This year we have taken the sheep off the improved parks around the house for a few months, sowed new grass seed and taken a crop of haylage. It’s been a significant investment to reseed and fertilise the parks but the initial indications are that it should be well worthwhile. We have got a thicker cut of grass than we expected and, when baled it should make a significant contribution to our winter feed. There is more to come from the new species-rich grasslands further up the strath but they cannot be cut until later in the year.
The grass was cut today. In an ideal world we now need 2-3 dry days so the grass can be turned and dried and then baled before we have more rain. We’ll be lucky indeed if we get that luxury.
When the strath was lined with subsistence crofts, cutting hay would have been very much part of the annual ritual. But during the last 150 years as a sheep farm I wonder whether hay or silage has ever been cut. It would be interesting to know. It won’t avoid the need to buy in some food and minerals for stock over the winter, but it is a step towards a self-sufficient farm.