I’m afraid I sound like an Aussie – but, after a long dry spell we’ve now had a fortnight of regenerative rain – about five inches, nothing too heavy – and all very useful moisture.

In fact, we were getting back to puddles and mucky gateways, so it would be nice if it might stop again!

With half a pit of silage left over, we have decided to bale all this crop and empty the pit first, to allow for a bit of maintenance early next year.

This has fallen well, as early fields went to seed in the dry and were cut early at low yields and some late shut-off fields that got slurry and then a good spell of growth have come ready with quality and yield now.

Some of the early grass only brought in six bales to the acre, but after a slurry application and this rain, the second cut is not far off and looking strong. I don’t remember having second cut done in July before.

Some of this is third year red clover and Italian, so we are looking for good aftermaths for lambs. It is tempting to think that the red clover might manage another year.

A grass reseed has come through as moisture allowed – which gives quite a spread of new seedlings to strong plants (the fat hen all in the latter group). We have held off grazing perhaps longer than we should have, to give the younger plants a good hold with their roots but sheep are in now.

This is our first proper go at rotational grazing, having set up four temporary electric reels to split the field into eight paddocks of 2ha. Water has been more of a conundrum with a blue pipe laid overland and two temporary troughs set up, each to move between four adjoining paddocks.

Some 280 ewes with 480 lambs went in yesterday and they seem to be co-operating so far. I thought this was as big a mob as we could handle and they would have enough of an appetite to have an impact.

A friend with a sharper mind has done a calculation matching supply and demand and thinks we’re not far off. I’ll keep you posted.

The Swede plants that didn’t wilt or get eaten by the flea are beginning to look better but are by no means a ‘show crop’. We let a field for vining peas which have been harvested and it should be sown with rape by now, but every tractor in the glen has been flat out making silage this last few days.

We have tried two different direct drills into burnt off old pasture (one very steep field and the other a field with stones that have been forcefully imprinted in our memories). Rape in one and straight back to grass in another one, where roe deer eat any forage.

It’s fairly quiet on the cattle front, with bulls quietening down among cows. One bull was brought in this week with very tender nether-regions (it was a slow toddle up the road for him), and it looks like this season at least is over for him.

Our vets are finding lots of new uses for ultrasound scanners, bull fertility being another. We sold our spare bull to cover for an injured bull, but there’s still spare capacity.

We had a great day shearing ewes last week – they’ve come out of their fleeces in good form. Lambs have done well too. They have had eight-week weights taken for Signet recording which is a pretty easy task.

Our daughter, Tally, worked the shedding gate and lambs run back through the weigh crate with the crate-mounted EID reader and weigh-head gathering all the data as fast as we can put lambs through.

We have a travelling shepherdess with us at the moment who can’t get to New Zealand as planned and the three girls shed-off, weighed and foot-bathed 200 lambs in an hour yesterday.

The screen gives us parentage and weight gain data, so it’s been interesting to see how different sires are breeding.

You might remember ‘Help-ma-Boab’, the ram with good figures that we bought on a video last year. He’s looking pretty good just now and his lambs are stacking up well on the stats, being amongst the fastest growing lambs.

Some 762 pure Lleyn lambs averaged 24.3kg at eight weeks and 152 Texel cross Lleyn lambs running in the same mob averaged 24.4kg. That gives a growth rate of 300gm per day (taking actual birthweights off), with a variation of 50gm/d either side from different sires.

Although the Texel lambs look stronger just now, there is nothing in it weight wise – the difference will come after weaning. If we’ve done our job correctly the poorer ewes will have Texel lambs anyway. I think this early growth has much more to do with the ewe.

We have managed to fit in a wee ‘holiday’ last week. The kids insisted that we spend a few nights in our self-catering holiday accommodation before we get it ready for letting again. We haven’t done this before, and it has been a very useful exercise.

It goes to show that a change is as good as a holiday and we’ve discovered a few things we need to sort out – the ice-cream scoop has gone missing, the beds are really comfortable and the fancy shower probably was worth the extra money.

Debbie has been fortunate to find some families looking for a three-week escape from the city to fill both holiday houses. This cuts down in the three-day dead-time between visitors that we are working with otherwise to adhere to guidelines.

We had great fun and success in the ‘Virtual Highland’ (Scottish Agriculture Show), Debbie won the egg section and Angus got a second with Helga, his Scots Dumpy hen and picked up the poultry young handlers award with a good wee video featuring Katie Morag.

This has been good practice for the bull and ram sale. There has been a lot of thinking time spent on how to manage the ram sale – not easy when we don’t really know what guidelines will be. But with only six weeks to go, we have opted for a system that will combine on-line and on-farm bidding.

We are going to miss the ringside banter of the auctioneer and the camaraderie of the sale – but when we sat down to look at what was important – the safety of folk comes first, and helping clients get the right bull or ram for their individual needs is next.

We hope to get a socially distant catch-up with folk either looking at stock beforehand; registered buyers at the sale; or if folks are willing to view on video and bid on-line – when we deliver rams.