Farmer Focus: Are we through the cattle glut?

Now then, I’m pleased to report that we’ve had a very productive month.

We have finished and sold a lot of cattle recently, and I might be wrong, but it seems as though we have eventually got through the glut – it’s just a gut feeling, and early turnout might help the supply side as cattle leave sheds for grass.

Prices have held steady and we are hoping there will be an uplift soon.

We seem to be having an early spring, as there are already some cattle out at grass.

See also: How beef finishers have improved health and cattle weight gain

The Vaderstad seed drill is reshod and ready to direct drill spring barley. Can you believe this time last year we were battling with the Beast from the East, with frozen pipes and snow-filled sheds?

Before Christmas I was kindly invited to talk at the Ulster Farmer’s Union Healthy Beef conference, held at the College of Agriculture Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) in Northern Ireland, on my specialist subject of custom feeding.

After a 20-minute talk it was question time, and I felt like I was in a scene from Uncle Buck when John Candy gets quizzed by Macaulay Culkin, and he asks: “What’s your record for the number of consecutive questions asked?” At least I earned my tea.

We’ve recently had the return visit to Osgodby Grange and round two commenced. The afternoon went very quickly as the enthusiasm and the immense amount of interest makes showing visitors round the farm very easy and enjoyable.

Round three and we went over to York for some well-presented talks by SAC beef specialist Jimmy Hislop, and then on to refreshments.

As you can imagine, I felt it only right to support the Northern Irish whiskey industry. There wasn’t a lot of point going to bed that morning when I got home.

I don’t know whether the Russians are having a laugh with us or satellites have dropped out of orbit, but at great expense we have had to reboot and put new software on all the machines that have GPS, including the basic EGNOS systems.

It’s amazing how quickly you forget how to use that black round thing with three spokes on it in the front of the cab.

Doug Dear is a Farmer Focus writer from Yorkshire. Read his biography.