Inspection Month

21 May 2023

Fife seems to have become suddenly green again with a flush of grass, crops growing rapidly and warmer nights. After a pretty cool start to the growing season, many of our spring planted crops are only just emerging so lets hope we have some heat and showers to help them catch up, or it will be a late harvest.

The last of the ewes have now finished lambing and lambs have been tagged and vaccinated to protect them from clostridial infections. Oddly, there is a shortage of vaccines for sheep this year, but we were lucky to be working with Eden Vets, who rightly predicted the situation and managed to get enough to keep us going.

Within the next couple of weeks we will be selecting the first New Season lamb to head to the butchery. Using Suffolk and Hampshire Down tups, the lambs grow rapidly on the fresh spring grass and due to their native breed selection are well suited to early season fattening.

A few cows remain hanging on in there with calving due date “unknown” since they were purchased in animals last year. However, most cows and heifers have calved with the last 30 or so being turned out to grass at the end of April where they have calved themselves.

Before the last calf is born, the bulls were turned out with our heifers at the end of April. These 1st time calving females are due from 1st February 2024 – so the season has already begun for next year.

May is also “Inspection month” with our annual compliance inspections for Soil Association, Quality Meat Scotland, Scottish Quality Cereals, Pasture for Life and that’s before we get to accounts and Health and Safety. As such, a lot of time has been spent making sure that we have to hand the information we need amongst the masses of data wee gather on a daily basis. Sometimes, it is amazing we get anything done as we have to record it all….

Our experimenting with compost making has taken a step up, with Dave turning two heaps of 400m in total – watching the temperature gauge to work out when tot turn again and when to leave. Time will tell what quality we can make, but the principle being that the more biological activity we apply to soils, the better and compost is a super-food for soil.

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