It has been a long time since my last post so thought I should give an update. The Sainsbury sheep grazing project has started its second and final year, and the first year certainly threw up some interesting findings. Not surprisingly there was a far shorter grazing season over the border in Scotland, but whilst it was shorter it was very consistent. The biggest issue on the trial was the chronic summer growth on the farm in the Oswestry area, in May we were inundated with grass but by July it was like a desert, in four months there was less than 40mm rainfall on light free draining soil. It doesn’t matter how good your management is no moisture = no grass!!! Another thing that was highlighted was the need to match stocking rate to grass growth, on some farms we under stocked but on another we massively over stocked, hopefully in year two with a full seasons grass growth data we will get a more suitable grass growth to stocking rate ratio. A very interesting issue was that of grass quality, every field is grass sampled every month, and every farm has had at least one field every month that has come back over 12ME.
On the Genetics front I am very pleased to report that Ireland Genetics UK is going from strength to strength, we have held our first conference in Tewkesbury which went down well with those that attended, and I am pleased to announce that this years conference will be on Wed 16th November at the Hatherleigh Manor Hotel in Tewkesbury, for further details or to book your place please get in touch. We have also taken on Hannah Evans in a sales capacity which will allow us to grow further, whilst we are also looking for further sales people, so if anyone is interested please get in touch. On the product front we have an unrivalled line up of high EBI bulls and a super line up of beef bulls, with all our beef bulls having huge numbers of calving surveys.
On the show front our Heart Of The Valley Show is going to be celebrating its fifth year this year on Sat Sept 10th, this show has captured the imagination of the largely urban attendees with over 2,000 people attending last year. It is very pleasing that we are now getting some significant support from the local NFU branch and from the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society, it has been a constant frustration the lack of support we receive from the agricultural community, especially when you consider that our sole aim is to educate the public about farming and the countryside. This year we are pleased that we will be joined by the Welsh Axemen, as well as our usual attractions.
I also recently spoke at the Ulster YFC conference in Belfast, this was a very impressive event, with three farm visits in the morning, that you could decide which one you went on. After lunch there were four meeting rooms which hosted three different speakers, so again you could decide which speaker from each session you wanted to listen to. The day was rounded off with a lovely meal, and a couple of entertaining speakers.
That is about it for now other than to wish Wales all the best for Saturday!!!