Farmer Focus: Stewardship seems to work on our farm

The bulls are now off after being with the heifers for 42 days and the cows for 49 days. 

All the lambs have been weaned having been on their mothers for approximately 12 weeks. 

Ewe lambs have been selected and fat lambs have been split into short, medium and long-term keep.  They are now rotationally grazing the red clover/high-sugar grasses.

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The brassicas are growing very well and will be used to finish lambs on once the growth of the red clover stops.

We are just waiting for the wholecrop with barley and vetches undersown with red clover and high-sugar grasses to come ready to harvest along with a field of grass to make some good haylage for the sheep. 

The organic oats to combine are a way off at present. It will be late September/October before we get those off.

I had a walk to our wild bird mix the other day and it was full of bees and butterflies. On our farm environmental stewardship certainly is a huge success. 

The brook is full of native white clawed crayfish, while the sky has “herds” of curlew and a “deceit” of lapwing. 

We also seem to have buzzards in abundance. Three were circling near the hen ranges the other day. 

We are busy carting in straw for bedding the cattle this winter.  It has been a slow and steady job as and when the weather allows.

The hens are looking and sounding good and now laying well.  We are keen to get a few more out ranging. 

Some of them do manage to range right to the far ends of the fenced-off areas.  

The year is moving past so quickly with the Tup sales now starting and sale catalogues arriving almost every day in the post.

We bought a Hampshire Down last week and will be looking to replace a few of the terminal and maternal tups. 

No doubt there will be the usual heated discussion on breed choice.

Simon Bainbridge farm a 650ha upland organic farm with 160 suckler cows, 1,500 breeding ewes and 12,000 organic laying hens with his wife, Claire and his parents. Healthy, maternal livestock and quality feed is a priority.