Farmer Focus Livestock:Julian Ellis

Things are looking up with harvest being completed within a couple of days. Three round balers and a helpful neighbour on the rake meant all the straw was baled before the weather broke. The straw is nearly all in, the re-seeding is done and the bank manager doesn’t feel our annual review is necessary.

So, I write this report sitting on the beach on a beautiful Sunday in September wondering what I am going to do with myself this week. Sadly that’s not entirely true; tomorrow we are TB testing and there are cubicles and concrete to put in the new shed.

I recently went to a mixer wagon demonstration day, hoping it would help me decide whether this is the route we want to take. I can see the advantages and disadvantages of both TMR and simple grass-based systems, but we need to invest in something to present the silage to our new feed barrier.

Unfortunately the budget won’t stretch to a self-propelled mixer wagon. I think it will have to be something with dull paint to start with.

While at the demonstration, I did learn a Penn State separator is four plastic trays for sorting a cow’s ration. It turned out I was not the only one that stupidly thought we were going to see a slurry separator.

Another decision that needs to be made is how much barley we are going to grow next spring. With rumours of barley being sold at £70/t, picking up the phone and ordering 200t would be a lot easier. At least this year I didn’t drive off with the combine after re-fuelling, leaving dad stranded with a few empty five-gallon drums in the air on the loader.

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