In Your Field

John Davies: Fears over fatstock prices

John Davies talks about how low grass growth, forms and fatstock prices don’t dampen spirit of a rugby team win.

I am hoping by the time you read this we will have had an explosion of grass growth. In this very late season, we were only able to turn out cows with young calves and cattle which will finish off grass later in the year.

I had to spend some time in the office on IACS, which makes me a bit grumpy, but at least we have a farm liaison service. For the last few years, Rita and Bob have come to our county NFU meetings to guide us through the forms. It is always a packed meeting.

I managed to get the form in on time, but decided to maintain the status quo, ticking the ‘sterling’ rather than the ‘euro’ box. With the political horse trading and uncertainty settling down, I wonder if we have missed an opportunity.

Along with the other Welsh Black group members, I travelled to Dovecote Park to see the slaughtering and processing facilities dedicated to Waitrose.

The standards were extremely high and they practiced master butchery on a grand scale. I was so impressed by the burger line that we ordered some from the Waitrose home delivery service for a family party!

We have been drilling some peas and barley for wholecrop and some straight barley, which we’ll either wholecrop, crimp or roll dry, depending on the weather.

By under-sowing some barley with our special Wynnstay Welsh Black mix of high sugar grasses, it will allow us to cut our carbon footprint by about 20 per cent, if the latest research adds up.

We sold three barrens at Brecon with 17 heifers and steers, although trade was back a bit on what it has been.

The Bailea-bred Charolais bull is doing a good job, enabling us to sell his offspring at a younger age. We averaged £866, with one making over £1,000 and a few in the high £900s. The present fat trade slipping back is a worry though.

On the sheep front, we have put all the ground ewes through the turnover crate, dagged, foot- trimmed and drenched them, and also drenched and sprayed their lambs with Clik.

Rugby-wise, after reaching two tournament semi-finals, it was great to travel to Kidwelly and come home with the first prize.

The boys won five tries to four in a cracking final against local rivals, Llandovery.

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