Farmer Focus: Hoping lamb price remains firm

Hopefully, by the time you are reading this I will be watching the Lions winning matches in New Zealand, although after the performance in the first match I am a little concerned.

There’s no doubt I am very excited about my trip but for me leaving home has always been a challenge. I’m fairly soft at heart and goodbyes have always been avoided like the plague.

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Coping without my wife, the children and the farm for nearly four weeks will be an interesting experience.

The human element of this is fairly easy to understand but is the attachment that I have to the land I look after a common thing in UK farming?

I assume it’s normal. Being away will give me time to reflect on where we are as a business and a family at the moment and what we need to do to move things forward over the next few years.

It would be fair to say we have been in a transitional phase with regards to our young team settling in.

My absence will give them a chance to take more responsibility.

We recently attended the National Sheep Association Highland Sheep event at Kinnaird farm near Dingwall.

It was an excellent day and gave us the opportunity to catch up with sheep farmers from the Highlands and even further afield.

We had Aberfields, Texels and NZ Suffolks on the Innovis stand, which we took turns to man, giving us an opportunity to promote our on-farm “Great from Grass” ram sale on 25 August.

Grass growth has been rapid over the past two weeks; we are almost keeping on top of it at the home farm, but have seriously lost control of it on some of the other units where stock numbers are not up to full capacity yet.

Cross-bred heifer sales have gone well, averaging £1,244 for 17 with all but three finding new homes having been advertised with the local market and online.

Early lamb trade is decent and this is the first year I don’t have early lambs. Let’s hope the price remains firm through the summer.

John and Fiona Scott farm 200 suckler cows and 4,500 breeding ewes, as well as some crops across 2,226ha. He also has two contract farming operations and generates energy from a small-scale wind turbine and biomass boiler.