We took 8 Suffolk sheep and 1 British Blue heifer to the Hadleigh Show, we achieved two 1st prizes and five 2nd prizes, we also won champion Suffolk Sheep. Alice, David and Josie entered the young handlers, they all did well. We are now looking forward to the Suffolk Show on the 2nd and 3rd of June.
All fertilising, spraying and drilling has been completed except for late fungicide which needs to be sprayed on the wheat and barley. All of the crops need some rain especially the spring drilled ones which are incredibly dry, because of this lack of rain the sugar beet are struggling to germinate well.
We are using 2 bulls on our cows this year. Our youngest is a big white British Blue bull called Chieftain, he is two and a half years old. He is home bread and like most of our animals very docile. We have used the other bull, Vulcan who is a black British Blue X Limousin, a few times before. They will both be working with the cows over the next 2 months. Lots of this year’s calves are by Vulcan.
All sheep are sheared once a year because if they are not sheared they are very likely to get fly strike and would also get too hot at this time of year. Dad does all of our shearing and he can shear a sheep in about 4 minutes, the world record is a sheep every minute. The wool is no longer worth much money because most of its uses have been replaced by synthetic materials. We sell our wool through a central wool marketing cooperative for about £1 per fleece.
We will hopefully be cutting silage in mid June but the grass is not growing as well as we would like due to the cold weather in April and the lack of rain now.
You may have noticed that we have a few areas of field covered in white fleece, this is where we are growing kale for the sheep. We use the fleece to stop flea beetles which would kill the crop very quickly and to encourage faster growth.
The partridges which we buy as day old chicks are doing well in the warm weather. A new batch of pheasants is hatching every week.
We will continue with fencing ditching and machinery maintenance and very soon will have to get ready for harvest. The last of the wheat from the 2009 harvest was sold recently, we kept it until now because we were waiting for better prices, they were marginally better but prices have risen since we sold it.