What a contrast to last year. Last year a real shortage of grass throughout most of the summer, with the resulting significant shortages of winter forage. This year we have baled ample good dry haylage leaving us with a substantial surplus, which I will look to sell this winter. The same can be said in respect of the grazing fields. Its been quite a job for the various sheep groups to keep up with the grass. Rotating one group of sheep out of one field, leave it a few days, and it is already too long to top.
Both lambs and gimmers are doing well. We sheared a bit late this year, around mid-June. We have a very good local team, but they were being caught between silaging and shearing. Know the problem? Anyway, all well and (as usual) no fly strike. I think the Lleyn fleece seems to be more resistant. I know a near neighbour with mules has quite a problem in this respect. I am encouraged to see that the world wool price is up 50% so far this year. However it still certainly needs to be a lot higher than even this level to cover costs, but at least it’s heading in the right direction. I wonder if the growing recognition of the environmental damage being done by synthetic fabrics will lead to a significant move to utilise more natural fabrics such as wool in clothing and carpets. COVID has given a lot of time for people to focus on all aspects of the environment and where their food actually comes from, so lets hope that will to greater use of natual fabrics.
We have about 200 well-grown shearlings for sale this year and 12 shearling rams, 7 of which are registered. I will post their EBVs and breeding details shortly. They are already listed on the Signet website. Please remember that all our animals are purely grass-fed and that includes the rams. I strongly believe that this management style ensures that they do not fade when given a block of 100 + ewes each.
Please come early and have an early look. Farmers are starting their selection process earlier every year, so please don’t leave it until the autumn.