We continue to look with increasing anxiety at the weather maps like everyone else, but increasingly hopeful that the worst of the drought is behind us. We are on heavy land, so we are not completely barren. All the fields were either topped or cut for haylage or hay by early July. The aftermath has attempted to grow but this has been more like hay. A policy of reseeding with grasses that can withstand dry summers and wet winters seems to be paying off this year. My worry is whether we will have grass for the winter. A mild but reasonably wet autumn would of course be ideal. However, the lambs seem to thrive on what they have, and a higher number of well finished ram lambs have been going up to Dunbia, than at this stage last year. Sun/heat rather than the normal wet summer certainly seems work for them. One of the benefits of the Lleyn and our policy of favouring mid-sized animals, is that they eat less!
With Sterling falling out of bed vs both the Dollar and the Euro on growing worries that a hard Brexit is on the cards, I am now holding back sending further lambs to market as I suspect prices could harden as the export trade picks up. With Ausie and Kiwi lamb prices at all-time highs on the back of the horrendous drought in New South Wales, this should also help the winter trade.
For those seeking access to good strong shearlings this autumn from a flock with a good overall Signet Index, it might be worth pointing out that following the recent BASCO update, the average overall Lleyn Index EBV remains Top Quartile, and also across most key EBV indexes, barring fat, where are a little lean.
The progeny of the two ram lambs, 5362 and 5497 that were used last autumn, stand out this year. Weighing on 27 July their lambs were over 10% heavy than the rest. (5362 is a Top 1% and 5497 is high Top 5% Index EBV). I am keeping 5362 but 5497 is for sale. I have recently bought a very smart shearling ram from Richard Evans. From his various EBVs he should complement this flock well. Putting him on 5362 or 5497’s females next year will be interesting to say the least.
This year’s shearlings (gimmers) have constantly impressed me. They grew through the winter extremely well, on nothing apart from what they could find (which wasn’t much). The summer has likewise favoured them even though the phrase “scratching a living” comes to mind. Without doubt some of the best we have had. Do come and have a look as soon as you get some rain. We have about 200 for sale.
If you are looking for rams, we have a range of registered and non-registered animals. Prices largely reflect EBVs. All either carry one or both MYOMAX genes. All are purely grass fed.
Next week we start muscle scanning and then towards the end of September the FEC and Saliva analysis.August 2018