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In your field: Kate Beavan - 'When we mow the rain usually starts to fall'

An Irishman, a Welshman and an Englishman travelled to Scotland to shear sheep and this month the young shearers hit their goal, each shearing 400 plus sheep in a day. Well done lads.

Son Sam is loving Scotland and a recent shearing was on the Isle of Colonsay. What a stunning place.

 

The swedes and turnips went in on June 28 and were showing through in three days as the warm, wet conditions were perfect for germination. They are now thankfully outgrowing the flea beetle.

 

Jim’s late grandfather always said swedes in this area should never be planted before June 21 due to the fly and we have always abided by this rule. We have direct drilled swedes for the last 10 years, but this year trialled precision drilling versus direct drill. Watch this space.

 

The farm smells glorious and I wish we could bottle it. We have made some beautiful hay out of the Glastir meadows, cut on July 17 and baled on the July 22.

 

Each year when we cut the front meadow the neighbouring farmer despairs as it usually brings rain. Indeed, the night after it was mowed we had light rain but nothing serious and we can now relax as the fragrant bales are hauled in.


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As the wildflower meadows are not cut until July it is usually a race to complete baling in time to attend the Royal Welsh Show, but unfortunately not this year.

 

In the last 100 years, the show has been cancelled for two world wars, the foot-and-mouth crisis of 2001 and now sadly Covid-19. There was an online version, but the social offering will be sadly missed with the area set to lose a reported £40 million in revenue.

 

One of the online events for the show was the NFU Cymru #SheWhoDaresFarms conference which had a brilliant line-up of inspiring speakers, including Tracey Roan of BBC 2’s This Farming Life, Co-op head of agriculture Caroline Mason, and Farmers Guardian’s very own chief reporter Abi Kay. Special guest Minette Batters, NFU president, also joined us.

 

Abi spoke about women in the farming media and it was heartening to hear of the high percentage of female staff working for FG. No wonder it is such a great publication!

 

The aim of this event is to bring women involved in agriculture together to share knowledge, ideas and to raise the profile of women who can become more involved with the NFU and the industry as a whole.

 

The social aspect may have been missing, but online events offer flexibility and I noticed the conference this year had participants from around the world. It is organised by the dynamo that is Stella Owen, our NFU county adviser, and I am already looking forward to next year.

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