Hot weather is causing lambing problems for Charlie Armstrong

Hot, dry weather should be perfect for lambing you would think – but the heat is causing ewes and lambs to hide in the shade, which is causing mothering-up problems with the twins.

One day alone we had 82 sheep in adopters with their own lambs and tempers were fragile. However, to put it in perspective, we would have lost more lambs in a normal year on one wet night.

We have had more problems with quad bikes than sheep. There have been two in for repair from the second week of March with certain parts not even covered under the two-year warranty – it begs the question why buy new? Next year we will not only advertise for lambing staff, but also an engineer.

Now it’s not often I would like to be from north of the border, but at least agricultural suppliers in Scotland were open over the bank holiday weekend. The potato bed tiller didn’t know it was a bank holiday when the bearing went, nor did the de-stoner axle when it fell off. The sheep also didn’t know it was a bank holiday when they decided to start getting staggers with very hot days and cold nights.

All cattle are now turned out and are grazing with sheep. To get Organic Entry Level Scheme points we must do this. I’m not sure it’s the best idea for worm control and its not good catching a ewe and landing in cow pats.

The potatoes were planted in the best conditions I have ever seen. We have all the barley sown with red clover, which just leaves us to sow our fodder crops. But with the grass looking well and the conditions so dry I’m a bit nervous about starting ploughing.

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