The progress made through the shearing season across the UK has shown us there are a huge number of very capable and talented shearers here on home soil, which is something we ought to be proud of.
An early start helped by sunshine through May got things moving and only some wet weather during June would have slowed progress.
It is great to see such a hardworking group of people being able to get their heads down and continue striving and thriving through difficult times.
It is just a terrible shame the picture for the wool price is so dire and most sheep farmers are losing money on wool.
With the Chancellor unveiling a £2 billion green energy and insulation scheme, it is imperative wool is well-placed to become an important part of the solution. Joined-up thinking is urgently required between our industry and Government.
A decision was made by the World Sheep Shearing Records Society that international referees are not able to officiate any shearing record attempts at this time due to Covid-19, so unfortunately my world record attempt has been cancelled for 2020.
Back to the drawing board to keep the momentum alive for next year, as my ambition will not change, only the direction of travel towards the goal.
It has been a year of cancellations and I especially feel for the agricultural shows which will be in financial difficulty going into next year. I really hope the farming community can look forward to social gatherings soon.
For me personally, I am pleased to see the gyms and pubs opening to have a bit more balance in our lives, but there will be a long time of due caution surrounding meetings in public places.
On the sheep front, I have weaned the whole flock and my ewes and lambs have come through a very dry spell remarkably well. The lambs are weaned onto a legume sward which, having been rested for five weeks according to the Countryside Stewardship rules, now offers plenty of decent feed ahead of them.
I will shear them all in a few weeks’ time and their growth rates will come on leaps and bounds.
I have had a major sort through my ewes and sold more than 100 to someone locally, which will be replaced with some of my own breeding. I am looking for quality over quantity this coming year to facilitate shearing travels, if we are allowed overseas.