Farmer Focus: Ewe trade looks better than tup sales so far

Do you sometimes wonder what you are doing?

Unfortunately, the builders dug through a water pipe in the hot weather.

Our youngest, Richard, stood on a wasp nest when poking around at dusk to reconnect the water supply to some lambs.

This then left me to put a joint in with a particularly irritated group of insects in my shorts and trainers. As one of those “money for video clips”, it would have been so funny – for me, not so much.

See also: Q&A: What is toxoplasma and how can you prevent it?

All the gimmers have had their toxoplasmosis and enzootic abortion vaccinations.

Although a large expense, we feel it is worthwhile having experienced an abortion storm in the past.

By the time you read this, the teasers will be in with the pedigree ewes starting the cycle again. 

Marathon workload

We are only lambing the pedigrees in February and the commercials in March to try and reduce the marathon workload. 

We have finished selling lambs for now, putting 300 away to eat the excellent cover crop we’ve grown for them.  

We have had the first few ram sales, which so far have not been as good as the breeding ewe sales. The disruption is enough to affect trade as you need numbers of buyers purchasing a few rams each to create competition.

Sadly, with a sudden spike in temperature, we lost two stock rams – they have no chance to acclimatise with the extremes.

Fly challenge

The moisture followed by sun has also brought a challenge with flies. The cattle products don’t seem to be anywhere near as effective as they were.

The sheep products are slightly better, but muscular ewe lambs seem to be particularly prone to urine dripping on back leg wool, so I have shorn all the breeding lambs to help, and hopefully this will result in better growth rates.

The maize cobs are firming up and on track to harvest early and get grass clover back in. With a bit more straw to come, we are looking forward to an economic winter.

Hopefully the politicians will not make a mess of the Brexit deal as they have with the exam results. As the economy here and in Europe is in such a mess, surely they cannot risk last-minute shenanigans?