Farmer Focus Livestock: Rain saves the day for Julian Ellis

Sadly we’re back under TB restriction; thankfully we only had one reactor. This year we haven’t drilled any stubble turnips or kale, a decision I was beginning to think I would regret with the ground drying up a month ago. Fortunately the rain and second cut re-growth came just in time.

However, some of the barley lodged in the heavy rain, so now we are wondering whether to whole crop or crimp the 20 acres that was undersown in order to save the grass. Obviously there are plenty of people prepared to sell us some additive!

The forage wagon benefited from a day in the workshop and both dad and the buckrake driver were pleased with the 100 acres of second cut we picked up with it.

This month’s extracurricular activities have included a farm walk with our dairy discussion group on a neighbouring farm looking at three forage crops. Two of the crops were drilled by myself and I was only too pleased to find the drill had behaved itself. I’m sure the rest of the group would have taken great delight in pointing out any inaccuracies.

I also played the role of question master at the WI question and answers evening, you can imagine how uneasy both myself and the panel were while discussing the question “Are women becoming more aggressive”?

Also recently, I attended a meeting to discuss a new Channel Island pricing schedule that we have the option to sign. Providing we continue to keep in the top brackets for milk hygiene we will gain about 0.2p/litre. The small price increase is another gentle reminder we must keep these different breeds for their own merits rather than in the hope that the retailer/consumer will pay a big difference in price.