Focus on farmers: grass is abundant, but quality is a challenge


As always, it was a busy time. We have finished collecting DNA samples from the lambs in the registered herd.

These will be sent to New Zealand so that we can determine parentage from the data, along with several other performance indicators such as growth rates and pest resistance.

After a slow start, the growth of the lambs exploded. Rain, sun and heat combined to push grass growth into previously unknown territory here.

About the Author

Rob and Jo Hodgkins

Editor of Focus on Cattle Producers

Rob and Jo Hodgkins raise 2,300 ewes on 210 ha of grass and 566 ha of arable land in Hertfordshire, producing lambs for Tesco and raising sheep through Kaiapoi Romneys. Raising sheep without a subsidy means that the ewes must be functional, lamb outside and produce lambs only on forage.

See also: The number of farmers is expected to drop with the elimination of BPS

In fact, the topper tried to cope. It has certainly been a struggle to maintain the quality and not push everything to the top of the seed.

Due to the slow start to the season the shearers have been delayed as they finish in Wales but we can’t wait for Mark, Dion and the rest of the team to come stay for a few days and finish our mowing.

We should be able to do the second Clostridium and Pasteurellosis vaccination while mowing, if I can find someone to help me.

Holly, our shepherd, started herding sheep full time last week and is already making a huge difference by giving me some free time.

I’m definitely trying to ease off the accelerator a bit. Fortunately, I have scheduled the mowing to coincide with when Jimbo, our other shepherd, begins, so for once I can’t wait to mow because we will have a lot of help.

We had our usual stand at Groundswell. It was a fantastic event. It’s amazing to watch him grow up over the past three or four years.

The speaker level was excellent, and we picked up a few new sheep lamb customers for the Romneys.

What’s really good is that our new Mzuri Drill was the event’s demo exercise, so we were able to bring it back from the show to the farm.

We’re super excited to see what he’ll be up to. We had a show earlier in the year and the spring barley she sowed has excelled all season.

I imagine we will use it fully this fall (I mean we – I have already been told that I am not allowed to drive it).



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