contact us.

Finally, we had a lovely day for Michael and Emma’s wedding on 10 June. The rain held off and a great day was had by all. Although the same can’t be said for the next morning, when there were certainly a lot of sore heads.

Brian Yates, Castle Douglas, Kirkcudbrightshire, milks 250 pedigree Holsteins in partnership with his wife Sheila, son Michael and daughter Anna. Surplus heifers are sold for breeding.