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Meet Our Experts' Staff Blog

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Lackham Farm Blog

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Lackham Farm Blog

Another 400 litres to produce and we will be overflowing the main tank and using the reserve tank, at this rate we will be producing more than that tank can hold so will need to shop round for another larger 2nd hand tank. A reasonable weather forecast should allow the last field of Wheat to be drilled this season.

Freeze branding and trimming the bulling heifers, they are bulling strongly, good news for the start of the service period. Plenty of lambs close to finishing, the price not brilliant but when the weights are good which helps with total income. All the pigs are now winter housed in some temporary accommodation by the silage clamps.

Well, Dairy Milk yields continue to rise we are 400 litres away from using the reserve tank, forward targets should be increased to see if we need a larger reserve milk tank. We are producing almost the same as last year with 20 cows less in milk at this point due to calving pattern changes.

Serving will start this coming week with sexed semen, the cows have been bulling well and have been checked and cleared by the vet ready for service.
The final cow in calf to Holstein has calved with the final heifer bringing the final total to 66 a few short of the 70 target, we had a run of bull calves which are being sold. The remaining cows are in calf to Limousin or Shorthorn.

The disappointing news over the last few weeks is we have lost a couple of young cows with broken hips, damaged after bulling, these are unusual accidents for us, and a cow with damaged legs just after calving caused by milk fever and not being able to get up on concrete.
Cow numbers remain high having had 44 heifers come into the herd this year, there are still a few cows to cull out before they all finish calving keeping cow numbers to around 160.

Arable
No current issues with the drilled crops so far, most are doing well. The weather window should give us an opportunity to drill the last field with Skyfall today.
Great progress with continued work on hedge cutting and branch trimming ready for the CSS fencing.

Beef/Youngstock
The bulling heifers are growing well with average weights over the 370kg target for service and height the majority are close to achieving. The final treatment freeze branding and trimming before service starts next week. The heifers are bulling strong which is a good sign, hopefully using sexed semen most will hold to first service.
The Limousins will be housed this week, the Shorthorns housed next week at Notton until we have space at Home farm, the Herefords will stay out if possible, housing is at a premium.

Sheep
Tupping almost complete the final colour will be put on the Rams this week, but I suspect not many ewes will be marked with it.
The lambs have been growing well, we have been selling between 5 and 10 per week keeping sales going, there are a lot close to finishing, these will go direct to an abattoir, the price is not the best at £3.60/kg, but the lamb weights will be good to compensate.
A group of lambs are grazing the stubble turnips, we anticipate these lambs won't be far away from finishing.
We have been waiting for the cull ewe price to lift but that looks unlikely, the 140 culls will be sold this week for the best price possible now.

Pigs
All the pigs are housed, the field was getting quite boggy. The sow weaned last week with seven piglets will be served by the young boar this week.
Another two weeks and we should be back on course to reducing backfat with the finished pigs, a change in diet will help to minimise them getting overfat.

Estates
Maintenance and tidying up the lawn areas in front of Lackham house.
Sprayed off the polytunnel path areas for the winter.
Final drive mowing and strimming this week along the main drives.
It looks like drivers think the verges are for driving on!! we will be erecting some polite notices before we decide on further action. It appears they like the areas along the first section of driveway now!!
The Lead Gardner was appointed last week he should start before Christmas.

General
Cleaning out this week, all cows and beef animals.
Erecting Health and Safety signs at all the Farm yards.
Sorting machinery and equipment.
Removing manure from the yards.

Student practicals
Weighing beef cattle and Pigs
Weighing Calves
Changing Raddles
Health checks for calves
Freeze branding dairy heifers

 

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