Reminder of efficacy of modern vaccines

Royal Welsh Show officials stuck to their guns while others succumbed to the endless summer rains – and it paid off handsomely. Record crowds enjoyed a magnificent show in weather that was almost too hot. Farmer numbers were probably down as many remained at home to complete, or in some cases start, their harvests but the general public came in their thousands.

At Cwmfron, I often complain about the cost and effort of giving all the preventative vaccines to the stock. Recently we had an outbreak of orf in a small, outlying flock of Welsh ewes and lambs. When we consulted our records we found that we had not vaccinated them. The work to get them better has been a reminder of the efficacy of modern vaccines.

Wheat harvest on Gower will start when the weather settles again and so there has been time to start preparing 400 yearling mules for sale in the September Welshpool sale. Over 25 tags had to be replaced. A batch of rearing calves is settling in and has had their first pneumonia vaccination.

In 2010 I attended a Dovecote Park Angus open day. I met another Angus producer, who also has a stud in Yorkshire. He explained that he sometimes puts his mares into training before breeding from them. I agreed to take a small stake in his syndicate. Our first horse to reach the track, Indignant, has been third twice and then won at Nottingham. Knowledge transfer at work.

Jolyon Higgs and his family farm 130ha in Llanidloes, Mid Wales. His wife Alex and son Tom help at her parent’s 200ha arable and grassland farm, 90 miles away on the Gower. Jolyon keeps 20 suckler cows, selling the stores to his wife’s farm. He keeps a closed flock of 600 ewes, producing prime lambs for Waitrose as well as light continental-type lambs.

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