Slugs a problem for Charlie Armstrong

Silage making is finished and inside our big bales; hopefully we will have some good quality forage. However, for the sheep, we may have to supplement with something out of a bag nearer lambing time, which will no doubt be at great expense.

Our field of winter wheat was whole-cropped on the 25 July. It was a case of it either dying from wet feet or taking it all as wholecrop. The finished product should be full of protein as I have never seen as many slugs in my life. They were three inches thick on top of the mower, ranging in size from huge black ones four inches long to small white ones – what a crop. No doubt the slugs that escaped the wholecrop operation are now going to wipe out the fodder rape that we’ve drilled.

Our entire farm has now been topped for the second time to try and keep on top of the grass. And with weaning just around the corner, any spare time is spent fencing.

Fat lambs are slow at coming forward, which is probably why the price is holding up; it’s just a huge effort to go through maybe 500 lambs to get 50 fat, especially when one member of staff took the auto drafter through a low door and swiped all the electrics off it.

Charlie Armstrong farms 1,011ha with his wife Jane and parents Charlie and Sylvia at North Charlton, Alnwick, Northumberland. Livestock consists of 1,200 finishing cattle and 10,000 ewes.

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