Back to reality on the farm after being blown away by support at book launch
Well, it's back to reality now. The launch of our book A Year On Our Farm is over. We were totally blown away by the size of the crowd, with the consensus being that there was close to 600 people in the yard. While some people travelled a long distance to be there, what really left a lasting impression on us was the turnout of our local community.
There was great sense of goodwill and the feeling of seeing our neighbours and friends in the yard chatting to one another over a cup of tea will live long with us and, as someone said to me the next day, "The thought crossed my mind as I looked around the yard that, if you were in trouble, these are the kind of people you would want around you."
Two big jobs we have on our hands now are to process our barley and draw in our straw. Because we held the launch in the grain store, all of our grain is piled up in cattle sheds at the moment and we were reluctant to fill the yard with straw until the event was over.
So hopefully there is plenty more dry weather left or we'll probably end up as the only farm in the whole country with wet straw.
The barley will be rolled, treated with Maxammon and piled up in the shed and covered with plastic. The grain looks excellent in quality. I got it tested a few weeks ago and it had moisture of 17.5pc and protein of 12.8pc.
However, we were still lucky that the weather remained as dry as it did, since this avoided damp air circulating through the sheds. I was a bit nervous having that much grain piled in the sheds for any prolonged period of time.
Having assessed our supplies of winter feed and the fact that all our silage for this year is now cut, it's obvious that we will be well short of grass fodder. However, two things will help us out here. All the silage is dry and of good quality and we have ample amount of barley after hitting an average of 3t/ac.
So our plan is to feed extra barley and add more straw to the cows' diet.