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My Farming Week - Mark Robinson, Lincolnshire

Mark Robinson, a partner of V.H. Robinson and Son, farms 420 hectares (1,038 acres) alongside a retail beef enterprise, Bassingthorpe beef. The family farmers are strip tillage specialists.

Alice   Singleton

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Alice   Singleton
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Mark Robinson
Mark Robinson

Waiting: It has been a memorable week – a bit of a waiting game in more than one sense of the word.


My wife was due to give birth to our second child on April 14, so I have had a deadline of then to get all my spring jobs done.


Claydon drilling for local farmers done. My own 49 hectares (120 acres) of spring beans drilled. Pre-ems on. Follow up spray of Glyphosate done. We looked in pretty good shape ready for the 14th.


However, that day came and went and another week went on. On April 26, we got called in for induction and finally two days later Henry James Robinson was born, my second son.


Cleaning: All jobs on the land are done for now, so this week we have taken the frankly massive decision to clear up the workshop, four generations of my family’s farmers’ junk to tackle.


I have, in fact, decided to move the workshop to a barn of old pigsties, taking only the stuff we want to keep, a far easier task.


These sties have had to be mucked out by hand with the very old-fashioned muck fork.


Beef: We run a farm diversification along side the arable, called Bassingthorpe Beef.


Yesterday I had the joy of letting the cows out for the first time this spring, always a great moment to watch as they run out full of life and energy.


There is a 20ha (50-acre) block of grass at the back of the cattle shed which is their home for the summer.


We used to breed all our own cattle for this business, running a 110 native Aberdeen-Angus suckler herd, however, in recent times we have sold all the sucklers and now just buy store cattle in at 12 months old.


The day after Henry was born I managed to escape with dad to Rutland to buy some one-year-old Lincoln Red store cattle.


Store cattle these days are one-third more expensive than fat cattle used to be 10 years ago. Things are not what they used to be.


Butchery: As we get to the end of the week we find ourselves in the butchery.


My dad will be helping Trevor our butcher roll joints, cut steaks and pack mince ready for farmers’ markets which take us all over Lincolnshire, Nottingham, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Essex.


Last weekend it was Stamford on Friday, nothing on Saturday, then Olney, in Buckinghamshire, and Loughton, in Essex, on Sunday. We have to travel further for Sunday markets as to make money in this business you have to follow the money – to the south.

 


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