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Tony Shepherd and John Henderson: Share farming progress and stock sales on an up


John has been busy preparing his forthcoming presentations that will explain his share farm booklet

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This has included bringing the original assessment figures as to how the share is arrived at up-to-date and, although a lot has changed in the last 20 or so years, the share remains valid for both of us. It is possibly something we should have looked at say every five years just to make sure both parties are still content with the original arrangement.


I came across two other people who were involved in their own share farming situations recently. One was on the arable side and the other with livestock and, although the agreements were tailored differently to ours, it was obviously working for them and both parties were happy.


We sold 130 fat lambs just before the latest downturn which was fortunate, and our regular buyer for Suffolk cross gimmer lambs called on his annual pilgrimage north to Bentham auction and left us a cheque for 300 lambs.


Our Mule shearling replacements again came from the same man as last year, Alex Moorhouse from Barnoldswick, and it was sad news we heard he had passed away only a week or so after I had been to the farm sorting the sheep.


We seem to have lost a few of the older end of our farming community lately, taking with them a wealth of history and knowledge. I along with many others will miss Alex’s company and enthusiasm.


The local abattoir phoned to see if we had any fat cattle ready, which was encouraging given the recent waiting lists to book cattle in.


The fieldsman came and sorted 15 out of a batch of 27 which went on the lorry the day after his visit; they were mainly heifers and the return sheets show them as U or R grades averaging 340kg. They had eaten very little hard feed and best of all, they did not require belly trimming. The rest of the group which are mainly steers are in the shed being finished hopefully before our autumn purchases of suckled calves arrive.


Last year’s autumn purchases have not grown as fast as hoped. They will need keeping longer before being big enough to finish ourselves or sold as strong stores, which will incur extra costs, so hopefully the beef price will keep moving in the right direction.

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