It is unusual in Scotland to wish for rain, but I am ever so glad we have now experienced some wet weather as we head towards autumn.

A second cut of silage has finally been harvested, which has helped to finish filling the pit and the surplus has been made into bales for the sheep.

As mentioned previously we became aware that there was the great possibility, due to the hot and dry weather, that we may find ourselves facing feed shortages in the winter. The decision was taken to direct drill stubble turnips into three of the first fields harvested, two of these had been winter wheat and the third spring barley. They have already begun to sprout through the earth after only four days, we are hopefully that the crops continue to thrive and can aid us in filling the shortage.

Another crop that we are growing for the first time is fodder beet. It is growing incredibly well and has outshone the turnips from early on in growth. The dry weather does not appear to have affected it as it has other crops. The roots have grown deep into the soil in search of water and this has given it strength and height. This will be used to feed either sheep or cattle over the winter months.

Our fat lambs are continuing to go to market on a weekly basis, with well finished meaty lambs selling for a good price. All of the ewes have had their lambs weaned and stock ewes have been selected for next season. We have been using the three-way shedding on the Ritchie Pro Draft, which has helped us draw off fat lambs, ewe lambs over 40kg and everything else the other way, which in turn has greatly speeded up the process and saved us from having to go through different batches mare than once for different reasons.

All of our home-bred heifers, a mix of Aberdeen-Angus cross, Simmental cross and Shorthorn crosses are being run for seven weeks with the Aberdeen Angus bulls. Some 50 heifers will join the spring calving cows after PD scanning and if empty will be put with the fattening cattle. We will do the same with 60 heifers to join the summer calving cows, which we hope this will help to increase the fertility of our herd and ensure a more compact calving.

I previously mentioned that we had placed calf creep feeders out to supplement the shortage of grass. It was hoped that this would help to keep condition on the cows, thankfully this has worked well and it will be interesting to see how their weights compare to previous years where the cows had been purely grass grazed.

Hopefully over the next few weeks we will be finished harvest, clear the fields of straw and prepare the ground for our winter crops of barley and wheat to be sown. Our barley will be treated with Maxammon and stock piled for winter feeding.

In next month, cattle will be vaccinated for coming inside for the winter and breeding ewes sorted out for going to the tup.