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In Your Field: Christine Ryder - 'Our wool cheque 32 years ago was more than this year'

For the first two weeks of August we didn’t have any guests but a house full of painters and decorators putting the finishing touches to the flood damage.

New carpets were fitted last week and we were straight back in business, as guests arrived just as they were finishing.

 

It was like one of the home makeover programmes on TV where everything happens in the last five minutes. Anyway we are back to normal and, so far, everyone is behaving.

 

Last Sunday we hosted a farm walk for 35 members of the Belted Galloway Society. Most were northern members, but some travelled here from Surrey and Norfolk.

 

We took them all on a tour of the farm with two tractors and trailers, then our president Liz Wilkinson oversaw an informal bull judging event, took us through her reasons and gave a very interesting talk about what the society inspectors are looking for when considering bulls for registration.

 

We rounded everything off with afternoon tea in the barn granary. Luckily, the weather was kind, as the day before it did nothing but rain.

 

Chris is busy sorting all the sheep, as thoughts turn to tupping and his idea to lamb some Mules in February. We have had some tups vasectomised and they will be going in shortly as teasers.


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Last year we sold a lot of lambs in the store sales, but as there is a lot of grass this year, they have grown well and many will go as finished lambs.

 

However, we are taking our first run of Whitefaced gimmer lambs to Skipton mart next Wednesday.

 

They are certainly easier to get ready for a sale than the Mule gimmers in September. Hopefully they will make a pound or two more than the fat price.

 

The wool went off-farm last week and we have just received notification of payment. To be honest, it is nearly not worth having and certainly doesn’t cover the cost of the shearers.

 

With all the talk about plastic and moving towards more sustainable products, you would have thought it would be worth more.

 

Back in the day, it was said that the wool cheque would pay the farm rent, but not anymore. When we first came to Scaife Hall 32 years ago, our wool cheque was more than it was this year, with a third of the number of sheep.

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