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My Farming Week - Thomas Rees, Vale of Glamorgan

Tom is a partner in the family sheep and beef farm in Cowbridge which extends to 384 hectares (950 acres). The farm consists of 550 breeding ewes and 120 suckler cows. 

Tom Rees
Tom Rees

Tom is a partner in the family sheep and beef farm in Cowbridge which extends to 384 hectares (950 acres). The farm consists of 550 breeding ewes and 120 suckler cows. All lambs and cattle are finished on-farm and sold straight to slaughter. The farm also operates a contracting business.

 

Stock work: After the cold wet weather we endured during in May, shearing was held up until the beginning of June.


It is definitely not a job I look forward to, but after a few days of hard work it is satisfying to see all the ewes sheared and out grazing instead of lying under the trees.


Since the recent humid weather, attention has now turned to treating lambs for blowfly strike.


Lambs are growing well and hitting target weights of 40kg. We recently sold 30 lambs to Dunbia, with the whole group averaging 18-19kg and U3L.


In terms of sucklers, there are a few stragglers hanging on to calve, but all bovine viral diarrhoea and leptospirosis vaccinations have been completed.

 

Cows and calves have been turned out with plenty of grass and they are awaiting the arrival of the bulls in a fortnight’s time.


Crops: Maize has been enjoying the recent warm weather and after receiving a top dressing of fertiliser it has really started to kick on.


As my grandpa used to say, ‘knee high by the fourth of July’.


Looks like he will be right this year.


Our winter barley crops are looking good and seem as if they are going to yield well this year. Spring barley is looking good too, apart from some chickweed and redshank, but a herbicide application will get on top of this.


YFC: Only in Young Farmers would you find a group of people rehearsing a dance routine in a farm workshop. The things we do for Rally Day.


Glamorgan Rally Day was held on June 11 and saw members compete at the usual competitions, such as woodwork, tractor handling and cookery, plus how far a team of four could jump in two minutes in a half-tonne feed bag.


As for the dancing competition, the hours of practice in the workshop paid off with our team claiming first place.

 

We will now represent the county at the Royal Welsh Show in July, which will signal my retirement as a competing member.


Stuntman: For the past 20 years, the Welsh language soap opera Pobol y Cwm have used our farm as a filming location.


Recently, the storyline involved an incident involving a tractor and round bale knocking down the farmer’s wife and her being dragged under the machine.


I was driving the tractor while the stunt lady lay underneath.


Although it was well organised with every safety precaution in place, it was really unnerving to have someone under the tractor while it was moving.


But it was a great experience to work with the film crew and stunt team.

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