We must make best of weather win­dows

Irish Independent - Farming - - Farm Management -

an­i­mal, es­pe­cially if the trade is poor.

If a week is a long time in pol­i­tics, a year in farm­ing looks like a life­time ago. Cull cow prices this time last year were at a sim­i­lar level to what is avail­able for prime heifers at the mo­ment. So much for our Food Har­vest 2020 re­port for the beef sec­tor.


I have de­cided not to fin­ish the bul­locks out of the sheds, largely be­cause it would in­volve push­ing them too hard. I'm lucky that I have the op­tion since they still have enough time on their side to be able to fin­ish be­fore 30 months even af­ter an­other sum­mer graz­ing.

The suck­ler cows are in great con­di­tion and are on ad lib round bale silage with pre calver min­er­als dusted daily on the silage.

Last May I went to the Limousin So­ci­ety's Pre­mier sale in Ro­screa all psyched up to make a big pur­chase. My budget was €3,000, but the bull I put my eye on was with­drawn be­fore it hit €3,000.

While it took a bit of per­sua­sion, I fi­nally man­aged to do a deal with the breeder for just over €3,000. It's about €800 more than I paid for the last bull but he is a five-star-rated beast, com­pared to the last one that was only a three-star in­di­vid­ual.

I reckon that over the course of the next five to six years, the ex­tra €800 will be more than re­turned in bet­ter clas­si­fi­ca­tions. I was par­tic­u­larly taken with his length which should al­low my stock to carry a lit­tle ex­tra weight, even if the fac­to­ries tell us that they now want a lighter car­case. I wait with in­ter­est to see what hap­pens.

I am now half­way through lamb­ing the first batch of ewes, with all go­ing well, even if I could do with a lit­tle im­prove­ment in the weather.

Dur­ing the day I have ad­e­quate help on the farm, but I'm on my own dur­ing the grave­yard shift, with some nights busier than oth­ers.

In some ways I en­joy the si­lence of the calv­ing and lamb­ing sheds at night with only the odd cry of a new­born lamb or calf to be heard.

It's ac­tu­ally a re­ally good time to ob­ser ve s tock for any prob­lems, and at least the mo­bile phone stays quiet for a few hours.


SPREAD­ING: Sven Haren­berg, Lo­rum, Co Car­low wastes no time in get­ting the first of his slurry out on high ground on the farm

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