The busiest month of the year for calving both pedigree and commercial cows at Columbjohn – and naturally the sun shines so there is a mountain of field work calling attention at the same time.
Matthew remains close to the farm to keep an eye on the cows in the calving paddocks but as the ground dries there is a constant list of chores to be completed – rolling grass/spreading farmyard manure & fertilizer/spraying and preparing fields for planting potatoes etc.
Another lengthy task which we have completed this month is vaccinating the limousins for Lepto and BVD together with carrying out Johnes Blood Testing (through the SAC). Fortunately all the pedigree cows were close to the farm so time taken to bring different groups through the race/crush was minimised. We took advantage of the young vet being on farm to get some PDs carried out – anything to avoid extra vet visits/call out fees!
The settled weather has encouraged me to start planting potatoes – the first field of 12 hectares of Maris Piper and Marfona. I no longer aim for the early market and find mid March is a good time to start planting (to avoid late frost) – weather permitting..
Most commercial beef animals are sold through St. Merryn (Cornwall) for the Tesco supermarket shelves with consignments being despatched throughout the year. I was shocked to get a ‘complaint call’ due to a young bull (just under 12 months) being sent to them this month. It would appear their “rules” changed about 5 weeks ago and they no longer process animals under 12 months – but sadly no one thought to tell the producers (despite them having my post and email addresses). A sign of the times …