Just as all our cereal crops and grass thought they would die of thirst , the rain arrived. Mid-week, I'd just returned from a visit to my daughter, closed the door, answered a quick phone call and the rain fell. Not gentle rain but 25 mm fell in about 10 minutes. This was further topped up two days later by 24 hours of steady rain, which gave an end of week total of 58 mm. The week's weather was quite a mixture with sunshine, thundery showers (sometimes accompanied by flashes of lightning and claps of thunder), one misty morning and a rainbow or two. At least now the dust has been well washed from the plants and amazingly everything has greened up quite quickly.

Kevin managed to find a window of opportunity to spray the last fungicide on his wheat and apply a herbicide to his peas, which were not liking the vigorous weeds that were competing with them for sunlight and nutrients.

Erecting a static sheep handling system in one of the farm buildings was also completed, which is making the sorting of sheep much easier. At the moment it is proving to be especially useful sorting finished lambs from ones that need a little more time to grow. Every week Kevin is managing to find reasonably sized groups ready for sale, although the price has recently fallen a little. Moving groups of sheep to fresh areas of grass is also ongoing, so erecting and removing sheep fencing is constantly needed.

Recently Kevin and family have sorted through all the rams. The older rams have been given a routine health check, especially checking and trimming their hooves. Those selected to be used as sires in the coming breeding season were separated from a few that will be culled. Then it was the turn of the ram lambs (shearlings, born spring 2019) to be graded and the best selected to be registered with The Llyen Sheep Society. After a thorough examination 10 of the flock of 45 were chosen for possible registration and will be independently checked by someone from the society, before they can be added to the register. Then it was the turn of the yearling ewe lambs to be graded for breeding later this year, ready for giving birth to their first lambs when they are 2 years old. When any of the sheep are gathered for routine inspections, any hooves needing trimming will be attended to.

On a daily check of our Angus cattle, Ian noticed that one was lame, so needed to be brought in for closer inspection. Once Ian and Jenny had the animal restrained the suspect hoof and leg was examined, but there was nothing obvious. Ian then took her temperature and found that it was a little above normal, so gave her an antibiotic injection, as she probably has an infection developing in her hoof. Following treatment the Angus was put into a pen in the barn, with a friend to keep her company. Ian can then keep a close eye on her to monitor her recovery and take further action or call a vet if needed.

Another job was to fit new rubber paddles in the feeder wagon. The feeder wagon is where all the portions of different foods, needed to make up the ration for the cattle and sheep, are put and mixed before being dispensed into troughs when required. The feeder wagon has scales and each food eg grass silage is weighed as it is added. When all the foods have been added they are mixed together, with the rubber paddles scraping the food away from the sides of the wagon to ensure the ingredients are evenly distributed throughout.

Then attention was turned to the combine, as it will not be long before the onset of harvest Ian and Kevin have started to check that all parts are working properly, servicing it at the same time. Just hope the rodents haven't made a feast of any electric cables!