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My Farming Week: Rob Dewey, St Andrews

Rob Dewey farms 97 hectares (240 acres) outside St Andrews with 300 breeding ewes, with a view to build up to 600 breeding ewes on current acreage. 

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Sheep: We currently run 300 breeding ewes on 97 hectares (240 acres) a ranging mix of Cheviots, Blackies, Mules and Hebrideans.

 

Cheviots and Blackies are put to the Bluefaced Leicester, with the best females kept back for breeding the following year as ewe lambs.

 

Mules are put to the Suffolk and this year we are trying out a Hampshire Down which will be interesting to see the difference in lambs.

 

Hebrideans are bred for their meat and are kept pure, mainly pedigree in a niche market. All twins and triplets from commercials have come inside this week in readiness for lambing and to ease pressure on the grass.

 

The ewes are being fed cobs in the morning and then hay in the evening with a view that, hopefully, the full stomachs in the evenings will reduce the numbers lambing through the night.

 

After a successful trial lambing outside last year, the Cheviot and Blackie singles, along with all the Hebrideans, will lamb in the paddocks around the shed.

 

Rental: As I have only recently returned back to the family farm after a career of professional rugby, half our acreage is rented out to a neighbour as I slowly build up stock numbers.

 

I work for the same neighbour on weekdays, meaning a typical working week involves fitting in jobs here in mornings, evenings and weekends.

 

My girlfriend Rachael is also a massive help on-farm and has taken to it greatly as she did not have a farming background. Without her help and support the farm would not run as it does.

 

Cows: Calving has just started this week on the farm I work, so it has been a case of getting calving pens ready for it all to begin, while carting silage to another farm where they rent the cattle sheds.

 

Scanning: My latest venture in farming has been into scanning and after going on a course two years ago I am slowly building up contacts and numbers to scan.

 

This last week has seen me out and about scanning in the local area, helping me gain experience and I find it enjoyable work. Once the scanner is set up with a crate attached onto the end of the race, and a steady flow of sheep, the job is done in no time at all.

 


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