Wednesday 17 July 2013

"Greedy" The Bull Calf's Winter Feed Is Almost Ready.

The latest pictures of 'Greedy' the 'Aberdeen Angus' bull calf and the barley we set in Spring.  The bull calf seems to grow some more every day.  Dairy cross cattle prices are still very poor and they are only making a Euro a Kilogram.  Apparently there is hardly any boats going to Libya.. at the moment.  All depressing news for the farmer.  At least we have the test cricket to watch.  Good old England.  It was wonderful to hear 'Jerusalem' being played.  Don't make me so nervous again this week please!

The sales rep from whom we bought the barley seed, came to inspect the it the other day.  He said the visit was completely FREE of charge, because we purchased the seed from his company.  We talked about weeds and how we should really have sprayed the ground with glyphosate first before seeding.  Any road there's a few weeds growing in the barley but we can live with that can't we?  

The sales rep informed us that the barley needs to be cut and baled this week into silage.  This puts the 'cat among the pigeons'.  Any body for an idiom?  The field needs cutting before the other silage is ready.  Such is life.  

We are having a five Euros wager apiece to guess how many bales we get from about an acre?  I have gone for 8 bales of barley and grass.  I feel like that old music hall joke:

A man is in a train carriage with a basket full of pigeons.  He says to the other passengers:

"If you can guess how many pigeons I have in this basket.  I'll give you the six of them."  

Well it made me laugh.  The first thousand times I heard it.  

So what do you reckon folks?  How many bales will we get when we cut it at the weekend?


  1. Greedy the bull calf's looking a bit less like a calf, just needs to fill out a bit, no rush though, beef prices might be up by the time he's ready.

    Lots of big bales of hay being made and moving about this week, ideal weather. Don't suppose the odd weed will matter too much as long as there's no ragwort. Noticed a field of barley locally looks a bit further on than yours, surprisingly.

    I'll guess 10 bales per acre, never baled barley before.

  2. Hi Cumbrian, Last year farmers paid fortunes for cattle when they sold for king's ransoms - 500 for a dropped calf! Now they are cheap, people aren't buying them. Talk about swings and roundabouts.

    I think the yield of your harvest depends on how much fertilizer you put out and getting the right weather. It hasn't rained here for about a month now. Fields that have been harvested have burnt up and you can where the rock is with the grass going brown on the shallow soil. Hate too say it but we need rain. Nice soft rain that comes and night and is gone my morning.


  3. Yes, the market can be very fickle, beef's averaging just over £2 per kg here last week, poor show because most farmers were too busy getting hay in!
    My friend from Asda's sending her 12 fat lambs to market today, hope she does OK, I'll find out next time I see her probably.

    Lot of fields here with that bare brown look as well, grass looks good but I've been told yields are down, I think maybe the weather has a lot to do with it, it's even more fickle than beef prices. With so much rain not so many weeks ago we were praying for sun, now after a couple of weeks sun we're already praying for rain. Can't win can we? Be nice to have the weather to order, but that would be too easy I suppose?

    Another bright sunny morning here, feels like it's gonna be a scorcher again.

    Hardly seen Raggy cat for a week, fetched a sparrow one day and eat it in the hall, left a mess of feathers for me to sweep up, little sod.

  4. £2 per kg. Is that for continental beef? The plainer dairy cross lots are only making a Euro a Kg here.

    Is your Asda friend selling the lambs to the butcher? I bought some ram lambs the other year and bought them sheep nuts and hay for the winter and made 10 Euros when I sold them - never again! A sheep farmer told me I did better than him. He bought them for fifty, kept them all winter and sold them for forty a piece. The worst thing about selling to a butcher is they only pay dead weight. So it's got to be a good animal to make any money. Also it costs money to have them killed. They no longer pay the farmer a slaughter premium. Last heifer I had killed cost me 200 Euros. Plus I had to pay somebody to take it for us and we had to use petrol to collect the meat.

    We are crying out for rain here. The second cut silage (we haven't cut our first cut yet) isn't growing quickly enough for the farmers despite their efforts spreading slurry and fertilizer.

    Fantastic weather with a nice sea breeze this week. I see a lot of people going to the beaches. Hopefully all the seaside resorts are making money from the wonderful weather we are all having.

    Terrier's been copying the sparrows having a dust bath.


  5. Not to the butcher, they're going to the auction, I haven't seen them, but the lambs have been looking plump and delicious in the fields. She tells me they got £120 a head last month, down to £100 this month, but it's a lottery I suppose, depending on the day.

    Superstores are selling a lot of trays of cans, every other trolley seems to be full of lager, so the brewers are having a boom (and the government, think of all the tax), the warm weather is doing somebody a lot of good. Cider seems to be having a good time as well, not a popular drink here, but it's gaining ground.

    Last keg of stout is about empty, I've got a batch of Muntons Smugglers Premium on, to keg today, a nice Old English Ale type, a bit pricey at £23, but 3.6 kg 2-can kit, no sugar to add, so it's got a lot of body; last brew I made of it was superb.

  6. Yes the auction is often a lottery. I have had good days and bad days there. Think sometimes it is better to sell them in the farmyard or direct to the butcher. It's no point selling them unless they are heavy, because everything is based on weight.

    I have noticed Stella and a Belgian brewery seem to be advertising their new brands of cider. Don't think they would do the same for mild.

    I drink Newcastle Brown Ale or Theakston's Old Peculiar when I can get them. I much prefer English (northern/midlands) bitter.

    Still gorgeous weather here.


Scrambled Eggs On Toast.

 You know you are good at blog writing when you can write a post about most topics. The hens and ducks are prolific layers at the moment.  T...