How has farming been for you in 2020 ?

Henarar

Member
Livestock Farmer
Many reasons to forget 2020 but from a farming point of view its not been bad for us,
Store cattle price has been good especially in the autumn and lamb price has been good
the weather has been ok made plenty of silage and hay though it did get a bit dry for a while had a good back end its wet now but tis winter, can't complain really .

How have the rest of you got on ?
 
Cut from a thread I posted in a week or two ago.

Early dry spell made lambing, calving and sowing a lot easier.
Lambs, cattle and Wheat were good trade.
Plenty of silage and a lot of straw carried over from last year due to early turnout thanks to the dry spring.

Autumn sowing done in September (normally Oct/Nov) and winter ploughing pretty much all done before December.

If this is the worst farming year I've to live through, I'll take that.
 

Wombat

Member
Location
East yorks
Last autumn/winter meant we got nothing planted.

What we got drilled in Jan had the wettest feb ever on it so ended up doing about 4-5t/ha on what was planted vs what was left.

Spring crops were rubbish about the 4-5t/ha

Prices made up for it a bit.

Not sold any stores yet this year.

Autumn and winter this year have been pretty stroke as well so about 60% done and some wet holes in that now.

Lots of work at crazy hours trying to home school, day job and then farm.

So overall rather crap, but we are all the right way up at the moment. Do i want a 2020 ever again, nope thanks.
 

Yale

Member
Livestock Farmer
Potato prices on the floor, weather by turns too wet, too dry and too wet, sugar beet yields decimated by yello virus, egg prices crap, soya and wheat prices rocketing, arable side subsidising poultry by milling the grain for hens rather than selling it for £££.

Still, that's why a diversified business is better right? :banghead::unsure::rolleyes:
Just started watching the ‘Breaking Bad’ box set after doing the whole lot about 6 years ago.

Favourite ever series.

Walt has an interesting take on diversification. :cool:
 
Cropping income from harvest 2020 will be the worst for us in 20 years. Combination of poor yields from what we did get drilled in autumn 2019 and late drilled spring crops in spring 2020.

Cattle not great either, we produce pure bred limousin beef on traditional "Label Rouge" schemes. A lot goes to the restaurant trade. We have been waiting months from when the buyer visits till they collect as the co-ops are holding cattle back on farm rather than take a price hit. Good point is we have plenty of grub this year and prices are only down a bit. Good job the french like them fat as some of the heifers are getting huge by the time they go.
 

Farma Parma

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
In the Dyke Back
Escaped Covid so far, farmed away pretty much fine & weather mostly played ball, spring cropping saved the less winter cropping but the end prices have been my best in 8years apart from Oats
winter cropping much better than in 2019 but its looking like prices back for this harvest so be no better off. or worse off neither
BPS minor deductions in 21 but more noticable in 22 & onwards a real concern.
 

Bignor Farmer

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
West Sussex
Got away with it really. Not a complete disaster but below average!

Hardly anything planted this time last year and didn’t get sowing until the end of March. Made a lot of decisions to mitigate a dry spring (thankfully!!) and harvest yields ended up being Okay considering.
A relatively cheap harvest to get into the barn and saved by rising prices. All spring I thought we would struggle to average £130t for 5t/ha of malting barley and have probably averaged £150/t for 7t/ha.

Lots of lambs away early for decent money but we’ve pushed a lot of creep into them (glad we did)

Lost out on fat cattle through COVID that we’d fed hard through Jan/Feb/March.

Winter crops setup quite nicely for 2021 with some decent forward prices...
Last of the lambs munching through turnips with a Brexit deal now in place (phew!)....
Scanning in 10 days time....

Diversification (museum, campsite and small tearoom) interesting times! saved by furlough and a huge effort through the summer. How we operate in 2021 completely depends on COVID and government.

Lots of decisions made to improve future resilience for weather and falling BPS.... plenty to get on with!
 

toquark

Member
All in all not too bad, weather in spring exceptional and lambs away to a flying trade, this will probably be balanced by the fact I plan to buy in some in-lamb replacements in January. This would’ve happened anyway so not a bad year to have to do it.

In the day job, the timber trade’s been up and down like a lady of the night’s knickers, but currently flying high and averaged well so really can’t complain.

Socially, 2020s been a car crash but we’re healthy, happy and able to keep working so probably better off than many, for which I’m extremely thankful for.
 

Sid

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
South Molton
Dad passed away in Feb, as did my grandmother, so won't forget 2020 in a hurry.
Farming wise, terrible yields, but a reasonable price for grain. Fully booked up holiday cottage for most of July, and August/ September. So not too bad there either. All in all OK, considering.
Lost my Dad in February this year too.

I just hope 2021 stands out for better reasons than 2020.
 

Rejuvenating swards: Which option is best?

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Written by Brian McDonnell

Maintaining grass quality during mid-season grazing is important. Farmers can maintain quality by entering ideal grazing covers of 1,300 – 1,500kg DM/ha, and grazing down to a residual of 4cm every rotation.

If you are now in a situation where cows are not cleaning out paddocks as well as they should be, leading to the development of steamy grass within the sward, here are some options.

Common options for rejuvenating swards include:

  1. Take a silage cut, probably into bales, remove the material and start again with the aftermath...
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