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Adrift in a sea of grass

July 2, 2012
Wassledine Red Poll cattle in a sea of grass

Wassledine Red Poll cattle in a sea of grass

If I were let loose in a 12 acre field of chocolate sponge, topped with chocolate fudge icing, surrounded perhaps by irregularly distributed fresh strawberries and really good vanilla ice cream in delicate mounds, I would, I am certain, spend as much time as our cattle, lying uncomfortably, panting, groaning and shifting my weight to avoid pressure on a distended stomach.

Although I know it can be misleading to view animals anthropomorphically, at this time of year, after the long period of rain we’ve experienced, the cattle regularly look like they’ve overdone it.

By June 2011 we were facing short grass, baking in the sun; dusty paths and hot cattle. Now it’s difficult to imagine such conditions. I’ve just heard on the BBC that 2012 provided the wettest June on record and our grass is deep and thick in many places and the cattle are eating with a gusto that suggests that we’ve starved them for months.

It would be good if the rain stopped soon though. We’d love to experience a fortnight of lovely warm sunshine. Our beautiful tall and thick grass that is destined to become hay is ready to cut now. We’d like to see it drying on a hot July afternoon, wafted by a stiff breeze. The hay would be of such quality and harvested in such prodigious quantities that all records would be shattered. It has to stop raining first though. Such are the frustrations of farming.

In the mean time, the cattle eat excitedly in between periods of apparent dyspepsia.

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