The next episode of UTV’s Rare Breed – A Farming Year features four of our farming families, and it’s all about the silage and the show this week!
Rare Breed – A Farming Year continues on Thursday at 8.30pm UTV and May’s sunny, warm weather means it’s prime silage season. The Lyons brothers have a small window of time to get silage in for all their customers in the Coleraine area. Stephen comments, “The plan is to get everybody ready and out the lane at the same time.” They are so busy that Stephen himself is cutting silage and managing to answer calls as well. “The phone never stops,” he says.
Next, we head to The Balmoral Show where Jack Smyth from Newtownstewart is showing Angus and Charolais cattle, hotly contested categories. His parents, friend Trevor and girlfriend Emma are all there to support and help him out. Despite nursing a sore knee, Jack has a good day and the cows behave well. There are also a few familiar faces to spot in the crowd.
We then head to Lisnaskea to Stephen Maguire’s farm where he’s putting cattle out to graze. He explains the science behind rotating the cattle around different areas of his land to ensure that the cattle are constantly getting the best quality grass. He talks of “three days in and three weeks out,” of grazing in any area to allow the grass to replenish. He comments, “The more you measure, the more you manage.” He also has to carry out some ready repairs on a section of electric fencing that the cows have eaten through! Back in his office, he is sharing his grass data with fellow famers saying it’s a great way to learn best practice.
Meanwhile in Clogher, the McGoverns have had bad news. They’ve had to slaughter a cow which tested positive for TB. She had just had twin claves so Sean is trying to get another cow to adopt and feed them. He’s trying to ensure that they don’t get sick with the change in milk, saying, It’s time consuming, a torture to be honest.” He talks about how disappointed he and the girls are to lose a cow that had had two previous TBtests that were clear. He points out that the girls’ positive outlook ‘always seems to give you a lift’ and says, we ‘need to keep going and look after the herd.’
UTV’s Mark McFadden narrates the series, sponsored by Moy Park. Rare Breed – A Farming Year continues on Thursday 6th February at 8.30pm on UTV.