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Tony Shepherd and John Henderson: Share farming in spotlight but lamb trade still volatile


The CLA relaunched the share farming booklet on the first day of the Great Yorkshire Show, ably assisted by John who helped write the first booklet nearly 30 years ago.

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Listening to a presentation by John in his usual enthusiastic manner, the relaunch was well received and the men in suits were keen to see how it works and use it in their letting portfolios.


I think John’s persistence with letting agents has to be commended and I know he has spent many an hour with enquiring minds discussing the nuts and bolts of share farming.


Although disappointing, the response from the Tenant Farmers Association has created discussion, more at a political level than a practical one, which is good for all concerned. The more issues are talked about, the more it will lead to better understanding and a level playing field.


From a biased, personal view, the principle of no fixed rent and a landlord who shares risks has to be a good thing, given the variable nature of farm income.


Earlier this month, we watched the ‘Tour de Yorkshire’ as the bikes sped through the nearby village of Cracoe on their way up into the hills. The sun was shining, people lined the roadside with their bikes and it was a fantastic atmosphere.


Watching the rest of the race on TV, the helicopter views of the Yorkshire countryside were outstanding and should do much for the local tourist industry.


Back on-farm, the new arrivals, which comprised 32 suckled calves - mainly around six-months-old, have settled in well.


Bought by weight, the total was 10,000kgs which means they averaged just over 310kgs per head.


We had a call from the abattoir asking if we had any cattle nearly fat which was encouraging given the current climate, although the price offered was not as well received at just £3.20/kg.


We chose the wrong week to market some deadweight lambs with the price taking a hit. Lambs marketed liveweight later in the week performed better.


Selling is normally done when the sheep are in for routine treatments but in the modern marketplace, with prices constantly moving, they need selling when the price is right; something I need to improve on.


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