Farmer Focus: Can we persist with sucklers dropping £500 a cow?

We acquired the total breakdown of our monetary efficiency from Studying College once more. It was grim studying for the cows, however glorious for the sheep.

Can we proceed to lose £500 a cow, whereas making £163 a ewe?

I’ve spoken about sucklers earlier than. They’re my passion, my grazing software and my provide of farmyard manure.

See additionally: How Cheshire suckler farm tailored to outlive drought

Concerning the writer

James and Belinda Kimber

Livestock Farmer Focus writers
James and Belinda farm 850 business and pedigree sheep and 30 pedigree Simmental and Charolais cattle in Wiltshire throughout 95ha (45ha owned) with the assistance of their youngsters Josh, Izzy and Richard. James additionally runs a foottrimming enterprise and Belinda has a B&B.

The online result’s we’ve got diminished numbers by one other 4 cows – all the way down to 10 Simmentals and 10 Charolais.

The primary being pregnant scan of 200 pedigree ewes and 200 business ewes was good and dangerous.

The commercials scanned at 171%, with 18 empties raddle-marked for rescan in January. These lambs ought to get away rapidly, with any draft ewes cashed as properly.

The pedigrees resulted in Charollais, Blue Texel and Beltex with OK numbers, and just a few not in-lamb to scan once more.

Nevertheless, the pedigree Texels have been a catastrophe, once more. The 2 costly new rams obtained solely 35 out of 85 in lamb (about half in every service group).

All of the pedigree ewes have had the identical administration since weaning and have been at related physique situation scores, so why aren’t the Texels in-lamb?

Most empties have raddle marks, so hopefully there can be heaps in lamb on the January scan.

However these have been multi-ram service teams, so they are going to be business lambs, with out the price and time of DNA testing to see which one is which.

Taking a look at a latest dispersal sale catalogue for a prime Texel flock convinces me that many within the breed are going fully terminal, with little considered the fertility and maternal facet.

There have been 12 ewes and 163 recipients carrying embryos – even the inventory ewes had embryos implanted. I can see the advantages of ET, however my fear is the shortage of business realism.

We’re scanning all the opposite ewes on 15 January, so all of the teams can be again right here from far and broad.

The triplets and thins will keep inside, the empties will head straight to market, and the remainder will go onto 34ha (85 acres) of turnips and kale.

Though we nonetheless want numerous rain to right the summer time deficit, I hope it’s gently unfold out, so we get good utilisation of the turnip bulbs.