Waiting for a break in the weather, says John Bainbridge

Since the last time I wrote, grass growth has really accelerated, giving us a plentiful supply in both pasture and meadow land. I now only wait for a break in the weather before I get the mower hitched on. I only hope it doesn’t break down like last year.

Long grass has increased the incidences of lameness in lambs, with most being put through a footbath to stem the problem. At this time of year it is also important to keep lambs clear of worm burdens as they start to graze more intensely. Monitoring high-risk pastures is made a priority.

With a possible Europe break-up on the cards I wonder whether it may be worthwhile fixing the rate of my SFP so it is at least at a level I am happy with. If the euro does weaken this could have a damaging effect on lamb exports, putting even more emphasis on my SFP.

Last week I had a few days holiday visiting my youngest daughter near Winchester. After a few nights on a dodgy bed I wasn’t sure if the rest had done me any good. With clipping looming I’ve booked myself a few sessions at the physio. It will be make or break as to whether I’ll be fit enough for the start of the 2012 season.

I had the privilege of sharing the Annual Shepherds Festival at Farndale on the North Yorkshire Moors. The people who live and work in these dales are a treasure to be amongst.

John Bainbridge farms 600ha (1,483 acres) of rented MoD hill land near Richmond, North Yorkshire, along with 21ha (52 acres) of family-owned land with his sons Lance and Reuben. His 1,400 sheep, plus followers, along with 70 suckler cows, are the main farm enterprise.

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