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Robbie Newlands: "Autumn will have to be very dry if things are to average out"

After what seemed to be forever, we got our silage finished, taking two or three attempts to get each field baled as the rain seemed to be attracted by the sight of the baler.


Silage quality is the next fear as the grass lay much longer and got rained on much more than you would want. At least there is plenty of it and, coupled with the draff which we have taken in to fill a pit, we should have enough feed to reach grass next spring.


The calves are on to feed in the creep feeders now, although only just nibbling at it as yet, gradually increasing their intake. They, along with all the stock and us, are in need of some sunshine.


With our average annual rainfall having been exceeded by the end of July, the autumn will be have to be very dry if things are to average out. I am keeping my fingers crossed things will dry up for harvest.


Kirsty and I had a few days away and went to Orkney. We set off the day after a windy spell and saw fields of wheat north of Inverness which had been blown flat with only the tramlines still standing.


They will need good conditions to get it harvested. The wind also made the ferry crossing less than enjoyable, with Kirsty spending most of the voyage recycling her breakfast.


Orkney is a good set of islands with a lot of productive farms. It is mostly grass-based, although and there is some cropping. The weather was good and we had an enjoyable couple of days there visiting a Texel breeder whose tups we have bought at sales over the past few years.


We also spent plenty of time generally being tourists as well. Thankfully the ferry back to Scrabster was much smoother, with hardly a swell at all.


Next on the agenda at home is weaning lambs and getting the sheds washed out ready for harvest, although looking at our quite green spring barley, the usual rush to get the last of the bulls away to allow the sheds to be mucked out and washed will be less tight this year.


It is not going to be an early harvest for us this year.

Farmers Guardian
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