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Will Case: Some in-depth dairy research, sad to see salers go and pride in a young handler

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In what seems like an age ago, July began with a trip to the Livestock Event. In the name of dairy research, we wore holes in our jeans kneeling on cow mats, we grew hoarse from talking and our heads were spinning with all the information that we learned. Rumours our spinning heads were caused by free rum on offer are, of course, untrue.


It was a time of mixed feelings for me as we concluded the sale of our Salers cows and calves this month. I was sad to see them go, but I was happy they all went as one herd, including the bull. I hear they have settled in nicely and we wish their new owner well.


The cows decided to have a bit of fun with us before they went, taking a midnight stroll on our garden on the night before loading. After much running and shouting in the dark, we safely gathered them up. Both wagon drivers slept through the incident – thankfully we did not, as I am pretty sure the lawn would have needed a full reseed. We also have a new addition of our own – our latest Salers stock bull arrived from Alistair Davidson to serve our heifers. The rebuilding process starts here.


Second cut silage has been completed in a rather stop-start fashion as the unbelievably inconsistent weather continues – we have struggled to string together two dry days. The one consolation is ground conditions are good as the howling wind dries things up nicely. Silage quality has been good, albeit against the odds, for this I will be thankful. Hopefully the jet stream will come to its senses soon.


Our pedigree Texel lambs have been weighed and muscle scanned at 21 weeks as part of the Signet recording programme. Results have been very pleasing as we have improved on last year with our biggest lamb weighing 71kg and many consistently big 30mm+ eye muscles in this year’s crop. More than 80 per cent of our 2016 shearling tups will be in the top half the breed, with nine in the top 10 per cent. Hopefully our regular customers will be interested and the extra information will be useful to them too.


July ended with a cracking day at Ulverston and North Lonsdale show. The day was a success and the highlight for us was seeing our eldest son Thomas showing his lamb in the Young Handlers competition for the first time. I was proud to see his efforts pay off; as I have always been told, you get out what you put in!

 

Will Case farms 300ha (750 acres) in partnership with brother Simon and parents William and Margaret at Ulverston, Cumbria. Land is divided between Plumpton Cottage Farm, and Robbs Water Farm, near Burrow in Furness. They farm 1, 000 lowland ewes, 90 pedigree Texel ewes, 65 Salers suckler cows, fatten 150 bought-in store cattle and have 12,000 free-range laying hens.

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