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
AT last we have turned all the stock out, and although one can hardly say summer is here, it is certainly milder than the beginning of the month.
We continued to get rained upon for the whole of April; the eventual total was 147mm.
Grass continues to grow and stock certainly have plenty to eat, even though the early turned out cattle seemed more intent on poaching it than eating it. Funnily enough, the first cattle put out did not settle and even now, three weeks later, are still raking the fence backs and have got out of the field three times, whereas the later turned out cattle seem a lot more content.
This year our worming policy was revised and instead of using a bolus, we have injected them with Cydectin. I hope this will save us at least half the cost, even though they will have to be injected a second time, which should not be too much of a problem, as all the cattle are at home instead of at Ladykirk.
On the sheep front, the shepherd duly retired and handed the final lambing duties over to the amateurs. After an initial disastrous two days in which we managed to kill most of the pet lambs (no great loss) and a few problems with lambing hoggs, we completed the lambing reasonably successfully. One conclusion was soon arrived at: We will not be lambing hoggs again.
We have been flat out preparing for our ewe sale, which by the time you read this will be over. More about that next month. We have also sold our first lambs and they returned a disappointing £60.02. But I suppose the way the lamb trade was earlier in the year, we could not expect an awful lot more.
Calvings are completed at both Gattonside and Eastfield. Eastfield ended up one calf less than cows calved and Gattonside two less.
All in all, the spring has seen a good calving and lambing with only the weather in early April causing big problems. We have had more grass than ever in April, which is no doubt the wettest on record. But Gattonside Mains will benefit from the wet. Its south facing shallow soils do not enjoy a dry spring. Now for some heat? *
Calving and lambing have gone well for Ewan Brewis – the weather causing the only problem in April, with rain almost every day.