FG BUY&SELL        FARMERS WEATHER       ARABLE FARMING        DAIRY FARMER      FARMERS GUARDIAN        AGRIMONEY        OUR EVENTS        MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS        BLOGS        MORE FROM US

You are viewing 1 of your 2 free articles

You’ll need to join us by becoming a member to gain more access.
Already a Member?

Login Join us now

Tony Shepherd and John Henderson: Share farming talk a success and spending some quality time with the kids

Insights

John and I were invited to Settle Farmers’ Club the other evening to talk about sharefarming (actually, for once, he did the work and I helped out at questions).

Twitter Facebook

The invitation came way back in the autumn, but turned out to be very timely in view of the recent wave of interest. The club has been going for about 30 years and is well supported. John remembers speaking there in its earlier days and noticed a few differences.

 

While he was delighted to see some familiar faces of his vintage, the average age was definitely younger. But more obvious is in the old days most of those present would have been milking, with some sheep as lawnmowers, and only a few with some beef cattle. Now it is the minority who have dairy herds. If only it were possible it would be interesting to compare the total litres produced now and then.

 

As a result the conversation ranged much more widely and was all the better for it, there was normal reference to customers and markets, previously unheard of, and the questions were good and searching, all of which made for a very enjoyable evening.

Good quality haylage

We have held off feeding concentrates to the sheep until a month before lambing, but made sure they had access to good quality haylage. With the poor weather conditions feeding expensive sheep rolls on the ground outside was not cost-effective.

 

They have all had a pre-lambing fluke and worm drench, as well as the clostridial vaccine booster and most seemed to have held their body condition. The last group to lamb were taken to some ground mid-January which had not been grazed for a couple of months. What a difference some space and relatively clean grazing makes, with the ewes not taking any of the haylage offered but still thriving.

 

Our big cattle are coming to flesh nicely; a packet of 14 went to the abattoir early February, with the difference between the best and worst being 95kg in weight and £371/head in price. Another 28 have just gone which has freed up space to bring the smaller cattle back from away wintering.

 

The kids and I are going to Ellend Road football ground on Saturday to watch Leeds United play and, like all farmers, there is always plenty of work to be done, but what value to put on a few hours spent with the kids - priceless.

Twitter Facebook
Rating (0 vote/s)
Post a Comment
To see comments and join in the conversation please log in.

More Insights

Marrying intensive farming with wildlife conservation

Arable productivity need not be compromised to make way for greater biodiversity, this year’s NIAB TAG Outlook Conference in Durham heard. Abby Kellett reports

Promoting Scotland's small-scalers

Smallholders in Scotland are soon to have their own representative organisation. Rosemary Champion, one of the 12 trustees behind the move, believes the new body will be unique in the UK in terms of its remit. Ewan Pate

Showring promotion key to safeguarding rare breed

With only 417 Middle White pigs registered last year, the commitment of breed enthusiasts has never been more vital.

Getting into bees

A hive of bees can prove to be a productive addition on any farm or smallholding, yielding honey for the kitchen while increasing crop yields and quality. Farmers Guardian reports.

Red Polls revive a traditional cheese

Stepping away from the commodity dairy market, Alan and Jane Hewson resurrected a traditional regional cheese to create their own niche market. Aly Balsom finds out more.
FG Insight and FGInsight.com are trademarks of Briefing Media Ltd.
Farmers Guardian and FarmersGuardian.com are trademarks of Farmers Guardian Ltd, a subsidiary of Briefing Media Ltd.
All material published on FGInsight.com and FarmersGuardian.com is copyrighted © 2016 by Briefing Media Limited. All rights reserved.
RSS news feeds