John Geldard farms 175ha (430-acres) near Kendal on the southern edge of the Lake District. Stock
comprises 50 suckler cows, with progeny finished
alongside 300-400 bought-in stores, 1000 ewes plus 250 ewe lamb replacements, of which 160 are pedigree Charollais, and a 25,000
bird poultry enterprise.
AFTER the dismal weather at the end of June, which held up haymaking, all was put right after the Royal Show. We made 25 acres of good hay without rain. It was certainly a very hectic week, as we had ewes to AI, and rams to prepare for sale. At the time of writing, we have sold more rams off the farm than in previous years; possibly this is a reflection of the healthy sheep industry at present.
After judging the Charollais and Lleyns at the Royal Highland and the Royal Show, we attended the Royal Welsh as exhibitors. In the Lleyn section, which was the second largest sheep section, our sheep were not what the judge was looking for and just took one ticket. However, with the Charollais we had a ticket in every class.
On our return home one of the first jobs was to wean all the Lleyn lambs. At this stage we also separate the ewe lambs, vaccinate them with Heptavac P, and record all numbers for registration purposes. This is all quite a task, but theres no reward without effort. In recent years we have sometimes lost four or five lambs in August and September with pasturella. This year all wethers have been also vaccinated with Ovivac P – but no doubt they will find something else to die of.
In the past month all the cattle have been wormed and while the beef market shows slight improvement with recent developments, I believe it is very volatile and am in no great hurry to go and buy store cattle. Im all too conscious of the fact there were a lot of cattle turned to grass this spring that would normally have gone, and there is no guarantee that the current price will be maintained.
The next building phase is under way at Low Foulshaw Farm. A slurry store at this stage is a big hole in the ground – so we are praying for good weather for the next two weeks.n
Ewes have been weaned and AId and ewe lambs vaccinated with Heptavac P against pasteurella.