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). Stocking is 340
sucklers, a 40-cow pedigree
Aberdeen-Angus herd, 20-
cow pedigree Charolais herd,
60 pedigree Suffolk and 960
FOR once we have a month which started with a bit of optimism. Our pilgrimage to Perth Bull Sales (which last month I had indicated we would be going to with higher expectations than usual), actually bore fruit and we came away with the Aberdeen-Angus Reserve Overall Champion which made £8000gns; our sale average was £3666.
However, we still fell foul of the panel, but on this occasion the less said the better. We also purchased a Shorthorn bull for Gattonside which, although not first choice, should complement our Limousin purchase of October very nicely. The quality of the Shorthorn show was a huge improvement on their last sale.
On returning home, we have selected which bulls we will take in October and there would appear to be a choice of 12 – the younger ones of which will probably wait until next February.
Last month I told you that we had drawn 607 fat lambs and that they had done very well on the stubble turnips, but I was disappointed that the potential sale price was going to be similar to the purchase price. I was obviously far too optimistic – they eventually averaged £32.75 a head, which is a £10 loss on the purchase price of the those bought in.
Lambing has restarted after the first batch and so far seems to have gone considerably better than last year, with only a few knockers left in the pens. Those lambed earlier are running out into the field during the day and enjoying the mild and dry weather which we have had over the last three weeks.
In fact, 24mm (1in) of rain fell the week after my last report and only 1mm since. This has allowed us to apply poultry litter and slurry to nearly all the grass land so it is now ready to grow as soon as the weather allows.
This week saw us draw cattle to sell to Scotbeef and I was encouraged to receive a price of 222p/kg deadweight for our Angus crosses, but disappointed to only get 186p/kg deadweight for our black Continentals. For a 320kg beast this makes a difference of £115 – no wonder there was demand for Aberdeen-Angus bulls at Perth. *
Aberdeen Angus crosses have earnt Ewan Brewis 222p/kg deadweight, while his black Continentals have made him only 186p/kg deadweight.