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Will Case: 'This spring seems to be good for grass growth'

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, Barrow-in- Furness. They farm 1,000 lowland ewes, 90 pedigree Texel ewes, 65 Salers suckler cows, fatten 150 store cattle, 12,000 freerange laying hens and 100 dairy cows milked by robots.

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, Barrow-in- Furness. They farm 1,000 lowland ewes, 90 pedigree Texel ewes, 65 Salers suckler cows, fatten 150 store cattle, 12,000 freerange laying hens and 100 dairy cows milked by robots.

 

This month has seen the lambing season come and go. We are down to single figures of sheep left to lamb and they are now lambing al fresco in the paddock in front of the house.

 

It is always a good feeling when you can do the evening look round from your living room window.

 

The lambing season of 2017 has been a busy one. The workload was made all the easier with the help of our vet students. Two of our all girl team hailed from sunny San Francisco and Bermuda. Why they chose wet and muddy Cumbria we will never know.

 

At our busiest we had three students and there was a comment passed that dad was like Charlie with his angels. He didn’t seem to mind.

 

We are lucky we have only had good vet students here and I am firmly of the opinion that if farming wants good vets, the industry needs to give them some of our time and give them plenty of experience at the sharp end.

 

Lamb numbers are pretty good, but we seem to have lost our fair share of ewes, mostly due to prolapse related problems. This is something we need to try and improve on. I am giving next year’s feeding regime a lot of thought at the minute.

 

This spring seems to be good for grass growth compared to recent years. Ewes are content and are certainly milking well with some good lambs on the ground. I hope the weather has no nasty surprises in store.

 

Our attention has turned to spring work now the shackles of lambing time have been thrown off. Spring barley has been drilled, fertiliser applied and lime is being spread.

 

The recent dry weather is allowing us to reseed some low lying grassland. We grab these opportunities when we can.

 

Drainage work is also being done. Alongside the usual cracked tiles and blocked ends, we have some soil compaction to rectify. There is always something.

 

Calving is due to begin in a couple of weeks and, despite the threats of Slimming World diets, our Salers cows are still in good condition. They have all been bolused and will be turned out to calve.

 

We have used the Charolais bull for the first time and I am looking forward to seeing how they compare to our usual Salers or Limousin cross calves. I am hopeful the famously wide Salers pelvis will see us through. Fingers crossed.

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