We have, once again, escaped the snow that has affected much of Scotland and the rest of the country over the past few weeks. There were a few nights of temperatures down to -4c, which made ideal conditions for spreading lime on to ploughed fields destined for spring barley without leaving any marks. The frost also made the ground hard enough to allow us to carry out more than 2,000m of drainage work.
Our stockman has been busy preparing our entry of nine Simmental bulls and one Simmental heifer for the Stirling Bull Sales. It will feel very strange to see the lorry leaving with the cattle for the sales and me not with them, as this time, I have been asked to judge the Simmental cattle. Obviously our own cattle will not be shown, only paraded and then put forward for sale.
We are glad we only have a few fattening lambs left to go off, as the price is a disaster. We can only hope it will rise for next year’s lamb crop.
Ewes have been scanned and split into their lambing groups of singles, twins and triplets. We have a lambing percentage of 201%, with only 10 barren ewes. Ewes scanned for triplets are receiving a small quantity of concentrates, high-energy buckets and hay, twins are on stubble turnips and hay, with singles on grass and hay. All the ewes now have access to liquid molasses.
The pig prices have stagnated, but this will have to change in order to cover the rising cost of feed, as it looks likely cereals will maintain their current price levels for the next few years.
Iain Green farms 1,110ha (2,740 acres) as a family partnership. Stock includes 130 pedigree Simmentals, 330 Simmental-crosses, plus followers, 500 Highland Mule ewes and 340 sows. The partnership also runs a large haulage business