Farmer Focus: Shearing gang lighten workload thanks to the rain

As with most other parts of the country it’s been an exceptionally dry spring here, with ground quickly becoming rock hard and grass growth slowing.

Thankfully, we’ve had a good amount of rain over the last week, which is helping things to green up again.

I’ve had a team of sheep shearers staying over while they shear ewes in the local area in-between the showers, which has been rather frustrating for them but handy for me as they all mucked in and helped us get the lambs tailed, tagged, wormed and vaccinated during a wet day.

We tactfully set up the race under cover the day before and soon made a very wet day into a rather productive one and even managed to remain dry in the process.

See more: Read more from our Livestock Farmer Focus writers

The quality of lambs looks very good this year off the back of the dry weather and shorter grass and I’m hopeful that a good number will be ready to go around weaning at 12 weeks of age.

The next big jobs will be crutching ewes ahead of shearing here and covering lambs with fly repellent.

Global insight

It’s been really interesting having the shearers here and talking to them about all the different farms and systems they have seen across the world in places such as Australia, New Zealand, Norway and even the Falkland Islands.

I think a lot can be learned from spreading your wings, broadening your horizons and getting out there to see how other people do things.

No doubt there will be good and bad wherever you go but I’m sure it will help you to develop new skills and ideas to bring back home.

Sadly, this will be my last Farmer Focus article as it’s time to step aside and let somebody else have a go. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed writing each article and met some great people along the way.

We will also be closing the farm gates for the last time here soon and moving onto a new opportunity. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everybody who has been following us on our farming journey and helping us on our way and wish everybody the best of luck for the future.

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.