Rain hampers harvesting in the Borders

Harvest started at Upper Nisbet on 4 August but, unsurprisingly, the following day 56mm of rain fell. Harvest was brought to a complete standstill. Unfortunately our local town, Jedburgh, took the full brunt of the thunderstorm and the town centre was flooded. Jac’s 19-mile training run was also affected because every road from the farm was flooded, too.

It is good to have fresh grain and straw now for the cattle. The grazing season this year has been much shorter than usual and the weather conditions have meant that the cattle are making such a mess of the grass fields that we have decided to bring some grazing cattle inside early to start feeding them concentrates. Previously we wouldn’t have been able to bring cattle inside this early because we would have needed the cattle sheds to store grain. Having our new grain store this year has freed up the sheds, which has allowed us to bring the cattle inside. The other benefit of the grain store is not being at the mercy of the grain merchants waiting for grain to be collected from the farm.

Calves are now starting to take creep feed as the grass is disappearing. However, due to the wet conditions, we have had quite a problem with foul of the foot in the calves.

We were showing cattle at Kelso Show this year but we weren’t all that successful. Thankfully, Jac’s baking at Duns Show was more successful – much to Andrew and Harry’s delight because they have been able to sample the leftovers.

Robert and Jac Neill run 300 Limousin-cross cows on 1,082 acres at Upper Nisbet in the Scottish Borders. They farm 600 acres of cereals, and all progeny from the suckler herd are finished on home-grown fodder and sold live throughout the year to local butchers. Robert was 2006 Farmers Weekly Beef Farmer of the Year

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