James Read can’t wait to get back to dog trials

I don’t think we have ever had such a tough harvest weather wise – even my father cannot reflect on one.

The wheat is all now safely gathered in; my stress levels will hopefully subside, as every contractor knows it is bad enough keeping yourself happy at harvest, let alone three other farmers. It was driving me crazy constantly checking the wheat with the moisture meter, but nobody wants to go when readings show 20% moisture.

Rob and I had a busy morning last week as we took 100 store lambs and 50 shearlings to the sale at Louth before going combining. Luckily I did not manage to get into a water fight with another farmer at the wash bay like last year. The shearlings were again a disappointing price, although my store lambs were on fire, which put a smile back on my face. With getting on so well with my Mules from up country I have invested in another 100 second-crop Mules, due to arrive next week.

The swallows have all but left the yard and so has Stephen Longton, who is now back in Lancashire. I wish him well competing in “One Man and His Dog”, and good luck to his cousin Michael Longton, who is also competing for England.

Drilling time cannot come and go soon enough, so I can get myself back on the trial field for the nursery trials this winter with my young dog Tom and see all my pals at Rydale, North Yorkshire.

James Read farms at Louth on the edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds in partnership with his father. They farm 400ha of mainly arable land and are the main contractors on 700ha. He runs 200 breeding sheep and a pack of working/trialling sheepdogs.

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