Robert Neill is feeling experimental

The weather has picked up and although it hasn’t been great spring weather it has been dry enough to get on with sowing. The beans were sown first, followed by spring barley.

As a result of hosting the Scottish Ploughing Championships last autumn we have had a bit of a bumpy ride sowing grain. If grain yields are as good as the stone crop we have already taken off these fields then we will be delighted. We think low temperatures, prolonged frosts and heavy snow through the winter had something to do with the number of stones coming to the surface.

Our local Massey Ferguson dealer invited me to join them on a trip to the Massey Ferguson factory in France last month. There were 12 local farmers in our group, and we were joined by other groups from Scotland to see the latest Massey tractors. It was an enjoyable break before calving started.

Calving is now under way with the newly calved cows being turned straight out to the grass. The first calves have been born off our British Blue bull which we purchased a year ago. We put him to Limousin cross Friesian cows, and hope to keep the heifer calves for replacements. We will then put them back to the Limousin bull. This is a bit of an experiment, but if you don’t try you never know what the outcome will be.

The sheep have lambed (all six of them). Yet again we have had a less than smooth lambing with our fair share of problems. The sheep scanned with four sets of twins and two sets of triplets. What we have ended up with are seven living lambs. No wonder prime lamb is so scarce and such a high price at the moment.

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