Farmer Focus: Sheep scan over 200%

As I write, I have just sat down to have a beer and reflect on the day. We started this morning scanning the ewes.

This year a lady called Cheryl came to scan, which was a breath of fresh air. Normally we have a number of blokes who moan the sheep are not empty or any slight technical hitch with the movement of the sheep through the pens is going to ruin their day. The ewes scanned well over 200% and look in good nick.

The disappointment of the day came when we scanned Sal (my top sheepdog) and she was barren. Never mind, with youth on her side we will try again, and I’ll have to source a new black and white bundle of fluff from somewhere else.

It has got to the time of the year where I am hunting around for grass to keep the ewes out of the shed as long as possible, but the ground is poaching fast.

I never thought I would say this, but the wife and I went to the January sales and I was more excited about buying baby Tom’s first pushchair than I was buying my last tractor. When I was a youth, “iCandy” meant a good-looking woman walking down the street. Now it is the latest off-road pushchair. Anyway, it will come in handy around the farmyard and at dog trials and get Tom used to being up to the guts in mud most of his adult life like his dad.

I can’t believe they want to move our local cattle market out of the town of Louth. The Christmas fat stock show saw record numbers and what an atmosphere. While I was there chomping on my bacon sandwich, one of the characters of the market shouted across to me: “I see you’ve got somebody to inherit the overdraft Readie”.

It made me think; it’s only a farmer at your local market that could come out with such a great one liner.

James Read farms at Louth, Lincolnshire, in partnership with his father. They farm 400ha of mainly arable land along with 200 breeding sheep and a pack of working/trialling sheepdogs.

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