Cattle

Cattle sales are progressing well, about half of last years’ calves have been sold so far.  The cattle are sold live on Colchester market to local wholesalers and butchers.  The beef price- as you might have noticed at the butchers- is very high at the moment.  The grass growth is well behind where it would be in a normal year.  There is enough at the moment but we would like it to be getting ahead so we can conserve and store quite a lot in the form of haylage and hay.  We will still make hay and haylage this year but we will start cutting it later so the grass can grow more and quantity will be limited due to the slow growth.

Sheep

The annual task of shearing the sheep has begun. The wool is only worth £2-3 per sheep and is sold through the ‘Wool Marketing board’ for use in various industries.

Shows

The Hadleigh show proved to be a successful day for us, we won 3 out of the four sheep classes which we entered and Alice came 1st when showing one of our British Blue Bulls.  We are getting ready for the Suffolk show as I write this.  I just hope the rain holds off!

Arable

The sugar beet were drilled in reasonable conditions but the low soil temperatures have meant it has been very slow growing.  They have been sprayed with manganese which is a trace element required in small amounts for sugar beet to grow well.  The spring cereals have been sprayed with herbicides to kill weeds.  All the cereals have been sprayed with fungicides to protect from diseases such as septoria, yellow rust and brown rust.  The fungicide program is 2-3 sprays with 1 month between applications.  All spraying is done in dry, low wind conditions with low drift nozzles on the sprayer.  We have drilled 2 hectares of wild bird seed mix under an environmental scheme.  The mix should provide small seeds for wild birds to live off during the winter next January and February.  The oilseed rape has finally started growing better with the more recent warmer weather.  Next year’s cropping is being planned so that seed can be ordered in time. We are also planning to do some mole draining in the autumn.