Kersey Rising Star

One ram lamb particularly caught Dad’s eye this year and he thinks it has the potential to be a “star”.  The lamb is currently at a centre in Worcestershire where they will collect semen and freeze it in liquid nitrogen.  Then we will try to sell the semen to other sheep breeders who want to take advantage of some of his great breeding values.  Our sheep are all “recorded” meaning they are scanned and weighed at various points during their lives.  These figures are used along with statistics from their parents, sons and daughters to calculate estimated breeding values -EBV’s- these EBV’s are used by some buyers to decide what to buy or what semen to use.  All recorded sheep are given a Breeding Index which is an overall score of their genetic value as a sheep compared to the rest of the breed.  Kersey Rising Star’s index is 5.97 which is the 2nd highest in the breed this year! If you would like to see a picture and more info go to: www.kerseylivestock.co.uk/risingstar

Cattle

The cattle have all been pregnancy scanned with reasonable results, we have approximately 70 calves due to be born.  A few cows calved in November with mixed results, unfortunately 2 calves died.  The main period of calving is due from February onwards.

Sugar Beet- around 10 million tonnes are grown in the UK annually. We have finished harvesting the second field of sugar beet and half of these have been transported to the factory.  They have not been keeping in the clamp very well because the mild weather has allowed them to start going off.  All the land for next year’s sugar beet has been ploughed so that the freeze thaw of the winter can begin to break down the soil in preparation for drilling in the spring.  Before the ploughing a layer of base fertiliser was applied as mentioned in the last issue, this has been ploughed in.

Mildew

The mild weather has meant that a fungal infection of Mildew started spreading rapidly through the winter barley.  Mildew will grow on the green leaves of the barley and if left untreated will kill the plant.  We had to spray the barley with a fungicide to prevent the mildew from spreading, it is unusual for us to need to spray fungicides in the autumn.

Go to next article: February 2012