Farmer Focus: Mood among sheep and beef producers improving

It’s been a good month here at Glen Farm, with a break in the weather allowing us to apply some blowfly cover to ewes and lambs before any strike.

April-born lambs have also been weaned onto plantain and more than 300 bales of silage have been made and sold to a local dairy farm, with the option to buy back any we may need over winter.

Average weaning weights for the April-born lambs was 34kg at 90 day

See also: Read more from our Livestock Farmer Focus writers

Lamb growth is a little bit behind last year, but ewe condition is good.

The ewes have been dried off and are now grazing ahead of lambs on the grass rotation to help control sward height and quality, without needing to burn diesel by topping.

The calf shed is full with a fresh batch, and we have just sent the last batch away to finishing units.

We received some very positive feedback on the quality and consistency of the cattle, which is always nice to hear.

See also: Looking at a prolonged period of uncertainty

The mood among sheep and beef producers seems to be improving, and there were plenty of encouraging comments at the recent NSA Sheep Event in Malvern.

I urge people to get behind #lovelambweek, which runs from 1-7 September.

We need to do all we can to promote our sustainable, nutritious product and get domestic consumption back up to where it should be.

We have been lucky enough to have some great young people here on work experience recently, helping with lambing, calf rearing, general stock work and tractor driving.

All of them went to the trouble of contacting me themselves and making their own way here (always on time) to gain some farming experience.

None of them are from farming backgrounds, but their enthusiasm and willingness to muck in and learn has been simply outstanding. In fact, better than most who do come from farms.

More needs to be done to encourage these youngsters. They are exactly what our industry needs.

Jim Beary contract-rears 900 calves a year and has a growing flock of Aberfield cross New Zealand Romneys on a county council farm. He also runs a contract gritting enterprise in winter.