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Lambs finally head to market
THIS morning saw us selling lambs again. The take-up in the weather has proved beneficial to their condition and John felt we had enough lambs ready to fill a trailer for market.
We cannot have been the only farmers holding back. The market has been persistent in phoning to ask if we have any lambs to sell as very few were booked in. Probably have been a glut in today and prices will be down accordingly. Nothing like being an optimist.
John is still uncertain as to whether to keep our Charolais tups. He has not been happy with the conformation of the lambs this year, although the weather has not helped them thrive.
Perhaps it is unfair to make a judgement given the appallingly wet spring and early summer we had. When we changed to Texel tups from Suffolks he was the same. He just takes time to adjust to something different, and the lambs we have sold did well. But the lambs have been slow to get to market fitness.
This time last year we had virtually sold all the lambs. No chance of that this time round. There are stacks of them still with their mums out in the fields.
At home, the farmhouse windows facing the farmyard are grimed with dust from the corn dryer. That is my excuse anyway and I am sticking to it. I hate cleaning windows at the best of times and am grateful for the genuine get-out clause of corn drying to salve my conscience about being so lazy.
Gradually, the harvest is coming home and the big shed is filling up with golden heaps of corn. None has been sold yet. Unusual for us as John would normally sell forward, but this year he plans to wait it out to see what world prices move to. It is a gamble, but then it always is.
One friend who felt he had missed out last backend when there was no market for his hay, absolutely cleaned up when spring/summer was late. Everyone had had to keep their stock inside for longer, and there was an intense demand for hay.
Overall, there is less yield of corn but more straw overall than in previous years. John reckons about a ton less wheat and barley per acre with insufficient sun to swell the grain. His father had a saying that a cold wet May, brings a lot of straw and hay. Nothing in the rhyme about corn yield, however.
Must revisit those old predictions. He was right about the straw as huge stacks of straw bales are gradually encroaching into all available space. We had only one cut at the silage and no hay currently. Instead, row upon row of gleaming black bales of haylage. Which is what we resort to when we start making hay and it keeps raining on the cut grass.
So, the cold wet June, brought a lot of.... suggestions please for posterity.