Farmer Focus: Shearing record preparation in full swing

The months are rolling around quickly now – it seems like only last week we were writing our previous column.

Preparation for the shearing record is in full swing and is looking good. We just hope the weather continues to co-operate.

It has been really interesting being back out and about chasing the shearing work again.

I love being on different farms and talking with different people – some like-minded, others with a whole different view on things, but interesting all the same.

It is great though to be around positive and enthusiastic people who are always looking to do things better and more efficiently. Equally, looking at some systems gives you a bit of a lift that things at home aren’t too bad.

This was one of the things I enjoyed most about travelling around the world and most of Britain – learning and coming to understand the many different ways people farm.

See also: Shearing in Finland ahead of record attempt

Like everywhere else, the grass here is bolting and doesn’t look like stopping anytime soon, which is nice after quite a slow start.

You can still see a lot of this past winter’s effect on the stock we are shearing. Some are really taking a long time to get back in condition.

After using a slow-release cobalt and B12 injection on the lambs, I’m really pleased with how they are growing and weighing.

With the brassica growing like it is, we hope the lambs will continue to grow well.

See also: It’s been a character-building spring

We are probably going to wean sooner rather than later as we need to keep the ewes’ body weights down for the record attempt.

They can eat down some of the grass that’s got a bit long in paddocks which we are not able to use for making silage in the near future. 

We are going to have a full house soon. Both my brothers and two of our nephews are coming over to help with the record attempt, so Pip is going to have a house full of Kiwis.

It will be great to see them and get their help in the lead-up to the big day on 26 July.

Matt and Pip Smith run 1,085 breeding Romneys and Romney cross Lleyn ewes across 121ha. Matt is also a shearing contractor and trains sheep dogs.