Peter Delbridge

6 September 2002

Trace element boost by bucketful…

HIGH levels of available phosphorous and vital trace elements are offered in Rumencos new flushing supplement, Supalick SupaTup, according to the manufacturer.

"Phosphorous is essential for driving up appetite and increasing overall ewe nutrient intake, while trace elements are important for good conception and implantation," says David Thornton of Rumenco.

SupaTup should be introduced two to three weeks before ewes are put to the tup and maintained for six weeks while rams are working, adds Rumenco.

SupaTup is available in 20kg buckets and costs about 2.5p/ewe/day (01283-524257 fax 01283-511013)

Peter Delbridge

Peter Delbridge farms

162ha (400 acres) in the

Exmoor National Park, near

South Molton, Devon. The

farm is mostly permanent

grass, classed as less

favoured and environmentally

sensitive, and all above

300m (1000ft). It is

stocked with 800 ewes,

replacement ewe lambs, 60

spring calving sucklers and

their followers

HAVING escaped foot-and-mouth last year, it is particularly disappointing to have had a TB breakdown at our routine herd test, postponed from last March.

As I have bought no cattle, including calves, since our last test three years ago, the protests of badgers innocence by badger huggers cuts little ice here.

Unfortunately TB is becoming quite common in the south west and it is more than coincidental that at the same time there has been an explosion in badger numbers.

As we never had a problem, I assumed badgers on our farm were clean, and as they are very territorial, I left well alone. I even refused to take part in Krebs trials – we are on the edge of a buffer zone. I view the trials as a kick it into the long grass effort designed to pander to public opinion and postpone killing wildlife while happily culling cattle.

The flawed and much hated 20-day standstill rule is still, regrettably, with us. Lord Whittys defence of it at Sheep 2002 was less than convincing and he was left in no doubt about feelings within the sheep sector.

Perhaps this was why he felt the need to scarper through a hole hastily cut in the back of the seminar marquee. The response he received may have helped to get some concessions regarding breeding stock.

As I did not want to be forced, because of the threat of a standstill, to take a low price for stock this autumn, I had a field approved for isolation on Aug 23, in preparation for South Molton Sheep Fair last week.

You can imagine my response when told I could not use it until today (Sep 6), when regulations come into force. Stock will still need a vet visit at my expense so thankfully the sheep trade is flying and it looks as though animals will not be returning unsold.

The delayed harvest allowed me to tackle the last remaining field of creeping thistles at the optimum time. I dont usually get there until after harvest when they are less receptive to the 10% glyphosate solution. &#42

Despite government concessions over the 20-day standstill, it and TB restrictions continue to cause problems for Peter Delbridge.

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