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Charles Bruce: 'It has been extremely wet and cows are starting to poach land'

The chaos and disruption in the King Edward parish continues after the six bridges were washed away in a tidal wave coming down the local tributary to the river Deveron.

Most of the farms in its path have had damage of some sort, ranging from barley stores being flooded to our own situation where we have lost the use of three fields of grass with their fences demolished.

 

The council has removed the strips of tarmac which were ripped off the road and deposited in our grass field. I am thinking we will have to use temporary electric fences to allow us to graze our in-lamb ewes.

 

It has been extremely wet and the cows are starting to poach their winter grazing and it is much too early for that sort of inconvenience.

 

The old shepherd’s saying that you can never have too many rams at tupping time is ringing in my ears.

 

As we enter week three, two groups are fine with the Bluefaced Leicesters getting on with the job and the smaller group of Cheviot Mules and pure Texels also happily doing their thing.

 

The other larger group running with three Suffolk rams and a Beltex cross Texel is causing some concern as two of the three Suffolks are currently lame.

 

We have learned through the years to look after our rams, getting them to the gate of the fields they are to work in, in fit condition on sound and well-trimmed feet.

 

Their miseries only seem to start at the introduction to the ewes and, as I say, you can never have too many rams.


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We took the heifers home from their summer grazings today and we have been putting this job off for a while as the handling pens can only be described as a swamp. It now seems a forlorn hope they will dry out any time soon.

 

The potato lifting in our area has gone well, but it is obvious there is enough water in the fields as we are now starting to notice areas which have been avoided during lifting, indicating that conditions are very difficult.

 

The continual wet weather has not only affected livestock, but winter plantings of cereals have been hampered by the poor weather.

 

I only hope the additional spring barley which will be sown does not have a knock-on effect to the price of our malting barley next year.

 

At the moment you have probably detected that I am not too cheery.

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