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My Farming Week - Owain Williams, South East Wales

Owain Williams farms 550 acres, including the farm at Coleg Gwent Usk Campus, with his brothers in Llanbadoc, near Usk in Monmouthshire. They have a herd of 220 Holstein cows, 120 head of beef and 200 ewes.


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Owain Williams
Owain Williams

Arable: As the arrival of autumn becomes more apparent, we are currently planting next year’s crop of barley. The plough and drill have been busy and, despite heavy rain delaying us last week, conditions have been good for planting.

 

We are not far off cutting the maize now. We grow 70 acres to feed our dairy herd. Later on this week we shall be getting silage pits and trailers ready as we expect we will be starting sometime next week and are keeping a close eye on how the crop is developing.

 

Cattle: We are currently in the middle of calving with a nice batch of calves so far. This year we are trialling some calf coats following pneumonia issues in the past.

 

Last week we started serving the dairy herd ready for next year’s late summer/autumn calving block.

 

We aim to further tighten our block calving from July to the end of January. Our bulling heifers will be brought in this week and settled on a silage ration, ready to be served next month.

 

Sheep: The tups have been in with the sheep flock for a fortnight. This year’s lambs have all been sold, going to ABP in Langport.

 

We took on the lease of the 300ac farm at Coleg Gwent Usk Campus, known to many as the Rhadyr, nine years ago on an FBT.

 

With the academic year still pretty fresh, students are just settling in and we’ve seen an increase in numbers on farm. Here, we have a mixture of ages from school pupils through to Level 3 extended diplomas.

 

It is good to see so many young people wanting to get involved in land based courses – at least for us it means there’s always a few spare pairs of hands to help us with the work!

 

YFC: I have just finished my year as chairman of Usk YFC and I had a brilliant year as chairman. We had a lot of fun, got stuck into competitions and even booked the Wurzels for a widely enjoyed evening’s entertainment on Usk Showground.

 

During my time a chairman, I was also fortunate enough to participate in the opening ceremony of the Royal Welsh Show. As Gwent was the show’s feature county this year, I was asked to say a few words about my time in YFC and the role of the show, which was a great honour.

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