Looking back over 2016, it was a bit of a mixed year. Surely this year should be better. We have already had our Single Farm Payment, or at least the loan from Scottish Government until they get the real thing sorted out.
However, while the gremlins in the agricultural department computer systems did seem to be thriving as we neared the end of last year, things are more fluid, cash-wise, as the money is in the system.
The weather leading up to New Year was great, unlike last year, and Lesley has been getting busy, ploughing one of our more exciting fields where steady nerves, and occasionally new underwear, are required. It is a field we only plough so as to reseed it. It is best not to think in terms of acres per hour.
We have also been drawing finished lambs and, while the price is better than last year, the gradual rise in price towards spring time has yet to start. We could certainly do with getting some away as they are now on to hoppers and going through pellets quite quickly.
Ewes are almost finished tupping so we will now take the tups out. The ewes are looking fit, only the occasional one has a tender foot and we will look at these when we split out the tups. After a fairly easy November and December the grass should have enough growth to keep ewes happy for a while yet.
The cows have also been enjoying the mild weather and are clean underfoot on the swedes. It is one of those situations where the conditions are as good as they get when grazing swedes with cows.
In the next couple of weeks we will have to DNA test some of our calves as part of the Scottish Government Beef Efficiency Scheme. It will be interesting to see how the information is used and how we are to become more efficient because of it.
Here is to a prosperous 2017.