Gordon Capstick

2 August 2002

Gordon Capstick

Gordon and Mary Capstick

farm 230ha (569 acres), at

Milnthorpe in south Cumbria.

Stocking is 100 suckler

cows, with calves finished

alongside 100 purchased

stores, and 1200 Mule ewes

producing prime lambs.

About 10ha (25 acres) of

barley and 6ha (14 acres) of

soft fruit are also grown.

I HAVE never known silage aftermath grow as slowly as it has this year.

It is certainly making me think about second cut and grazing weaned lambs after it.

The lambs have been getting away quite quickly. About 600 have gone already. For the first time, I have been able to follow them through the abattoir and it opens your eyes to the finish needed and the differences between tups, wethers and gimmers on the hook.

I am pleased that so many have gone because if the price was to slump I could stop selling for a while. I still have in the back of my mind the way we were treated last year.

Nearly all our hay has been big square baled and wrapped. This was not my preference because we have a large hay barn which needs filling, but the weather got the better of us.

Our barley harvest looks about three weeks away, so maybe the barn will be filled with straw instead. The fruit season has all but finished and despite poor weather, most of the crop has been picked. Because of low temperatures, the fruit did not ripen too quickly and spoil.

The last of the three reports into foot-and-mouth is now published. It is surprising how similar the findings are to the 1967 Northumberland report, when vaccination was mentioned and stricter port controls advised. Government then and since has not taken much notice, so I dont suppose it will now.

You would think by all the spin that animals have only just started moving around when it has been going on for centuries. The only difference is they move much quicker now and more meat comes from abroad.

Gordon Brown has opened up the purse strings on a vote catching exercise. I hope all the billions get to the sharp end. The Curry recommendation of £500m has been reduced to £400m and it will be interesting to see how few crumbs actually arrive on to farms. &#42

Lambs have been performing

well and finishing quickly on

Gordon Capsticks farm

and he has sold 600 already.

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