January is usually a long old haul, but it seems to have disappeared as quickly as the one day of winter sun we’ve had.
The only animals to have left the farm this year so far are a lorry load of cattle and a handful of cull ewes.
We have brought most of our lambs home that were away on winter keep, with some coming straight indoors on a hopper to finish.
The lambs are turning at long last and we have 200 going as I write this, which will help ease the demand for grass that is set aside for the breeding ewes in readiness for lambing.
We are currently finalising our cropping plan for this season. We have ample cattle and pig muck about, so fingers crossed for a hard frost so we can get it out on the fields, in readiness for spreading.
There should definitely be a reduction in the fertiliser costs this year, which is music to our ears.
We had a rare day out at Cheltenham races last weekend, courtesy of our pig supplier.
It was great to be in a room full of farmers that didn’t involve a market or yard.
We were fortunate to be seated on a table with like-minded young farmers, and it was refreshing to engage in conversation with them about the industry in a positive and light-hearted way. The complimentary drinks certainly went down a treat.
We are finally starting to see the benefits of all our hard work and investments after four year as tenants on our home farm, with the last 20ha to be limed and reseeded this spring.
It can be difficult at times for most of us to see a light at the end of the tunnel but, from experience, I can honestly say that it is worth hanging in there.
With the right attitude and bank manager, and realistic forecasting, those efforts will be rewarded.
Lamb and pig prices are good at the moment. If only the beef trade followed, we could be in for a half decent spring.
Read more about Monmouthshire livestock farmer Livy Braid