Shearing is in full swing and the second-hand race trailer I bought is proving ideal. Even the Dorsets and Texel rams run through it with only gentle encouragement and the load on the body shearing from it is massively reduced, compared to dragging from a pen trailer.
It also enables easier social distancing at work, as whoever is keeping the race full can stay further back from us shearing than when loading a pen.
We are making good progress through the early shearing flocks, which are always a bit tough to get going with.
But they prepare the body and mind well for tackling the bigger days on better combing sheep later in the season.
A couple of days at home with help from a friend and her dog got me up to date with stock work. All lambs have had a drench and everything is fly-sprayed, so I do not have to worry about fly strike in my own sheep when I am busy away managing it in other people’s flocks.
The wool price is not looking like a positive picture, with huge disruption to the markets due to Covid-19. The only certainty we have is that the impacts of this virus are extensive and long-term, across all agricultural sectors.
I have finally sold the remainder of the heavy hoggets through the market and the last batches of meat boxes have been collected by happy customers. I do hope people keep reaching out for local produce once things have settled down.
I have privately sold eight Angus cross calves which had overstayed their welcome on our chalk banks. It is also lovely to see nature and wildlife in the countryside taking a deep breath during these quieter times.
We could do with a drop of rain to get the grass moving, both for grazing and for the hay fields.
But now is the time to focus on shearing and putting into practice all I have been learning over the past six months.
With lockdown restrictions being eased, it is tempting to believe my shearing record attempt should still be possible in some form this year, but time will tell.