I can’t begin this month’s piece without mentioning the weather... It has been awful seeing people’s forage swept away, livestock stranded and homes, yards, and fields completely flooded, what a horrendously wet autumn it has been.

Although we are far from being the wettest place in Scotland, we have had much more than our average rainfall for this time of year with 84mm of rain in September, followed by 161mm in October. This has made drilling winter wheat extremely challenging, and there was no way our trailed drill was going to manage to travel on saturated ground.

Instead, we got a friend to drill it using our tractor but with his 3m mounted drill. Unfortunately, there were 15 acres out of a 25-acre field that was just too wet to drill a fortnight ago and will be considerably wetter now. Instead, this part of the field will likely go into spring barley next year, unless something drastic happens with the weather in the next fortnight which looking at the forecast, seems unlikely.

By not using our combination drill, the wheat was drilled on its own and without the DAP fertiliser we had purchased, which is still sitting in the shed. We will spin this fertiliser in early spring whenever conditions allow helping improve root development.

The wet weather also meant we were unable to get the pre-em herbicide applied, so it is also sitting in the shed. Spring weed control options will be more expensive and less effective against some weeds. The excessive rainfall has also put a halt to us getting a start on strawing down carrots. Dad has tried three times over the past week to make a start but on all occasions has ended up bogged down to various degrees. We will just have to try and be patient and wait for the ground to dry out somewhat.

Ewe numbers are up 60 on the year, with the flock of 330 breeding females having all been fluked, bolused, and shifted into their groups ready for tups going out on October 31. Lambing will therefore hopefully be kicking off around March 26, 2024, which will come around so quickly, as it always does.

We are hopefully all organised for lambers having used ‘The Lambing Club’ Facebook page to post an advert, to which we got lots of replies from people of varying levels of experience, deciding to go with two experienced people who had good references in the end.

I have also bought Mam a set of knee pads from a garden centre to see if this helps alleviate her lambing induced knee pain which plagues her for weeks after lambing every year, she didn’t seem too impressed with them and said her not enter the lambing shed would be a better solution!