The heavy rain, albeit made up of sporadic and torrential showers is certainly helping the grass to flourish, and while it does make working outside a little difficult, livestock doesn’t appear to mind.

All of our ewes have now been weaned of their lambs with stock ewes and ewe lambs retained for breeding, vaccinated for footrot with footvax. Lambs for finishing are grazing silage aftermath and will be selected on a weekly basis for selling live through Forfar Market.

Our second cut of silage, which is mainly kept for feeding sheep through the winter months, was completed a full month earlier than last year. We are hopeful that we have managed to retain the quality of 2018 but on a much greater quantity.

Meanwhile, our fodder beet, which also supplements the livestock during the winter, has sprouted in the last 4-6 weeks and should end up a full healthy crop.

As much as we are not the biggest fans of the wet weather, it does help crops to flourish and at the end of the day, that’s far more important.

Last year we chose to drill stubble turnips behind winter wheat and we found the benefits of two crops out of one was a great bonus.

With this in mind, we drilled stubble turnips again after the winter barley was harvested and straw cleared. With the high levels of moisture this year the seeds germinated in just four days and appear to be growing well.

As this seems to be proving a successful source of winter feed, we have decided to turn over a few fields of grass and sown a winter graze mixture of stubble turnips and rape.

Our philosophy is the more we can grow at home, the lower our bought in feed costs will be and hopefully, weather permitting, the longer we can keep the cows grazing outside.

We harvested our winter barley a few weeks ago, just before the worst of the rain started or I dread to think what a mess the fields would be in.

The straw was baled for cattle bedding and the barley was treated with Harbro’s Maxammon.

We chose to grow our own winter barley as we were struggling to stretch our treated spring barley mix thus far and were running out before the new crop was ready to cut.

We were therefore having to purchase enough to fill the gap while we waited for our own spring barley to be ready. So we are very pleased to have some already in the shed.

Bulls are out with the summer calving cows and heifers and appear to be working successfully. We usually allow the heifers two turns with the bull, which worked well last year, so hopefully we’ll see the majority settle this year too.

By allowing them this short time with the bull, not only are we keeping the most fertile heifers, we also feel these females will go on to make the best breeding cows for the future.