Farmer Focus: Sheep and leatherjackets bring headache – Farmers Weekly

Despite May being cool, damp and typically fairly windy, there’s numerous grass round.

After placing on much less fertiliser, there was extra cowl on the grazing fields than there would usually be.

It annoys me if the grass will get too lengthy, but it surely’s higher to have a bit greater than too little.

Unfortunately, points with the sheep have saved on coming. We have by no means had any issues with clostridial illnesses, so have by no means wanted to vaccinate.

See additionally: How a 93% calf offered determine helped carbon effectivity in suckler herd

About the writer

Steven Sandison

Livestock Farmer Focus author
Steven Sandison farms 100 Simmental and Salers cross cows on the Orkney Islands in partnership along with his spouse Lorraine. They have a small flock of sheep and develop 20 acres of spring barley. Making essentially the most of grass is a precedence.

That has modified this yr, so the lambs have been given a vaccination for this in addition to a drench for coccidiosis. We had been fortunate to get the vaccine earlier than provides turned a difficulty.

Although I don’t have barley of my very own, I’ve three fields rented out with barley being grown on them.

Our farm is made up of three blocks of land. Block one is the house farm, block two is a mile away and block three is eight miles away. There is one discipline of barley in every of those blocks. The purpose I point out that is due to grubs (leatherjackets).

We get advised that dry tufts of grass are a breeding floor for grubs. The discipline in block three had a whole lot of dry tufts of cocksfoot, which was why I ploughed it down. There isn’t any signal of grubs in it in any respect.

The discipline in block two, which has been minimize and properly grazed because the final time it was reseeded, has been badly hit by the little blighters.

Before this yr, I’ve solely had two crops affected within the time I’ve been farming – on this identical discipline and the one subsequent to it.

I wish to know what it’s they like about these two fields, however I don’t assume it’s dry tufts of grass.

It was good to welcome the primary group of vacationers for this season onto the farm on the finish of May.

It all the time appears to be a rush to get the cattle courts and calving pens cleaned out, and the farm tidied up a bit, but it surely’s nice to fulfill new folks from throughout the nation and present them what we do.

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