John Large: Heavy lambs are at front of the queue for meal
After another month of very little rain on our farm, grass is still in scarce supply.
We are feeding the heaviest group of lambs ad-lib, giving them access to as much meal as they will eat. They are consuming over 1kg per head and they also have good grass. There will not be much money left after the meal bill is paid, but at least they will be gone off the farm and leave more grass for ewes.
We are feeding all other lambs about .5kg of meal daily. The only ones not getting any meal are the ewe lambs we are keeping for breeding.
We have spread all the farm with 30 units of nitrogen in the form of Cut Sward with sulphur. The fertiliser spread on July 28 got rain a few days later and worked well with grass showing a good response.
We spread more the following Saturday, August 4 and have had a very slow response. It is just a matter of waiting for the rain to come and get the fertiliser working.
We have sown about 30 acres of fodder rape. With soil temperatures high, the possibility of a good crop seems strong. Some fields were sown with a single pass, others we ran the disc over and then sowed. It should be interesting to see what difference this makes to plant establishment and if there is any extra yield.
With the breeding season only eight weeks away, now is the time to go through the breeding rams. By giving them a good health check now we have time to correct any problems before the next breeding season.
Rams that are thin will need to put on condition which will take time and feed. Rams not responding to treatment for issues such as lameness or not putting on condition, despite being given extra feed, will be culled.