Ewan Brewis 700ha(1750-acre) farm is split into two units.
Lempitlaw, the main 420ha (1037 acre) holding near Kelso,
Scottish Borders and Gattonside Mains with 180ha (455
acre) grass (LFA) plus 80ha (198 acres) rented. Stocking is
340 sucklers, a 40-cow pedigree Aberdeen-Angus herd, 20-
cow pedigree Charolais herd, 60 pedigree Suffolk and 960
SEPTEMBER saw only 31mm of rain in a month in which we were led to believe was going to be one of the worst on record. At the Border Union Show one of the local chemical companies brandished around a horrific weather forecast, which was also then heard on our local radio farming spot.
I have always taken the view that most weather forecasters can hardly tell us what weather we had yesterday, let alone forecast two months in advance.
Fortunately, the bad weather never materialised and we have had a very dry and mild Septem-ber. The tups for the Kelso sale were hardly ever shut in from the rain prior to the sale. Trade at the tup sale was again steady and our own average was back £10 at £420 which was very acceptable considering we sold the whole crop bar two which were lame prior to the sale. These have subsequently been sold.
In other areas, the stubble turnips/fodder rape look the best I have ever seen here, and should allow good grazing for our own feeding lambs and also the 237 bought in lambs. These were purchased at £43 a head and I hope we have not paid too much for them. Hopefully they will put on enough weight to be sold at 20-22kg deadweight sometime about the turn of the year.
On the cattle side we have sold Angus heifers to average 205p and bullocks at 225p dw. Unfortun-ately we had a fatality in the pedigree herd with the death of a first time calved cow. She was lying stone dead one morning and even after a post-mortem we are still not clear as to the cause of her death.
The bulls for Perth are progressing nicely and are being exercised most days. Whether or not we take all four Angus bulls is yet to be decided as the youngest one still requires further time and we may keep him to sell in February. This week also sees our local Border Aberdeen-Angus bull walk which is always interesting, and a chance to see the quality of stock being produced by our local breeders.
At Gattonside Mains we have vaccinated all the calves to be spained with IBR and PI3 and they have been returned to their mothers before they are finally separated and transported down to Lempitlaw.n
Ewan Brewis has sold Angus heifers to average 205p/kg and bullocks at 225p/kg deadweight. At Gattonside, the calves have been vaccinated and returned to their mothers, with weaning next on the agenda.