Calving is well under way here at Rectory Farm with 30 calves born to date. We still have 15 to go with most of these due over the next couple of weeks. The calves are looking really well and love skipping about through the straw in the barn.
Since our last update one of our two year old bulls, Northmoors Onslo, has passes his TB test and headed off to his new home near Stow-on-the-Wold. It is great for us that other Ruby Red Devon breeders recognise the quality of our animals and want to introduce animals we have bred into their own herds.
In addition to this we have also decided to sell one of our three stock bulls - Northmoors Legend. He is only five years old and has produced some fantastic calves for us, however a number of his daughters are now coming into our herd so we need to introduce a new bloodline ourselves. Legend is going to head off to a farm in Shropshire to become their main breeding bull, so we are now looking to buy in a replacement for him.
Young Farmers Visit
We welcomed Witney Young Farmers Club to the farm last week to see the cattle and also to learn about beef judging. We gave them some tips and advice on what to look for when judging beef cattle, all in preparation for a competition they have coming up at the end of April. It was great to see so many youngsters here taking an interest in farming and the countryside. Young Farmers is a great organisation and a fantastic way for people to make friends and learn new skills. It is open to anyone aged between 10 and 26 - find out more about Oxfordshire Clubs here.
The recent wet weather has set us back a couple of weeks on the arable front. We have managed to get the Spring Wheat drilled and this has started to chit so should be showing through the ground shortly. We have also managed to get the Blackgrass weeds sprayed off prior to drilling the Spring Beans and Spring Barley, however the rain has meant the soil conditions are too wet to get these drilled yet. When we do eventually get these these drilled the soil should be nice and warm meaning they should start to grow quickly. This delay in drilling is however, likely to mean that harvest will be pushed back a couple of weeks from normal.
If we get a couple of dry, still days this week we should have a chance to get some fertiliser on some of the grass fields. We will look to do the fields we'll cut for silage first so this grass can get growing ready for cutting later in May. This grass will then be baled up into silage ready for feeding to our grass fed cattle next Winter.