John Geldard and family farm
175ha (430 acres) near
Kendal in the Lake District.
Stock now comprises of 100
suckler cows with progeny
finished alongside 200+
bought in stores, 1000 ewes
– 160 pedigree Charollais
plus Llyens – and ewe lamb
replacements, with a 25,000
bird poultry enterprise
SPRING grass has certainly slowed down, if not gone backwards, during April with the east winds, frosty mornings and wet conditions we should have had in February.
Nature has its own way of balancing things out, but when you hear about the flooding, etc, that our fellow farmers have had to suffer in other parts of the country, we have not done to badly.
For the first time at Foulshaw we have had more cattle indoors rather than out on May 1.
We have just sold the last of our clean beef and so that is that until the grass finishers are ready, apart from 34 of our own bulls we are selling at the moment, which is hard work. The beef price in the first four months of 1998 is abysmal. But it is hard to believe the price that store cattle are making. I am just pleased that I am not in the market for them at the moment.
On the sheep side we have also finished selling our early lambs. Things are not as bad as they looked in February, but are nothing to shout about.
We have also been busy with the routine work, all sheep have been through the turn-over crate for a foot trim and their tails cleaned and all lambs are due for their first worm dose this week.
Richard my eldest son has been foot trimming the cows and dehorning the calves before they go out to grass.
Work on the new silage shed is proceeding well with the floor and shuttered walls now complete. With budgets tight at the moment it is worth shopping around. The variation in price for concrete was as much as £7.50/m, a total price difference on the building of £2000 to £3000.
We have just emptied one of the poultry sheds, not very encouraging when the old hens are worth almost nothing. We also have this shed to upgrade to the Freedom Food standard in the next two weeks, leaving one shed to convert. *
John Geldard has just emptied one of his poultry sheds, and is converting it to Freedom Food standards, leaving only one unit to upgrade.