Weather: At last, even with the comical attitude of the Welsh weather: the teasing sunshine then the pouring rain, this past fortnight the grass growth has been plentiful and the Charolais cross store cattle destined for market at the end of September are thriving.
Charolais heifers from the suckler herd here at home are sold at around 12 months of age and the steers are grazed throughout summer and sold at market at about 16-18 months forward and ready to be finished.
It has been challenging this year to judge what characteristic traits the new Charolais bull will leave on his offspring, but with quicker, increased growth rates at a younger age and the peachy shapes we are seeing – it is pleasing to the eye and hopefully the back pocket come September.
Our main task over the last few weeks was to draft out the remaining suitable bulling heifers from the surplus of Beef Shorthorn cross heifers of last year’s crop of calves.
Growth: We select on growth and size at 16 months of age and maternal characteristics. Those which made the grade are now running with the Limousin bull for nine weeks.
It was a great honour this year to be invited to judge the commercial beef cattle classes at the Meirioneth County Show held at the Rhug Estate, Corwen.
With beautiful weather and a fantastic turnout of quality cattle, it was a pleasure to tap out a Limousin cross-bred heifer with plenty of character, style and correctly fleshed as my champion for the day.
All these shows always make my feet itch to get going with the show preparation in time for the winter shows. So the next task will be to make some new breaking halters so we can get to it.
Brexit: Welsh agriculture and British agriculture in general is sitting rather uncomfortably at present due to the after effect of the Brexit call.
However, we are not an industry which can afford to sit tight and wait, we have to and need to move on and hopefully forward to survive, thrive and feed the nation.
I think we should embracr the Wales football team’s enthusiasm and dedication and adopt their motto ’Together Stronger – ’Gorau Chwarae Cyd Chwarae’ as a country. It is time to recognise the importance of agriculture in the rural economy and that #FarmingMatters.