Livestock Farmer Focus: Robert Neill is hosting Scottish Ploughing Championships

We finished harvest at Upper Nisbet on 1 September. Despite having another disappointing summer, the harvest was relatively easy. Wheat was cut at between 15.5% and 16.5% moisture, which doesn’t happen often in this part of the country. These lower moistures have kept drying costs lower than the previous two years.

Our latest building project is under way, despite delays caused by Scottish Power, which was re-directing power cables underground through the middle of the farmyard. Despite paying the hefty fees in April, it took until 27 August for the work to be completed.

Following this, we started felling trees to clear the site for the shed. The new shed is a 100ft x 30ft mono pitch for general storage and will provide us with an area to tip wet grain straight from the combine.

My brother David has bought some Greyface ewe lambs that are being grazed at Upper Nisbet. On arrival, they were wormed and vaccinated with a seven-in-one vaccine. It would have been difficult to predict a year ago a Greyface gimmer would cost the same as a tonne of wheat (about £160).

Now the nights are getting colder, the cows and calves are all receiving ad-lib straw and the calves are eating a bit more creep.

We got second-cut silage done in between harvest and starting to drill. It wasn’t a particularly bulky crop, or the best quality, but it’s more fodder in the clamp. We have also sown 40 acres of grass seed, which will be for next year’s silage.

Next month we’re hosting the Scottish Ploughing Championships, which incorporates the European Vintage Ploughing Championships and the Five Nations Ploughing Championship. It looks as if it is going to be a busy weekend for all involved.

  • More columns from Robert Neill

  • More information from other Livestock Farmer Focus writers