Jolyon Higgs worries about wet silage quality

At the time of writing, we have snatched another six acres of silage at Cwmfron. It was a crop that was past its best. We cut and then baled two hours later. The weather was overcast with a little drizzle. It will be interesting to see the quality of the 82 bales.

There are many farms in the area where no silage has been cut and the crops are mature. Where attempts had been made to get the crops in there is a muddy mess. The situation is serious and many farms are going to have poor-quality fodder and be short of keep for lambs.

I recently purchased a Limousin cow and calf at the Dinmore herd reduction near Leominster. The quality of stock on offer was outstanding and it was a very successful sale. Luckily, the event was held 700ft above sea-level as the fields around the town were flooded.

Wool Producers of Wales had an open day at their premises in Newtown. It is the largest wool grading establishment in Europe. The wool is graded and then an enormous hydraulic press bales around 225 fleeces into a block about the size of a large domestic fridge, which weighs about 450kg. These bales are then “cored” and the sample sent for analysis with the results being used to describe the wool to buyers from around the world.

On Gower, the standing straw sold to a firm trade with prices generally up on 2011.

Jolyon Higgs and his family farm 130ha in Llanidloes, Mid Wales. His wife Alex and son, Tom, help at her parent’s 200ha arable and grassland farm, 90 miles away on the Gower. Jolyon keeps 20 suckler cows, selling the stores to his wife’s farm. He keeps a closed flock of 600 ewes, producing prime lambs for Waitrose as well as light continental-type lambs.

Read more from Jolyon and Alex Higgs 

Read more from our other livestock farmer focus writers

See more