FARMER FOCUS: Spring is looking up

After a winter that seems to have gone on since last August, things are finally starting to look up here in sunny Dymock. Our grass has turned from a funny blue/grey colour to a nice dark green, and although we still don’t have lots of grass, what we do have is growing, writes Paul Westaway.

Our April- and May-calving cows have been out for a while and we are giving them some hay in a ring feeder just to keep them full. They look really well and the first few have popped out some lovely calves. Everything else is still in. It’s a real pain feeding 200 cattle, which should be out in the middle of April, however we need to give the leys a chance to get away. I am expecting a mass turnout in the next few days.

We are now well on with spring cultivations, with some red clover and Italian already through. We have also used an over-seeder to redo some slightly wetter paddocks.

We managed to get our maize drilled this weekend. We are lucky to able to grow great maize here. I think the key factors are doing a soil test every year to check P and K levels, lots of farmyard manure, picking a variety that suits our farm, and making sure we subsoil the field every year.

I had the great pleasure of speaking to the National Herdsman’s conference last week. This super event is organised by LKL services, and was very well-attended. My talk on getting started in farming from scratch seemed to go down well. A few of the delegates are coming to the farm this week to see what we do and have a look at our plans. I’d better get outside and have a tidy up.

Paul Westaway farms in partnership with his wife Kirsty on a 69ha Gloucester County Council farm, running more than 220 Angus and Holstein Cattle. The pair also run an AI business and have recently launched an online steak and wine shop

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