John Davies runs an upland
stock farm in mid-Wales.
The main holding at Pentre
comprises 145ha (360
acres) of grass, with some
short-term grass lets being
taken, and hill rights
extending to 97ha (240
acres). The farm carries 101
suckler cows, 975 ewes,
230 Beulah speckled face
ewe lambs and 35 Welsh
EARLY February and once more, just prior to the deadline of Mon 2, we took our SAPS form into WOAD Llandrindod Wells. Queues were shorter than those waiting for release of the Full Monty video, although if Jack Cunningham has his way we farmers may face the same fate as the steelworkers featured (Dont think my dancing is up to it!).
Last year we had a bit of trouble with twin lamb due to moving ewes back from tack too close to lambing. Had a brainwave this year of parting the twins and triplets down there and bringing them back earlier.
This worked fine until they went into the shed. Some took too long to adjust to being housed. Being almost too fat they were not happy changing from a diet of grass to silage, which was too wet and some lambs were lost even after drenching and injecting with supposed remedies. Decisive action was needed. I rang a dairying friend Pete Joules who mixed us a ration comprising of molasses (215kg), maize meal (650kg), soya (110kg) and sheep minerals (25kg). This premix (150kg) is then added to silage (850kg) and fed at approx 3kg a head.
The ewes have been drenched with Combinex and injected with Covexin 8 and 1 and seem to have settled down in the shed.
Having the ewes housed helps the grass situation. However, the silage pits look as if well need an early spring. To help things along we spread some Kemira Early Bite at 50 units/acre on Feb 25. There was snow forecast but youve got to be an optimist these days.
I also recently spoke at St Asaphs farmers group all-Wales industry seminar, and set the stall out where I stand with regards to one voice for Welsh agriculture.
Next day we had a pleasant run to down Pembroke-shire where Martletwy YFCs new hall was opened by Nick Ainger MP. Following the hard work of many and thanks to lottery funding and donations, an excellent facility for the whole community has been provided for many years to come. The crowd of members and ex-members from near and far proved the saying "once a Young Farmer, always a Young Farmer". *
John Davies has been busy with admin, YFC and preparing for lambing.