Gareth has been at Rhug for over 20 years, as Farm Manager he works very closely with Lord Newborough on the day to day running of the farm. He says: “Spring is one of the busiest periods of the year on the farm and as with all farming activities, we are totally weather dependant. This year has been exceptional, as it can be very wet here in March and it can delay us getting on with spring cultivation work”.
This year to date, the team have managed to sow 180 acres of Spring Barley and Oats which will be combined in August/September to feed to the animals on the estate. The estate converted to organic 22 years ago, they do not use any artificial nitrogen fertiliser and it is incredibly important for Lord Newborough to keep the estate as self-sufficient as possible, especially as the cost of feed and fertiliser has increased significantly this year.
Organic farming has many more challenges and rewards than conventional farming, there are no quick fixes – everything is done in a natural way, working together with the environment, sometimes planning years ahead and farming using modern ways but being traditional in your thinking.
Lambing has been in full swing in recent weeks, Gareth says “The weather has been very kind to us, thus far. The newly born lambs are turned out on fresh spring grass within twelve hours of birth and we also have two flocks lambing outside. The cattle are finishing well out of sheds and we have turned out over 100 head of cattle onto pasture.”