Victor Chestnutt fights against weather to gather winter fodder

I write this article from Scotland, as David and myself have just arrived at the Lanark sales with the pick of our lamb crop. We have got good carcass sheep with us so I hope we will meet a decent trade.

Our Northern Ireland Texel sale has just passed with increased averages for more numbers sold. Congratulations to the market for running an efficient, slick operation. However, the only downside to this sale was our department’s inability to carry out the simple export of sheep to the Republic of Ireland and mainland GB, creating a major horlicks out if it. Please get your act together before the next export sale.

At home on the farm it has been a year of snatch and grab to get winter fodder gathered. Thankfully we have hit it fairly well and hope we can approach the winter with good-quality silage, which is the backbone of the winter ration.

It’s great to see prices for farm produce starting to be more realistic. We achieved £1,585 for a fat cow recently, when not long ago it would have had to have been incinerated and we would just have received £280 compensation.

Our application for a wind turbine on the farm has been turned down due to our proximity to the Giant’s Causeway. I feel, since we are five miles away, a wind turbine may be a small price to pay for having green energy on the farm. So we will have to fight on.

Victor Chestnutt farms 200ha (500 acres) at Bushmills on the north coast of Northern Ireland. The farm carries 110 suckler cows, including pedigree herds of Charolais, Limousin, Aberdeen Angus and Belgian Blue cattle and a pedigree flock of 250 Texel ewes.

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